Emerging Writers Guest Post #42 – Alexander Maisey – Writing Superheros & Supervillains

Posted by on Jun 12, 2013 in Guest Posts

Alexander Maisey is a 30-something IT professional and writer living 40 minutes north of New York City with his fiancee and their Jack Russell terrier. He’s writing a series of Superhero Fiction novellas set in contemporary NYC called “The Machinist,” the first of which is available on Amazon as of February 2013. Book 2 will be available in the spring of 2013. Maisey is also working on a collaborative science fiction horror novel with another New York based fiction author. In addition to the above, Maisey has plans to release a pair of hardcore scifi novels set in the same universe. Over to you Maisey: . The first comic book I got as a kid was Justice League #220 (1983)–Since that was the year I was born, it was obviously a while before I actually read it and tried to comprehend what was going on. I remember that I liked the pictures and the fact that there were multiple versions of the characters I was familiar with like Superman, Batman, and the Flash–this issue was a 2-part crossover event between DC Comics’ Earth 1 and Earth 2, so there were alternate reality versions of everyone. This was also the issue in which DC retconned Black Canary’s origins so that she was her own daughter but brainwashed to have the mother’s memories. Guh. Imagine my five or six year old brain trying to wrap itself around that! Back then, the big two publishers weren’t interested in making comic books accessible to new readers. There weren’t “jumping on point” events or reboots. But back then the origins of comic book characters could be summed up with tidy compound sentences like “After Bruce Wayne’s parents were killed by a mugger, he traveled the world and trained to become Batman, the Dark Knight Detective!” A neophyte like me was stranded in the deep end with the waves crashing over my head. But because I loved the stories and the characters I stayed afloat and I learned to ride those waves. All the other issues I picked up in the superhero genre followed suit; Even if an issue was Part One of an arc there was something that carried over from a prior storyline, or some other bit of critical information that had happened previously and the writers assumed you knew about (the best you could hope for was an asterix and a tiny note saying “See Amazing Captain Atomic #216 – Editor”). So to me, the idea of having everything wrapped up tidily and presented in chronological order in a superhero story goes against everything I grew up with. I particularly dislike superhero movies because they follow the same,predictable origin story followed by overcoming insurmountable odds pattern instead of just jumping into the action. If all comic book movie writers acted as if they were doing sequels, explaining the protagonist’s backstory during the opening credits or at a crucial point early on, they’d be truer to their source material. I believe in...

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Emerging Writers Guest Post #41 – Meinos Kaen – From fan fiction to self publishing and beyond

Posted by on Jun 9, 2013 in Guest Posts

Meinos Kaen, real name Simone Simeone, is an Italian author and journalist. Children of the New Era is his first English publication. He’s the author of one Italian only novel -La Guerra delle Reliquie – La rocca cremisi- and Proud Parents Blog. He also writes for the Italian criminology webzine Altri Confini. The first time I creatively laid pen to paper -even if with copious amounts of lines and characters taken directly from my favorite shows and comics- I was eight. Immediately, I subconsciously realized that if it was going to become a habit I needed to find a way of doing it that wouldn’t cramp my hands and wrists as much. That same year we got our first PC. At fourteen I was writing out of pure impulse. Everything that came to my mind, every silly scene, every strange character, every new situation. It was fun, and pretty easy. Why? Because it was fanfiction. I was a victim of the early 2000s anime craze, and riding that wave I became a fanfiction author. I still do write some, from time to time. I think everyone should try it, especially as a beginner. It’s liberating, a good work-out for your writing skills, easier and at the same time harder than writing original fiction. Why? Because you play by someone else’s rules. Characters, events, worlds. You may build on them, tweak them a little, twist and mix everything in grandiose evolutions of plot but at the end of the day you have to respect them because readers of fanfiction come looking for something they find familiar. Easier because half of the job is already done for you, harder because there are times when you get that strong impulse to break those rules. I did only that for three years. Then, after reading Eragon and Eldest and learning that Paolini was my same age when he wrote the first book, I told myself ‘Why can’t I do the same?’. And I did. A fantasy, in Italian, which I published with a vanity press. Didn’t go well. Me and my family were little fishes in a pool filled with sharks. We spent money, the book never went anywhere. It now rests in a file on my hard-disk, waiting for me to pick it up again. One day, I will. Fast forward a few years later, I study communication, I’m enamored with the potential of the internet for connecting people, disillusioned with my own country and the traditional way of publishers. As I wondered if there was a better way, I bought my first Kindle. A few days later, I start reading about this ever increasing number of people who decided that they would be their own publisher. And some of them were even being successful. I decided that would be my road. I knew I would err, make some mistakes -I did, believe me- but there was some sick satisfaction in being fully aware that I would be the sole victim and cause of all my miscalculations. And the cause of...

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Emerging Writers: Guest Post #4 Song at Dawn – 1150 in Provence!

Posted by on Jan 27, 2013 in Guest Posts

Jean Gill, a Welsh author living in France, tells us about some of the difficulties authors can encounter. They will make you wonder why we do this. Jean is the Winner of the Global Ebooks award for Best Historical Fiction Song at Dawn is available from Amazon here. Take it away Jean! It is 25 years since my first book was published by a reputable small press. Since then, my work has ranged from military history to a cookbook. I’ve been published everywhichway except bestselling – yet – and have been rejected everywhichway except pleasurably. Each publishing method carries its own pros and cons. Big publishers give you a good time for up to a year, then, if you haven’t become a Big Thing, your book is relegated to the warehouse, prior to being remaindered, while your Editor seeks the next Big Thing. And the publisher still owns you – it’s easier to sign that contract than get out of it. You have the kudos of a big publisher but once the romance has gone, there’s no love. Small presses love you longer and many of them produce better quality print books than the major publishers. They often have grant/arts funding to create books but they have no marketing budget so they don’t try much to sell books. They are run by two overworked people in a tiny book-filled office, so don’t expect anyone to turn up when you give a performance at a festival – you’re on your own. They are delighted if you make it big and move on – no-one makes it big and stays. Small presses stay small and like it that way. Assisted publishing/ outsourced services offer you what you’re not good at yourself; copy-editing, jacket design, marketing  everything that makes a book is for hire. This is the biggest growth sector in the new age of self-publishing. It’s also here that the crooks hang out. Check authors’ comments on ANY service you pay for. Look for examples of their work. Crooks are good at what they do and there is usually enough credibility to draw you in. Then they take your money and leave you with a broken contract, no books and a damaged reputation. I am now writing historical novels set in the 12th century. I’m self-publishing and love it. One positive aspect of NOT finding ‘Mr/Ms Right Editor’ is that I’ve always had the freedom to write what I wanted, when I wanted, and now I can combine writing freedom with publishing freedom – perfect! Contact Jean at jean.gill@wanadoo.fr or via her website www.jeangill.com Song at Dawn is available from Amazon here. Jean blogs at www.jeangill.blogspot.com +++++ Thanks Jean for being our fourth guest post writer. I love historical fiction. Please Tweet a link to your book to me at @LPOBryan and I will RT it to all my followers. This guest post is part of a series in 2013 where I will be showcasing emerging writers on this blog. You can help by...

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