Friday, October 21, 2011

Writing and Smashwords

Let's start with a little writing update. I believe I'm nearing the end of Human and I hope I'll be sending it out very soon to my beta readers. Since I never know the exact date when I'll be doing something (yeah, I'm horrible, I know), it's a bit difficult to find friends who have time to proofread it for me. But I'll find a way to solve that, even if publishing of Human gets postponed a week or two. The cover is done and I would really like to show it to you, so I guess I'll be doing that as soon as I finish writing and come up with a blurb. I really hate writing blurbs because I'm never sure how much I'm supposed to reveal about the plot and characters. As for Runaway (Element Preservers series, book 2), I will start writing it as soon as I finish Human.

      Now something for authors: my Smashwords experiment. So, how long does it really take to change price everywhere? As I mentioned in my last post, I changed the price of my book on 27 September. My Distribution Channel Manager on my Smashword's Dashboard says they sent the update to Sony (2011-10-07), Barnes & Noble (2011-10-08), Apple (2011-10-02), Diesel (2011-10-08) and Scrollmotion (2011-10-08). Kobo is still backlogged and my book hasn't appeared there yet at all, so I can't tell anything about that. But, I do see that the updates were sent mostly during weekend, so I guess you should have that in mind when you change your price.

      Let's get to the part when the changes actually took place. Apple was the fastest, as usual, and the new price was there two days after Smashwords sent the info to them (2011-10-04), Barnes & Nobel and Sony took a few days more, but not too long (both 2011-10-11). I'm still waiting for Diesel, but nothing is happening. It seems like they are the slowest. I actually found posts from other authors saying Diesel was the slowest for them too. As for Scrollmotion, I have no idea. I don't even know how they work. But, even though Sony updated my new price, my overview is still nonexistent, and B&N still hasn't categorized my book, which basically means it's lost on their page. Anyway, if you plan to change the price or promote your book, it might take some time to get everything done, which means 'limited time only' kind of thing could be difficult because some retailers will be late and then you'll have your book priced, for example, 1.99$ on B&N and 2.99$ on Diesel. Now I'm tempted to change my price again just to see will it take the same amount of time, but I won't. I'll try that some other time. :P 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Opinion on 100+ Year Old Boys and Teen Girls in Paranormal Novels

  I've been reading a book where a teenage girl falls in love with a 400- year- old guy. Yeah, that's nothing strange to see in YA paranormal novels because those very old guys usually stopped aging long ago and still look like teens. I've read many books like that; it was mostly 'a girl falls in love with a vampire' thing. And, frankly, that never bothered me. But now that I'm no longer a teen myself, it all started to feel wrong. I realized it doesn't really matter that the guy has a body of teenager; he can no longer be considered a teenager.

      I still remember a discussion I had with my friends about The Vampire Diaries (a girl torn between two vampire brothers). We were talking about the TV series mostly and not so much about the books, but I guess our opinion could be applied to both. So, some of my friends claimed that it was ok for the main character, Elena, to end up with the younger brother, Stefan, because he was seventeen forever. I found their reasoning a bit funny because the old brother, Damon, is supposed to be in his twenties, so that's not really far away. But what everyone seemed to ignore was the fact that both brothers were at least a hundred years old (depends if you're referring to the TV series or the books). So, is Stefan really a seventeen- year- old? Nope, not even close. He's had years to live, just like his brother, and got to experience so many things. It's impossible that his mind stayed at the level of a seventeen- year- old. I immediately picture all those child vampires in adult novels that still look like children, but their eyes and behavior reveal their true age, which is creepy as hell.

      I believe that real age has a lot to do with psychological age, because how are you supposed to have a lot of experience if you didn't have time to gain it? And if you have more experience, then you're supposed to be more mature and have a bit different view on things around you. If I could actually remember my Psychology classes, it would be great. I know we were talking about this, but I just can't remember much of it because it didn't interest me back then. Anyway, I could be right or wrong on this.

      Now let's go to the thing that I find creepy about all of this: epic love story. Ok, I understand vampires stuck in their teen years wouldn't have much success with women. Then again, that depends on how young they looked when they were turned. Some teens do look older than they actually are, and sometimes people in their twenties can pass for teens. So, yeah, it's a bit hard to tell. It's not such an issue that young looking vamps go for teen girls, but it bothers me that those girls are usually very immature ones, who have little to zero experience with boys in general. It doesn't even surprise me that the girl instantly falls in love with the vamp, because what does she actually know about love? She can think what she's feeling is love, but shouldn't a 100+ year- old vamp know better? Fine, the vamp is attracted to the girl because she's young and human, and he finds that refreshing. But wouldn't his interest fade with time? Would he really instantly fall in love with her and be sure it's true love? Wouldn't there be too big gaps and differences of opinion? Or it's just that girls don't think much at all in those stories except how gorgeous the guy is?

      I know there are relationships in real life with big age difference that function just fine (young girls with rich old guys and similar excluded), but those are very rare. I think the younger person in these relationships is probably more mature than people of her/his age. But that refers only to adults, and that's why I'm completely fine with twenty-something-year-olds and old vamps. Twenty might still be young in some cases, but there is less chance you'll fall in love without thinking.

      In conclusion, (because if I don't stop writing now, this will turn into a monster), I'm not really against instant love and teen-vampire relationships in books, because I know a lot of people likes to read that, so why not? I only wish there were more books with more mature girls, or at least girls who'll think about it all and not immediately marry the vamp/turn into one. What is so wrong with waiting a few years to see how it works out? It's not like the girl will look that much older.

Ok, end of rant. Now you can throw tomatoes at me. *runs and hides*

P.S. I can't believe I wrote so much in such a short time. If this were a school assignment, it would have taken me ages to write it. It's possible I overlooked some mistakes because my stream of consciousness isn't always the clearest thing in the world.

Oh, Apple updated the price of my book. It took them a week. Ok, maybe less because Smashwords didn't immediately send the info to them.