Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Eeek! I'm so excited! I have the go-ahead to release something very exciting. But here's the deal...my newsletter subscribers get it first. So if you're not already a subscriber and you want to be the first to receive book and series news, please enter your email address in the little box over there, to the right. Don't worry - I don't bombard subscribers with emails.

So sometime in the next five days or so, newsletter subscribers will get to see what these are all about:

Oh, and because I'm not beyond bribing, there will be a giveaway in the next issue, too.

If you don't want to subscribe, no problem. My feelings won't be hurt. I promise.

Monday, June 27, 2011

It's Still Stealing

I don't rant online. I try to be positive and figure if I don't have something nice to say, I won't say anything at all. Not online, anyway. But sometimes a rant is truly called for and piracy calls for it.

People can justify piracy all they want, call it whatever they want, but in the end, it’s nothing but stealing. It’s stealing from the booksellers, from the publishers and from the authors. People’s livelihoods depend on book sales. Bookstores can’t stay open if they don’t sell books. Publishers can’t continue releasing new books and discovering new authors if they don’t sell books. All of their employees and their families can’t pay their bills and put food on the table if they don’t sell books.

And authors cannot pay their own bills if they don’t sell books. Which means they must work full-time in a different job, they can’t write full-time and, eventually, they burn out by trying to do both. When they have to choose between feeding their families or writing books for people to steal, guess what they’ll choose?

Publishers will stop a series in the middle of it if the books aren’t selling, putting that author out of business. Without sales, they have no money to invest in new authors. In the end, readers lose out. Book pirates steal from all of us – authors, publishers, booksellers and fellow readers.

It’s not marketing. It doesn’t lead to more sales down the road. Would you steal a pair of shoes, thinking that if you like them, you’ll buy the next pair? Or justify by saying you’ll tell your friends about them, while at the same time counterfeiting a coupon so your friends can get them free?

Even if your morals are so poor, think about going back to the store to find it closed and the shoemaker’s gone out of business because nobody actually paid for the shoes. Sure, there are other shoes and stores, but others are stealing from them, so eventually they’re shutting doors, too. How sad it would be if we no longer had a choice of cute shoes. How sad it would be if we no longer had a variety of books.

We live in a privileged time that gives us access to art through our computers – music, films and books are all just a click away. I would hate for that privilege to be removed from all of us because some people believe they’re special, believe they don’t have to be responsible like everyone else does, believe they’re entitled to take what they want without paying.

Justify it all you want, but it’s still stealing.

Rant over. 

Oh, except one other thing. Worse than file sharers? Those who resell digital copies. If you don't have distribution rights, if you don't pay royalties to the publisher or author, you have no right to sell. It's illegal. It's stealing. Karma's a bitch.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Memorable Moment of the Week

I'm a soon-to-be-recovering workaholic (soon as when I win the lottery) and I'm a home-body. Since I work at home - for both my day-job and writing - I really, seriously, sadly don't get out much. This week, though, offered a change of pace.

For the past few years, every two months I make an overnight trip to Orlando for the day-job business. It usually entails the drive up there, work for a couple hours, eat in my hotel room and enjoy the quiet and write...or get online because I suddenly feel so lonely. Then I get up the next morning, work for a couple hours and it's time to head home. Done. That's my trip.

One time I got to see my sister and spend some time with her. Another time, The Man came and we went to a 30 Seconds to Mars concert. And a third time, youngest-son came and we hung out together. But, for the most part, the trip's really no different than my usual workaholic, homebody life, just in a different setting.

Well, this week, I brought along our associate, our only employee, so I could train her on the work we do on these trips. And, dude, did we have fun. We talked and laughed the whole drive up. We did our work, I showed her the ropes. We decided where to eat and made plans for the night.

We went to City Walk at Universal Studios, which is a big strip of restaurants, shops and clubs. We hung out at the piano bar at Pat O'Brien's, listening to duals between piano players and their takes on a variety of songs, often singing along (well, I mouthed - no one wants to hear me sing). We even went dancing. We had a blast.

But the most memorable moment of the night...the part that made us laugh the hardest and keeps us talking about it still...the part that I just have to share with you in a picture because it's the only way to do it justice... It was the very beginning of the night. Our appetizer, courtesy of some sushi chef at Roy's with an...interesting...sense of humor:

Yes, we ate it. Yes, it was yum!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

In the Wild

Wow! Lots of readers have sent in Promise & Purpose "In the Wild" pictures. Thank you so much! I'll feature a couple at a time. 

Today we have...

Alishia from Western Australia
Christy from Alabama
Thank you, ladies! It's so fun (and quite humbling) to see my books out in the world - and literally across the world.

Everyone else, if you send me yours to kristie(at)kristiecook(dot)com, along with your mailing address, I'll send you swag. (Tiny print: By doing so, you give me permission to post your picture on this blog and my Facebook page.)

More coming soon!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

You've seen the title and description, so how about a peek inside of GENESIS. The very first few sentences, as they are right now. (Of course, this can change between now and publication. And this hasn't been edited or polished, so please be kind.)

The angel hovered near the veil between the Otherworld and the physical realm, close enough to take a nearly solid form and near enough to the woman he guarded that he could reach out and caress her cheek, but the distance between them may as well have been the distance of the entire universe. Although he could see her clearly through the veil, she couldn’t see him and she never would. A fact that pierced his soul with more agony than a demon’s blade.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Getting Series-ous

I love series. Well, when I love the characters, I love series. Because I want more of them. I want to spend more time with them, be them, live in their world longer than just a single book. I haven't read many standalone books lately and the ones that I have, I hated for them to end because that was it - it really did end. There would be no more escaping to that world.

Well, unless I reread the book. Which I've been known to do. Okay, so I have a habit of it. A fairly consistent habit. But that just proves my point - when we fall in love with characters and a world, we want to keep reading about them.

Some people hate series. I don't get them. Whatever. They probably have commitment issues in the rest of their lives, too. Just kidding! Each to their own. That's why there are so many different kinds of books out there - because there are that many different kinds of readers. So no worries. I may not understand you, you standalone-lovers, but I still love you.

Anyway...there is the ongoing discussion of whether books in series should still be standalone books. In other words, you can pick up any book in the series and read it without being completely lost. I recently read a statement by an author that basically said all books in series should be able to stand on their own, that the reader shouldn't have to have read the previous books to enjoy this book. I disagree.

We seem to have two types of series (probably more, but this is my blog and my discussion, so I'm saying two for my purposes): those that tell a lengthy story that can't be told in a single book and those that tell ongoing stories that never really end because new mysteries and adventures come along for the characters.

My books fall into the first type - Alexis has a lengthy story that takes multiple books to be told, but it is still one main story with a series ending. Other (more well-known) examples would be Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Hunger Games. If authors made each of the books in these kinds of series stand alone so that a reader can pick up anywhere without being lost, then half of each book would be recapping what happened before to catch the new reader up. And readers hate that! I know I do.

Of course, J.K. Rowling did a great job (she does a great job at pretty much everything *sigh*) in that you could pick up The Goblet of Fire and be able to read it and enjoy it without having read the others, but why would you want to? And by the time you get to Deathly Hallows, you are going to miss out on some of the explanations and cool tie-ins and wrap-ups if you hadn't read all the previous books.

The other type of series include oldies like Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes and tons of children's books, like the Lemony Snicket or Goose Bumps series. These are tales where the same characters are in new situations. They might refer to previous books and there's some continuing of the previous story, but you don't have to read them to enjoy whichever one is currently in your hand. They're standalone books within a series.

Oh...I suppose there is a third kind of series. The hybrid. When the same characters are in new situations, but these new situations are based off previous events in previous books. Sookie Stackhouse and Anita Blake, for example. You really should be able to pick up a book in either of these series and be able to enjoy it without being completely lost. And, generally, you can. After wading through pages and pages of recaps of what happened before...or just accepting that you don't know how Anita got together with this one guy, but just accept that she has, even when she's also with the other dude.

Don't get me wrong - I do enjoy both of those series. To a certain extent. The number of books in each of those are in the two digits and that many books about the same main character can eventually just be too much, either for the author or for the reader. The author can lose enthusiasm and it shows, but keeps writing this series because the publisher's making good money off of it. Or, the author does a fantastic job of carrying on the story, but readers begin to lose interest, caught up in a different, shiny, new world with pretty, new characters.

My point? I don't know. I don't really have one. Except to go back to what I said earlier: there are many different kinds of readers with their own preferences and, therefore, there need to be all kinds of different  books - and series. So hopefully the rule-makers won't decide that all books in a series need to be standalones, as well. But if they do...well, I suppose rules are made to be broken and some authors live for doing just that.

What say you? Do you prefer standalones or series? What do you enjoy most about series? Least? Do you have a favorite kind? Can you think of other types to add to my list?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

So excited to share with you today! You know that novella I've been going on and on about? Well, it actually has a title. And even a (sort of) description. It's nowhere near the final description, but something to tease you with. :)

A father who reveals his truth.
Twins who take different paths—one light, one dark.
Angels who have plans for them both
 And Demons who do as well.
So the Earthly battle for souls ignites…

A tale that is over 2,000 years old, this is the story of the Amadis inception.

Can't wait to share more! Very soon, my lovelies.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Hanging Out With Laurie + Giveaway

Laurie has been kind enough to host me over on her blog. Learn what my family thinks about my writing and other useless info (and maybe some useful stuff) AND enter to win digital copies of both Promise & Purpose. It's open internationally!

Stay tuned. I have something really exciting to share!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hanging Out With Inga in Estonia

Well, IRL, I'm still in Florida. But virtually, I'm hanging in Estonia with book blogger Inga. How cool is that?!? Check out the interview and a chance to win free ebooks at Inga's Me and Reading blog.

That's all...for now. Be back soon!

(Was having problems with Blogger, so I'm a little behind on things.)

(It's fixed now.)

(At the moment, anyway.)

(What's up with Blogger anyway?)

(Or maybe it's just me now...)