Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Can you make a play / Will you meet me in the dark...

Hodgepodge post today. First, here's what's cooking at the Phaze Phactory:

Through the Dark - Mychael Black and Shayne Carmichael

Myc and Shayne are two of our more popular authors. They specialize primarily in M/M, though Shayne has also written and published het romance. Since coming to Phaze, they've given us seductive vampires, gentle werecats, outrageous space captains, crafty cowboys and daring dominants. With the exception of a few futuristics, the works have been contemporary in nature, but Through the Dark turns back the clock a few centuries to Elizabethan England - where the wolves had freer rein.

This is a very suspenseful story, offset nicely by the dark setting and passionate sex scenes. It's been hinted that a sequel is forthcoming on this one, too, which will be good news for M/M readers. I like the historical aspect of this story, too. We don't have too many historicals, and I've always been fascinated by the Tudor eras. You might not feel too much of its presence here, but I'd like to see historicals come back in a big way.

My Life as a Concubine - Robin Glasser

In a way, this book is a left turn for Phaze, but in some ways it could be a U-turn. When we launched in 2004 we had (still have) a title by Robin Slick called Three Days in New York City. This is a terrific book - laugh out loud funny, endearing despite the theme of the story, and a best seller that earned Robin some well-deserved attention...hopefully more than that if the stars align. Fast forward, and a new Robin joins us with a laugh-out-loud story that is reminiscient of Three Days in certain ways, yet is its own story.

In reading the book, I have to wonder if the story is really a roman à clef. Like Three Days, this is a first-person tale and one wouldn't blame the reader for thinking so. Anyway, the title might lead some to think this is a story of a woman thrown into a harem, but it is actually a modern (cautionary?) tale, full of humor and poignant observations of the opposite sex. Would be great to find success with another Robin who can tell a good story.

Edgar Cayce

My daily thought arrived in the e-mail today:

Keep it [your soul] then in patience, in love, in gentleness, in kindness . . . For these are indeed the fruits of the spirit . . . And remember, a kindness sometimes consists in denying as well as granting those activities in associations with thy fellow man. - Edgar Cayce Reading 5322-1

We need more patience, love, gentleness and kindness. I need it at home, and at work, and with this cyberwork I do. I'm sure there's plenty out there for everybody, but I would imagine some of us can't see it for the snark. While I would agree we are not all immune to criticism, but to want to thrive on just being ugly for the sake of being ugly isn't healthy. It's why I limit my blog reading and participation in romance groups, not because I'm anti-social, but I like to keep my spirits high. Besides, I have too much to do. I should be blogging here right now.

But there are days you see something and you smile. On one romance board I frequent, the daughter of Shadowrose's publisher made a post and was responded to with gentleness and kindness, by authors from different houses as well as Shadowrose. I don't know much about this house, only that the owner had been gravely ill. I can sympathize somewhat, having kept a vigil in spirit while Dad underwent his transplant. I think this post is the beginning of healing between TPTB and the orphaned authors of that house. Hopefully, there will be an amicable solution there. To have some kind of communication, regardless of content, is a good sign.

It should also serve as an example to anybody else considering getting into the eBook game. If you intend to start a house, HAVE A PLAN. If something should happen to you, have a contigency prepared where another can slide into your place seemlessly and carry on the business. It almost didn't happen where I am. When my predecessor left, we had no access to artwork, we didn't know the release schedule, and we didn't know if she'd contracted other works aside from the ones she mentioned at RT Daytona. Good thing she did, too, otherwise I wouldn't have known to contact those authors. What could we do? We had two choices: watch the ball fumble offsides or pick it up and run. I chose the latter: I set up a schedule, contacted authors, created artwork, edited works, and got them out there for sale. I'm still running with this ball, but you know what will happen if I fall? Somebody will come up from behind and take it, because I made that plan.

If I get hit by a bus tomorrow, everything goes to the next person with all the files clearly marked. I just hope I don't have the laptop with me when I'm on that bus.

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