Doing things backward(s)

First off, I had no idea when I moved to North America 29 years ago this month that there would be so many finicky differences to negotiate in the English language. Sure, I understood that trousers were pants and the pavement was a sidewalk, because everyone in England knows that. I also understood that after going through labor, American moms put their babies in diapers, while British mums go through labour and put their babies in nappies. But once I became a writer, I discovered all kinds of nuances and subtleties I hadn’t anticipated. Apart from every single part of a car (auto… hood/bonnet, turn signals/indicators, trunk/boot, gun compartment/glove compartment, gas/petrol, windshield/windscreen, wreck/crash… hmmm… that’s a story in itself!), there are adverbs like toward, backward, forward and such like, which I always thought could only be towards, backwards, and forwards. That meant I had to go backward(s) through the first draft of Silent Symmetry fixing them all.

So… while I’m on the subject of backward, I should really have announced my book launch on the day it was actually published (yesterday) instead of writing about my book tour and new website. I guess that’s why I’m a writer and not a publicist (although many of them are great writers, so I’ll just hang my head in shame and feel inadequate).

Therefore… reverse drum roll, please… out yesterday!… the Embodied trilogy special edition ebook collection. Preview it by clicking right here or on the link on the right. Not only does it contain all three books in the series, but a new author foreword, deleted scenes from the end of Diamond Splinters, and a treasure hunt/quiz to see how much readers know about the Embodied and their world.

And while we’re on the theme of yesterday, here’s one of my favourite songs. And it’s a song about favourite songs!

New author website!

Thanks to the wonderful tools provided by Squarespace and a wee bit of time on my part, I now have a new author website! (And, judging by this photo, a bunch of old-school tech devices lying around in my office…)

Website screenshot

As you’ll see, this site is all about my JB Dutton nom de plume, since I’ll be putting more focus over the next 12 months on other stories that feature the Embodied, as well as my dreadpunk series that will also be published under JB Dutton. I’m sending John B. Dutton out on a sabbatical and I hope he thoroughly enjoys it!

 

Name my book!

Hey everyone – here’s an opportunity you don’t get every day. I’m going to spend a week or two asking people what I should call the final volume of the Embodied trilogy. Books 1 and 2 are titled Silent Symmetry and Starley’s Rust, and I’m polling friends and fans to choose one of three options for book 3:

Diamond Spheres

Diamond Splinters

Diamond Scars

If you haven’t read any of the other books in the trilogy, no problem! I need a title that will appeal to casual browsers in the Amazon store. Yes, I have a personal fave, but I thought it would be fun to collect some other opinions. And as we all know in this social media age, everyone has an opinion.

So either write your choice of title in the comments below or click on this link to use the online poll I just set up (it’s one click, takes about 5 seconds).

I really appreciate your help with this. By all means share this post or the link to the poll.

John

PS – The book is in the editing process right now and should be out by spring, followed by a compendium version of all three books!

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Books 1 and 2 in the Embodied trilogy.

MI5 versus Noah Webster

This short article in yesterday’s Guardian about the spelling of the word Spectre in the most recent James Bond title is an interesting delve into a perceived cultural battle between American and British spelling. The title of the article, How James Bond rescued filmgoers from the Spectre of Americanisation, contains three Britishisms itself: “filmgoers” (which would be “moviegoers” in North America), “spectre”, and, ironically, “Americanisation” (which would be spelled “Americanization” in the US).

Does Spectre's left hand know what its right hand is doing?

Does Spectre’s left hand know what its right hand is doing?

The writer of the article says that, “The Commonwealth is home to more than 2 billion people, America roughly 318 million. Understandably, speakers of other languages tend to be more familiar with British English than with its younger counterpart, except in places like the Philippines, where American influence has held sway.” However the cultural influence of American English is proportionately far greater than those numbers would suggest. Movie making, just like publishing, is an industry, and ultimately it’s the size of the market (its spending power) that counts.

Of course there’s no right or wrong when it comes to spelling variations across cultures, although Brits do tend to get very touchy about these things. As a kid in England, I can remember my mother not allowing me and my sister to watch Sesame Street because she didn’t want me to grow up “talking American”, which is a bit strange, since American kids who watch Harry Potter don’t end up sounding like posh Brits!

And I should know how bizarre these discussions can get because I now live in Canada, where there are three different accepted spellings of the word yogurt. Or is that yogourt? Or yoghurt? Either way, I’ll take mine shaken, not stirred.

Photo credit: Tamsin Slater / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Homegrown sales from foreign soil

Author Elliott Katz details how he went about selling the foreign language rights to his book and then leveraged those agreements to produce promotional fuel like this back home: “Translated into 24 languages by publishers in Europe, Asia and Latin America.”

The series of dreadpunk novellas I’m currently working on is set in nineteenth century Montreal, so it would make perfect sense for me to sell the rights for a French translation (at minimum) when the time comes. I’ll definitely refer back to Elliott’s success story.

Any followers of this blog had experience with foreign-language rights sales? Let me know down below!

Rejection dejection!

Are you an aspiring author who is feeling down about the number of rejections you’ve received? Instead of engaging in some retail therapy this Black Friday, take five minutes out of your writing schedule to peruse this incredible collection of rejection snippets.

Future best-selling author.

Future best-selling author.

Here are a few good ones:

Despite 14 consecutive agency rejections Stephenie Meyer‘s Twilight goes on to sell 17 million copies and spends 91 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list.

“An absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull.” Rejection letter sent to William Golding for The Lord Of The Flies. 15 million sales.

“You have no business being a writer and should give up.” Zane Grey ignores the advice. There are believed to be over 250 million copies of his books in print.

Apparently, continual rejection may even be a sign of future success, so hang in there!

Photo credit: KatLevPhoto / Foter.com / CC BY-NC