But enough about you…

a writer's blog

Suzy Hotrod

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She skates, she hits people really hard and she does tabletop photography.

And she says, “…tattoos are a cool way to collect without clogging up your apartment.”

Suzy Hotrod is my new Inked Crush (which is a whole new category for this blog).

Written by Alan

October 6th, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Posted in Ink,Inked Crush

Olivia Wilde & Beer are the new Mumblecore

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It’s the Just Do It age. Every person in this NY Times article started out making a small movie that they wanted to see. Winging it and improvising. Well, every person in that article except Olivia Wilde, and she’s just in my post title because of the inexplicable pleasure I get from typing her name. Olivia Wilde’s name, that is.

And her new movie has Olivia Wilde in a brewery. So, I surrender: someone else has come up with the ultimate concept for a film, and I hate them. Even if I’m going to see the movie 3 times.

Written by Alan

July 13th, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Posted in Film

What’s Wrong Here?

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Where ‘here’ is the publishing industry.

Anis Shivani, writing for The Daily Beast has a great description of the problem:

This model of literary production is doomed. The idea that there should be centralized, massively consolidated, bureaucratic organizations known as the major trade houses, with multiple layers of editors, vast publicity departments, and books fed to them by an entity known as literary agents, only to take repeated losses and rely on a few stars to help them break even, is bound for extinction.

Read the whole article here: 5 Ways to Fix Book Publishing”.

But his solution is to make the big publishers smaller and get the stodgy agents and other middlemen out of the way, and I’m not sure that’s meaningful – those stodgy agents and middlemen are some of our most literate and widely-read book lovers, and if they occasionally overlook a gem, mostly what they do is curate our literary tradition and prevent from being published all the books that really do belong at the bottom of America’s sock drawers. It’s not like these people are hell bent on preventing good books from being published. But with the cost of ebooks so low, the evolution of the industry is going to happen organically: nobody will want to be an agent when book sale commissions won’t put a pizza on your table every week. Agents and middlemen won’t be overthrown, they’ll walk away from the business on their own as the business goes the way of the well-off session bass player – i.e. with commissions on songs running at 79 cents on the iTunes store, there’s not a lot of room to make your backup band rich; the music industry is a precursor to what’s going to happen with books. The reader-led revolution is already beginning to happen at places like Smashwords and Goodreads, where eBook readers cruise for cheap, solid reads based on peer reviews and a bit of advertising.

Still, I’m having trouble picturing a future that runs entirely this way – the commercial parts of the world lack the necessary plasticity. It would be as if the rooms at The Met morphed and changed size and shape depending on how many people lingered in them. Over time you’d see the Impressionist galleries blossom to the size of a small city, while rooms of German Realist etchings shrunk to the size of shoeboxes and eventually disappeared.

But we have to try. Of course the right way to try is to buy some self-published books, enjoy them and let it be known. The revolution might not be televised, but it will be heavily ‘Liked’.

Written by Alan

July 13th, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Posted in Writing

Bodies of Subversion

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Great new book by Margo Mifflin on the history of women and tattoos.

Written by Alan

July 3rd, 2013 at 10:55 pm

Posted in Writing

The Bridesicle

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Wish I’d invented the concept, but no, the Bridesicle comes from the weird and wonderful mind of Will McIntosh in his book “Love Minus Eighty”.

In McIntosh’s world, women who die young and beautiful are cryogenically frozen, and only unfrozen when a rich enough man comes along who’s interested in paying for the cure to whatever killed her. Lots of other cool, weird, worrisome and just absurd enough to be true elements in the book, but the Bridesicle stands out as the fuzz that makes the book peachy.

Written by Alan

June 14th, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Posted in Writing

Marley & Me

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Marley Alford

Marley Alford

Was interviewed about Indigo the other day by Marley Alford for a youth magazine in the Hudson Valley. The magazine has a 500 word limit and I’m too talky for that, so Marley has generously allowed me to post the full interview on my blog, here. Thanks for sharing, Marley!

Written by Alan

May 2nd, 2013 at 11:31 am

Posted in Writing

Speed the %^$#ing Plow

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SpeedThePlowDavid Mamet is going to self publish his next book. Or at least he claims he is. Could be one of those games you read about, get the other writers all excited about self-publishing then piss off to Knopf with your new manuscript. But what sorta guy who always writes about con artists would do that?

Interesting factoids from the article: Self-published books make up a quarter of Amazon book sales. That’s a lot of virtual paper for a young movement. Second factoid – going through an agency (ICM claims) can get you plum online placement not accorded un-agented self-publishers. Now this one I have to research. Sort of creepy when you think you’re at the forefront of a new movement but the cream is already being set aside for established players. Of course ICM could be playing one of those games where you convince a writer he’s getting special placement while you piss off to the bank with his royalties. But what sorta con-man publisher would do that?

Written by Alan

April 18th, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Posted in Writing

Books have changed forever

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Mentioned Hugh Howey a couple days ago on one of my how-to epublish pages, and here he is again, being incredibly smart and insightful about the state of modern book publishing. This is a must-read article for anyone who thinks they have a book inside them (unless you’re a Great Dane with a book inside you, in which case… bad doggie, but also, mad skills with the pointing device, pooch).

As one more reach-around in this love-fest, you should check out articles about Howey in Wired, starting with his interviews with Geek Dad, then go buy his books — note that you can get the Kindle Edition of the first book in the Wool series free at that link.

Written by Alan

April 4th, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Posted in Writing

Having a perfect ass, versus being one.

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The great thing about self-publishing is you get to talk about yourself a lot. The bad thing is you have to talk about yourself a lot. Actually it’s a little worse than that. When you’re writing you want to get out of yourself and get into your characters, but when you’re promoting your own work you spend way too much time thinking about yourself and you start to feel like an insecure teenager, constantly looking in the mirror wondering if your blooming self-absorption is showing.

On the other hand, a swollen head probably makes my butt look smaller. So, you know; silver linings.

Written by Alan

March 29th, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Posted in Writing

Inked Magazine

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Inked Magazine Blog entry 2013-02-20

Inked Magazine Blog entry 2013-02-20

How cool are the people at Inked Magazine? I friended them on Facebook months ago and have really enjoyed all the tattoo images they push out. Today they highlighted my book on their blog!

Inked rocks. They totally got the whole transformation theme and the idea of becoming.

Written by Alan

February 20th, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Posted in Writing