The Difference between a POW and a WOW.

Hello all,

Not even 2 hours after I completed my WOW article  I was contacted by a parent asking if the WOW information applied to being a POW (Parent of Writer)

I debated my reply thinking “you should ask someone who knows as I really don’t” and “Here is some advice” although the last statement made me nervous being as I am not an expert, I’m unsure of what I am saying.

Of course a few minutes of watching various TV news casts and Politicians reminded me of a basic truth: You don’t need to have a clue what you’re saying in order to say it.

So here is my attempt at advice if any of you want to chime it please feel free!

How do you know you’re a POW?  Much like a WOW there are warning signs. These are almost identical to the WOW but there is an additional sign. If your child is requesting books for their birthday not just Twilight or Harry Potter or the Hunger Games but Indie books like “Jamie Ryder:”  or  “The Hope Series”  or “Legends of Windermere” . Unlike underground bands, Indie authors to kids are unique. There is no extra cool factor for knowing about them or having read them before everyone else. No matter how you cut it the main stream child will think reading is geeky/dorky/uncool. Fret not; in a world where ‘Main Stream’ means doing something dangerous, malicious, destructive, or just f^*&ing stupid on YouTube is cool! This is a good sign for the future.  The only reason your child would read these is because their work is outstanding and the authors should be break out sensational hits. Your child wants to join them.

So sadly you’re a POW and your child is a Writer. I know it can be disappointing. You probably hoped they would be grow up to be food service personal or a piano player at the local brothel. Fear not your child could still have a future. And with some proper intervention, a good one.

So what as a POW can you do? Well there is no simple answer to that. Children are stubborn. The more you discourage the more they will want it. However reverse psychology will also fail, kids always see right through it.

The only thing you can do is breath and let it happen naturally.  Unlike WOW’S with Children/Young writers destroying their computers and breaking fingers will more likely result in charges then in your actually stopping them.

My advice: encourage them while being their parents.

Find out what indie author they really enjoy and contact them. You will be surprised how easy it is to get an introduction.   Of course as a parent you want to be sure this author is not a drunken miscreant idiot.  You can maybe tolerate 2 of the 3 but try to avoid a hat trick.

Then once you are comfortable with them, let your Child introduce themselves then see where things go.  Indie authors are some of the most supportive people you will ever meet. Most will encourage your writer, giving tips, showing tricks, and helping with motivation.  Unfortunately Indie authors are also human so some will be a$$holes that frankly should not be allowed into society unsupervised.   Treat them like you would any of your other children’s online friends and contacts: watch them like a hawk!  If you start to see them pushing your POW off the writing path [or worse], be a parent and intervene.

Your writer is going to face all the same problems that other authors do (Editors, Trolls, Predator Publishers, the list is endless) but your writer is going to have two extra hurdles to face:

1)    Peers:  Children are funny creatures.  From what I have been able to gather there are more donors/incubators then there are actual parents!  When your writer puts out their first published piece they should expect some their Peers to try to bring them down. Look at all creative musical types that get torn down all the time, right up to the day they fill a stadium with 50K fans.  There is something about artistic types that bring out the green-eyed monster in kids. Their donors/incubators have done little to teach these hell spawn how to effectively deal with these feelings so they lash out at the source IE your writer.

2)    Sobriety:  unless you live in some permissive southern state your child will not be indulging in any ‘author juice’ to get past the monsters mentioned. If they are, we need to talk about whether you’re a POW or an Incubator/Donor.  As a POW you have to support them and help them past all the problems. Help them find their strength. [By the way, once you’ve done this, you are not allowed to go beat up their trolls or peers] You’re Indie author can help, but the heavy lifting for this will fall on you. On the Plus side: having a parent support and helping them find their own strength is worth a 24 pack of ‘author juice’

I also advise the same thing I told the POW for the same reasons:  Never read or critique your child’s work. You have the exact problem that your WOW counterparts have, with the added complication that you CAN’T be objective.  A WOW ended up with their writer by some form of choice. Some feature that hinted at their desire to be a writer. Be it their love of books or the fact they said on the 4th date “one day I want to be a writer”.  As a POW, the writer is yours.  You’ll love whatever they write if for no other reason than it’s your own child/teen showing a talent. Maybe one you had but never developed or maybe something new in the family tree. Even if you try you can NOT be as objective as your writer will need – hence the whole ‘find a writer to help you’ thinking.

The only last piece of advice I have: Once you have come to terms with being a POW sit back and enjoy it, but don’t start shopping for a new import sports car.  The current twisted world of publishing isn’t about POW’s getting new cars.

But that’s another post all together.

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Birthing Trolls.

Greetings all, interesting discovery today.  I witnessed the birth of a troll, granted the poor being only lived for 15 seconds but the “how it was created” left an impression on me, and maybe could be useful to you.

The birth started today when I was exchanging information with another author. I am about 1/3 of the way done through a book I am going to review, and saw one of my (I assume former) followers released a book that was floundering. It’s in a Genre I read, and I know some of the mistakes new authors make, having made them myself.

I contacted them, and after an exchange on their blog, my giving information that I had both learned and been told, we had emails addresses.

I posted an address to them, which forwards (when I set it to) to my real address. Keeps the bots from picking it up. So while waiting for them to tell me how to get a copy (they offered it for free, and I was careful to be sure it was something I would at least read, and had a chance to enjoy) I parked on their work on 2 locations, Smashwords and Amazon.  I already noted a couple of things that could help them, items that could help them get attention pick up some steam, more than my reviews on both daily blogs, Facebook, Linked in and  Google +.

And 2 emails later, I cracked a joke. I know I am not always funny, but I also know that I am almost never offensive. Apparently my humor was SO bad, that they send me a simple 9 word email “I don’t like your humor. Don’t contact me again”

WTF! I reviewed the email sent, [they asked what the next step was. I said ‘send me your CC, any internet porn you have and a list of your loose friends.  Wait, you’re an author, your CC is maxed, and I don’t think I want to see your collection and your friends are probably as loose as mine.]  I then went to the serious business at hand. Maybe it was funny, maybe not, but not worth the type of reaction that I got.

The ‘strange’ thing to me, was seeing my right hand turn green and grow a claw. Someone just slammed me, in a personal level, took offence over something I felt was ridiculous and over reacted.. All this while I was trying to help, and while I was parked on her book sites.  There was a temptation, click on the buy, using a credit from the site that I will never actually get paid and slam her book, Teach this person not to be a rude whiny (expletive) .

Fear not, about 15 seconds after that thought, I hit the close button on the internet, and moved on with my day.

I realized that my actions would not be productive, not have any effect, not do anything but lower me to a level that I refuse to go to. Granted, I unfollowed this person,  made sure to unfriended, unliked the page and honored the “Don’t contact me again” request to its logical extreme.

So the moral of this story is three part!

One: Some Trolls are human, you could be a troll, all someone has to do is piss you off far enough that your brain doesn’t have a chance to stop you before you hit that one star and type out a fast sentence “Needs better editing” “Dull to read” or “insert generic complaint with no details, that will hurt the book” even if you remove it 2 minutes later, the damage is done.

Two: if you are interacting with someone, and they do something offensive, work with them!  If you say “that’s not funny” or “I don’t appreciate that type of statement/humor” and they get mad, while you could still end up with a troll, you will at least have a clean conscience about it. You tried and the problem is them.   And be sure that if you are offended, evaluate one simple question: would everyone be offended by this, or did they hit a nerve? And if they hit a nerve were they aiming at it? Or was it an accident.   If the answer is yes to both then you may already have a troll, but if the answer to either is “No” don’t do anything rash.  One person I consider a ‘friend’, once offended me beyond all measure. What he said was common, a typical word that carries such a horrible meaning, especially to those of us that live close to condition.  It took only a simple exchange telling them exactly what I objected to above “that’s not funny” and explained why. They sent me a quick and heartfelt apology later everything was fine.

Three: If you are going to start to review things, check your hands. If they are green and have 4 inch claws, or if your find yourself snarling and pounding the keys as opposed to typing. Check to see if you have become a troll. Be ready to walk away from your computer.

As a note, probably going not to be helpful, not till my humor is more ‘reliable’ and I am sure my inner troll is in check. And even then, we will have to see. I am unapologetically who I am! And if I crack a joke that is ‘offensive’ I can do apologies, but only if it’s a reasonable offense.

Another Step on the Path

Greetings all from the wonderful white world of the unemployed.

Today I started to slip into dangerous waters. I slept in, something I haven’t done since Christmas. Technically because my insomnia kicked in again, I only slept 8.5 hours, but getting up at 9:00 ‘feels wrong’. My Phone, wife and kids have all decided that I have been short on sleep and stressed.

I was able to write another 1.5 chapters last nights, and found a reference book I will want to purchase WHEN I am working and back on my feet. Its only day 3 of being unemployed for me, and I find myself looking at my daily list and thinking “screw this”

I’m not sure if it’s the weather, the changes all catching up, the other behaviors I have as of yet to fully understand [IE my readers] or what…
I’m not in a good place! So today I think I will have to change-up my routine! Going to finish my chapter(s) and then put out 6 more resumes. I have to remember in the arena that I am working in, jobs are not filled in hours, even if a rock star (like me) applies for it, they are going to do rounds of interviews and background checks and and and…

It’s funny when I talk to my wife about this; I remind her that the job I just lost was never my ‘forever’ job. I suspect the company will shutter in a couple more years, or at least the dynamic to keep it open will shift to the another department (Either way a bad place to be) but the shock if it quitting me before I quit it is still there.

I am going to stick to the ‘rules’ like no TV during the day, and no Redbull (ok I already broke that one, but there was no coffee ready)[no beer till I am working again, no eating out, and lowering out meals to something VERY economical. I am only allowed to do 2 things during the day, work on getting a job (things like sending resumes and working on intro letters) and writing ‘something’.

I will either have a job by the end of the month, or my second book done and the third one started, or both!.

Depression is NOT going to set in and take hold!

BTW – hers is the link to my first published work (I know I keep putting it up here)

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/306527

AT42X this is the code so you can have it free. (of corse if you can spare a buck-LOL)
Maybe today after I put outmy resumes and settle my brain, I will figure out a way to make it automatically free, but right now it takes a 2 step process. for no I have to leave it at .99 until it’s in the ‘premium’ catalog and gets pushed to Apple and B&N then I can look at changing the price to 0

Really ?

Greetings to my followers & other random clickers.

I had a great post all written out, about the joys and pain of ePublishing my first short story on Smashwords. I was going to talk about the overall experience but the problem is. an hour after I got to my office I got my Pink slip.

all the joy of this:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/306527 have been replaced by the sudden realization that I am now unemployed.

I am sure things will work out, although its hard to see that. I have updated my resume and filed or unemployment, and started to apply for new Jobs.

In the mean time, take a read and enjoy. if you want a free copy either comment here and give me an email or way to reach you, or like/follow my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/RobertDavisAuthor

[time for me to go take a deep breath and SCREAM. maybe a put my zombie slaying Video game into god mode and find a chain saw!!!]

DEMONCATS

Twitter – and other Annoyances

Today I had to skip my writing group waiting for someone to come by to buy my truck.

while waiting, I decided to go to twitter, and anyone that was either an agent, or writer or had something funny to say I would follow.  I also would follow anyone that followed me, seamed like a good idea.

turns out twitter decided that I was being aggressive and suspended my account.

only good news out of any of this I was able to jam away on my story, skipped my normal ‘must be perfect and accurate’ and just started to write.

I am sure some of it (a lot of it) is off, I can fix it easily enough [frankly I don’t know how track meets are organized, and/or if they do school VS School of it a lot of schools compete together] but those are details I can learn later.

the parts where my poor protagonist finds her self assaulted with a sharpie, having sexually suggestive things written on her legs, arms chest and other places (everywhere but her face)  that part I have no problem with.

BTW – still hoping to find a deaf pen pal (someone in their early 20’s) so I can get information. as always, if you know someone who might be interested, please point them to me!  thanks

Fueding Done Wrong.

A little off subject, but tonight I went to a publishing event – met 4 authors with different approaches to how to get published, and learned quite a bit.

While all of the lessons learned were important, the most important was “never match wits with someone smarter than you”

Some background, at the critique group, a bunch of us traded work over a coffee and doughnut. Mine went to a woman named Preacher.  As my friend M.L Newman can attest, my work (I think is well written, flows well, and punctuated badly. In addition If it were a movie, it would be a very SOLID R. Preacher read a few chapters, and stopped when the co-ed and the demon both woke up naked.  It was an uncomfortable scene. She stopped reading right there.  She also cringed at all the bad words and ‘adult situations’ in Rakasha.

It turns out she is also in the publishing group that I am in

So tonight she sees me in the lobby and tells me “your such a talented writer, you need to be writing for the lord” my reply

“I would, but the bible is already written, and the sequel would probably suck”

No lightning bolt at either of us.

They split the tables up by what you write, and I am the only fiction writer there. The plan is to share a story or book excerpt with someone in out Genre and summarize it. Preacher speaks up and points out that I could let the meetings organizer’s grand daughter (who just turned 14) read Rakasha. I point out I don’t have that piece on my Kindle, making the mistake of turning it to show them. Sadly preacher sees my manuscript and suggests the 14-year-old could read a chapter or 2.

My reply was to hand my kindle to the young woman and ask preacher “why not pick a spot for her to start”

Preacher closed my unit, handed it back to me, told the organizer my writing was too immature and turned to repeat the “you should write for the lord comment”

On a positive ending (other than the HUGE laugh I got out of this) the author that wrote and published several Ebooks gave me some contact information for a house that does cover & format, and also talked in length about publishing options.

Three strikes, Doesn’t Mean Your Out

So in a rarity today I took 3 hits on my goal of being an author.

1) Got my first 2 rejection emails. You would think they would at least PRETEND like they read or even looked. “Dear author” [couldn’t even cut and paste the name from the email or address header] I was expecting rejections, but was hoping for a sentence or something so I knew what/why, but hey that’s me. I should have 4 more by the middle of next week.

2) Found out that some money that I was counting on to self-publish is not coming, so my ‘build a brand’ plan is on hold. Honestly when you consider how little money this plan required, it’s a disappointment, but one I can and will live with.

3) Found out one of the people who I have been collaborating with has decided to cut and run, I have no idea if they are thinking that they can complete our mutual work, but sadly they failed to realize I have been the one with the ideas and piss poor grammar. Last time I checked I can get an English class, but getting a how to think outside of the box class is a whole different matter. Not that we had much work done yet, not like I lost a book or more than a short story, and honestly I write better solo anyway.

So what does all this mean for my plans? The only thing that it can – time to dig deeper, hit harder, and keep on keeping on. If the universe thinks that I am going to stop just because of these setbacks, it has another thing coming!

And on the good news side, I knocked out another short story, even if I can’t use the ‘build a brand’ plan right away, I can get the hard work part of it done!

Time & patience, if nothing else I will succeed just because the universe will find it easier to let me then to keep trying to stop me

Three strikes doesn’t mean your out, just that you have to wait for your turn again.

Now time for beer