Looking ahead to 2016, the possibilities are endless.

This past year was filled with a lot of attention going to negative energy, and that just doesn’t get anything positive done. Well, this coming year is going to be very different. First. there’s a comic project I’m busy finishing up. There will be some technicalities to handle, but it’ll get out there. No problems.

Next, I really want to work on a project I woke up with fully formed in my head, and that’s primarily what I want to talk about in this post. I’m not going to detail the plot, but it’s an historic piece set in eastern European WWII. If not for the comic, that’s the book I’d be working on right now.

Author Richard Bach says this about writing:

I do not enjoy writing at all. If I can turn my back on an idea, out there in the dark, if I can avoid opening the door to it, I won’t even reach for a pencil.
But once in a while there’s a great dynamite-burst of flying glass and brick and splinters through the front wall and somebody stalks over the rubble, seizes me by the throat and gently says, I will not let you go until you set me, in words, on paper.

That’s how I feel about this story. It will not let me go. And I’m glad. It’s a good one. The silent little old lady has me by the throat and I will not have peace until I’ve written her down from start to finish. I like that about her. She nags at me. I feel her with me whenever I do my daily tasks, washing dishes, tending to my plants or cleaning. I feel her with me all the time. She’s a character that really, really wants to be written.

Every now and then, when I’m in the middle of something else, some inspiration for that book will hit me and I’ll reach for a pencil to jot it down. The story is fully formed, but the devil’s in the details. It’s the little things that make a book real and believable. So when those little inspirations drift in front of me, I don’t let them pass unnoticed.

There’s one plot twist that has to happen. It’s important, integral. It shifts the entire paradigm of personal power and social interaction within the plot. There’s no getting around it. It has to happen.

Problem is, that it can’t happen. It’s diametrically impossible. It cannot happen the way it was originally conceived. Just can’t. But it also can’t be ignored.

I’ve let it rest, hoping an answer would present itself to me. How can this imossible event happen? How can it be believable? How can it be real? I could force it, but that would be a cheat. I’m not one of those authors that expects readers to accept something unfair just because it’s my book and I say so. No. It has to be real.

I took a step back and looked for the Universe to hand me an answer. And it did, in its own time. Today for no good reason.
Oh. Of course. That’s how it happens. Simple!

This year will see three projects become a reality for me. First, the comic. That’s been too long coming as it is. After that come two books. One about the cure for cancer, and the other this tale of bravery and resilience. Those, assorted artwork, crafts, and little Japanese toe socks.

It’s amazing how (divine?) inspiration works.
Thank you, Universe.


7 thoughts on “Inspiration

  1. Wishing you the best. I’m glad the one pesky detail set itself straight. I’m eagerly awaiting the release of both the graphic novel and the new books.

    • Thankee, madam. You’ve got some work to do, too. 😉

      I hope to see fresh, new work from every single author that ever got scammed. She used them because she knew they had promise. They do. All of you do.

      One word of caution, though. Don’t trade one dodgy small publisher for another. There are several red flags to watch out for when considering a new publisher.

      Web presence:your perspective publisher doesn’t have a dedicated website. That means their own .com, not a Wix or Weebly site. If they can’t spring for a website, they can’t afford to provide the services you need.

      They should be connected on social media, sure. But that’s not the only way a professional publisher does business. Facebook, Twitter and blogs are great, but they need that .com.

      On that .com, there are a few things you need to look for.
      Current information. If their information isn’t up-to-date, neither are their services.
      About: If you can’t find out anything about them, you don’t know who you’re dealing with. It could be anybody. You’re not doing business with a faceless institution, you’re doing business with people. If they don’t want to let you know who they are up front, don’t hang around long enough to find out why.
      Contact information. If the only information on a publisher’s .com is an email address, that’s a huge red flag. You need to be able to talk to a person, up front. It’s not acceptable for initial contact to be by email only, with more information to follow. Look at any reputable publisher’s website. They have who they are, where they are, and how to contact them directly.
      Submission information. If their .com says “Send us your whole manuscript,” approach with caution. Most agents and publishers accept queries and (maybe) sample chapters. If they want more, they’ll ask for it. This lets you know that somebody’s actually taking the time to read your submission.
      Criteria: If their website says basically, “We take everything! Send us whatever you have!” I’d approach with caution. You want a publisher that specializes in your genre, not some slap-happy publisher that cranks out just any old thing in bulk.

      Google is your friend. Search for anything and everything you can find about your publisher. Are there positive reviews? Are they recommended on watchdog sites like Editors and Predators, Absolute Write, Writer Beware? Or do those sites tell you to avoid them?

      If you can’t find ANYTHING about them, that should be your answer right there. Avoid them. They’re either too new or too shifty to have any positive feedback.

      If you do decide to contact a publisher, ASK QUESTIONS. Ask them anything you can think of. When will you get paid? How will you get paid? How MUCH will you get paid? Can you audit their financial records? Reputable publishers will say yes. Scams will say no. Who will be doing your editing? Who will be doing your artwork? What about pre-publication reviews? REAL publishing houses send out Advance Reading Copies for review months before publication so that reviews can be included at the time of publication. What about promotion? What marketing will they give your book? Will they arrange book signing tours for you? Ask them anything and everything you can think of. And don’t worry about coming across as rude. If they’re professional, they’re prepared to answer anything you’ve got.

      Don’t be afraid to say no. Small presses count on authors feeling like they won’t have any other alternatives. They hope that authors will feel lucky that a publisher is paying attention to them. Don’t fall for that. They need YOU. Not the other way around. There ARE other alternatives. Always. Never allow a publisher to feel pressured or desperate.

      At the same time, beware of any publisher that lavishes you with an excess of praise. The pros don’t do that. Scams do. Pros talk to you like “Welcome to our company. We look forward to working with you.” Not “OMG! Your book is AMAZING! You’re going to be a STAR! (but only if you sign with us)” And the pros never rush you. They discuss timelines with you. They don’t usher you into publishing as fast as possible to “get your name out there.” Quality takes time. The actual process of publishing books takes time. Sending out copies for review and setting up your book signing tours ahead of publication takes time. If you hear any of that, hang up and walk away.

      One last thing. PUBLISHERS DO NOT APPROACH AUTHORS. Period. If you’ve got a publisher hitting you up saying that they’ve heard good things about you, beware. Publishers publish books. They don’t troll the internet for marks.

      Seriously, people. If ANY of those red flags pop up, even one, walk away. You can do much better, baby, on your own. Createspace offers free publishing services with worldwide distribution. Until or unless you can hook up with a professional agent and publisher, you can get your OWN name “out there” and keep all of your royalties. Cut out the middle man.

      Rock it out, people. I plan to.

      • I was thinking about that conversation we had on why i should keep self publishing and I think you are right. Besides, Im working on my next novel sized poetry book and I only self publish them. Mainly because they are me and I am them. Without poetry I just wouldnt be. They are my life and souls hard work and i refused to have a traditional publisher own them so i wont let an indie press own them. I mainly refused because i felt that it was something i had to do alone. So i will continue that way until i find an agent. XD Thanks again Lepp.

        What you could do is a fiction piece based on a historic moment and then swap whatever coz its fiction. Its up to you. But inspiration is good inspiration. Which reminds me. I might be doing a cameo in a film. Yaaaay. Small part to act. But nonetheless it is something. Who knows in the future i could very well finally get a superhero or villain role. XP oh and I might be starting to get more into the film side of indie. Ive been working in indie film now and then. Its out of the norm and awesome as heck. Same as the indie music side, been a part of that for a few too.
        Anyway, Lepp. If you need help or advice or anything im here for ya as you were for me.

      • That reminds me of another point. Thank you! If the publisher you’re talking to demand that you give up the rights to your work, even for a fixed period of time, keep walking. You and only you should retain the rights to your work.

        You’re going to be in a movie? That’s about as cool as it gets! Congrats!

        My book is fiction, set against an historical backdrop. Even so, though, it needs to be realistic. Believable.

        I’m totally here for you. For all of you. Just because I’m focusing on the positive, it doesn’t mean I’m going anywhere. I’m not. Just taking care of businesses, That’s all.

  2. And it should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. If a publisher expects you to pay for ANYTHING, don’t use them. The publisher pays for all of the pre-production costs. That and all the legwork are the reasons that publishers get to keep the percentages they get.

  3. Update:

    As of June, 2016, Tabetha Jones has no publishing companies in operation that we know about, so our investigation of her has been halted. The point of examining her in the first place was to advocate for authors that reported no royalties and other related abuse from her. If she’s not involved with publishing anymore, that job’s done.

    The posts about her remain in public view in case she starts a new one in the future.

    If more publishing concerns about Tabetha Jones (Willis, Farmer Hoover, Saulters, etc) – AKA Zooey Sweete, Emerald Rai Fleurs, et al – arise in the future, we will post relevant updates. But for now, we’re focusing on happier topics.


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