My new marketing strategy

I have noticed this happening in the last year or so, but this article at Breitbart London sums it up nicely: you can use SJW outrage to get your work out there, talked about, and (most importantly) bought.  There’s nothing like fresh, crisp bills in your pocket to make you smile, and keep the creditors at bay.

So here’s the deal: in my books, the villains are often women.  They are certainly some of the cruelest characters I’ve written.  I have no ethnic diversity, unless you count some magical creatures in the diversity tally, but no one has dark skin, or yellow skin, or is transgendered, or homosexual.  Basically I write about a fairly insular white society.  Similar to Iron Age Celts.

Oh, and the main character in A Bard Without a Star?  He was completely inspired by Vox Day.

Which may or may not be true.  But the thought of the SJW’s working themselves into a lather over such a claim, and what a horrible person I must be for even saying it, is quite satisfying.  And possibly a great way to bring eyeballs and even wallets to my books.  They’re all available on Amazon, and have plenty of offensive content for all.


Why Baltimore is not America

So there was an incident, and right or wrong, a city now burns for the perceived injustice of it all.

And I don’t really care that much.

Sounds callous, right?  Don’t get me wrong, I have empathy for those who have lost life and property, who have had their dreams destroyed, or their families ripped apart.  I feel concern for those who are tasked with ending the violence, and hope that the rioters will come to their senses.

But it really isn’t a big deal to me.

Part of it is proximity: I don’t live anywhere near the east coast, or a big city, and the problems that plague those areas are not mine.  Oh, sure, they get plenty of TV time, and lots of viral images and videos get passed around.  I’m aware of what’s happening, but it doesn’t affect me.

Not really.

The script is well known at this point: a black youth (anywhere from 13 to 45, it would seem), dies in a confrontation with authority (usually white, but let’s be honest: it’s the uniform, not the skin color under the uniform).  Riots break out, then settle down.  Then the results of the investigation into the incident are released, and riots happen again, no matter what the results might be.

And it all happens in certain communities, with certain demographics, although we’re not supposed to point that out.  It used to be impolite, but now it’s just racist.  Because you can’t criticize the vibrant minorities and their legitimate political protests.

You know what would concern me?  If the Orthodox Jews riot.  If the Amish riot.  If the Mormons riot.  If the Catholics, the Baptists, the Seventh-Day-Adventists, the Pentecostals, or the Lutherans riot.  If the people taking to the streets are not the poor and downtrodden from the ghettos, but the slightly less poor and definitely more oppressed religious communities.

And I’m not concerned about the Reverends Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson.  They don’t really try to bring peace, they only bring more trouble.  That’s their gig; they’ve been concern trolls long before the internet was around, and their words are meant to be calm, reasonable, and provide justification for the violence in the background.

But what happens if a true man of peace and integrity decides to make a stand?  It won’t look like Selma this time.  That would be too easy.  It will be counter to every narrative that is currently in effect, and yet it will passed from person to person, and strange allies may be formed.  But I think that there will be similarities: courage to speak, faith in common sense, and clear understanding of right and wrong.  And above all, this time it will be less about forcing change in the way things work, and more about standing firm while they are assailed from all sides.  And when they remain unbroken, despite all efforts to the contrary, the course of America will change.

Sad Puppies, Vox Day, and the SJW’s of WorldCon

So let me tell you, I had a fun Easter weekend.  I found out Thursday that I had a huge kidney stone obstructing my ureter, and oh, man, is that some serious pain.  I spent Thursday through Tuesday morning on maximum pain meds, and still not always able to keep it at bay.  And my father-in-law came into town the night I learned about this, which meant that I missed not only time with my wife and kids, but with him also (he’s a great guy, and looks like Mario with gray hair).  And then on Saturday, as I’m trying to distract myself from all the pain, the Hugo nominations came out.  And the internet melted, at least in areas that I watch.

Let me say up front, I am a straight, white, Mormon guy.  I get no advantage from that, certainly not in the publishing industry. I wrote a book, finished it 15 years ago, got a very nice rejection from Baen, and no other publisher bothered to tell me anything.  I was told by people who had connections, that I needed connections.  And so I let the book sit, and worked on a few other stories, and didn’t think I would ever do anything but share my writings with some close friends.  And then I discovered Sarah, Cedar, and the whole Mad Genius Club.  And everyone there said, “Put it together, put it up on Amazon.  Anyone can do it!”

And I did.  I make about $30 a month off of 7 novellas and 2 novels (which each contain three of the novellas).  I’ve sold exactly one paper edition, and I know who got it–his mother bought it for him for Christmas, and he bugs me every few weeks to autograph it.

I don’t write for glory.  I don’t write for fame, fortune, or anything else.  I write because I have stories to tell, that float around in my head until I put them on paper (or disk, cloud, or a mixture thereof).  When my wife brags about my stuff being on Amazon, I don’t know what to say.  It’s out there, I hope people enjoy reading it, and I intend to keep writing.

And I knew about the Hugos, and the Nebulas.  I’m that kind of geek.  But I thought you had had to actually go to WorldCon to vote on the Hugos (I knew the Nebulas were an industry thing, and I’m not qualified for the guild yet).  Then I heard about Larry Corriea and Sad Puppies, and I laughed, because he was tweaking so many noses.  And Then I found Vox Day, and found out how serious some people could be, both in being attacked and in counter attacking.

I like the Sad Puppies.  I read Larry’s blog, and Brad’s blog, and I want to do my part to reduce Puppy Related Sadness.  I also read Vox Day fairly regularly, because he does have some good insights, though he does tend to voice very strong, very unpopular opinions very loudly.  And I wish people would grow the hell up about it.

I didn’t join WorldCon, because I haven’t read anything published in 2014 except for my stuff that I edited.  I read some Heinlein.  I read Monster Hunters International.  I was a beta reader for Dragon Noir, and so slow about it that Cedar got it published before I finished.  I don’t have time to read much right now.  I don’t even watch enough TV or movies to vote in those categories.  Pat Patterson, on the other hand, should definitely join and vote.  That guy reads tons, and reviews things, too.  He even read If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love.  He’s the perfect guy to vote on the Hugos.

But too many people act as though this is a super serious battle, one where Lines MUST Be Drawn, Stands MUST Be Taken, Foes MUST Be Vanquished.

And all for a rocket trophy.

T.L. Knighton got it right: it doesn’t matter all that much.  The people fighting the hardest are the ones who have the most invested in giving it great meaning, or in restoring it’s prestige.  Or people like Larry and Brad, who in trying to prove a point, have been libeled beyond belief.  Or Vox Day, who believes in punching back twice as hard, and proves it by punching back three times as hard.

Fans, both True and Wrong, in the end don’t care all that much.  They want good stories, told well, in whatever fashion appeals to them.  How many weeks are we going to spend torching houses when there’s much better ways to spill ink?  Oh, that’s right: until someone has been put in there place and stays there.

Good luck with that.