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Daniel I Russell - Writer of Horror Fiction


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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Albino Lesbians, et al


I'm going to get a t shirt made up for Sherie that simply reads: Just cos I'm pregnant, doesn't mean you can touch me.

Yes, more pregnancy woes. Well, not exactly woes, as things are going pretty damn well. The doctor has changed his mind AGAIN and now thinks we will reach 36 weeks...maybe. Sherie is in that lovely, glowing, heavily pregnant stage, and requires help to get in and out of chairs, etc. We all knew this was coming. It's quite funny to watch, actually.

But people keep coming up to her, asking how long now and then feeling her up! Yes, it's a circle of the baby bump and not cupping her breasts, but still! Who are these random people?

RANDOMNESS

We saw a sweet, little old lady walking down the street brandishing a massive axe. True story.

SLEAZE!

The cover for Tabloid Terrors #3: Alien Perverts Wrecked my Pubes has been released by Skull Vines Press this week (pictured above), now with Albino Lesbians! That would be my nasty little piece. For all those Facebook users who were desperate for a taste (injoke there) of my alien lesbian orgy, it's nearly time to dip your hands in those deep pockets and grab yourself a copy. Also featuring Louise Bohmer. L.L. Soares and the series creators S.D. Hintz and Jerrod Balzer, this is some pretty sick shit. Buy it and love!

AND ALSO...

Midnight Echoes #3 (what is it with threes? Three is the magic number for my writing career. Blessed be...) bought my old story Living Haunts (Retitled from The Building by the Railway). An offering that's a little different from my normal style: subtle and humour free. Follows a young boy who, hearing there's a dirty magazine in an abandoned railway shed, slips through the fence and ventures in, but the building harbours ghosts...ghosts of the living. Bobby is about to learn that his nice little town isn't so nice in the dark, lonely places.

Look out for this (available through the Australian Horror Writers' Association) in the coming weeks.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY...OR IS IT?

The horror writing industry. It can be a great community to be in at times...at other times...it's tough. Damn tough.

And it's all about the money.

I've been in many discussions over writing money over the years (money for writing. Not writing money itself. There's a lucrative, if not illegal, career). Basically, if your writing CV contains a long list of publications that were exposure or a token payment only, no one is going to give a good goddamn. Money talks in this business. The HWA supports this stance, demanding certain monetary targets be reached before membership can be granted. This keeps membership selective. Fair enough. They also believe that if you're good enough, you deserve to be paid for the work you've put in. Again, fair enough. I couldn't agree more.

However...

Global financial crisis and all that jazz. I was in talks with the AHWA over the above sale. I'm getting paid 1 cent per word for the story (thank you please) yet am not receiving a contributor's copy. Should I want the mag on my shelf (and it's one of the best bits of being a writer) then my payment will take a cut.

They said that money being money, they cannot afford to pay the writers and give out a contrib. They'd rather, for the writer, pay them and give them a pdf copy and be able to afford to keep the mag going. Again...fair enough. I agree that this is the best course of action. There are precious little regular markets out there. The last thing I want to see is a reputable market go under.

Yet as a writer, I don't like the idea of paying to see my own work in print.

I see the arguments, and agree, with both sides, what with being a writer, and working for Necrotic Tissue magazine. At our meetings, we don't just discuss your great stories, we also need to talk subscriptions and money flow. I have an idea of how tough and competitive this business is.

For a long time, I have condemned magazines that don't pay the writer or pay a mere $5 or $10 and then expect them to pay out for a shitty Lulu made product to see their own work. The editors, who usually have no experience and couldn't write their way out of a high school short story contest, are making money off YOU, your friends and family, dear writer. This is almost a scam. They are making money for doing very, very little. In some cases, accepting any old shite and not even editing it. It takes minutes to upload something to Lulu.

Seems to me that the more reputable markets don't make any money at all, choosing to raise pay rates or give out more copies to contributors.

Yet with the AHWA, they are reputable, so I know this is no scam. It's just a shame.

This has been a very jumbled argument, has it not?

Another money issue is that I've been asked to appear in an antho (if the subbed stories cut the mustard). Problem is, this will not pay the self-imposed threshold that I aim for. I'll effectively be choosing to take a pay cut. Other writers may look down on this. No up front pay? That's not even a sale!

So why am I doing this? And also, why am I quite excited about this?

Because the heart is there, folks. The editor is as good-hearted as they come. She knows what she wants and she knows how to get it. So you won't be getting 5 cents a word. So what? I'd rather get a royalty and have this book in brick and motar stores throughout the midwest and have it reviewed and READ. That's the point for me. This is going to get lots of reads, and I'll willingly sacrifice a few dollars for that. I can climb off my high horse for some things (chuckles).

SELL OUT?

And on the same topic...ish. I've noticed that the higher paying markets tend to publish literary horror. That is so not my style (refer to Aliens and Pubes above). To get those big names on my CV, do I have to sell out? Drop my violence and banter and gore and go for something...artier? Hmmm. One to mull over.

Current novel at 41k, and I'm seeing it through to the end before I write any new shorts. Time to think about the direction of the next batch.

QUOTES

Me (while Mason is dancing and NOT eating his tea): Mason! No one is in the mood for silliness!
Amity (raises hand): I am!

Sherie: I can pick on you. It's great!

Random stranger walking down the street: How long now? (Feels Sherie's baby bump)
Me: Where's a sweet old lady brandishing an axe when you need one?

See you next week. Please leave angry comments telling me how wrong I am until them.

Oh, and thank you yet again to the Facebook users following this blog on Networked blogs. It's now #3 in the horror charts and has nearly 300 followers. Thank you from the bottom of my black, festering heart. I now feel popular and it makes up for my experiences in High School.

Posted by Daniel I. Russell :: 7:56 am :: 3 comments

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