Genre, e-publishing, and books, books, e-books — oh my!

This week, please welcome multi-talented, multi-genre author, Jude Mason!

 

A couple of topics that have been going around a few of the blogs and yahoo groups of late concerning genres— what authors like to write, what readers like to read, and what the market is for all these new multi-genre books coming out in e-book format. Well, of course I have an opinion and I’ll do my best to share it with you. And, I’ll get to plug a few of my own books in the process. Bonus!

 

As an author, I’ve been told to write what I know.  In my opinion, that doesn’t necessarily mean things I’ve actually done, but things I’ve become interested in for one reason or another as well as the empathy I feel for others. What does that have to do with genres you might ask, well here ya go.

 

The first book I had published kind of followed the rule. It was about a topic that interested me greatly, at the time. It was called Dance of Submission and was published in 1999 by a now defunct publishing house called Amatory Ink. The next book was a science fiction. I grew up on science fiction: Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and Mr. Heinlein, to name a few, so I felt pretty good going into that area. After that, I went a little nuts and dove headlong into a BDSM, fetish novel that took me forever to write and involved a topic I had literally no idea about. Anyone ever heard of pony boys? The interest was there. Oh yeah, and I did tons of research, so the book wasn’t bad. Who Races-Who Wins has since been pulled from the cyber shelves and waits for a re-write and a new home. I’ll get there. You’ll love Slither and his lovely wife, Christine.

 

Since then, I’ve written in just about every genre you can think of that’s got either romance or erotica in there. At the moment, I have a variety of genres available to the readers. Roses Have Thorns is an erotic horror story that will curl your toes.

Jesse’s Homecoming is a lesbian western that begins with Jesse returning home from a weekend of wandering in the hills. She finds her lover, Meg, being brutally raped by an ex-husband she’d escaped from years ago. Jesse fires her gun, wounding the man. Battered and bruised, Meg is sure she’s unlovable. It’s up to Jesse to prove her wrong and to get the monster she’d married sent to prison. 

 

 

 

 

Yes, Ma’am, a print collection of BDSM novellas of fem-domme fiction at its finest! My publisher, Phaze, was proud to present the novellas of Jude Mason in print. An Acquired Taste, Pink Ribbon, Stage Fright, and Amber’s Toy, plus never before published extras!

 

 

Fertile Domain is a gay futuristic book that also includes fem-domme in all its glory. In a world where pollution and greed has pushed humanity to the brink of extinction, fertility is one of the priorities. Men must prove themselves to fertile fems. For those who are lacking, or who cease to please the women, harsh treatment follows. Two new men, Jax and Trev, vie for a place among the elite ‘studs’ of a beautiful fem. Will they succeed, will the love they feel for each other survive?

 

Then there’s Shoon Joining, a science fiction tale in the style of Spider Robinson, if I do say so myself. Coerced into negotiating with the alien race, the Shoon, Earthman Ambassador Trevor Sloan finds himself tossed into a scenario never before faced. Imprisoned by a corrupt bureaucracy, then rescued by his lover, they fight together, along with the Shoon, to end the ills of humanity.

 

Shifters and ghosts, mysteries and femdom, the more you mix it up, the more the readers seem to like it. Writing teams are popping up as well, there’s Stella and Audra Price, Alessia Brio and Will Belegon, and don’t forget Jude Mason and Jamie Hill. It seems two can come up with even more interesting genre mixes than a single author.

 

Check out our Untamed Heart Series, two of which are now available through Total E-Bound, one of the up and coming e-publishers who are putting out amazing products.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feral Heat, Book one in the series: The scent of a female is a powerful thing. Kai, leader of the cougar clan finds that out the hard way, much to his distress. Can he and his life mate, Aric, find the stolen talisman before it’s too late?

And Bear Combustion, Book two in the series: Fire rages, not only through the forest to threaten the lives of his clan, but in the hearts of Tarek, the leader as well as Inuka, his firey lover and Raven, the stoic companion who secretly adores him. Can the flames of their love survive?

 

Diversity seems to be the flavor of the day when it comes to e-publishing. Brick and mortar shops are closing because they can’t deal with the print on demand of e-publishers, but I wonder if they’ve really thought about the whys of it? The fan base is shifting. They want variety in their novels. They don’t only want novels either. They want shorter stories they can read in one sitting. When you buy an e-book the cost is less, so much less that readers can afford to try new authors and new genres. The e-publishing industry is growing by leaps and bounds, putting out a plethora of genre busting books to satisfy anyone’s need.

 

From the readers I’ve spoken to, I get the distinct impression they’re fed up with single genre books. They want variety. They want us to surprise and shock them. As long as there’s a happy ending, or in some cases a happy for now ending, they want it. The more twisted and turned the plots, the more outrageous the genre mix, the better. How to market all these multi-genre books? In the local book store, I have no idea and that’s a large part of their problem. In my opinion, they’re going to have to find a way, or they’re business’ is going to simply go further downhill.

 

Jon, thanks so much for having me here and letting me spout off to your readers.

 

– – –

*Jude Mason – Come, explore with me…if you dare*

 

 

Links

 

Phaze

http://www.phaze.com/

 

Total E-Bound

http://www.total-e-bound.com/

 

Roses Have Thorns

http://www.loveyoudivine.com/index.php?main_page=document_product_info&cPath=22_23_5&products_id=100

 

Jesse’s Homecoming

http://www.king-cart.com/Phaze/product=Jesse%27s+Homecoming+by+Jude+Mason

 

Yes, Ma’am

http://www.king-cart.com/Phaze/product=Yes,+Ma%27am+by+Jude+Mason

 

Fertile Domain

http://www.king-cart.com/Phaze/product=Fertile+Domain/exact_match=exact

 

Shoon Joining

http://www.king-cart.com/Phaze/product=Shoon+Joining/exact_match=exact

 

Feral Heat

http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?s=o3f2w6558676&strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=362

 

Bear Combustion

http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=423

 

 Where you can find Jude:

 

Website: http://www.my-haven2001.com/   
Newsletter:
http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/Jude_Masons_Newsletter/

Jude’s Blog: http://jude-mason.blogspot.com/

Jude at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/jude_mason

Custom Erotica Fantasies: http://customeroticafantasies.blogspot.com/   
To join my mailing list, email me:
jude.mason@yahoo.ca  

Author Kayelle Allen chats about editing her novel

 

Editing the Perfect Novel

                            

I recently finished editing my new novel, Surrender Love, due from Loose Id on February 17, 2009. It’s erotic M/M Science Fiction Romance. When I finished it — that is, prior to my editor getting her first look — it was over a hundred and forty thousand words. We had to cut it to a hundred and twenty thousand for it to fit the outer edges of Loose Id guidelines. Twenty thousand words. My first thought was, “But it’s perfect! I can’t take out anything!” How do you cut that many words you’ve sweated to produce?

 

Michelangelo was once asked how he could sculpt such beautiful pieces of marble into lifelike creatures. Paraphrasing his words, his response was that if you want to carve a horse from a huge block of marble, you simply chip away anything that didn’t look like a horse. In writing, you chip away any words that don’t portray exactly what the reader needs to enjoy and understand the story.

 

Easier said than done? Too, too true. I followed a few steps I’d learned from previous books and soon cut it down to the right size. I can’t take all the credit. My editor, Hollie Hollis, guided me and provided excellent ideas on where to cut, but the actual snipping and trimming was mostly my own. It went back and forth between my editor and me several times, before going to another level, the line editor, back to my editor, and then to me. Each time, I cut more, polished more. So, what exactly did I cut? Here’s a basic list any author can follow and apply.

 

A) Look for sub-plots that don’t move the story forward, or can be developed in a sequel or another book. My strong suggestion is that you never cut anything more than a sentence or two without saving it to a document called Ideas for _______ , using the series name, or “other books”, etc.

 

B) Passages I particularly loved but didn’t fit for whatever reason went into Cuts I Love.doc. These were passages that could be adapted for any book I wrote, whereas the Ideas document is strictly for story-related material. An example from the Cuts doc is “Let yourself want it. Let yourself enjoy the lust, the heat. Let yourself rest in my arms while I pleasure you.” I cut this from another book because it didn’t work for my beta hero, but would be great in an alpha love scene.

 

C) Characters not necessary to the story. In Surrender Love, Luc had a dungeon in his penthouse, nearly an entire floor with rooms designed with every type of pleasure and punishment in mind. When he meets Izzorah “Rah” Ceeow and falls for him, he knows immediately the way to Rah’s heart is not through pain, but with a gentle hand. I wrote a scene where he calls in a designer and orders everything on that floor ripped out, and changed over to a private nightclub and areas for Rah’s rock band, Kumwhatmay, to practice and record. The designer also held appeal for another minor character, and I knew I couldn’t let them get together or sparks would fly. There wasn’t going to be time to chase that bunny trail, but it could end up launching a new book. I decided to cut and save it, eliminating several pages and nearly two thousand words.

 

D) Look for words that end in “ing”. This ending is proper for words used within a passive framework, but not for active. An example from Surrender Love is when the alpha hero is the passive recipient, and “ing” helps reveal that.

 

Luc shook his head, throat too tight, panting so hard he couldn’t speak.

“You’re starving for it, t’hahr. I can taste your hunger. Let me give myself to you.”

Luc didn’t trust his voice. Can’t lose control now. Can’t. Can’t. He shook his head, fighting for mastery of his emotions.

 

If you find “ing” words where the scene should be active, it’s easy to change to active. Here is the same passage, altered from passive to active. Note the slight change in wording.

 

Luc shook his head, throat too tight. He panted, speech past him.

“You’re starving for it, t’hahr. I can taste your hunger. Let me give myself to you.”

Luc didn’t trust his voice. Can’t lose control now. Can’t. Can’t. He mastered his emotions and shook his head.

 

The first paragraph is fifty words; the second is forty-seven. Three words doesn’t sound like much, but multiply that by eliminating three words per page in a three hundred page document, and you have nine hundred words. Averaging two hundred fifty words per page, you’ve cut almost four pages.

 

The key point is that “ing” words often reveal passive phrases. Hunt them to sharpen the action and reword to make the sentence stronger. Small reminder: not all such words are going to help, i.e., thing, sing, string, during, something, anything, ring (noun), and so on. If you look, however, you’ll find plenty of places to change structure and write in a more active tense, often saving words.

 

These are the fastest way to cut, and there are many more. I’d love to hear ideas from you!

 

The book I referenced in this article is Surrender Love, coming from Loose Id on February 17, 2009. http://loose-id.com