Thursday, June 23, 2016

SUPANOVA WEEKEND!!

When it comes to the Supanova Pop Expo and Comicon, I am an unabashed fan.

Sci Fi and Fantasy, costumes, gaming and geeks -- who can resist. And it's great to see the creators, the actors, the filmmakers, the writers, the directors all celebrated by the public.

And I will be there, this weekend, seated behind a table with a lot of other writers... I'll be giving out vouchers for free eBook.

Come chat! Bring your books for signing! Show us your cosplay outfit if you have one!

See you there....

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

RAINBOW DAY

As a country grapples with the idiocy that enables the mentally ill and/or the terrorist easy access to weapons designed for killing as many people as possible in war-time, and that country contemplates -- yet again -- the horror of civilian deaths at home as a consequence, this time in an Orlando gay nightclub, I'm putting up this post. 
It won't help the dead or the grieving, but I'm going to do it nonetheless, for all my LBGTI friends. Rainbows are beautiful.

 We were travelling south along the country highway between Busseltown and Pemberton last month and and a soft spring shower was misting down. As a consequence, we had 200 kilometres of incredible rainbows, nonstop. There were even rainbows in the air along the road verges where cars had sprayed up water. Everywhere we looked, rainbows...


And this one is a rainbow seen from our loungeroom window.

Vale



Saturday, June 04, 2016

ARE FANS TOO ENTITLED??

When I first started writing there was no such thing as the internet. It was difficult to get feedback on my writing through snailmail, and it was tough (and expensive) having to send off a physical manuscript to the other side of the world (I was in Asia at the time), and exasperating to wait for comment. 

Even at the time I was first published, the internet was still in its infancy, and a fan writing a letter or email to a writer, or putting up an internet review, was relatively rare. 

So nowadays, I just love what I get -- GoodReads, Amazon reviews, emails, discussion boards -- bring 'em all on! And yep, I read them. Sure, I'd block someone who's abusive at the drop of a hat, but I've been lucky. I've blocked a mountain of spammers, but only one single person who was (rather mildly) abusive. (I don't think harsh criticism or one star reviews of my work are abusive, even if the issues raised are factually incorrect).

Why do I love the feedback enough to read both the good and the bad? 
Because it makes me a better writer. I learn from it.  
Because I know that there is no way a creator will ever please everyone.  
Because I'm old enough to take the bad without it leaving me in a heap of crying insecurity with the blankets pulled over my head. (One of the few advantages of ageing -- you learn to distinguish what really matters from other stuff, especially nasty stuff, that doesn't*). 

Anyway, let's consider the idea that fans can be too entitled. Or not. There's a blog post here at Huffington Post that has a good coverage of pros and cons. 

I tend agree with this:

Not having dialogue, ignoring fan response, and stubbornly sticking to "a vision" isn't necessarily the only true way to create great and pure art, though. Art doesn't have to be conceived of as such an asymmetrical concept, a gift passed from all-knowing creators to receptive and docile audiences. It can be the product of collaboration, symbiosis between different parts of a community, and a healthy dialogue.  

 However,  I also think that fans "demanding" creators write something the way they want it is a little naive and a bit rude. 

A book, a film, a TV show, an art work -- it's the creators' baby, and how they dress their child is ultimately their decision. Fans are welcome to say what they'd like in the future, they're welcome to criticise what they've already been given, and ultimately they can vote with their wallets. 

I will listen, and I hope I'm always open to learning, but in the end -- and this is all important! -- I can't make a good job of creating my work if I'm not following my own vision.
--------------------------------------------------------
*Of course, I do live in a country where screwballs sending death threats tend not to wander around with guns looking for ways to go out in a blaze of glory.