This was written a few days ago – I have a bunch of these, I’m going to start posting them from time to time.
What is an author’s moral responsibility with regards to social issues?
So, apparently, I’m going off and being pretentious straight out of the gate with my new blogging schedule.
Still, it’s a thorny question. Does an author have a responsibility to be socially conscious? To try to reflect the values they believe in, to have characters who embody what they want to see in the world?
My answer is – it’s complicated. This is just the answer for me of course, but not all of the characters I write are characters I agree with, even the protagonists.
The Strange Tales of Jenny Dark features a narrator who has a very, very progressive view. Miranda is not just politically to the left of centre (as am I), but she’s very, very far to the left. I don’t know if she’s further than I am, but she’s followed a different direction. She’s very, very into identity politics. That’s something I find problematic.
Most of my villains share at least some of my points of view. It’s part of how I establish them as more complex characters. They don’t have single points of view, they aren’t cut from a single cloth, they have some views that I actually find morally positive, and some I find actually evil.
My heroes are the same, I don’t agree with them completely. Now, that doesn’t mean they aren’t heroic, or that they aren’t somehow good people. They are just complicated.
Same for my stories. I don’t agree with all of the outcomes or decisions, good doesn’t always triumph, and sometimes it isn’t even totally obvious that good is good.
So, what’s the moral responsibility? Moral is subservient to story. I will always side with a good tale over a moral tale, both in my reading and in my writing.
So, I’m changing my post frequency – for obvious reasons. I’m going to once a week.
Also, I’m employed – sort of. I’m part owner of a company, and I do get paid for it. This is a very, very recent development. It is taking up a lot of my time.
The truth is I can’t keep this blog going at a post a day while starting a new business and launching three books in less than two months, one of which isn’t quite finished yet, and I mean the first draft.
So, new posts will be on Friday from now on.
Okay, no… that’s not really what this post is about. One of the writing groups I belong to had the question “Is becoming a bestselling author a dream or a goal for you?”. My answer was neither (which is a bit unfair, since the group is specifically about becoming a bestselling author)…
My answer was that I wanted to sell a few copies of a lot of books. Sure, having a book become a bestseller would be amazing and incredibly validating, but I’m good with writing a lot of books and having people who like them buy them even if not that many people know about them. That’s my ultimate goal, to have people like my stories enough that they buy all of my books, even when I have dozens on the market.
Is that goal realistic? If I work at it I could probably do six to eight books a year. That means it will take around three years to twenty books (give or take a few months). At twenty books I should be able to earn a decent living, if not an extravagant one.
So, long-term, I want to earn my living from that process.
In the meantime, I have work I do day to day, as well as the work I do for writing and marketing. Sometimes that work takes up a lot of time.
So the manuscript for A Long Walk is now in an editors hands getting ready for the next edition. The manuscript for Resource Economies has a lot of highlighter on it and is sitting in my bag. The manuscript for Jenny Dark book 1 is mostly done first draft and the manuscript for book 2 is at first draft but untouched. I have covers for all four ready to go – although I do think I need a copy of windows and the Adobe suite to work with them and get them ready for print. That’s all cool though. I might even farm out that bit of work to another designer.
Too busy to write a lot on here most days right now. I have a couple of day jobs at the moment.
I have my line editor picked out and starting to go. Working on getting a developmental editor lined up, someone who is comfortable with zombies and demon related stuff.
It’s exciting and crazy – I’m actually launching four books in just over two months!!! Holy Crap!
I have a confession to make – I’m not totally focused on writing right now.
There’s a lot going on in my life, and it’s taking time from my ability to write. I have been often driving several hours a day, and overall there’s just a lot going on.
I’m still writing, and I’m getting back to doing it at a faster pace since the Qeequinox is coming up very soon. Also, I have my web dev contract that’s on the edge of completion, and that’s taking up time.
There’s other stuff, some of which is very intense and very time-consuming.
I’m a bit exhausted. Okay, I’m a lot exhausted. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s hard to maintain long-term.
Doesn’t matter though, I’m launching three new books at the Spring Geequinox, and they will be ready in time. The fourth one I was thinking of seems too ambitious. I mean, it’s sixty-three days away.
Well, I’m working on getting everything ready for the show in April. I have one book on the market, but I will hopefully be launching three (three!) more at the Geequinox, two of which will be the first two books of the Jenny Dark series.
This is ambitious but possible. I have an editor selected, and I have the writing mostly done. The second draft of A Long Walk is well on its way and the first draft of book two of Jenny Dark is complete. The first draft of Jenny Dark book one is more than halfway – although I did lose my place a little bit, which slowed me down. I’m back to speed on that one, I know where I left off and I’m catching up.
Anyway, the point is that I will have four books with me at the Geequinox, sitting on my table (I might have a fifth, but probably not).
I don’t know if I will sell all my books or even most of my books. I’m going to take a risk on it, dream big and hope people like my little stories.
I am going to be the guest writer at Spring Geequinox this April!
This will be my first con appearance as a writer. Lots of work to do to make that happen, but it’s work in progress. I have an editor picked out, all my covers designed, books written. I have (barely) enough time to make it happen.