Monday, March 28, 2016

To my Turkish readers....



Many years ago I was approached by a publisher in Turkey who wanted to translate and publish my Alex & Fiona series for their Turkish audience. I questioned other authors who had been approached by this company, and closely read over the contract before agreeing. They quickly worked through the first book, sending me cover samples and sharing the translation progress with me.  All the while, I'm being assured that my advance was coming soon, soon, soon.

Book 1 went out quickly and soon they were sending me book 2's cover. At this point I was pissed. I hadn't seen on cent of my advance, yet I already knew book 1 was selling simply by the amount of readers from Turkey contacting me to let me know how much they enjoyed the book & wanting to know when book 2 would come out (of course I had no idea).

I continued to question when my money was set to arrive & the woman I'd been dealing with all those months assured me they were simply running behind, but my payment would be coming. Oh, and I was supposed to receive 1 copy of each book in their new Turkish format...those never arrived.

Eventually, contact was scarce, until I was told the woman I'd been dealing with no longer worked there. After that I never heard a single word from the company again. That was in 2011.

Here I am, many years later, and I'm still receiving messages, follows, tags, and comments from my Turkish readers. I'm soooo happy you're all enjoying the story of Alex & Fiona, but I want you all know that I've never received a single dollar from the publishing or selling of this series in Turkey.

This publisher took not only my 3 books, but numerous books from numerous other authors, without paying us for our work. This is theft, plain and simple. And because of the fact that this company is outside the U.S., we are pretty much left without any way to get our money. The contracts aren't worth the ink and paper used to print them.

Again, thank you so much for reading my books! Unfortunately, I won't be allowing any translations of newer books by ARVO.

Here are a few (of many) "Author Beware" articles about this company:

http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2011/12/publisher-alert-arvo-basim-yayin-of.html
http://www.kboards.com/index.php?topic=96172.0
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?232625-Publisher-Arvo-Basim-Yayin
http://www.crimetime.co.uk/mag/index.php/showarticle/1816


Too bad these weren't around back when ARVO first contacted me.  :(


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Good News vs. Bad News

Me & my youngest on her 11th b-day.
Ignore the no make-up. I was doing
school pickup. :)
Happy New Year!

Yeah, I know, I'm a little late on the uptake here. This is the first week in a long time where I can actually sit at my laptop, take a deep breath, and write. My mind clears and the ideas run rampant. My fingers fly across the keyboard and before I know it there's a new chapter in front of me. I love it! Giddiness takes over after a good day of writing.

So let's get to a little Good News vs. Bad News here.  I'll just bullet point it all for you.


BAD NEWS:


  • Some piece of trash hacked my bank account last week. They stole $380 from Charlotte, NC. I haven't been to Charlotte in nearly 10 years!! 
  • My winter blues have kicked in and I feel extremely dreary all the freaking time (except when I've had a good writing day).
  • My mom is still going through chemo. I'm in charge of her calendar & taking her to 98% of her appointments... some of which were sprung on me the day before.
  • BOTH of my younger daughters are going into braces! The 15 yr old will get hers the end of February/beginning of March. And my 11 yr old will go into hers this time next year. 8 months of double braces payments. UGH!
  • I will not be attending Book 'Em NC this year. With everything going on around here I just don't feel comfortable being that far away from home.
  • I turned 39 on the 17th.  ACK!!!  Nooooo!!

GOOD NEWS:

  • My bank reversed all the $380 that piece of trash stole from my bank account. Get a job, douchebag!
  • Exercise, vitamins, & writing help me with the winter blues. And spring will be here soon!
  • My mom's cancer has shown great results from the chemo!! We found out last week that all the small cancer spots are gone & the big stuff has shrunk dramatically. The doctor is hoping the next 4 rounds of chemo will get it all. And then maybe we can say the R-word!!
  • Braces... Upside of braces... Hmmm...  Oh, I guess it's good I'll only have double payments for 8 months.  ???  Maybe?
  • There's really no good news for not attending Book 'Em.  :(
  • I turned 39, but I don't feel 39. Physically, I feel great!

Overall, that's about it right now. I'm anticipating more writing this year since my mom is moving into my rental house right down the hill from my house. I'll be able to keep an eye on her easier and still get my work done.  Hell, I drive by my rental, at the very least, 4 times a day just taking kids to and from school.  I'll be glad to have her close by AND be able to work, again. 

I hope 2016 turns out to be a great year for all of you.



Wednesday, November 18, 2015

When it rains it pours.

Well, we're on the 18th day of the month and I'm no where near the finish line for NaNoWriMo. I do believe I will fail in my 50K words this year. :(  I've had so much to deal with lately I knew it would be near impossible to take on the challenge this year. But that's me, I jump in and see what happens.

As I've already posted about, my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer last month, and since then it has been a wild ride of nonstop doctor appointments, chemo treatments, and scheduling/filling/picking up scripts for all her prescriptions. Plus my "regular" life of raising children and caring for my household (dogs, cats, chickens, & even a husband!). And now, my paternal grandmother is at the final stage of her life. It won't be long before she'll be gone, and I've only known her for two years.

Yeah, it has been rough around here. I feel like I'm being pulled in more directions than my body can actually manage to be pulled in. There have been days where all I want to do is scream into a pillow and punch a wall (but I haven't...yet).

Not to mention, the longer I go without writing, the more frustrated I become. Frustration has become my middle name. :(  Writing is my break from the real world, a time to enjoy a fantasy world, and a way for me to vent without it actually being all about ME.

I texted my husband the other day on a particularly hard day and said, "I don't know why I even bother anymore."  To which my supportive man replied, "Because you love doing it."  And he was right. I do love writing! I love creating worlds from nothing. I love seeing what kinds of troubles my
characters will get into. And I especially love my readers!

I have been trying to hold onto his words: Because you love doing it. I needed that reminder. I needed that second of remembrance to feel connected to my day job. Even if I haven't been able to work like I'm used to. Writing is one of my joys and I certainly don't want to lose that.

So I'm going to resign myself to being a "loser" of NaNoWriMo this year. That's just the way it has to be. I don't have enough hours in the day to even come close to catching up and still do everything else I'm responsible for.

I will continue making handwritten notes while I'm sitting beside my mom watching poisons being pumped into her body to combat an enemy far worse. I will continue to type snippets into my cell phone notepad while I'm waiting for one of my kids to come out of school at pickup time. And I will continue to feel extremely frustrated about not having the hours and alone time to bring those notes and snippets onto my manuscript's pages. One way or another things will get done, even if it isn't on my timetable (and obviously it's not). I just have to remind myself to breathe, not panic, and just move along until things calm down enough to get back into my routine.

Mom is improving tremendously. She's beginning to take care of herself more and we're hoping it won't be long that she'll be able to take care of her own house again. Until then, I'll try not to scream into a pillow and punch a wall.