friday is just a good day to love

Saw this and thought it was cool today. Don’t watch it at work or with your kids, but it’s pretty nifty, especially if you liked Ghost in the Shell, or just think it’d be cool to see what that would look like in live action. I fall into the latter.

Also, got a wonderful review from Kathy Fish of Girl with Ears & Demon with Limp today.

Just find someone to love today and hold them close.

The sun’s shining and the world’s greening.

we will tell you what you are and you will learn to like it

Everywhere I look on the internet there’re thought pieces about feminism or feminists. What they should be, how they behave, how they should behave, how women should be and behave, how they should think.

Probably no one needs a white american male to say anything on the topic, but I find it all quite silly and reductive.

I find it silly on both sides.

It’s absurd for anyone to tell women how they should behave, whether the person instructing is female or not, is a feminist or not. Codifying behavior works well in a laboratory setting and is pretty important to psychology, sociology, and neuroscience, but classifying every communication and behavior and disagreement and opinion is not only absurd, it’s destructive.

Probably it sounds stupid to tell people to get along, but it’s really the only thing to do.

I guess I’m being quite vague with all of this, but it just sort of bores me. Maybe it’s because I stopped posting about politics and so I stopped arguing with strangers on the internet, but I just can’t pay attention or care about all these ideological rifts and schisms.

Feminists fight over what it means to be a feminists, what feminism should be, and then there are those who scream about the existence of feminism at all.

Just be decent humans to each other.

There’s not much more to say than that, but I’ll just outline some things quickly, I guess.

  • Women absolutely have the right to be furious about the patriarchal nature of the world.
  • More than that, those who are furious are correct to be furious.
  • There are far more productive things to be than furious.
  • Anger rarely serves any purpose.
  • Anger causes people to dig trenches and return with more anger.
  • Men need to shut up. All of us. All the time.
  • I’m sick of hearing men talk about women.
  • Even the ones who think they’re on the female side.
  • Maybe especially those ones because they tend to be horrible misogynists without bothering to examine their attitudes.
  • And everyone needs to work towards unification, rather than division.
  • All I see is splintering.
  • It’s a huge bummer.

I guess that’s all I have to say today.

Be kinder.

Every day.

Here’s a nebula.

IDL TIFF file

it’s difficult to find the time to do things

I owe a lot of people reviews and interviews, and then there’s my own writing to catch up on, but I don’t seem to have the time to do anything, what with the new job and all that entails running a company. Big learning curve and I’m still way behind which causes a lot of stress about getting things done in a timely manner.

Anyrate, Sam Smith is my new jam.

Also, this year’s Short Story Month is coming to a close, so I thought I’d direct people to the twenty stories I wrote last May. Some of them really are amongst my favorite stories I’ve written. Also, finally going to be selfpublishing another novella soon.

Stay tuned.

Till then, here’s the link for my stories:

Short Story Month 2013.

i’ll be somebody to love

Absolutely love that song.

Anycase, it’s Friday and it’s been sort of a logistical nightmare of a week for me on the job front. Things are ramping up incredibly quickly and we don’t have the right employees for what we need. I mean, they’re okay, but we really need a creative director to handle a lot of these things, and my boss isn’t very interested in doing that, apparently.

But, yeah, it’s Friday and the sun is shining and it’s time for love.

Just love somebody.

And if you want to review Noir: A Love Story or Twilight of the Wolves, or if you want to interview me about either, get in touch. I can probably send you a physical copy.

Also, there’s a Goodreads giveaway for Noir: A Love Story right now.

Speaking of Goodreads and giveaways, the woman who won the Twilight of the Wolves giveaway wrote a review, and she loved it:

A fresh new vision which reads like an ancient ballad full of old gods and the white men half machines who destroy them. I wanted to sing it in an alternating upbeat tempo of wolves and old god joy and a slow and mournful tune that cries with the loss of innocence and light as I read it. Thank you Mr. Rathke for creating a feeling far different from anything I’ve read before.

That actually makes me happier than a thousand kind reviews from people I know. She also just got the novel, which is awesome.

new books

 

limping along

I’ve been frustrated recently when thinking about the whole publishing game, and that’s still a concern, and I have many more thoughts about that, but today I just feel like singing. Probably because I watched Godzilla last night, which was awesome. I wrote a review at Entropy.

I’m reading a book on marketing for the day job, and it already has my head spinning about things to do. Of course, marketing for a job and marketing your writing are much different, since the product is basically me. I don’t know how to market myself, but probably I could figure it out. Just seems so awkward and disingenuous, though.

Anyrate, woke up to this this morning:

Which sort of already made my day, since Kathy Fish is amazing. And if it’s good enough for her, it should be good enough for you, especially since it’s only a dollar. So go buy it!

But, yeah, it’s Friday and the sun is back out, basically spring again after a week of winter.

No idea what the weekend holds, but I’ll have another short film review going up at Entropy tomorrow morning. In the meantime, check this out.

on marketing your novel

With the approach of Noir: A Love Story, and the fact that Twilight of the Wolves and Girl with Ears are still going largely ignored, I’m realising how difficult it is to get people to care about what you spend all those hours writing.

It’s frustrating and disappointing. You put a lot of work into writing something to make it as great and awesome as it can possibly be, and then you even give it away to people for free, hoping they’ll review it or tell other people to read it. And then you wait, and you hope that it works out.

I feel as if I did a lot to try to promote both Twilight of the Wolves and Girl with Ears & Demon with Limp, even giving a two for one deal the entire month of April, but it doesn’t seem to have done much. Probably I could’ve done more, or should’ve done more, but I didn’t write them to market stories.

And that’s what we have to be, in essence. As small press authors, as independent artists, we need to be our own PR, Marketing, and Sales departments, and that depresses the hell out of me. Especially because these things are actually just as important as the quality of the book itself. The best novel in the world without a campaign behind it won’t do much.

And I think that’s been part of the failing of Twilight of the Wolves. As much as the editorial and publishing team understood the novel, the marketing team has done essentially nothing with it. They sent out a bulk email to publications, which received basically no response. I’ve contacted about fifty publications with no real response. It’s very depressing, doing what you can and still getting nowhere. I’ve written about the accidental unmarketability of my book, which is one of the most popular posts I’ve ever had. Unfortunately, it didn’t translate into any real interest in the novel, as far as I can tell.

I think, relatively, I’m maybe not even selling that poorly, considering the indie press market, but it’s disappointing to me that I’ve not sold even 100 copies, and have only sold about twenty copies since the publication date. I have two reviews in publication of the novel, with only one more review being on Amazon and Goodreads. It’s frustrating, yeah.

And so I’m trying to think about how to make Noir do better out in the world. I think it’s a novel better geared towards the indie crowd, and it feels as if there’s already more people paying attention to it. But I’m still not sure where or how to get it reviewed. I sent out about fifty ARCs of Twilight of the Wolves, which resulted in three reviews so far. I suppose I could do the same thing and hope for the best, but I don’t know if that’s useful.

Luckily, there’s some time to figure it out. Much less than there was before.

And then there seems to be a debate about promoting yourself on social media that’s sort of devolved into a chaotic sprawl of vitriol, so I’ll step past it, but I don’t think social media works to sell books. It can, sure, and I’m sure everyone who bought Twilight of the Wolves first came across it on facebook, but I don’t think it’ll do what people expect it to.

Too, I’m not sure what works better, or if there’s a way to push your books without being obnoxious. Probably I’m thinking too much about this side of publishing and should just get back to writing. Unfortunately, taking on a lot of new work responsibilities has cut my time to read/write to almost nothing these last three weeks.

Anyrate, I guess the point here is that I’m looking for reviewers for Noir: A Love Story. I can send you a digital copy. I’m also looking for reviewers for Twilight of the Wolves and Girl with Ears.

If you’re interested, get in touch. You should know where to find me.

People will always tell you not to worry about your sales, and they’re right. I expected too much from Twilight of the Wolves, and that’s going to be a long, slow sell, if it ever picks up. But I think what frustrates me is that I know a lot of reviewers/interviewers/readers and they also don’t seem to be interested in the novel, which is a bummer. But, I mean, that’s what the post I previously linked is all about: writing books no one wants.

But, yeah, rambly post. Trying to think of ways to market my novels. To make people care.

And how do we get people to care? I’d argue that there are more readers than ever, but there are also more writers than ever. How do you reach people when they’re bombarded by so much every day/week/year?

That’s the trick. Usually it means getting a bigger venue to care.

But that is anything but easy.

the song of the black mages

My story about Vivi from FFIX came out from Cartridge Lit last week, which has to be the coolest idea for a magazine ever. Literature influenced and about videogames. It’s perfect.

The story’s called The Song of the Black Mages and is the first of many stories I’ve written/am writing about Vivi that takes place between the last battle of FFIX and its ending cinematic. I hope you dig it.

Over at Entropy I have a few things going on as well.

Short Film of the Week: On Your Mark by Hayao Miyazaki

Short Film of the Week: Red by Jorge Jaramillo & Carlo Guillot

Sunday Entropy List: Favorite Animated Films

Editors’ List: Favorite Books Translated into English

And then I’ll also just remind people that Girl with Ears & Demon with Limp is only a dollar and Twilight of the Wolves is only three, so go out and get them! They take place in the same world and are amongst my best writing, I think.

Oh, also, go buy Green Lights by Kyle Muntz! Read a review at HTMLGiant.

And since we’re talking about books released, a whole load of them were just released by Lazy Fascist Press, which means all kinds of awesome. Pay special attention to Michael J Seidlinger and Brian Allen Carr.

writing process and junk and stuff

This is a thing that’s going around the writing community and I got tagged so I thought I’d do it too. I probably won’t tag anyone, because whatever. Jordan Blum tagged me, so head over to his site and check out his process.

Anyrate, here’s what I have to say.

What am I working on?

Like, right now? I talked a little about it, sort of, the other week. Anyrate, right now I’m writing a science fantasy horror novel that I’m calling Wolves at the Shore or We are the Moon Tonight Bathed in Fungal Light. It’s about fungus eating civilisation and swallowing much of the planet in order to recreate it. You could say it’s about the effects of climate change, and it is, but in my own view of it. The globe is a different place in this novel and medicine’s sort of nonexistent, due to the way we’ve destroyed antibiotic efficacy. What else? People become monsters, the earth itself transforms, there are religious cults, bioengineering, and wolves. Always wolves.

Basically, it’s a kitchen sink novel. I’m trying something very different. I typically put all kinds of rules on novels, but this one’s just wherever the book takes me. No limitations or constraints on the form or style or structure. It’s also all from one perspective, which I’ve only done once before, and it didn’t work out very well.

But, yeah, it’s a very peculiar novel.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

No idea. I’ve read only a handful of horror novels. Probably it’s stranger than most other novels, horror or not. Like I said, it’s a kitchen sink novel, and everything’s getting dumped in there. The horror is existential on a global and individual scale also. Climate change is leading us to the end of humanity, but the world will go on happily without us. An uncaring world, an indifferent universe, and we’re a disease that the fungus is converting. Also, wolves. Always wolves. And dust. Always that too.

So to try to answer the question: there’s a mythology common to all my novels and this builds on that. In addition, it’s probably more concerned with power structures, politics, race, sex, and identity than most other horror novels.

But maybe not. I don’t read much horror, so maybe that’s common.

Why do I write what I do?

Don’t have a good answer for this. I used to write experimental fiction and sort of high literary genre. Now I’m pushing past all that nonsense. I think I’m becoming a better writer by giving up the literary genre. But the main thing that identifies my work, I think, is the obsessions with dust, Death, wolves, ravens, the multiverse, and the end of humanity. Why I write that is because I can’t ever stop thinking about it. Then combine that with politics, world mythologies, folklore, religion, and you have my writing, I think. I take everything, swirl it together, and create a new world.

That’s what I’m all about: creating new worlds. Worlds that remind you of this one but then twist reality around. I don’t believe in reality and I don’t understand it, so fiction is my way to resolve that. To map the different realities in my own head, project it into the world I experience, and then use that as a model for me to deal with the world I have to live in.

Or something.

The real answer is that writing makes me happy. Many things don’t, but this does. It makes me feel whole.

How does my writing process work?

There is no process. Most of my books are written at a feverish pace. When I’m novelling, I dump between 35,000 words and 70,000 words in a week. Usually that’s enough to finish what I’m working on. So process? I dive in and lose myself in the novel.

Makes life strange and hard to go about my daily business, so I’m working on moving towards a more normalised schedule. Trying to write every day, rather than write nonstop for a week, then not write for several months.

But, yeah, I write anywhere and everywhere. I have two laptops and I switch between them while still working on the same project. I write on buses, on planes, on trains, in my bed, on your couch, outside. I blast music so loud I can’t think or turn it way down so I can, or I put on the television, or whatever.

There’s no process. My process is chaos and distraction, and I think those characterise my novels. It’s why so many are probably polyphonic in nature. It’s about clashing ideas together.

But, yeah, just writing whenever I can steal the time.

And that’s all I have to say. Was going to write another essay about writing, but I’ll save that for maybe another day. Probably never. Instead I’ll be writing about genre.