Welcome To My Circus, Here Are My Monkeys

Full disclosure: I sat on this post for over a week. I swayed back and forth on whether to post it or not. Do I want to get involved in this fight? No. But do I need to speak up? Yes. Because this shit affects my career and I am down right pissed that all of this has the possibility to tarnish my name just by being associated with EC. This was supposed to be my livelihood, my dream career, my new beginning and now thanks to the people in charge being unable to just let one fucking blog post run it’s course the authors (yes, all of us, even small fries like me) are suffering. Their wallets will get fatter (one way or another), mine will see a big fat zero. Can I sleep at night if I don’t at least voice my opinion, even if my opinion is meaningless? No I cannot. And so I’ve decided to post it.

In case you weren’t aware, I am an Ellora’s Cave author. Yes, I said the three dirtiest words in the literary world right now. Everyone, at this point, has heard that Ellora’s Cave filed suit against the blog Dear Author for defamation and continues to make posts and comments about it which ensures that this never leaves the headlines. So since it should all be common knowledge I’m not going to get into all of it here. If you are unaware of what has been going on you can check out these blog posts that will point you in the right direction.

Los Angeles Times

Jezebel

The lawsuit is the elephant in the room, the big pink one at the circus that, I think, no one who is an EC author really wants to talk publicly about. So I will keep this post about my opinion and my opinion only.

If the powers that be would have just left it alone that blog post by DA would have been swept under the rug the next time an author behaved badly or someone went on a Twitter rampage, which would have only taken a week or two. Instead the people in charge of Ellora’s Cave made a mountain out of a molehill as I see it and now this shit storm just keep snowballing out of control. Every day someone involved in this suit has something to say on social media, or their blog, or in the comments section of someone’s post and it just makes it that much more of a big deal. If I were the lawyer my first words would have been “Shut the fuck up!”

Do I think that EC should have sued DA for a blog post? This is my personal opinion only and my answer is NO. I think that suing bloggers for exercising their freedom of speech is a huge slap to the fundamentals of our constitution and causes a ripple effect of silencing anyone who might have a differing opinion than EC (or any publisher in the future). I do not think anything in the DA post constitutes as defamation, I think it was a blogger who fact checked and had sources writing an opinion piece about the state of affairs of a company, the same as other bloggers do about sports teams, investments, TV shows, Actors portfolios, etc. As I write this I am having a slight panic attack thinking that this will be posted in a public forum and what if someone decides to sue me for my opinion? It’s crazy, we shouldn’t be afraid to express ourselves, address our fears, and participate in public debates/discussions/and protests. These are our rights and this lawsuit will have a negative fallout one way or another. Just by filing it EC has created this atmosphere of “us against them” and all sides are riled up.

The hashtag #NotChilled has sprung up by authors and bloggers who, regardless of this lawsuit, aren’t afraid to speak out. I think everyone at this point sees this lawsuit as a way of scaring authors/bloggers into silence. And to some degree it’s working. I don’t even have a huge grievance and I had to think long and hard about this. My complaint is how this is being played out in public. I worked for a lawyer and never have I seen two sides in a lawsuit (one side in particular) talk so much about said suit in public. That is Lawyering 101 people, keep your mouth shut before you say something that might lose your case for you.

So who wins? No one. Who loses? The authors.

We bleed these stories. They might just be corny “smut” books to the outside world, but they are our children, we birthed them from the deepest parts of our souls. That might sound over dramatic, but it’s true, if you are an artist then you understand. Every character has walked a million miles in our minds. Their pain is our pain. We cry, laugh, and gasp as we are writing these books. And as authors we can, and do, become emotionally attached to our work. Because unlike most professions, people reading our work are opening a window to our very raw, very exposed soul and taking a peek.

What I am trying to say is that my book for EC is my work. It is my blood, sweat, and tears. It is made up of my stress, fear, love, and excitement. This was my first (and to date, only) traditionally published work. And I’m proud of it.

Twisted Revenge is my work and if I am proud of my work I should not have to be ashamed to tell people that. But as with most boilerplate issues public opinion doesn’t always sway that way. Some people think that no one should promo their EC books, some readers are proclaiming that they will never by another EC title. Which I understand. I think readers and authors should go with their gut on this topic. Do what you feel is right. Or if you are so inclined, listen to each author and see what it is they personally would like their fans to do.

Some EC authors only have EC as their income and this lawsuit is hurting them. Other authors do publish with other companies or self-publish, but this still hurts them as well. These are authors who haven’t done anything wrong — some of them are just waiting for a check. They just want to be able to pay the electric or keep the gas on. I’m sure that if given the chance none of them would have voted for this lawsuit/mudslinging extravaganza to happen. Most of us just want it to go away.

“But Mia, what about the fact that part of that money will go to EC?” Meh, really what can I say to answer that? Honestly, some portion of all money spent goes to some “all powerful corporation”. My self published books have a portion that goes straight to Amazon even though they tweak their algorithm to purposely leave my titles and others in my genre out of the search results, but no one is going to stop purchasing books from Amazon (I know because my smashwords account has sat at a big fat goose egg for months while I’m still making sales on Amazon). And bottom line is that at least the authors still see some of that money assuming they are receiving their checks.

And on that topic (of getting paid), I have no personal knowledge of what is going on but I will say this, I believe the authors/editors/artists who say they haven’t been paid. Because I’m allowed to form my own beliefs/opinions and I don’t have to justify them to anyone, nor does anyone have to listen to me. I’m not going into the ins and outs of it all, but I do believe them and I feel for them. Have I been paid? Yes, but you also have to keep in mind that my royalties are minimal. Like, seriously. My royalties pay for a meal (and not for my family, just for me) some months I can go to Denny’s other months I have to hit the Dollar Menu for a single item plus tax (I am not even kidding about this). So really no one is breaking a nail writing out my single-digit check every month. I wouldn’t know what to do if I relied on that money for a bill, if I had hundreds of dollars coming to me and I didn’t receive it. I would be devastated.

I think if you happen to love an EC author who is saying “please don’t stop buying my books.” Then maybe consider listening to that author’s opinion. They have their reasons, it doesn’t mean that they like what is going on.

On the flipside, I know there are EC authors who are asking their readers to stop buying their books, if that is the case and this is an author you love then listen to them. They have their reasons too.

In the end it’s the authors who are losing out on this. It’s my opinion that everyone should just listen for a minute to the authors and what they want. They are the people who have worked their fingers to the bone writing these books. Those are the voices that should be heard instead of listening to A) the Publisher who has their hand out waiting for a sale and trashing their authors, or B) the bloggers who are calling on no one to ever buy from all EC authors ever again, which similarly doesn’t do the authors any good. Nothing is black and white, nothing is cut and dried.

I have seen some bloggers who have been kind enough to help some of the EC authors out by promoting their non-EC titles, to them I say, kudos to you! You found a way to support authors while sticking to your personal morals in regards to not giving money to a company you cannot support. However, not all authors have books with other publishers or self published. And if I had a perfect answer on how to show support to those people I’d be offering that up, but I don’t have a crystal ball and I can’t conjure answers out of thin air. (Well I do have a crystal ball, but it’s not giving me any answers)

Don’t get it twisted, I’m not being a fence sitter. I just think that every author is in a different place, personally and professionally. And for once, people (even the ones who say they are trying to champion for the authors) should actually listen to what each author wants and/or needs from their readers and from the writing community as a whole. Because there are a whole lot of variables here and everyone’s circumstances are different.

Am I asking readers to not buy my EC title? No, if you want to read it then buy it. Enjoy it. Because it is my hard work, not EC’s. I bled for it, I cried over it, I had anxiety and excitement for it. Regardless of who owns the rights, I wrote it, not them. If you don’t want to give your money to EC, that works for me too. Do what is comfortable for you. If you want to read my non EC book, Waking Up In Bedlam, feel free to pick that up at Amazon, Smashwords, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, or ARe. Share it, rate it, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. (It was my first book, ever).

I was going to keep promoting my EC book, but in light of everything: mostly the bad behavior I’ve witnessed on an unnamed blog, comments left on other blogs, and a mysterious Twitter account that reeks of something fishy going on, and the public backlash that ensued in my inbox when I posted an Amazon link to my book on my own FB page I have since removed all my scheduled posts for the month of October in regards to Twisted Revenge (one or two might have slipped past me). I am also doing this because my decisions affect my co-authors Alexandra Webb and Phoebe Chase who wrote books two and three in the Ever After series of which Twisted Revenge is book one of. So if I am out there promoting the book it could reflect poorly on them and until I know for sure how they wish to handle this situation I will wait on scheduling promos and events.

Bottom line is, this is a dog eat dog situation and the only dog I have in this fight is me. I still believe in my book, I support my fellow EC authors, all of them (whether they are still wanting sales or asking for people to stop buying their titles). And I hope, beyond hope, that this can be resolved quickly. But I think that no matter what, no one is coming out of this shit storm without some splatters on them. I am so sad to have lost my editor, to see the freelance editors and artists let go and who have not been paid for their services. Now these hardworking people have to go out and find a new job to support their families. This entire situation sucks for everyone all around.

That pretty much sums up my thoughts and feelings on this whole bad situation. Normally I’d say “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” But unfortunately this is my circus and these are my monkeys.

(Thank you to for finding my missing iBooks link!)

Elephant in the Room

Sometimes something needs to be said, but what do you say when you don’t know what to say? *putting pen to paper to write this blog post up* This might take a bit, but eventually you have to address the elephant in the room.

In the mean time, this blog is getting a new format. I need to keep my posting consistent so that means that if my old format isn’t working consistently than I need to change it up.

Monday will be all about magic… Maybe a picture, maybe a sneak peek at something magical, maybe even a spell.

and

Fridays will be a toss up. If I have authors to feature then that is what I’ll post, if not, then I will post my Friday Five (the five things/books/etc) I am digging right now.

I will probably still post a Tuesday Tease when I have something to share and I’m leaving the rest of the days open for whatever might pop to mind.

Bottom line– Thanks for sticking around. ❤

P.S. If you are an author (indie, hybrid, traditional) and are looking for some free exposure feel free to email me (mia.bishop (at) gmail (dot) com) and I’ll send you the info for my Feature Author Friday!

Changes

This post was posted this morning on The Self-Publishing Experiment, but seeing as how I’ve spoken about this project on my blog as well I wanted to share this here.

 

Previously Posted on SPE:

Sometimes we have to make hard decisions. Tough choices that hurt or might hurt others. It’s one of the suckiest things about being an adult, but it has to be done. It is what it is. It sucks, sometimes you want to cling so tightly to something because it is a part of you, but if you step back you realize that this idea you are holding onto might do better without you… So you have to move on, let it go, and realize that everything is going to be okay… Everything is going to be okay.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to break out in song like some inspirational Disney movie. Just busting out some hard self-truths. When I was little one of my favorite songs was The Gambler by Kenny Rogers. 1978’s wisdom still rings true today.

“You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em

Know when to walk away and know when to run

You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table

There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealing’s done”

I don’t like to give up, I try not to make it a habit, but there are times when you gotta know when to walk away. I have been working on a project co-writing A Demon’s Heart with Alexandra, we’ve talked about it here occasionally so it would be shady if I didn’t address the changes that are taking place behind the scenes and what has changed for the book.

Full Transparency:

We started this project as our NaNoWriMo project last November. The main male character was a character I’ve wanted to write for a long time. I have a huge obsession with the last Russian Royal Family, Rasputin is by far one of my all time favorite real-life villains, and I was excited to tell their sides of a story that I have had bits and pieces of floating around in my head for years. But 10 days into November my world fell apart. Quite literally the life I had known for 12 years came crumbling down one Sunday morning. Life shattered and the other half of my heart walked out of my house in handcuffs.

I cried a lot. And no, I’m not going into all the details of what happened then or what is happening now. But I am explaining this so that you will maybe somewhat understand where my head has been for the past six months. Those first few weeks were complete chaos and fear. I had no idea what I was going to do, how my kids and I were going to survive while the rest of our lives were held in limbo. I couldn’t write. I had been working on two projects: Steamworks and A Demon’s Heart, and dabbling in Waking Up In Chains when all of this happened. Every time I opened scrivener to try to work on them afterwards my hands would shake, full on panic attack would set in, I would just look at the screen, cry and hyperventilate.

But I am prideful. I am a people-pleaser. Co-dependent. Whatever you want to call it. So starting in mid-December through February I pushed myself to try to help finish ADH with Alexandra, but behind my computer screen I was a mere robot and in order to get any words out for this story I had to simply cut off my emotions and the end result (from my prospective) is a very forced and unfocused piece of writing on my end (and I am only speaking about the parts I wrote and how I feel about it). It was hard, my head wasn’t in the right place. If this were a solo project I would just shelve it because it’s too raw of a pain for me to look at, but this is a co-writing project, therefore shelving it isn’t an option.

The only option (for me) was to look at what was best for this project and for Alexandra. My decision was to take my name off of it. A lot can be fixed in editing but all in all, me not being attached to this project is what is best because I can not heal if I have to constantly look back at what I was working on when my old life came tumbling down. It just rips the scab off of the wound and starts to bleed again.

My life being in shambles wasn’t the only reason I made my decision. I also feel like I don’t have enough fans to help drive sales, this type of book will benefit being under one author’s name and a name that has more of a following. That’s just smart marketing tactics. Some readers of one author might have too much of an emotional attachment to their “author” and wouldn’t want to dip their toes into something new. We all know that feeling, you have your favorite pair of shoes, they are comfy and broken in, it almost feels wrong to slip your feet into some new, unknown pair. Secondly, because of my robot-state I don’t feel like I contributed much to the story, sure the Alexei parts and Rasputin parts are there but all in all, I don’t feel like my contribution deserves my name on the cover or any part of the profits. And third, the books POV should be considered. And that is everything I took into consideration, but mostly, it was how I feel, in my heart. This project is just too much for me to deal with while I am still mentally healing and sorting out this new life which to be honest comes with a steep learning curve for everyone involved.

Now other changes that will happen I will leave to Alexandra to explain if she wants to, as is fitting, this is her ship to sail and that is her project.

I am sad, sad that my vision of character ideas I’ve had for a long time won’t be mine, but one day when the past doesn’t hurt I suppose I can look back at that and maybe enjoy the fact that there are bits and pieces of me that might have remained (after some heavy editing LOL). So bottom line is: Sometimes you gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em. Know when to walk away, and know when to run.

So this is me “folding” for now. Other projects (ones started while my head and heart have gotten a bit clearer) are in the works. I have not given up on writing. But I am smart enough to recognize when something isn’t good for my soul. And right now, in this moment, this project isn’t good for my soul. And in related news, Steamworks is shelved indefinitely. My path isn’t set in stone and can’t be defined by what other people choose to do. I walk my own path and sometimes that path needs to be cleared of the rubble and debris; and other times I have to veer off that path and start blazing a new one.

If there is one thing I hope you take away from this post it is this: Do what is best for you. Find your bliss, follow your heart, but don’t get so bogged down by “what you think you should be doing” that you make choices that aren’t in your best interest. Be brave enough to be kind to yourself. Sometimes that is the hardest lesson for us to learn.

Waking Up In Bedlam Available Now

All of my hard work has paid off, Waking Up In Bedlam was release on November 14th! (On schedule, shocking, I know!)

Cover Art by: Something Wicked... Covers By Jamie

Cover Art by: Something Wicked… Covers By Jamie

My life has been full of chaos this month and especially this past week, I’m behind on NaNo this year, but the book launch had to become top priority. This week has been the hardest week of my life and with all of the stress at home I was ready to give up. I told Alexandra Webb (from The Self-Publishing Experiment) that I was giving up, that I couldn’t keep writing with all that was going wrong and luckily she flat out told me “No.” That I couldn’t give up on my dream even with my personal life falling apart all around me. So with her help I picked myself up by the boot-straps and did my best to fake it until I could make it. And the launch happened on schedule, I couldn’t be happier. And I have the greatest friends and support system in the world.

Life is still up in the air, things still hurt deep down, but at the end of the day I have to remind myself that regardless of what life hands me I am always a fighter. I always survive, even if I have to scratch and claw my way through the chaos until I can breathe again. Writing is my dream, sharing my stories with people is what I want to do.

So without further ado, here is my shameless promotions:

Waking Up In Bedlam by Mia Bishop

Blurb:

Ryder is a fake- and he knows it. He spends his days pretending to be a paranormal investigator and his nights entertaining groups of believers with his claims of communicating with the dead. Life is good and business is booming until the night a beautiful woman storms out of his seminar and a mysterious man drops an unexplainable case in his lap. Ryder finds out the world he thought was fake is actually real and even worse, he has become the paranormal world’s most wanted.

Jessa wants answers and the human, Ryder, is the only one who can give them to her. She has one goal, keep him alive long enough to figure our why he has been haunting her dreams. The only problem is the more time she spends with him the more she realizes the answers she seeks are ones she isn’t ready to face.

Can either one of them accept what fate has laid out for them? Or will they fight their destiny at the cost of everyone they hold dear?

If you’d like to check it out here are the links:

Amazon: ebook
http://www.amazon.com/Waking-Bedlam-The-Arcadian-Veil-ebook/dp/B00GN056RS/ref=sr_1_fkmr2_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384441674&sr=8-1-fkmr2&keywords=Waking+Up+In+Bedlam

Createspace: Paperback
https://www.createspace.com/4430146

Amazon: Paperback
http://www.amazon.com/Waking-Bedlam-Arcadian-Veil-Volume/dp/1492388068/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384441674&sr=8-1&keywords=Waking+Up+In+Bedlam

Smashwords
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/377331

And if you’ve read it, please consider leaving a review! I’d greatly appreciate it.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18745403-waking-up-in-bedlam

Slumps and Sadness

Slumps, the blahs, whatever you want to call them… We’ve all had one bad day, one very bad week, and sometimes even a bad season or two.

I really hate that feeling of “blah” it’s uncomfortable and itchy. It makes my head hurt, my eyes burn, and I become the 5 headed Hydra-Mia who can breathe fire, spit acid, and glare laser beams at anyone within a ten mile radius.

I usually get my blahs near the change of the seasons. Not just the cold seasons, those are actually my favorite time of year. Something about the changing of any season seems to send me into the blahs. In every other aspect I welcome and enjoy change. I am one of those people who rearrange all the furniture in the house four times a year (yes with the seasons). The rearranging gives me some sort of solace in this melancholy that I face every three months. I often think I’d be better off moving to a place where the seasons are less defined, and constantly rainy if I had my choice.

What does this have to with writing (since this is a blog about writing)? Everything. When I am in these slumps of depression I can’t write very productively. It takes a lot of effort on my part to stay focused and work. I’m still working though, as tough as it might be. Usually I take weeks to recover, I mope and refuse to write. This year I cannot allow myself such luxuries. I have deadlines, this girl is getting published and I’ll be damn if some mild depression, trouble in my personal life, or anything else is going to stand in my way. Time is the one thing that I have to utilize.

I also need to take off my “Procrastination Crown” and stop dragging my feet, but I felt that airing my depression-woes might do me some good and act like free therapy.

On the plus side, Twisted Revenge for Ellora’s Cave is coming along, I’m on the second round of edits although the ending isn’t wrapping up like I’d hoped but I should be able to get it to behave this week.

Current Works-In-Progress:

Twisted Revenge- In edits

The Brass Circle (Steampunk Short Story for submission)- Writing

Waking Up In Bedlam- In edits

(Everything else is on hold)

By Ernst Rosca from Moscow, Russia (sadness) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Missed Opportunities

Gotta love a good ol’ fashion fuck up. That said, sometimes life gets in the way of what you had planned, you miss a deadline, an important date, miscalculate your checkbook, etc… We’ve all been there and done that. So this is mine, I was supposed to be part of a blog hop but due to power-failures which have been happening all week I missed the boat so to speak. But how can I make this negative into a positive?

Well for one, I was going to do a cover reveal and excerpt from Waking Up In Bedlam which is still in edits and I was going to give away a $10 Amazon gift card. I think that will still be my plan, no reason to not do it just because it’s not part of a planned event.

Beyond that, the only thing to do it is move on, there will be other opportunities to promote myself and get my name out there. So while it sucks that I missed it, it is another lesson learned. And I’m moving on.

So… Friday, July 26th (tomorrow), I will be doing my cover reveal and posting an excerpt from Waking Up In Bedlam and I will be having a drawing. All you have to do is comment on the post tomorrow and you are automatically entered in the drawing for a $10 Amazon Gift Card. A winner will be picked via Rafflecopter.

❤ Mia

All problems are opportunities in disguise.

All problems are opportunities in disguise.

Progress Made

Waking Up In Bedlam is getting just a little bit closer to being finished. I’ve been working on the edits for the second draft, I’ve gotten great feedback from one of my Beta Readers (still waiting for more). I made a smashwords account in anticipation of publishing my story. And I signed up for a blog hop in July, that is a big step for me. I’m hella nervous and super excited all at the same time.

Last but not least, I have my cover! I like it, it is simple and not overdone or gaudy looking. I have a pet peeve about covers that have way too much going on in them, I like simple, not plain but easy on the eyes. So I hope when my cover is revealed that people like it. *fingers crossed*

Anyways, my goal this week are:

-To finish up the edits for the second draft of Waking Up In Bedlam by the weekend so that it can go out for another round of clean ups.

-To hit a word count of 10k by Sunday on my newest WIP

-To finish my Beta Reading for my Friend Alexandra Webb by Sunday also.

 

Gonna be a busy couple of days, maybe I can buy some Z-quil and knock my husband out for 72 hours so I can get it all finished up. LOL, I kid, I kid.

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