Archive for July, 2010

Two weeks ago, we had the privilege of hosting artist Jake Murray for our “In the Biz” column. This week, we return to writers with blogger Rebecca Hargreaves from Diary of a Virgin Novelist. Whether you’re looking to write your first e-book, or determined to go the traditional route, Rebecca’s fearlessly candid responses are as refreshing as they are inspiring. But don’t take my word for it… (more…)


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This morning, NPR reported that the Wylie Agency, a top literary agency, has teamed with Amazon on a joint venture to electronically publish what’s known as ‘back-list titles,’ best-sellers written long before the age of e-books. The publishing industry wasn’t happy, particularly Random House. In a quintessential display of the kind of pig-headed mentality that has alienated authors (like myself) from traditional publishing, RH essentially blacklisted the Wylie Agency, refusing to enter into any future (English language) agreements with any of its clients. This act on their behalf has left some bloggers, that is Café Lopez, extremely confused as to the message they’re trying to send. (more…)

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I haven’t been devoting much time to the blog lately due to the final developmental stages on the book. But this I had to share:

Dear Mark,

Thank you for your query, and I apologize for the delay in response.  I have reviewed the work, and decided to pass at this time.  I wish you the best of luck, and success in the publishing world. (more…)

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Café Lopez is a place devoted to writing and creativity. We avoid movie reviews because they’re a dime a dozen, but sometimes a movie deserves praise no matter how many people have reviewed it. Inception is one of those movies. It’s complex yet simple, layered just enough to be a thrilling heist or an existential thought provoker. And it’s been wildly successful. A $60 million opening for an original property? Incredible. And you know what’s even better? This is a film that challenges its audiences, and people are responding. I know of at least one other soon to be released property that expects the same from its audience. So in the hopes that I can one day repeat Nolan’s success, allow me to plant an idea into your head…


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Last week, I had the privilege of hiring artist Jake Murray to design the cover to my book, The Dead Don’t Cry. With a keen eye for subtlety and a love for science fiction, he is bringing to life characters that have until now existed only in my imagination. But that trick isn’t unique to him. What is, however, is the level of thought he brings to his work. Regarding the angle he chose for my cover and the tilt reflected therein, he writes:

The “worm’s-eye” viewpoint gives us a sense that these two characters are strong (at least stronger than us because we have to look up to them), while the tilted angle suggests unbalance. They are strong, but their world is not stable.

Jake has not read TDDC, yet he understands perfectly the theme I was aiming for. In today’s “In the Biz,” he shares some more of his wisdom with us all! (more…)

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Well, this is exciting. Sketches for TDDC’s cover art are in, and they are fantastic! But don’t take my word for it…

The artist’s name is Jake Murry. I hired him for two reasons: he understands subtlety and the power of contradiction. TDDC’s cover must convey beauty and danger in equal measure, and if possible, an underlying sense of hope. Difficult themes to illustrate, but perfectly captured in the first sketch…so why is it so hard for me not to choose the second? I love its energy, composition, tilt, the immediate danger posed in its framing. I admit – this probably isn’t the best direction to take, and it would probably be better suited for, say, an image in a trailer. But I’m curious, what do you think? For those of you who haven’t read The Dead Don’t Cry, which would be more likely to draw your attention?

Looking forward to your input!

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First off, wow, In the Biz was a hit. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and applauding Suzanne’s responses. I hope some of our new guests stick around. Café Lopez has a lot to share in the days/months/years ahead 🙂

A couple of days ago, I came across a little tidbit about one of my favorite books, William Faulkner’s A Light in August. To be fair, the source was Wikipedia, so there’s no telling how universal this opinion may be, but it drew my attention nevertheless:

Supposedly, one summer evening while sitting on a porch, [William Faulkner’s] wife remarked on the strange quality that light in the south has during the month of August. Faulkner rushed out of his chair to his manuscript, scratched out the original title, and penciled in Light in August. (But this is probably apocryphal given the huge symbolic role that both light and the month of August play in the novel.)

The first thing I did was look up the definition for apocryphal. My next act was to challenge the writer’s claim. You see, to me, the story sounds perfectly plausible. If there’s one thing that I think all writers can agree on, it’s that some most of our best ideas come from the unlikeliest of places. Don’t believe me? Then consider the origin of the title to The Dead Don’t Cry. (more…)

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