Category Archives: fantasy

IMPORTANT PLEASE READ! CHANGES!

Not too long ago, on my FaceBook page, I left a cryptic message saying I had made the hardest decision of my life. Well here’s the skinny on that. On July 17th, I requested a reversion of rights from Liquid Silver Books for Illusion of Night, Memory in Shadow and Soul Fires. Illusion of Night and Memory in Shadow will revert back to me on August 31st and Soul Fires on December 31st, 2017. So, if you or someone you love – who loves male/male erotic fiction— wants to purchase them they have until those dates to do so.

I know I said I was going to complete the series and I apologize but the fact of the matter is, life has been pretty chaotic. Some of you may know I was recently separated from my 9 to 5 and will be filing suit. I’m not going to get into the particulars. The good thing is the change has kicked my Muse into overdrive and within the space of two months I’ve either written new stories or re-written old ones. So far, I’ve sent out about five and am working on a sixth. These I have sent them using my real name so I’ll be changing everything on my sites and social media to conform in the near future.

And I’m not going to stop writing erotica, I’ll go back to it in the future, however right now, it’s not feasible both time and finance-wise. Many of my fellow erotic authors are having the same issues with sales. They’ll tell you that it’s frustrating and disheartening to create tens, even hundreds of thousands of words only to have little if anything to show for it.

And I’m still working to get into mainstream. I’ve gotten a few full requests to agents for Tinderbox, so I’m waiting to hear on those but I’m also sending it out to publishers. And I want to keep at this momentum. I haven’t been here at a long time.

As stated, this wasn’t an easy choice but I believe it’s time for a change. And things as you may know have been changing quite a bit for me. Ten years at the same nine to five and suddenly I’m handed my walking papers for something I didn’t even do. Maybe this and my new found want to write are some kind of sign from the cosmos.

I’ll still be around though and will keep providing updates, likely on FaceBook and Twitter as those are the best places to find me. I’ll be temporarily closing my site after this, however this blog will remain open and active.

I don’t quite know what will happen in the near future. I tend to concentrate on the now but I know what I am doing is the right thing for me. And always your patience is appreciated.

Peace~

CJ

Mini-Musing 8/1/16–More Authors Found!

I definitely need to go through my hundreds of books more often.  I found more authors who’s books I either don’t recall reading (probably because I hadn’t) or books where their were sequels that I lost track of.  But you know it’s like finding buried treasure.  Yes, I have THAT MANY books and my TBR pile is growing exponentially.

 

BTW, I just purchased Sharon Shinn’s, Royal Airs – Second in the Elemental Blessings Series.  Can’t wait for it to arrive! 

 

So I discovered the original version of Dawn Cook’s – a.k.a. Kim HarrisonFirst Truth.  So I’m relieved to learn you can get the remaining of the series although I’m trying to find the copies with the gorgeous new covers. 

 

And I can’t believe I found this really old book I bought at a used book store © 1961 called What Happened to Amy.  A mystery thriller by Jane Edwards.  I didn’t want to handle it too much so I placed it in a plastic storage bag.  I actually found it on Amazon and some insane person wants $2300.00 dollars for it.  Listen, I love books but no effing way.  Of course if someone wants to buy my copy for $2300.00…. Winking smile

 

Hazard’s Price by Robert S. Stone has a sequel but sadly, it appears the author passed away.  So it will continue to grace my shelves.

 

Animist by Eve Forward.  Not finding anything else about her online.  This may have to go onto my missing authors list.  However, I’m certain I haven’t read this book so I’m putting it on the front of the shelves.

 

The Sharing Knife Volume One: Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold.  And it looks like the rest of the series is available!  So it will go on my wish list.  And I’ll read the first book…first.

 

So who knows what I will find next clean-up?

 

Peace~

CJ

Musings 7/10/16: These are a Few of my Favorite…Authors!

I thought since my last Musings was about the scarier aspect of the business, I thought I’d do something in contrast.  So with this Musing I’m going to discuss one of the best things about this business — US!  Authors I mean.  Hell, there wouldn’t be a business without us, right?  Anyway, I thought maybe I’d just mention some of my favorite authors and their works.  This list will not only present fantasy authors, but romance and paranormal as well.  And feel free to comment with your own works.  Who knows, maybe I’ll discover a new favorite?

Charlotte’s WebEB White

This is, and always will be, my favorite book.  More contemporary fantasy, I read this so many times as a child I committed it to memory!

The Chronicles of Narnia CS Lewis

Yes, that’s right.  I have the entire series.  And now that I’ve looked him up, I remembered he has a science-fiction series as well and I plan on getting that as well.  Which is my favorite?  Do you even have to ask?  And it looks like a movie for The Silver Chair is in the works!

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz L Frank Baum

The book, not the movie — although the movie is fabulous as well as we all know.  The link goes to the movie site.  I’ve only read the one so far but I want the whole series.

Let’s jump ahead a little bit.

The Death of the Necromancer Martha Wells

I’ve read a few more of her books but this is my favorite.  And I seriously need to catch up.

The Tortall Universe Tamora Pierce

For some unexplainable reason, I got out of her series.  yes, I know technically it’s for young adults but, so?  I want to pick up where I left off, although I may need to start over again.

Poison Study Maria V Snyder

I have the first three books in this series but once again, I got out of them but that’s going to change soon.  I actually met Ms. Snyder several years ago at a book signing.  Very nice lady.

The Evenmere Chronicles – James Stoddard

I haven’t seen or heard anything of this author in years.  The last time I saw his site, which appears to be gone now or at least I get an error message, he said he was working on something new.  A third book was published by a small press in the UK.  I guess he should have gone on my other list.

The Anteros Series Allan Cole and Chris Bunch

Starting with The Far Kingdoms.  I also met Allan Cole at a signing and made a complete  idiot of myself by acting like some silly fan-girl.  I’m cringing with embarrassment now even as I recall it and write this.  Hopefully I’ve matured.  But hey, I love me some Amalric Emilie Antero.

The Chronicles of the Necromancer Series –  Gail Z Martin

Another author and series I need to get back into.  Also I have the first three books in the series and the fourth waiting in the wings.

The Sword of Change and The Chronicles of Josan – Patricia Bray

I interviewed her on my website WAY BACK in the day before CJ Black ever came into existence.

Elemental Blessings Series Sharon Shinn

I’ve read other works of hers but I’m on Troubled Waters now and this is going to become one of my top favorites.  I just wish she was on Twitter or Facebook!

The Mist-Torn Witches (Series)Barb Hendee

I’m waiting to start on the second book of the series which is sitting on my shelf.

Here are a list of romance authors who have written too many books to mention and I’ve pretty much read everything of theirs that I can get my hands on.  Some you’ll probably know even if you don’t read romance.

Beverly Jenkins:  I absolutely love her African-American Historical Romances!  And yes, I pretty much have them all and I believe one of her contemporaries as well.  Have to check the shelves.  Hey and I just checked her site and saw she’s written others since I purchased Night Hawk.  Time for a trip to B&N.

Sharon Sala: Excellent author and Facebook friend.  Need to look over her site to see what I’m missing.  AKA Dinah McCall.

Debbie Macomber:  I am really missing a lot of new works in the romance aisles.  I need to hop to it!  And she has a series on the Hallmark Channel!

Linda Howard

Nora Roberts: Need I say more?

Dorothy Garlock

JoAnn Ross

Wow!  I have a ridiculous amount of catching up to do with some of these authors.  Time really does fly doesn’t it?  There are likely more so I may make a part two of this list.

So what are some of your favorite authors and why?

 

Peace~

CJ

p.s. Maybe I’ll tackle video-games next.

 

MUSINGS ~ 2/20/15 – Writing The Way I See It: Changes in the Industry

OK, here’s what I’ve been doing as of late…
I haven’t been writing.
My brother is down with a little bug so I’m having him relax and I went out at his request and bought him some soup and Gatorade.  He’s now resting quite comfortably and has been marathoning Daria and Mother-UP.
Meanwhile I went out and had a somewhat smallish Me Day.  I avoided the bookstore and decided to put a serious hurt on my store card.  Hey, I think I earned it.
At the 9 to 5, I continue with my relentless schmoozing in order to obtain a newly available assistant manager position.  This will of course mean a bigger mini-office, higher pay and business cards! Woo Hoo!  Ok — well, I’m going to make a PowerPoint presentation this weekend to present to the powers that be.
And it looks like I’m going to swing a C in my last Algebra class so it appears I will finally earn my degree by the end of March.  And now I’m thinking of going for my Bachelors…yes, I’m insane.  But at least there will be no more Algebra. 
Right now I have a three day weekend to enjoy.  And a brand new XBOX One! Anyone else have a Gold Membership?  I’ve used my old name Bellatrix Thorn and am currently working on a very interesting artistic RPG called Child of Light.
Oh yes, and I’m still not writing.
I have been asking questions though.  Like on Twitter today, I posted these…
I’m confused. Why would a lit agent request a full & then never respond to the author again? It’s very discouraging. #literaryagent #MSWL
Especially if your site says, we respond to everything & I’ve seen responses to authors who submitted queries after me. #literaryagent #MSWL
An email with a, no thanks, would suffice. I know you’re busy but you asked for my full for a reason didn’t you? #literaryagent #MSWL
I think they’re fair and not meant to bad-mouth anyone.  I just want to know why.  This business is hard enough.  And of course, so far I’ve received no response except from a fellow author.  In my last post I revealed that I had a few full and partial requests out and waiting for a response.  It’s been months — no for one, it’s been a year and a month and the other, its been six months.  The yearlong one received two nudges, the six month one got a nudge after four — and that was three months ago. I also saw on Query Tracker, the agent in question received a query from someone in October, requested a full in December and offered representation a week later.  A full two months after my full request.
So I’m assuming his answer was no?  Neither agent has a no response, means no policy, and I can find little to no information about what’s going on with either one of them.  Then there are the thirty or so queries which never received a response (and of them only about four had the no response means no policy) although I’ve again seen the same agents answering the queries of others.  Maybe they got caught in their SPAM folders?  Maybe, but forty?  And others have received my letters.
I was going to name names, but I decided not to after all.  Who needs that aggravation?  Then again, if someone really wants to know…   
I just want to know what’s going on.
Some may see I’ve been back and forth a bit lately about my writing.  I made a comment on FaceBook about how I made a promise to myself, that I would retire from the business at the end of the year if I didn’t get published.  That I was just tired.  And of course, the first response I got was someone saying that maybe instead of making resolutions, I should try and work on my craft.  If you’re planning to do that, I ask that you don’t.  Or if you must, try reading my last two blog posts which explains a lot about how I’m feelings and my experience.
However, if you’d like to share your own experiences in my comments, feel free.  Whether you got THE CALL or not.
Meanwhile I’m trying to decide if maybe I shouldn’t wait until the end of the year.  A couple of things happened making me want to. The issues were resolved but still I can’t seem to get my groove back.  I’ve been trying to keep myself up and be positive but the more time passes, the more I just don’t want to anymore. 
And why don’t I make up my mind then?  Because I LOVE WRITING!  I love it with a passion and don’t even want to think of quitting.  That’s why I hang on, but hanging on has become a lot of work lately and I’m getting a little too old for this.  But then I have all these ideas that have been screaming to get out for years.  For people to see them, read and enjoy them.  I know people will LOVE my work as much as I do.  Hell, I’ve been published via online, so I know I must be doing something right or at least I thought I was.  Getting those full and partial requests told me that I had finally reached that point that all writers strive for.  You’re a true professional.  You’ve written the perfect query, synopsis and most important of all, THE BOOK!  Now without getting any type of a response, how can I be sure anymore?
So I really don’t know what I’m going to do but I wish I did.
Well I do know what I can’t do, and that’s self-publish.  I’ve been researching for months now and I simply can’t afford it.  That and the fact that I simply don’t want to chance it.  I can’t spend thousands of dollars on the risk that I won’t even make a quarter of that back.  I have to give props to the writers who have successfully self-published and have made back what they put in and then some.
And of course, there is this:
By Shana Ting Lipton 
February 13, 2015
Vanity Fair
I’m not saying it’s a bad article, it’s very well written.  And I’d like to see what Ms. Lipton thinks of my post.  But I mean have you read the article?  Go ahead, I’ll wait…
Done?  OK.  As you saw, it basically states that literary agents are now searching the web for the next Fifty Shades or A Pound of Flesh by reading more fan-fiction.  Also by going on Watt Pad among other places to continue their search.
*Hey wait a sec, I’m on Watt Pad?  When the hell did I sign up for that? Why did I sign up for it?!
The article begins of course by citing Fifty Shades and its phenomenal success.  
*Oh, BTW, here’s the score for the Fifty Shades movie on my favorite review site, Rotten Tomatoes
Part of me feels vindicated, yet part of me is thinking…well all respect for erotic works just got flushed down the toilet…
The article goes on to state that literary agent Lorella Belli, : “…snagged a six-figure advance from Simon & Schuster for her author Sophie Jackson’s forthcoming trilogy, A Pound of Flesh, which also started out as Twilight fanfic.”
I mentioned this of course in a previous post.   The article continues by Belli saying her fan-fiction authors have solicited her directly. And that “…submissions she receives from fan-fiction authors are often higher in quality than the average submission.”
This must be something new since every agent I’ve dealt with have said that if a writer so much as suggests that they would like to send redone fan-fiction there will be some serious hell to pay.
*Hold up…does that mean that my works are not as good as fan fiction?!
“It’s almost like having thousands of editors at one time,” said first-time novelist Anna Todd who credits fan fiction and its open-forum style with helping develop her writing chops.”
Wow.  OK, that’s great for her and all, but, you know there was a time when there was no WattPad, Amazon Kindle Worlds, or FanFiction.net.  Hell there was no internet!  Yes, I’m repeating myself.  So I had to develop my writing chops by actually writing original works or as original as they could possibly be.  And keep writing them with no one to judge them but me and of course my English teacher.  No millions of discerning readers to tell me what was right and wrong.  Just writing, researching and studying.  That’s how I developed my chops.  I wonder what she would have done back then?  But then again it simply doesn’t seem to matter anymore.
Keep reading.  I’m naming names now.
Jennifer Udden, a literary agent at Donald Maass in New York concurred, adding: “[The film studios] don’t care about the stories; they just care about numbers, for better or worse.” As an avid fan-fic reader, Udden is less focused on fanfic page views, and more interested in connecting with authors who can develop compelling characters and a good story structure, to see if they have any original work that doesn’t involve copyrighted characters.”
Um…I did that.  I mean made an original story with everything you asked for and you — well more accurately your agency, turned me down.  And shouldn’t you as a literary agent care about the stories?  Why would you want to deal with someone who didn’t?  I always thought literary agents had to fall in love with the story or at least that’s what they always say on their sites, blogs and in interviews.  So that doesn’t count anymore?
Caitlin McDonald, an associate literary agent at Sterling Lord Literistic in New York and vocal champion of fan fiction, admitted, “Fanfic is always treading that fine line,” between fiction-inspired original writing and copyright-infringing work.”
Um…Ms. McDonald…you don’t have to worry about my work infringing on anyone’s copyright — hell not even Hans Christian Andersen!  Unfortunately, she’s already said no too.
“Turning a work of fan fiction into a publishable book can be as simple as “filing off the serial numbers”
Um…isn’t that plagiarism?  And again, you don’t have to worry about that with me.
“Belli feels the snobbery and criticism leveled against Fifty Shades of Grey and fanfic-based books like it is “small-minded”: “Fifty Shades of Grey has put loads of cash into publishers’ pockets around the world, who can buy more books, and has opened up the market in an incredible way,” she says.”
OK, silly me, I’m just a snob.  I’m being completely dishonest when I say the changes in the literary world are somewhat disturbing to me.  How so many years and such hard work are being reduced to basically nothing.  How the literary gatekeepers insisted all these years on creating your own works, on making that perfect query and synopsis and yet now they say, we’ll take re-done fan-fiction or ask for a full on a 140 word pitch.
Maybe I’m too old fashioned.  Maybe I should just go with the flow.  I said on my last post, maybe I’ll just give in and write some Hunger Games fan-fiction, change a few names, times and places and start sending it out.  And all of my works?  The ones that I can say are truly mine?  Put them in the closet I guess.
*And again, isn’t this annoying Stephenie Meyer just a little?  Having all these people make money off her work?
Or I could just retire like I planned.
I don’t want to take someone else’s story and try to call it my own.  I’ve done fan-fiction but for me it’s always been a separate entity and mainly for fun.  Nor do I want to struggle to shove an entire 95,000 word manuscript into 140 words.  It took me years to get what I thought was the perfect query and synopsis.  And most recently, I got a Publisher’s Marketplace Page.
I want my work to be my own or at the very least something that I thought of, maybe inspired by another story like Tinderbox, but not coming from a ready-made package.
If the literary gatekeepers no longer want to do it the old fashioned way, then it is time for me to ride off into the sunset.
Peace~
CJ

Musings 7/30/14 ~ Writer’s Digest: How About Our Lit Agent Stories?

It’s Wednesday and I’m sitting here having my coffee and taking one last stab at looking up literary agents.  I’ve been at this game for awhile.  I know we’re not supposed to say that, but sometimes you have to wonder why not?  I’ve read articles where the writers says, don’t say you’ve been trying to get published for a long time.  So saying, “I’ve been working to be published for years,” will cause agents and editors to be turned off?  I always thought that when you worked to achieve something for several years or more that it showed determination to succeed.  That you truly wanted what you were fighting for.  That you developed experience that no one else had.  It’s how you succeed in business and writing and publishing although a love, is also a business.

My research often involves stopping by Writers Digest.com and partaking of the various articles including the How I Found My Literary Agent forum by Chuck Sambuchino, which is always of interest.  But something I noticed, and I just tweeted @ChuckSambuchino to ask – I mean, asking never hurts right?

Many of the postings are from authors, and props to them, who were able to obtain their agents within a few months to a year.  It’s wonderful but – what about those of us who haven’t quite yet reached that pinnacle?  Looking at them perhaps the rest of us may wonder, what are we doing wrong?  We’re doing everything that needs to be done.  We’ve done a complete Remington Steele, you know, studied and apprenticed, we’ve read, we’ve written, we’ve had our work beta-read, and we wrote the perfect query.  We’ve had bites, we’ve even published online but we have still haven’t quite made it.
Then of course, the doubts start creeping in.  That little voice that says, you know exactly why you haven’t received an offer.  You try to ignore it but it isn’t always easy.  A little encouragement goes a long way.

I believe it would be helpful if the forum posted a story from someone who had to take a big chunk of their lives before they succeeded for various reasons.  Life sometimes gets in the way.  Did I say sometimes?  How about a ridiculous number of times?  It would be very heartening to see that despite this, there is success at the end of the tunnel.
Now I know people have to volunteer to post but as previously stated, I’m hoping there is somewhere in the archives, an instance like this.  And if not, I’d like to encourage my fellow authors who had to take the long road to an offer to post.  From the WD.com site and as Chuck Sambuchino wrote, “If you have a literary agent and would be interested in writing a short guest column for this GLA blog, e-mail me at literaryagent@fwmedia.com and we’ll talk specifics.”

I for one would be very interested in seeing these stories.  Anyone else?  Post your support here.

It’s off to the 9 to 5 for me in a little bit.  Have a fab day, everyone!

Peace~
CJ Black

Amy Snyder

Just hanging out with my imaginary friends

Notes from the Teleidoplex

Transmitting the Broadcast Signal of the Universe

K. Johnson's Attempt at Literary Life

Writing - Editing - Agent Life

Tony Pi, F&SF Writer

Blog and Author Website

Disastercake

Disastercake is a lover and creator of JRPGs

Ends and Beginnings

"The World is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning."-Ivy Baker Priest

Kathleen S. Allen

Young Adult/MG and Adult Author

Nathalie M.L. Römer - Independent Multi-Genre Author

Current work includes fantasy, and science fiction and other genres coming in the near future. Follow me on Twitter @nmlromer for news! Visit www.nathaliemlromer.com for most information about my books and about me!

Lorelle on WordPress

utorials about WordPress, blogging, social media, and having your say on the web.

Live to Write - Write to Live

We live to write and write to live ... professional writers talk about the craft and business of writing

Amy M. Newman

The Literary Mom: Wife, Mom, Reader, and YA Author

Author CJ Black

Taking you to fantastic worlds where the heroes love their men and the sex is red-hot.

Robby Cook

Illustrator, Animator, Character Designer

Ink and Quills

tips and tools to tell your story

J. Kathleen Cheney

Tales from the Golden City

JILL ARCHER

THE NOON ONYX SERIES: GENRE-BENDING FANTASY

Violette Malan / VM Escalada

What's New in Violette's World