From Kotaku via a Facebook friend. Don’t know why, but this really got me cracking up this morning. How did I never notice this? And how does everyone keep a straight face?
This was an eye-opening read on the production of an Avengers sequel. Usually, studios have actors locked up for three or so films in the contract for the first movie (if certain thresholds are met). But several of the Avengers crew are not locked down for a follow-up. And Downey has spoken recently of retiring his portrayal of Iron Man (hard to believe after the massive opening weekend the latest film had). He has also, after making 25 TIMES as much as fellow actors on Avengers, stated that he will play hardball to get the rest of the cast what it deserves for any potential sequel.
I’ve read a few articles on this, and it has shocked me to hear how brutal Marvel is with their negotiations. Not that I assume filmakers are or should be overly generous, but you see the quality of actor and director they hire, the ability to put together an ensemble like this, and you figure it comes from paying people what they deserve. Instead, you get the sense that, like every Bruce Banner to date, the actors are expendable. It’s the tights that matter.
Could we see an Avengers 2 that features a mostly-new cast? It would be weird, but I’m sure they could pull it off. It burst my bubble a little bit, as I would love nothing more than two more films with the existing crew and Joss at the helm. In fact, I would love to see an odd experiment performed. Offer two different ticket prices, one with an extra $2 tacked on that goes to the entire crew (not just the cast), evenly distributed. Every single penny makes it back to them, no administration costs. How many moviegoers would pay an extra $2 knowing where it would end up? As much as I complain about ticket prices and the cost of popcorn, I would do it gladly. Then again, I stayed through the credits of Iron Man 3 (totally worth it), and it looked like a few million people were involved in the making of the film. So I doubt the extra $10 in everyone’s pockets would be all that appreciated.
If any one person is to thank (or blame) for Wool fan fiction, it’s David Adams. One of the best members of KBoards (which is to say the most helpful, most uplifting, and most entertaining of members), David has been a huge supporter of my work since the very beginning. He put up the first (and only?) video review of Wool and started numerous threads about the series (one of my favorite was this Hollywool mockup).
But it was his fan fiction that really blew me away. Before the SHEAR TERROR piece (which I loved and which you can find on the fan fic page), there was NEW FLEECE ON LIFE. It was the first true piece of fan fiction written in the Wool world, and it started as little more than a forum post. One that blew me away for it’s brilliant and moving What If?
Now, I get a lot of questions about this fan fiction stuff, and one of the things people seem most wary of is the idea of having something written that conflicts with “canon.” This has never been a concern for me, and I think it’s because I grew up on comics, where origin stories are rewritten, comics rebooted, alternate universes explored, and nothing is set in stone.
In fact, one of my favorite comic series growing up was the Marvel What If? series. Narrated by The Watcher, these comics revealed the outcome of major events in the Marvel universe had they gone a different way. The exploratory nature was fun. It was like a formal daydream in a known world. I loved them.
Which is why David’s take on Wool knocked my socks off. You see, he un-kills a beloved character. We get to see what would have happened if Holston survived his cleaning. No, not a spoiler, as the story begins with this moment. And it is tenderly treated, moving me to tears on my first reading. Even better, David brings characters from his Lacuna series and intermingles the two casts together. It is a fan fiction mash-up, and brilliantly done.
For a dollar, it can’t be beat. And it’s a great introduction to one of the future stars of indie publishing. David is a complete natural. He writes with a cinematic style and creates believable characters. I’m honored that he not only dabbled in my world, but brought a piece of his into it. Thanks, David.
Stop the presses. Neil Gaiman is coming to Miami to speak and sign books. The event is being put on by Books & Books, the best independent bookstore in Florida (if not the universe). The date is June 23rd, which happens to be my birthday. The only thing that makes sense to me is that the geek gods have granted me a birthday wish after years of successfully huffing out all of my candles. It works out for everyone, though, as it seems that I’m not the only one the event is open to. You can all come!
I listened to Neil speak at SXSW this year, and it was one of the highlights of my book tour. The man is an inspiration to me and so many others, not just as readers but as artists. He is a pioneer in the joy of giving away one’s work and seeing that rewarded by a growing readership. His wife is also an inspiration who shares many of his philosophies. Two speeches you simply MUST see follow, one is a commencement address Neil gave two years ago, and the other is from his wife, Amanda Palmer, a musician who gave one of the best TED talks you’ll ever see:
Last week, fully half of the top 10 bestselling ebooks were self-published. There’s an interesting story on Forbes about this trend, as well as a link to Digital Book World’s analysis.
At this year’s Digital Book World conference in New York, my agent and I were invited on stage to talk about the benefits of hybrid publishing. What seemed a neologism then feels old-hat now. And the number of authors moving from traditional to self and from self to traditional is blurring the distinction between the two. Interestingly, with the commercial success of so many self-published authors, the advice that was mocked a year ago is now being bandied about like a truism: Take control of your publishing future. Do not be afraid of getting your work in the hands of the reader. Ignore the sages of old and listen to your gut. And keep writing.
At least, that’s what I think I’m doing. Peg Fitzgerald and the APE team (Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch) are having me over for a Google Hangout. If you can’t make it, the interview should be available for your viewing suffering latter. I think this is the correct link.
Going on at 7PM EST. I have dog treats to ensure a Bella cameo.
I honestly have no idea. I was sent this by email. I think it’s from China. If your phone blows up, it’s not my fault.
Well, it is my fault. But I’m not taking the blame.
Okay, I’m taking the blame, but I’m not buying you a new phone.
Just updated the Fan Fiction page to reflect the new stories being released, and I saw Lyn Perry’s comment on the page about what it would mean if I started writing fan fiction within the fan fiction. And this got me thinking about what fan fiction reminds me of. It’s jazz. The literary equivalent of jazz.
Most people have a positive reaction to fan fiction. I’m aware that some (mostly other authors) frown on the stuff. I’m not sure why. One of my favorite albums is Diana Krall singing the greats. She’s singing other people’s music, a common practice in Jazz, but giving it her own spin, her own voice. I remember looking at versions of “Summertime” a while back and finding out that there are hundreds of recordings from various artists. I was tempted to collect and listen to them all.
Some talented writers are playing around with the silos. I could easily see myself jumping in their world and playing with them. How is that different from five or six musicians hopping on stage for an impromptu jam session and riffing off one another’s works (and the works of those not even present or perhaps not alive)? Literary jazz. Some might hate on this; everyone else is tapping their feet.
Two new short stories started that I hope to have finished soonest. Don’t worry, this is in addition to my work on DUST, which is moving along nicely. The first of these is THEY COME FROM THE EAST, which is for a science fiction anthology with a western theme. The challenge here is that it can’t be a western in space, which has been done plenty (FIREFLY was my favorite of these). It needs to take place in the Wild West but be science fiction. Imagine the challenges if you will. We know the history of that place, so you have to take extreme liberties or be quite clever. I’m bad at the latter, but I’m giving that route a shot anyway.
The other short is KILL SCREEN, which is for an anthology with a video game theme. I get asked to contribute to anthologies all the time, and usually have to decline due to time constraints. But I really enjoyed the pitch for these two collections, and I think I have stories that will only marginally be the worst of the bunch. Fingers crossed. One of these is due in two weeks!
(2,000+ words in DUST thus far today, so no hostilities in the comments!)
Jordan is in the sixth grade. He made the following book trailer for an English class project. Compare this with my first book trailer, which I made a few years ago. Yup, outdone by a sixth grader. The story of my life since third grade.
Patrice Fitzgerald just released the second book in her Karma series. The first book (The Sky Used to be Blue) took off like a banshee, and I hear this one is even better. Mike Tabor is doing the covers for her works, which makes me feel a bit like Jon Stewart. Nothing would make me happier than sitting here at my old desk while the far more talented people around me have glimmering careers that put my five minutes of fame to shame. Seriously, I fantasize about such things.
Along with Patrice and W.J. Davies, another writer sure to outshine me is Jason Gurley. The second part of his series is out now. I love these covers. Be sure to check out part one. It’s been doing very well.
You know, I have no idea why people even want to write in a world I made up; it’s surreal to me. I certainly don’t ask anyone to or expect it. But I find it incredibly flattering that talented writers are exploring the silos, and I love that you all are supporting them. I just hope I can ask these authors to write blurbs for my books one day. I notice Jon Stewart’s books are slathered with far more famous names — those people who have gracefully left him in the dirt. Don’t forget about me, Patrice and Wes and Jason!