Fan Love
Kameron's Maiden of Pain is the focus of this month's book club over at Worlds of D&D. I haven't had a chance to keep up on all of the topics, but a quick scan turned up a few criticisms noting that the novel wasn’t dark enough. Fans want dark fantasy, the posters reasoned, so why won’t authors and editors answer the market demand?

I can understand the complaint, but for better or worse, our Realms novels are all PG-13. Unless you are a parent, you might forget just how young 13 is. (And unless you are 13, you have probably forgotten just how savvy 13-year olds can be, but that is a topic for another post.)

Assaulting the novel because it isn’t dark fantasy is like complaining that it doesn’t have enough Jedi or Ewoks. That’s not the book Kam was hired to write.

I understand that this sort of criticism comes with the territory. When you accept that royalty check you are also accepting a role as a public figure. And I know dozens of writers that would sell pounds of flesh for the chance to write a book and be faulted on-line. Still, it’s hard to see it happen to a friend.

On the Road Again
H is back on the East Coast helping out her family, so I'm on the road for a long weekend of writing and skating. This lifestyle has become something of an addiction: no phone, no obligations, just friends to see, worlds to write and concrete to fall down on. I can't tell you where I'm sleeping, but with a pickup truck and a tent, I'm not too worried about it.

If any of you ever catch me complaining about my life, slap me.*

*As I'm typing this, I'm wondering if that last sentence came off a little too “My life is so cool that you must hate yours.” Just in case my meaning might be misconstrued, let me clarify by simply noting that I’m thankful for all I’ve been given. I’m no more talented or brilliant than the next writer (and my spelling is worse than most). If my finite career is a tribute to anything, it’s a testament to dogged, single-minded persistence. So go forth and write.

I love my life and I hope yours is just as fantastic.

From the "My Life Is Cool ...
Just found out who will be painting the cover to "Into the Wilds." There are handful of TSR artists I idolized as a child. Having one illustrate a work of mine is just plain silly.

....and Yours is Too, Damnit" file
Erik got the green light on this second Realms novel! Cheers!

Now if there rest of us would just hear if we've been bumped. Erin? Collins? Jaliegh? <--- Never mind, good money says she got one. >:)

Why I Think You’re a Rock Star
Our culture makes it really easy to be passive. This isn’t entirely bad --- for instance, it makes it possible for chumps like to me sell to writing --- but it can’t be denied that given the choice between sitting down a watching a movie, or sitting down and writing a screen play, most of us are going to choose to be passive.

Again, this isn’t all bad. It’s not like I’ve recorded any songs for my ipod recently. But it does highlight why you are a rock star: in a culture where passivity is encouraged, the mere act of creation is worthy of praise.

You had the choice and decided to take the difficult route. You’ve chose to risk failure and ridicule. You chose to create.*

The result may not have been a work of genius, but it is yours. And if you keep writing (composing, painting, coding, whatever) eventually you will get good. It’s part of our contract --- despite the universes’ insatiable drive for entropy, humans get better at the things they practice. We build things up.

So despite the universe, our culture, and that Xbox in the living room, you stepped up to the plate and made something happen. That’s pretty impressive.

Now, if you’ll forgive me, I’ve been stalling for too long. Time to write.

*Endnote that I found amusing. I’ve been talking about constructive criticism and the power of creation. Now imagine the sort of complaints God gets (he/she/it, depending on your belief system, or lack thereof). That guy must be so fed up. ;)


At 1:53 AM, Blogger SnakeOil Sage said...

Criticsm for Kam is inevitable. The fact that he's new blood and that he was singled out of hundreds of authors makes him a prime target for those envious of his position. With a deafening mumble of "-I- should be the chosen one." They hurl themselves into internet forums to spray-paint their woes all over the walls.

Even I was jealous when I heard Kam got the part. Hell, I probably wouldn't have been as crushed if it was some faceless jerk, and not someone I've talked and argued with in the past, but with a shrug and an admittance (privately) that I wasn't quite ready yet, I moved on to new things.

At 4:27 AM, Blogger Grimbones said...

"...an admittance (privately) that I wasn't quite ready yet, I moved on to new things."

And then you hunkered down, did your work, and made yourself known. There were what, two dozen different "world creation" threads on the Wizards board? And how many were carried through to publication?


The Badlands.

I have a friend who insists on telling me "I heart the badlands."

I can't WAIT to own a signed copy. You know where to find me. :)

At 12:27 PM, Blogger Kameron said...

I really appreciated hearing about Bacon, H. If his had been the only voice of praise amidst the choir of discontent, my ego would have purred quite happily. :D (Thankfully, he wasn't, but it's still icing on the cake.)

At 3:49 PM, Blogger Grimbones said...


If H's report is any indication, you should be purring quite proudly. He's statted up all the main characters and everything...

At 8:33 PM, Blogger Silverfyre said...

Long Live Bacon!

At 10:02 PM, Blogger SnakeOil Sage said...

Yes, all power to Bacon.

"Hunkered down" is such a strong word. Let's just say my work involved a sealed, sterile room and kleenex boxes over my feet.

Psh. Yeah right. I spent at least twenty hours a week blending western movies, music, and games with fantasy movies, music, and games. I dreamt of the Man with No Name blasting zombies in a ghost town brothel. I saw dwarves in spurred leather boots and elven "maidens" in those frilly, fishnet stocking tavern dancing outfits.

All in all, I'd say I had a good past year.


At 12:38 PM, Blogger Silverfyre said...

Elven Soiled Doves in fishnet stocking tavern dancing outfits...


Hey wifey, I found a Halloween costume for you!


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