My Promise as a Writer

I promise to entertain you to the best my twisted little mind can manage. I will take you from the light, and into darkness. I might even let you see the sunrise at the end of the journey, but that I can't promise. My stories will sweep the hair from you brow, leave your stomach in knots, and suck the air from your lungs. But no matter how far we descend, I will offer you a fragment of hope to cling to. I will treat you to dark fantasy, science fiction, horror, and anything that falls into the strange and disturbing. Will we re-emerge into the light? Well, that is the point of taking the journey. I hope you will join me on these adventures.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Review of David J. Pedersen's "Angst"

I quickly came to a personal realization when I sat down to write this review of David J Pedersen’s “Angst.” I am unable to discuss this book without a healthy amount of compare and contrast between the traditional publishing industry and self publishing. (For folks who don’t want to read my thoughts on the publishing industry: “Angst" is a fun read. Buy a copy now!) For eons and longer, the publishing industry has been considered the guardian of literature by offering nothing but the best from agent queries and the slush pile. Self publishing (vanity publishing) was looked down upon as the last desperate hope for a writer to see her/his name in print. But that is changing. The publishing world has been struggling--according some since the ‘70s--and has been hurt with recent technological advances like ereaders and print on demand. Add this to the Borders melt down, the rise in book prices, and the day to day struggle of brick and mortar stores, and we may be looking at the end days of the traditional publishing industry. Mid list writers seem to be the canary in this mine as they take flight into the realms of self publishing, preferring the higher royalty percentages they can earn through publishing on ereaders as opposed to the standard split offered by publishing houses when contracting out books for electronic format. Doesn’t make sense! The strongest argument in favor of the publishing industry (aside from advances) is the editorial process. The author writes the book, and seeks feedback from select readers. Revisions are made. The agent reads the manuscript after the author completes the third draft. Recommendations are sent back to the author. Revisions are made. Agent sends revised manuscript to publishing house. Editor makes more recommendations. Revisions made by author and resubmitted. And an amazing book is the result! Right? Not always. Take a look at Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind, the last six books by David and Leigh Eddings, and (breaking from genre here) Tom Clancy. They all stink. Jordan was unable to write a grammatically correct sentence, character development was nonexistent, and he loved plot holes like I love chocolate chip cookies. And he went through the process! The others suffer from the same inabilities. But David J. Pedersen did not go through the traditional publishing process, and his book, “Angst,” was significantly better. He did this with the help of his wife and a few select friends, and that is no easy feat. Sure “Angst" is rough around the edges at times, but again I point out Pedersen did this without the feedback of an agent or editor. He is better than the folks mentioned above, and succeeded in entertaining me. (So if I offended your fandom of the above writers, this is your clue you won’t be disappointed with Pedersen.) So now it is your turn to go be entertained by a self publisher, and pick up your copy. Ereader copies are under $3. If you want a paper copy, you can find it on Amazon for $13.95. Now go read “Angst”!

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