Friday, November 21, 2008

$igns of the Times

For whatever reasons, The Gift Horse, my really weird, suspenseful tale of kidnapping, materialism, and moral decay, outsells my space opera with a dash of romance, Trinity on Tylos. Both books share certain traits. An abduction moves the action along, the villain isn't always bad, there is quite a bit of dialogue, and the narratives are not precisely linear. In short, I write the way I write, and the genre is secondary to me.

Readers don't see the commonalities, for the most part. Instead they seem to get invested in the main character or the setting. In The Gift Horse, she is Angie Donalson, a bit of a waif, albeit a tall and strikingly beautiful one. And she is a mistress, not by choice, but by circumstances. This alternately fascinates or really annoys readers. So be it. Many wealthy people do worlds of good with their wealth, and I am all for that! Some, however, indulge in whatever money can buy, and it can buy rather a lot. Even the super rich are feeling a bit squeezed these days, and I could not help myself when I saw an article about wealthy folks cutting back on payments to mistresses. This was, I am not kidding, in the Wall Street Journal. I'm including a link to the article, which won't work forever, so follow it soon! As for the setting, it is in the deep south, which is more comfortable for my local fans.

Trinity on Tylos has a more mature heroine, a woman who makes her sacrifices rather than having them foisted upon her. Venice has been described by reviewers as "a winning heroine." She is a more noble and thoughtful character than the hapless Miss Donalson. Oh, I do like Angie's combination of innocence and spunk, but Venice has guts, and I admire that in a character. In the second novel, Tylos is a solar system far from this one, and as one Jeffersonian observed, "This isn't a town where readers like science fiction."

While neither book has sold well enough for me to tell my employer that I am no longer interested in teaching, I notice that the royalites continue to come in for The Gift Horse. Like many others, I hang on in a job that is sometimes a source of annoyance, to keep a few more dollars coming in to the family coffers.

My retirement dollars are invested in the stock market, so I may never retire at all. Hopefully, those who are out of work will continue to seek further education to enhance their employablity, which will keep me employed as well.

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