Book Four of the Oz Chronicles – It’s Here!

Jennifer Aniston finds a cold weather spot to enjoy The Land of The Dead, Book Four of the Oz Chronicles.

This was a bit of surprise for me.  I went to Amazon this morning and discovered that The Land of the Dead, Book Four of the Oz Chronicles is available for sale.  I had no idea it would happen that fast.  We didn’t even have time to put together a ribbon cutting or put together one of those fancy red carpet events.  Oh, well.  What are you going to do?

I did send a copy to my buddy Jen while she was hanging out in an undisclosed cold weather location.  She sent me a picture of her with the book.  She’s cool like that.  We talked about the book and Photoshop.

Book Description: In the fourth installment of the Oz Chronicles, Oz Griffin continues his efforts to restore the world he destroyed.  But, when Oz and his band of warriors are led to an abandoned Southern mansion, they encounter a serial killer and become infected with an almost uncontrollable urge to feed … on each other.  With only nine days to find the cure, Oz must travel to the Land of the Dead and follow in the serial killer’s footsteps.  Will Oz survive the journey?

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Rejection

I was rejected today by a publishing house. I got very close thanks to my wonderful agent, but in the end they decided to pass on my book. Insert scene from Sideways. Intellectually, I know rejection is a part of writing, but for some reason it’s tougher to take the closer you get to actually signing a deal. In my grief, I went looking for solace where everyone else does these days – the internet. I googled rejection and found this little tidbit on NPR: Famous Authors’ Rejection Letters Surface. I keep telling myself I’m not alone. So far it’s not really helping.

Don’t worry. I’ll stop feeling sorry for myself tomorrow. Got any rejection stories you care to share?

Ever Wonder What A Royalty Report Looks Like?

Wonder no more. I found an old report, and it made me realize how really extraordinary the Harry Potter series really is in terms of sales (400 million copies and counting). This is how the other half lives. Click here for the Nov. – Dec. report: royalty-report

BTW – I obscured sensitive information in the report.

Book Expo America – I’m signing

I will be signing all three Oz Chronicles books at Book Expo America in Los Angeles this year. I will be signing Book Two and Book Three on Saturday from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm and Book One on Sunday from 9:30 am to 10:30 am. I know that’s backwards. I was originally planning on just doing Book One because of the recent Writer’s Digest award, but a time slot opened up on Saturday, and I was given the opportunity to fill the slot. So come by Saturday get Book Two and Three, and then come back on Sunday to get Book One. All three books! What could be better? Okay, maybe a cure for cancer, and an end to all wars, but other than that…

Cory Doctorow and his Little Brother

Science Fiction author and Internet Celebrity, (We should come up with a word for that. How about “Internebrity?”) Cory Doctorow has a new young adult novel on the market, Little Brother. I haven’t read it myself, but it’s getting a lot of great buzz. I can tell you that another Science Fiction author and Internebrity, John Scalzi gives it a big recommend. Below is a video clip of the two authors interviewing each other. Doctorow is an interesting case study because he’s made it a common practice to give away the PDF versions of his book. In fact, he inspired me to do the same with my own book, The Takers. I’ve put Little Brother on my reading list. If you’ve read it, feel free to let the rest of us know what you thought of it.

Interested in Being Paid to Review Books?

Publishers Weekly is looking for a few good reviewers. This is a great opportunity with one of the leading Publishing magazine in the industry. Here’s the ad:

Publication or Company Publishers Weekly
Industry Magazine Publishing
Benefits telecommute policy
Job Duration Freelance/Project Basis
Job Location New York, NY USA
Job Requirements Publishers Weekly, the international news magazine of book publishing and bookselling, seeks freelance book reviewers with expertise in the following categories:

Fiction
Nonfiction
Audio Books
Religion
Children’s/Young Adult

Please send a short e-mail query that states expertise and specific interests. Paste your resume and major clips into the body of the email. The subject line should consist only of one or more of the above categories.

The e-mail address is:
pwreviewers@reedbusiness.com

No attachments, please. Messages with attachments will be deleted.

About Our Company Publishers Weekly is the international news magazine of book publishing and bookselling.

What Makes A Young Adult Novel a Young Adult Novel?

So, Publisher’s Weekly held a breakfast panel on what makes young adult fiction young adult, and they didn’t invite me. Nice. Way to crush my ego, Publishers Weekly… And just so you know, I’m a big fan of breakfast. I would have been totally into that.

Seriously, I’ve been asked this question before. What makes my books young adult books? The answer is I don’t know. I’ve had plenty of adults tell me they’ve read them and enjoyed them. I didn’t intentionally write to preclude adults from reading it. I wrote a story I would enjoy. I guess I initially considered it a young adult novel because I knew it was going to be a series. I may be wrong about this, but I think kids/teens are more willing to commit to a series than adults. I picked up some current Young Adult books as I was writing the Takers, and I was put off by the attempt of the author to use slang and infuse the text with contemporary “after school special” type morality. Teens don’t want to be preached to, and they certainly don’t want to be preached to by pretentious authors using the street lingo kids use today.

I found this quote by Sherman Alexie to be particularly puzzling:

Writing for teens involves a stripped-down technique, Alexie said. “You tend to write more like Hemingway than Faulkner. More like Emily Dickinson than T.S. Eliot. It’s not a matter of more complex thoughts, but the number of adverbs and adjectives. In the adult world, the number of adverbs and adjectives can be confused with great writing.” Martin put it another way: “Teen books are like adult books, without all the bullshit.”

Obviously, he’s never read a fantasy novel for the young adult market. Those things are jammed with adverbs and adjectives, and they contain a lot of bullshit (sorry, I’m not a fan of hardcore fantasy). On the adult side, you could probably count the number of adjectives on one hand in Cormac McCarthy’s novel, The Road. There isn’t one ounce of bullshit in that book, and I’d bet not a lot of young adults are running out to read that book.

I’m writing a book right now that I don’t consider being for the young adult market. It’s about a young boy, but the language is rough and he has to contend with some pretty seedy adults. But is that enough to keep it out of the young adult market? There’s no sex. It’s a violent book. I don’t mean there’s a lot of violence in it (there’s some). I mean the tone is very violent and unforgiving. Maybe that’s what separates a young adult novel from an adult novel. A young adult novel often times emerges with a hopeful message while an adult novel can end in a sea of ambiguousness leaving the reader dazed and confused. I don’t know. Just a thought. If you’re interested, you can read the Publishers Weekly Article here: “Think Future” Panel Debates What Makes a YA a YA