Sunday, February 24, 2013

Complaint Department

Rowlandson, Doctor Syntax

Along with sending those delicious emails telling me you love my books—no, I never get tired of  them, so please go on writing as the spirit moves you—some of you have approached the Complaints Window.

Here are the main ones:

How come I still  can’t get your recent books on Amazon UK?

What’s up with all the errors on the Regency eBooks?

Why can’t I find the eBook in the digital version I need, i.e., not Kindle or Nook?

OK, eBooks are fine for some people, but when are you going to make those earlier books available in print?

How much longer must I wait for the audio edition?

The majority of readers phrase their requests/unhappiness more courteously and tactfully than this.  I boiled it down to essentials to keep this short and to the point.

The main answer is that all these issues are being addressed.  Following are the details, as I have them.
Richard Dagley, Taking Thought

We’re not sure why there’s so much difficulty with Amazon UK, and we’re looking into it.  The first three Carsington books should be available now, and the others very soon.

We’ve seen differences in quality, depending on the type of digital reader.  Meanwhile, though, the team is proofreading like crazy and promises to get everything fixed ASAP.

At this point, all books that have been digitized ought to be available in all formats.
Note that Amazon & others allow readers to download the books to read on their computers or other devices without requiring the retailer's device.

We are in the process of ironing out details for Print-On-Demand editions of the eBooks.

I’m not sure what’s going on with audio books.  I know discussions have been ongoing, but I don’t have a progress report yet.

I apologize for things taking so long.  The trouble is, every version of my books involves some kind of contract negotiations.  Sometimes these don’t work out and we have to start from scratch.  At other times, it’s a long back-and-forth.  And then there’s the matter of implementing whatever technology it is, and getting everything set up with retailers (like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.)  My agency has been working hard on these matters—and there are a lot of things to work on!  If only we could wave a magic wand or something.  But hey, if I had one of those, I’d write way faster.

Illustrations courtesy Ancestry Images.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Climes are different

I live in Central Massachusetts most of the time.  We're in some kind of magnetic field for snow, which means that when Boston gets an inch (and gets mightily peeved about it), we get four feet.  It's not a lake effect thing.  I believe the area's under an ancient weather curse.  Thus, in addition to the arctic temps and charcoal-colored skies, we're buried under great mounds of dirty snow.  The main wildlife is mice trying to move into the house where it's marginally warmer.

As you might expect, we don't get a lot of wading birds in my neck of the woods.  Or palm trees.  So these things are terrifically exciting to me.  It's February!  There are palm trees, some of them growing coconuts. A pelican stands so close I could touch him or her.  A heron loiters in my back yard!  Little lizards lurk under the doorstep and try to scurry into the kitchen when I'm not looking.  They seem not to realize that people live inside—people, those giant Godzilla things they normally run away from at the speed of light.

For all those fortunate people who normally spend their winters in a warm climate, this is no big deal, I daresay.  For me, it's like moving to another planet.  A kinder, gentler planet.

And then I get to go back to New England before the giant insects come out.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Algae & me

I had my first close encounter with Red Tide recently, and it isn't pretty.  On the Gulf, the culprit is Karenia brevis, a naturally-occurring organism seen as far back as the 15th C.  The algae is not particularly villainous until it has a population explosion.  That's recently happened in these parts,  and it's asphyxiating fish in vast quantities.  My sunset walk on the beach night before last?  Not so pretty.  Dead fish on the shore as far as the eye can see.  Which I did not photograph.  There's a limit to my need to document, though not to my imagination.  Something about this episode may find its way into my work, although I may not recognize it by the time it happens.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Puck Valentine's Day edition 1914
To men of early 20th C, fashionable women must have seemed much too thin.  But a glance through photos of the time shows that it was a matter of perspective.  (Below is Lina Calvieri, an opera star and great beauty, in 1914.)

Their narrow skirts made them seem like much smaller targets than they'd been some years before.  A century earlier, women of the Regency seemed half-naked in their light muslins, compared to their mothers or grandmothers in the previous century's double-wide skirts.  For more on the topic of changing fashions, I recommend you click on the "historic dress" label at Two Nerdy History Girls, the blog I share with Isabella Bradford/Susan Holloway Scot.

Lina Calvieri c. 1914

Whatever your fashion choices, I hope yours is a very sweet Valentine's Day.

Both illustrations are courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Leonie's story

Readers have been asking lately about the third dressmaker, Leonie Noirot, and her story.  The short answer is, it's in progress.  This was one of those times—rare but not impossible—when my writerly abilities were not in synch with my publishing schedule.

Her story wanted more thinking than I'd anticipated.  Not surprising that, not having got enough cogitation, it didn't work out very well.  Now I'm rethinking, which means that we've had to postpone the release of Vixen in Velvet until 2014.

The good news is, I've moved to milder climes, and anticipate a great stirring of creative juices, under the influence of sun and warm temperatures.

Expect photos, here and on Facebook, and occasional reports on this new world I've entered.

Right now, it's a beautiful Sunday.  Puffy white clouds are floating across a blue, blue sky.  The fish are jumpin'—literally.  They're mullets, and numerous theories have been proposed to account for their leaping out of the water.  You're at liberty to research these online—or make up your own, if you are fictionally inclined.

Monday, February 4, 2013

A New Interview at Lost in Fiction

I've been on the road recently, as well as brain-damaged by a cold, and falling ever farther behind in communication.  But recently I answered some questions about the writing process and other things at Lost in Fiction ~Lost in Romance.  You can read it here.

And I'll report on my other adventures anon.