About L K

It's said that the hedgehog knows a lot about one big thing and the fox knows a bit about a lot of things. I come down on the fox side. For example, I somehow managed to take college freshman-level classes in biology, chemistry, and physics without going any further. This means I can speak intelligently about any one of those subjects for about five minutes before lapsing into complete nonsense. I mostly hung around the anthropology department -- I was a psych major -- and learned a lot more from talking informally to anthropologists and the lone archaeologist than I learned in a classroom. I've read quite a bit about other subjects, especially history, but in a completely random way, and about somewhat offbeat topics. I can tell you where they put Union soldiers with syphilis during the American Civil war, what Martin Luther told Henry VIII of England to do about his marital problems, why the Salem Witch hysteria may have been caused by fungus, and why beer may have made cities possible. More normal information, I have to look up. I know very little that's practical. I like to read and write weird stuff.

Storytelling class in under four minutes

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Book Announcement and Mea Culpa

Well, I finally admit defeat. I did the ebook thing. I spent some months shopping my dark fantasy novel, Soul Exposure, to agents without catching anyone’s interest. I must say that form rejection letters are more polite than I expected.

The thing that finally got me to try the ebook route was my wife’s recent accidental seating on a plane next to a successful mid-list author with several published novels to her credit. They got into a conversation. This woman had been around long enough that she got into the game by the traditional route of paper manuscripts and snail mail, but told my wife that these days about the only chance anyone new has is to go with an ebook and hope for some traction.

Since it is such a hassle to get these things set up for digital submission, and the two main ebook vendors, Amazon and Barnes and Noble have somewhat different formatting requirements, I went with Amazon’s Kindle. Amazon has most of the market share and offered the perk of letting readers peek at, in my case, all of Chapter One and most of Chapter Two. (It would have been much easier had I been using Microsoft Word, since even after I jumped through multiple hoops with Libreoffice and HTML files it was clear that Amazon’s conversion software would have been much, much happier with stuff made by a Microsoft product. If I make enough from the book, I might buy a full-featured copy of Word. In fact, I should start saving my pennies today.)

I’ve had to do all this on the cheap because I can’t afford to have it professionally polished. I decided that the main thing was to get the text out there and see if anybody likes my stuff. My wife took a photo of a creepy old house in New England that my daughter and a friend of hers turned into the book’s cover. I think it’s pretty cool.

Advice:

  1. Before you write your book go to the link below and carefully read the requirements for formatting your book. Follow them. It is much easier to have done it as you went along rather than have to reformat your book from scratch. https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=A37Z49E2DDQPP3

  2. Bite the bullet and write the book using Microsoft Word because that is what everybody is set up to process. Yes, I know that there are some other word processors, some of them available for the low, low cost of free, that work beautifully for traditional paper manuscripts and will turn out DOC and HTML files, but apparently there are subtle differences in the digital files that create minor hiccups when they hit the conversion software.

  3. Unless you are already a well-known author who can jump right into getting your book out in paper, don’t waste your time with the traditional route. Whether you like it or not, and I don’t, we now live in the world of ebooks.

And now, for a bit of shameless self-promotion, I give you Soul Exposure!

http://www.amazon.com/Soul-Exposure-ebook/dp/B00DOVGH2W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1372428012&sr=8-1&keywords=soul+exposure

 

 

 

 

It’s a bit late, but at least it’s something

As you may know, although I sometimes write fantasy fiction, I am pretty skeptical about the supernatural in real life.

My skepticism turns into alarm whenever someone employs magical thinking in a context where it could do real harm.

The leader of the largest faith-based group promoting the idea that prayer can “cure” homosexuality has finally admitted that it just doesn’t work. The preponderance of evidence collected by mainstream medicine and psychiatry over decades indicates that we all come out of the box with our sexual orientation hard wired.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-gay-exodus-international-20130620,0,7570124.story

Many years ago, I worked with a gay man who was raised in a deeply fundamentalist family. He and his lover, who had a similar background, were tormented by guilt.

They finally jumped off a mountain together, holding hands.