Friday, 29 January 2010

Picking Fluff off my Writer's Brain

I'm in wondering mode...

Since only a small percentage of books published make it into bricks and mortar stores, how did a new writer (or even a mid-lister) get anyone to buy their books in the days before the internet? Even now, the idea of drumming up an audience is a little scary. I remember they used to put mail order forms for other titles at the back of books. I also remember never filling one in. I heart thee internet.

In other news, I completed two new flash stories this week. Though I'm kinda cheating with that sentence. The first is for the Shock Totem contest and thus shall remain anonymous, and the second is a massive 150 words. Wipe the sweat from my brow. I sent it off to a market that replies within 24 hours and expected a barrage of what the fucks and never submit here again, but the reply was actually rather pleasant. It's titled Dandelion Fluff and it's about a dandelion and a spaceman.

25 comments:

Rabid Fox said...

I like the title. Hopefully it sees the light of day, so I can check it out.

Flash fiction is my heroine for the weekend. Working on the Shock Totem contest too, plus a couple of other ideas that popped into my skull this week.

Jamie Eyberg said...

Good luck, Cate! fingers crossed for you.

katey said...

Yeah, I wonder what any of us did before the 'net-- in terms of books and music. We got AOL when I was 14 and I spent all my time on it finding out about music I couldn't get (what's up with y'all in the UK and your b-sides? So expensive to get that stuff as an import!) and books I couldn't find.

I would love anything about a spaceman and a dandelion-- no doubt. Good luck with the contest, too!

Cate Gardner said...

Gef, I look forward to reading your story on the Shock Totem site. :D

Thanks, Jamie.

Katey, I feel so old now. I didn't have access to the internet until I was about 34/35... Which in US years, I believe, translates to 18/19, because age works different abroad like clothes sizes.

Barry Napier said...

Another superb title. As always.

Very good question. Time for some lunchtime research!

Josh Reynolds said...

How the heck do you come up with such titles? Do you just throw a jumble of words in a hat and pluck out a handful? And if so, how does it manage to come out awesome every time?
...
You're a sorceress aren't you?
...
And sometimes a 150 words can be harder than 5000. Good luck!

Cate Gardner said...

Barry & Josh - you are both certified insane. Cate x

Andrea said...

I remember those order forms too. I don't think I ever filled one out either. Don't really know anyone who did.

Spaceman and a dandelion...nice combination

Cate Gardner said...

Thanks, Andrea.

Natalie L. Sin said...

That is a lovely title. I hope there's blood : )

Cate Gardner said...

Natalie, none at all... At least not until the editor I just sent it to opens it and is compelled to kill me.

Aaron Polson said...

Cate, you have an audience. And most of us are captive. Or captives.

Rebecca Nazar said...

I loved making wishes blowing off all the dandelion fluff. Is that just a regional thing here? Well, here's wishing you success.

Alan W. Davidson said...

You're right on about the internet helping so much with networking. Good luck with the stories.

K.C. Shaw said...

I used to order books from the D&D mailorder catalogues I read back in high school. I think that may be how I discovered Terry Pratchett.

Good luck with the stories!

Robert said...

Back in the old days, most books were stocked by delivery people who would go into stores and such, and I'd heard stories about some of these older famous writers who would go to these warehouses and bring the drivers coffee and donuts and make the drivers fans, and that in turn helped get more of their books on the shelves for more people to see. Ah, the good old days ...

Robert said...

... at least, I THINK that was the story I'd heard. It might not be. It's late and I'm tired and can't think straight.

Cate Gardner said...

Aaron, I've hidden the key in...

Rebecca, perhaps - we never did that.

Thanks, Alan.

Thanks, Kate.

Robert, I could so have bribed the delivery men.

Brendan P. Myers said...

Hey, the 100-150 word stories are often more difficult than the longer tomes, for me anyway. I salute you! And as always, best of luck.

John Pender said...

I've often wondered the same thing.

Cate Gardner said...

Brendan, I fear this story was too easy and thus is bonkers.

John, perhaps someone will battle through boxes of unsold books to tell us.

katey said...

I think that does translate to 18ish, now that you mention it! Sweet.

Cate Gardner said...

I thought so. :D

Rich said...

Yep, I've written something for the Shock Totem flash contest (thanks for the tip).

Look forward to reading yours, mine will be the poorly edited story that makes no sense and makes you feel faintly sick upon reading.

Cheers,
Rich

Danielle Ferries said...

Good luck with the stories...must finish mine :)