Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Interview with Warner McCorkle

Today, we’re at the Sherwood Estate in Louisiana, and we’re speaking with Mr. Warner McCorkle. He’s agreed to give us an interview regarding the events at the estate after the children left. So, let’s begin.

Warner, it's obvious that the things Miss Sherwood describes in Lost in the Bayou were unusual, to say the least. Her narrative gives us a good idea of what happened with her and Andy on their trip to the bayou and the Voodoo Swamp. However, I’m certain there were some things that occurred here at the house with Conrad after they left. Can you tell us a little about that?

Yes, sir, I can. Before they left that morning, Miss Robin gave me the cellar key. She told me to lock Mister Conrad down there so she and Andy could get away from him. Or at least get a good head start on him. Well, that’s exactly what I did.

How did you get him to go down in the cellar in the first place?

Well, that was Missus Deffenbaugh’s doing actually. She told Mister Conrad that the children were hiding in the cellar. And that’s because Miss Robin told her to tell him that. So that was one of the first places he looked. And when he went down there, I slammed the door and locked him in. And I made pretend that the children had done it. I even hollered at them. They weren’t there, of course, but it made him think they were.

How long did you keep Conrad locked in there?

Oh, most of the day. Like Miss Robin asked me to. I let him out around suppertime. I can tell you, he wasn’t very pleased about being stuck in there all day. Especially without his whiskey. It scared me a bit when I let him out and he waved that hooky hand of his at me. He was using some language that his mother would be mighty ashamed to hear.

So, you locked him in the cellar for the day, and you let him out that evening. What happened next?

Well, he got pretty drunk that night. I could still hear him in the wee hours of the morning, slamming doors and cussing like a sailor. He was searching for the children. The next morning he told me he was going to take Beau Diddly, that’s my mule, into the bayou and find the children. I told him my mule didn’t take kindly to strangers riding him. He said that didn’t matter a hoot. He was already drinking at breakfast that morning.


Oh, yes, sir. Mister Conrad was a drinker all right. He had a bottle with him every minute of the day. And night. Anyway, he said he was taking Beau Diddly to the bayou and find the children. I knew there wasn’t no way I could stop him. I’m an old man. I knew I was gonna have to outthink him. So I made up a little story about the old cypress tree down there.

What kind of story did you make up?

I told him there was limbless cypress tree on a little island where the creek forks. That part was true. I told him it was hollow. That part was true, too. And I told him the children said they were gonna hide inside it. That part wasn’t true, but I wanted to lead him to that tree.

Why? What was so special about that particular tree?

Well, it wasn’t the tree I was leading him to, actually. In order to get to the tree, you have to get past the quicksand. There’s a big pool of it, and that’s what I was leading him to.

Weren’t you afraid Beau Diddly would get stuck in it?

A little. But I figured Beau is a pretty smart old mule. Animals can sense danger. He would balk before he got to it.  And when that mule balks, there ain’t no way of getting him to move. That would force Conrad to get off and walk the rest of the way. Right into that old big pool of quicksand. And that would be the end of that.

Is that what happened?

Well, sir, I don’t think I should say anything more about that. Miss Robin might be unhappy with me if I told any more and spoiled her story for anyone who’s reading it.

You’re absolutely right, Warner. Let’s stop at that point. And thanks for spending the time with us. To get a little more info on the story, visit the mini website HERE. To find out everything that happened, our readers can order their own copy. Lost in the Bayou will be available everywhere ebooks are sold this Friday, December 2.

Or you can pre-order it right now by clicking HERE.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Neil Gaiman said Spread this Around

I recently stumbled onto an article on Neil Gaiman's blog that I felt, and he agreed, should be spread around among authors and writers.

The following is copied directly from Neil's post...

John M. Ford was pretty much the smartest writer I knew. Mostly. He did one thing that was less than smart, though: he knew he wasn't in the best of health, but he still didn't leave a proper will, and so didn't, in death, dispose of his literary estate in the way that he intended to while he was alive, which has caused grief and concern to the people who were closest to him.

He's not the first writer I know who didn't think to take care of his or her posthumous intellectual property. For example, I knew a writer -- a great writer -- separated from and estranged from his wife during the last five years of his life. He died without making a will, and his partner, who understood and respected his writing, was shut out, while his wife got the intellectual property, and has not, I think, treated it as it should have been treated. These things happen, and they happen too often.

There are writers who blithely explain to the world that they didn't make a will because they don't mind who gets their jeans and old guitar when they die but who would have conniptions if they realised how much aggravation their books or articles or poems or songs would cause their loved ones (or editors, anthologists or fans) after their death...

Writers put off making wills (well, human beings put off making wills, and most writers are probably human beings). Some of us think it's self-aggrandising or foolish to pretend that anyone would be interested in their books or creations after they're dead. Others secretly believe we're going to live forever and that making a will would mean letting Death in a crack.

Others make wills, but don't think to take into account what happens to our literary estate as a separate thing from the disposition of our second-best beds, which means unqualified or uninterested relatives can find themselves in control of everything the author's written. Some of us are just cheap.

All this bothered me, and still bothers me.

Shortly after Mike Ford's death, I spoke to Les Klinger about it. Les is a lawyer, and a very good one, and also an author. I met him through Michael Dirda, and the Baker Street Irregulars.

Les immediately saw my point, understood my crusade and went off and made a document for authors. Especially the lazy sort of authors, or just the ones who haven't quite got around to seeing a lawyer, or who figure that one day it'll all sort itself out, or even the ones to whom it has never occurred that they need to think about this stuff. 

<more... including a link to a downloadable form... >

Monday, November 7, 2011

Author Poll

Let's have some fun today and get to know each other a little better. On the right sidebar, you'll notice a poll. I'm trying to get a feel for the readership of this blog so I can gear my posts toward subject matter that will be of interest to the largest number of readers.

I hope you will take a moment to fill in your responses. If you write in a genre that I haven't included, leave me a comment and I'll add it.

Also, if you're not a "follower" I hope you will click that "FOLLOW" icon. And thanks if you do.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Meet Emma Lane - Author

Today we have another Musa author with us. Please welcome Emma Lane. She’s offered to spend some time with us and tell us a little about her new novel, Belinda, My Love. So, let’s get started.

Where did your inspiration for this book come from? 

Belinda is the youngest of three sisters of the Vicar Robinson. She can’t remember her mother who passed away too soon, but her father approves of his daughters who engage in God’s work. Belinda has had a very liberal upbringing. She lives in a small community where everyone knows everyone. Belinda is a keen herbalist/chemist. She helps the local doctor heal the sick and involves herself in medical research by mail. At the time of our story, she is 19 years old and about to make her come-out in London.

How do you create your characters? Are they based on people you know, or do they each have a little of Emma Lane inside them?

I am part owner of an herb/perennial shoppe. I wanted to write more about herbs, but Belinda got involved in her London adventure. She is her own person and very strong minded, if I may say so. 

BELINDA, MY LOVE is both Belinda’s story and Quinton Royston, Lord Harrington’s. He appears in all three of the stories and finally had to have his own with Belinda. He is the rogue who could not be introduced to the young ladies in MY PASSIONATE LOVE and the ostracized Rogue who came to Melanie’s rescue in A SCANDALOUS DESIGN.  Who, by the way, doesn’t love a rogue? Especially a handsome one with a crooked grin. To watch him fall in love and make a fool of himself was too precious for words. 

I ask each of the Musa authors I interview to speak a bit about Musa and their publishing model. They’re concentrating their publishing efforts entirely in the digital format realm at the present time. Did you have any reservations about being solely digital when you signed with them?

Not in the least. I would follow the Fab Four to the ends of the earth. That entire staff is a group of movn’ grovn’ smart ladies. They’ve set up a system that promises to open the eyes of the entire publication community. I predict a new wave of transparency between authors and publishers in the future.

Tell us a little about the chronology. What steps led up to the contract?

Well, first you muddle around and write the book. Then you rewrite it. and rewrite, and rewrite. Then you submit, and submit…do you want me to go on? Then when you get the offer, you do several snoopy dances around your living room, out into the driveway and into the street. Then you are introduced to your editor, and you wonder if you ever rewrote the story. It’s quite an education. 

I’m guessing an artist at Musa created your cover. Did you have any input in that creation?

It’s a neat system. I can’t explain it all to you, but Kelly was my creator. We do work together, but the powers that be have the last say so. I love my covers a lot.

Tell our readers one unusual thing about you that we would never suspect.

I am a wildflower buff and an amateur birdwatcher. I also write contemporary and have one in publication over @ Desert Breeze Publishing.  It’s a romantic suspense heavy in nature and birds.

It sounds like you’re a very busy author. Where can our readers get a copy of your Belinda, My Love? Also, will it work for Kindle and Nook and all of those other eReaders out there?  

I’m a bad one to ask. To my knowledge our books are available on most popular sites. I will tell you that I prefer you download from the Musa site and then go from there. I read my stories right from my computer and it works out just fine. Other authors will probably provide better detail than I.

‘The Vicar’s Daughters Three’ are a set, but they can be read alone as well without disturbing the stories. I very much enjoyed writing them and I hope you will like reading them. Aurora Regency has a fine selection of Regency and Historical stories for your selection. MUSA PUBLISHING has something fun going on all the time. Do stop by and give us a visit and a shout-out.

Thanks for having me here. I’ve enjoyed our interview very much.

Thanks, Emma, for spending the time with us today and giving us a glimpse into your stories. We’re wishing you the best of luck with these and future books.