missmurchison
missmurchison
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About this journal
I post vampire porn and random squawks here. You may also be subjected to local news, provided it's absurd, and pictures of my children during their formative years. Politics will be mentioned at times, and it goes without saying those posts will also be absurd.

September 2013
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ozma914 [userpic]
My publisher's dropping me; it's a good thing

Good news, everyone!

The new newsletter is out: https://mailchi.mp/dbc5dc2002fd/my-publishers-dropping-me-its-a-good-thing?e=2b1e842057

Or you can just read it here.



My publisher is dropping three of my books!

Well, it really is good news, but I'm going to have to explain it.

At my request, Start Publishing has returned the rights to three of my books: Storm Chaser, Storm Chaser Shorts, and The Notorious Ian Grant. They were originally put out by Whiskey Creek Press, which was later bought by Start Publishing. Start is a big company, and made arrangements for their e-books to be distributed by Simon and Schuster, a large and respected publisher.

This excited many WCP authors, as Whiskey Creek Press was a fairly small publisher, with limited resources. I understood going in that I'd have to do a lot of my own selling and promoting; but with these new players, it was hoped we'd get better distribution and more promotion help.

Alas, that didn't happen. I continued to promote as best I could, and overall I've liked and gotten along with everyone from both companies. But those three books are older now, and to my disappointment their prices never got lowered. In addition, I felt the print book prices were way too high, especially for an unknown author like me. (WCP and Start specialize in e-books.)

With Storm Chaser now seven years old and set at the same price as when brand new, my sales had dropped dramatically. In the last quarter of 2018 sales of those three books were abysmal, and I know that's a real word because I looked it up.

But I wasn't ready to give up. Many people who read Storm Chaser kept asking me for a sequel, which the other two books were--but the sales of those two weren't as good. I felt there was potential for the series yet, so I asked Start Publishing for the rights back.

It was a long process.

I want to stress that my experience with the publisher was for the most part very positive, and I met many good and admirable people. In fact, I still have another novel, Radio Red, available through their Torrid Books line.

But the rights to the other three are back in my hands, which is why you may notice them disappearing from various websites and resellers across the internet. (I do still have print copies of the two novels for sale. Storm Chaser Shorts, a short story collection, was never available in print--but it will be.)

Emily and I are going to re-release the books, including a print run for Storm Chaser Shorts, once she's designed new covers and otherwise gotten them ready. These are the old covers, which you'll see if you buy any print copies from us before the supply runs out (well, not the middle one, which come to think of it could stand a new title):

I'll probably drop the price of them close to my cost, since the new editions will have a much lower price tag. Emily's hard at work on other projects right now, but I'll keep you updated on when they'll come out. Also, I'll be going back to work later this year on a prequel, as a way of introducing readers to the Storm Chaser series as a whole.

And you'll see all those changes on MarkRHunter.com, of course! Remember to support your local author: Whenever a book doesn't sell, an angel loses his wings--don't jam up the roadways with hitchhiking angels.

ozma914 [userpic]
Inspiration at the Drive-In: the genesis of "Coming Attractions"

I was looking for something else entirely when I stumbled across this article, which went up on LiveJournal way back in 2012--not long after I finished writing Coming Attractions. I'd entered a writing competition back then, and put up the novel for voting. It made it through the first round, then ... that was it.


The manuscript at the time was much, much different from what ended up being published--in fact, some parts are totally changed. Better, I hope! But the article’s interesting, especially when compared to one I wrote just a few days ago, before I remembered this one. Maybe I’ll post that newer one later, when I’ve forgotten this one again.




Inspiration at the Drive-In: The Genesis of "Coming Attractions"

Oct. 5th, 2012 at 6:35 PM


When I tell people about my new novel, Coming Attractions, one of the first things they ask is how I came up with the idea of a romantic comedy about a drive-in movie theater.


The answer is not how, but where: At the drive-in, of course.


Just as I came up with Storm Chaser by looking to the skies, I came up with Coming Attractions by looking to the screen – the silver screen. But this book isn’t brand new: I came up with the concept years ago, when I started taking my kids to the Auburn-Garrett drive-in. Sadly, that’s the only one left anywhere near my home, although when I was a kid the Hi-Vue was closer.


There was a third near the limits of a reasonable drive, but toward the end it started showing X-rated flicks, back at a time when you couldn’t get them at the video store … back before the internet made that all passé.



At the time (this would be decades ago) the Hi-Vue where where you would go for family friendly fare: Their screen faced the highway, so they couldn’t show R rated stuff. The Auburn-Garrett sometimes showed racier movies, but the Hi-Vue was closer and I was a kid, so you can guess where I ended up.


But by the time I had kids of my own, the Auburn-Garrett was the only game around. I was a single father, the drive-in was cheap, and we all loved movies, so I introduced my girls to one of my best childhood memories.


If you wanted a good spot, you got there early. (The good spot is in the middle, near the restrooms.) So I pulled out a notebook, and while we waited for the sun to set, my daughters and I brainstormed the idea for a new novel – an idea that was as close as the big screen before us.



Of course, the story isn’t really about a drive-in, any more than a story is about a tornado, or an airplane, or a war. Stories are about people. Over time Charis and Jillian, with the help of a laptop, notebook, and various reference books we bought along, helped invent the characters, the plot, and … well, the atmosphere kind of took care of itself.



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Don’t forget you can order Coming Attractions, and all our other books, on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Mark-R-Hunter/e/B0058CL6OO

Not to mention everything but our newest book is up at http://markrhunter.com/, and Coming Attractions will be there soon, too … or just search for “Mark R Hunter books” on that newfangled interwebs thingy. No, I don’t run Molson Coors Brewing Company.

ozma914 [userpic]
So Many Photos, So Little time

I've finished going through all the CDs and drives I could find, looking for any picture that might be useful in our Albion Fire Department photo book project. (It's a book project about the Albion Fire Department … focusing on photos. Pretty self-explanatory, but I'll look for a catchier title.)


Every photo I found that had even an outside shot of being useful, I transferred to a file and then to a thumb drive. I was pretty loose in my definition of "useful", since Emily can do amazing things with mediocre pictures, of which I've taken many. Then I totaled them all up.


My file now has 7,792 items, taking up 34.4 gigabytes of space.


This does not include a whole box full of photos loaned to us by Phil and Cindy Jacob, many of which Emily is in the process of scanning into her computer. It doesn't include the boxes of prints I have, myself. It also doesn't include any pictures we may yet have loaned to us by anyone else; it's just the ones I had immediately available in electronic form.


So … I've got some sorting to do.


Hopefully we'll get many more good photos donated toward the project, so I don't have to mess with my mediocre ones at all. But I have to admit, I had a lot of fun going through all those files. I've pretty much mastered a complete lack of organization, so I had to go through all my boxes of CDs … music, pictures, backups, documents, everything. I kept saying, "Hey--I remember that!"


I also transferred, to a different file, hundreds of my old humor columns, dating back to between 2000-2004. Basically fourteen to eighteen year old columns, which means many of my readers have never seen them, and the rest have probably forgotten. A project for later this year: Adapt and assemble them into a new book, which I've tentatively titled "Still Slightly Off the Mark".


An easy project in theory, but I'll probably rewrite them, since I'm theoretically better for having a decade and a half more writing experience. What do you think? Do we all need a laugh?


I think so, too.

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