A Book Giveaway (sort of)

By Holly Lisle

Lots of my novels for free if you’ll pay the postage.
SUNDAY ADDITION:

I underestimated the extent of my problem. And I do have a few copies of some of the later Baen books. And I found the missing Vengeance of Dragons copies. Lots of them.
My Problem, Part One
 
My Problem, Part Two

Any more volunteers?

Also, much to my amazement, I have no remaining copies of the historical thing. Many apologies. Holly

P.S. The scary thing is, I suspect there are still more books hiding in corners. I’m afraid.

SATURDAY: The Original Post

I have a bunch of copies of my own work I need to get rid of.

  • I’d have one massive contest and winners galore, but I can’t afford the shipping for that many books.
     
  • I can’t sell them–that’s in the contracts.
     
  • I don’t want to dump them at libraries; I’d rather give them to individual folks.
     
  • I considered doing a Books of the Wild thing, where I’d send boxes of books to people who agreed to send all but one of the books out into the world to meet new people, who could then log into a Wild Books Tracking Station to note where they got their book, and where they passed it on when they were done with it, with rules taped into the inside front covers to let the readers know how to find and log into the tracking station, (I thought this would be particularly cool) but as previously noted, I don’t have the money for all that shipping, and I can’t ask folks to pay shipping and then only keep one book.
     

So….

I have at least a few of most of my more recent books (most of my post-Baen work) and a lot of a few of them. And I have some flat rate shipping boxes that ship to anywhere in the US for $8.95. In order to cover PayPal fees and packing up the box, add an extra dollar–total US shipping will be $9.95. Each box will comfortably fit 6 paperbacks, and as long as they last, one hardcover or galley. When I run out of hardcovers and galleys, I’ll throw in three extra paperbacks. (These are likely to be duplicates. If I have to send duplicates and you didn’t indicate that you wanted them, I’ll let you know before you pay for the shipping.)

If you’re willing to pay the postage, I’ll ship you a box of mixed books. If you don’t mind duplicates (to give to friends, for example), please note this in your entry. I have quite a few paperback Talyns, for example.

I’ll autograph one book in each box–I hurt my wrists, the right one especially, from too much knitting, which I’ve been using to deal with stress, and typing is painful and hand-writing pure agony. (Forget knitting. At the moment, I can barely hold yarn.) So give me your wish-list of three books you’d like to own in autographed form in order of your preference, and if I have it, I’ll sign and include one of those three books in the box. If I don’t, I’ll pick what I think is the best book in the box and autograph that one. These books won’t be personalized, just dated and signed. I apologize for this, because I usually personalize unless requested not to, but … pain. We’re not going to mention how exciting it is to type this.

I also have a couple of surprises (still my books, but special or odd in some way or another). No comment on those, but they’ll ship in the first boxes to go out.

All books are new, unread, but some do have dings on corners or other flaws–the boxes seem to pass through punishment testing en route to me from time to time.

If you enjoy ancient historical fiction, note this and I’ll throw in an unrelated book of which I happen to have a whole bunch of copies. If you really like it, I’ll send a few extra (I have lots and lots of copies). Just ask.

Here are the rules:

  1. You have to have some way of using PayPal, whether through your own PayPal account, a debit card, credit card, or checking account, to do this.
     
  2. Don’t send any money until I’ve packed your box and contacted you (and we’ve agreed on the shipping price if you’re outside the US).
     
  3. Special requests are first come, first served.
     
  4. All book boxes are ALSO first come, first served.
     
  5. If you have any books you already have and don’t want to accidentally get another of (even to pass on), please list these.
     
  6. The times on replies will serve as the final arbiter of who asked first. I will religiously check the spam and rescue requests while this offer is ongoing. If you have fallen afoul of the spam-catcher, let me know right away at holly AT hollylisle DOT com.
     
  7. This offer is only good until I run out of books.
     

The average value of a box of 6 paperback books with one hardcover will be about $67. I can’t guess the value of the galleys, but to collectors, I’m sure they’re fairly valuable. Average value of a box of nine paperbacks without a hardcover or galley will be about $63. If you’re outside the US, keep this number in mind when figuring shipping. You don’t want to pay more than the value of the books, and you’d probably want to stop at about half the value. For orders outside the US, we’ll figure on a case-by-case basis. You’re never obligated to buy–if shipping is too much for your budget, I can pack up just one or two books for you in a sturdy envelope or little box, or you can pass your box on to the next person on the list.

Make sure your e-mail address in your account on this weblog is correct, because that’s how I’ll contact each of you.

That’s it. If you’re interested, let me know here. The giveaway starts now.

Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


Soundtracks for Novels

By Holly Lisle

There’s a discussion about the music writers listen to while they write. I put together soundtracks that help focus me on the story, but that I think may influence the mood and shape of the books, too.

But I thought this might be of interest to readers as well as writers — to have the same soundtrack running in the background while reading the book that was running while it was written. Maybe not — but in the interest of science … or something like that … I’ve posted the soundtracks for both of the upcoming World Gates books here.

The soundtrack for The Wreck of Heaven (on the shelves in April, which is sneaking closer) changed as I worked on the book. This was the final version.

Stand By Me, Ben E. King
Burning For You, Blue Oyster Cult
Don’t Fear the Reaper, Blue Oyster Cult
Secret Garden, Bruce Springsteen
Let The River Run, Carly Simon, Working Girl Soundtrack
Breathless, The Corrs, Visit For More Hits and Albums
Don’t Dream It’s Over, Crowded House, Crowded House
Time After Time, Cyndi Lauper
Name, Goo Goo Dolls
Overcome, Live, Ecstatic Fanatic
Time of Your Life, Green Day, Nimrod
Lightning Crashes, Live, Throwing Copper
Time Will Tell, Sara Hickman, Necessary Angels
The Fishermen’s Song, Silly Wizard, The Best Of Silly Wizard
Cello Suite No.1, 1. Prelude, Yo-Yo Ma, Bach: 6 Suites for Unac. Cello
Cello Suite No.1, 2. Allemande, Yo-Yo Ma, Bach: 6 Suites for Unac. Cello

Here’s the first soundtrack I did for Gods Old and Dark. I just cut and pasted from iTunes, so this is the order in which the songs were played, including repetitions. You’ll notice heavy rotation on Goo Goo Dolls “Acoustic #3” which turned into the them song for the first 3/4 of the book. “Don’t Fear the Reaper” is Molly’s theme, “Bad Moon Rising” is Baanraak’s theme, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” is Lauren’s theme, “I’ll Be” is Pete’s theme.

J. S. Bach- Bouree I & II, Andres Segovia & John Williams, The Art of the Guitar
Ferrington Guitars, Albert Lee, Ferrington Guitars
Acoustic #3, Goo Goo Dolls, Dizzy Up The Girl
Stand By Me, Ben E. King
Don’t Fear the Reaper, Blue Oyster Cult
Iris, Goo Goo Dolls
Turn the Page, Bob Seger, Greatest Hits
Bad Moon Rising, Creedence Clearwater Revival
Acoustic #3, Goo Goo Dolls, Dizzy Up The Girl
No Particular Place to Go, Chuck Berry
Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier, Civil War, The Civil War
Name, Goo Goo Dolls
The Fairy Queen, Clannad, Celtic Collection
Fanfare for the Common Man, Copeland
Don’t Dream It’s Over, Crowded House, Crowded House
Turn the Page, Bob Seger, Greatest Hits
Time After Time, Cyndi Lauper
Come Again, Damn Yankees, Damn Yankees
High Enough, Damn Yankees
Acoustic #3, Goo Goo Dolls, Dizzy Up The Girl
Where You Goin’ Now, Damn Yankees
The Dreaming Tree, Dave Matthews Band, Before These Crowded Streets
Acoustic #3, Goo Goo Dolls, Dizzy Up The Girl
Taking You Home Don Henley, Inside Job
Classical Gas, John Williams
Barely Breathing, Duncan Sheik, The Absolute Hits
I’ll Be, Edwin McCain
Iris, Goo Goo Dolls
Epona, Enya, ENYA
Acoustic #3, Goo Goo Dolls, Dizzy Up The Girl
Exile, Enya, Watermark
Storms In Africa, Enya, Watermark
Classical Gas, Eric Clapton
This Kiss, Faith Hill, Faith
Name, Goo Goo Dolls
Iris, Goo Goo Dolls
When I Come Around, Green Day, Dookie
Time of Your Life, Green Day, Nimrod
Acoustic #3, Goo Goo Dolls, Dizzy Up The Girl
Fisherman’s Song, Irish Descendants, Look to the Sea
Name, Goo Goo Dolls
Classical Gas, John Williams
Far and Away, John Williams
Hanging by a Moment – Acoustic, Lifehouse, No Name Face
Concerning Hobbits, Lord Of The Rings OST, The Lord Of The Rings- The Fellowship Of The Ring
Overcome, Live, Ecstatic Fanatic
Lightning Crashes, Live
Prisoner In Disguise, Linda Ronstadt / J.D. Souther
Name, Goo Goo Dolls

My needs changed significantly for the last 3/4 of the book and for the revision, where I suddenly discovered what the whole thing was really about. So I did a second soundtrack. “Acoustic #3” maintained heavy rotation, but the book picked up a new theme song — “Superman” by Five for Fighting. Baanraak picks up two new theme songs, “Every Breath You Take” and “The Unforgiven II”. Lauren gets “I Will Never Be the Same” and Molly’s new theme is “I Don’t Want to Wait.” June Bug and Heyr get the “Adagio for Strings.”

Acoustic #3, Goo Goo Dolls, Dizzy Up The Girl
Ferrington Guitars, J.D. Souther, Ferrington Guitars
Canon for Three Violins, Pachelbel
Concerning Hobbits, Lord Of The Rings OST, The Lord Of The Rings- The Fellowship Of The Ring
Superman, Five For Fighting, America Town
Like The Way I Do, Melissa Etheridge, Melissa Etheridge
Canon in D, Pachelbel
Acoustic #3, Goo Goo Dolls, Dizzy Up The Girl
Every Breath You Take, Police
Superman, Five For Fighting, America Town
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Pachelbel, Rachmaninov
Fields Of Gold, Sting, Ten Summoner’s Tales
Ruins, Melissa Etheridge, Yes I Am
Acoustic #3, Goo Goo Dolls, Dizzy Up The Girl
The Bridge Of Khazad Dum, Lord Of The Rings OST, The Lord Of The Rings- The Fellowship Of The Ring
Superman, Five For Fighting, America Town
Yo Yo Ma – Bouree, Bach
I’m The Only One, Melissa Etheridge, Yes I Am
Adagio for Strings, Platoon Soundtrack
Come To My Window, Melissa Etheridge, Yes I Am
Acoustic #3, Goo Goo Dolls, Dizzy Up The Girl
Superman, Five For Fighting, America Town
Downeaster Alexa, Billy Joel, Greatest Hits Volume III
Don’t Fear the Reaper, Blue Oyster Cult
I Will Never Be The Same, Melissa Etheridge, Yes I Am
Superman, Five For Fighting, America Town
Run Around, Blues Traveller
Fields Of Gold (Acoustic Unplugged), Sting
Acoustic #3, Goo Goo Dolls, Dizzy Up The Girl
The Unforgiven II, Metallica, Reload
What A Wonderful World, Paul Simon, James Taylor, & Art Garfunkel
I Don’t Want to Wait, Paula Cole
Superman, Five For Fighting, America Town
Catch The Moments As They Fly, Lifescapes, Celtic River

Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


STET Stamp Redux

By Holly Lisle

I still have two thirds of The Wreck of Heaven to get through, so my writing creativity today is pretty much limited to angle of placement and force of attack with the STET stamp.

Okay — so what is a STET stamp? For that matter, what is STET?

Writers get a final call on what is and what is not changed in their books. Books go through a number of editing processes — the editor reads and marks the manuscript and requests revisions, the writer does the revisions, the editor reads and (one hopes) approves the revisions and sends the manuscript off to the copyeditor, the copyeditor goes through the manuscript looking for continuity issues in-manuscript and in-series, plus spellos, typos, and grammatical errors and makes changes, and the writer goes through the manuscript and checks the changes made to make sure they’re acceptable.

Usually, they are. Sometimes, however, you the writer will have a significant difference of opinion with your copyeditor over some general usage issue — I had to deal with a “less/fewer” change made to this manuscript, for example, that I did not like — or with general writing style conflicts (copyeditor does not agree with your comma placement, or cleans up the grammar in your dialogue — these both just drive me nuts). In instances where you disagree, you have the right to STET — to mark the word STET on your manuscript over any change you don’t approve, saying, in effect, “Leave it the way I wrote it.” You may or may not choose to write outcalls on the manuscript explaining your decision — in the case of “less/fewer”, I did a usage book lookup to make sure that my usage was acceptable. It was — it’s been in use since at least 888 AD, when it appeared in an English translation from the Latin by no less notable a personage than King Alfred the Great. I STETted the copyeditor’s change, noting the usage, and the fact that my way sounded less pretentious, and drew a box around the remark so that it did not end up as part of the manuscript proper. Sometimes, as with commas, I just STET without comment, making only a global comma note on the Style Guide that I reserve the right to use commas in a somewhat ungrammatical manner for sentence rhythm, and that the typesetter should follow my lead with this.

I am careful with STETs. I thought I was right in another usage question (a change of imply/infer) and checked my usage guide, and found out that I was, in fact, really wrong. Not just a little wrong, but really wrong. Did not STET that change.

I have a couple of usage guides, but the one I like best is Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage, which has very nice documentation of all the alternatives. English is never simple, so I have a backup for second opinions — The Encyclopedic Dictionary Style and Usage, by Mary A. DeVries. There are other guides; I own some of them, too, but these are the two I use.

Finally, I leave you with these two thoughts before I get back to work:

  • Writers don’t know everything, but neither do copyeditors.
  • It’s what you think you know that will prove your undoing, so always double-check everything.

Which brings us back to the STET stamp. What is it? It’s one of those self-inking rubber deelies that prints STET in neat little red letters when you give it a good thump with the palm of your hand. Very satisfying. A STET stamp says, “I’m so sure I’m going to be right at least some of the time that I had a stamp made to celebrate the occasion.” Though actually, I didn’t. Jim Baen, my publisher at the time, gave it to me for Christmas about eight years ago. I’ve never used it until yesterday.

Anyway, now I’m back to thwacking commas. Hah!

Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


Me and My STET Stamp

By Holly Lisle

I get to work today, but I do not get to write today. I have fallen behind in prepping the copyedited manuscript of The Wreck of Heaven for its return to Eos, so today I just need to sit and read and make those requested changes that I agree with and STET commas.

I STILL haven’t used the STET stamp. There is something in me that feels guilty for undoing the work someone else has done, even though that person assiduously went through and undid a great deal of the work that I did. And even though I want my commas where I want them, and even though the person who changed them all will not see my re-corrections, the STET stamp feels … cold. Impersonal. Imperious.

But it’s quicker and significantly neater than my handwriting. I feel silly for feeling guilty. But I feel guilty.

What the hell. There. ::thwonk!:: I have officially used my STET stamp for the first time on an actual manuscript. (You can’t see it, but I put in the sound effect so that you could hear it. Full-service blogging, that’s me.)

Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


Days off make me twitchy

By Holly Lisle

I took my day off, and got a lot of site stuff done, and now I’m hitting the book. As planned, today is Molly and Baanraak, and I’m enjoying their issues. God, do they both have issues. I’ll get my 2000, then hit the revisions that I haven’t been able to touch the past few days because of babysitting — no babysitting today.

I have a bit of time on the turnaround for The Wreck of Heaven, but I’d rather not have to push it.

And for some reason that I cannot fathom, Spenser is standing on my shoulder, yelling in my ear — sometimes he just curls on my shoulder and cuddles while I write, but at the moment he’s being a pain and I’m tempted to toss him across the room. I won’t — he’s a good cat — but today he apparently has issues, too.

Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


2,162 words, and a nice cliffhanger

By Holly Lisle

Moved the story forward quite a way today in spite of obstacles. I had to pull out some of what I wrote yesterday, because I had an idea for increasing conflict and tension and decided to run with that when I got to work this morning. Plus, I’m having to work in enough backstory that people picking up this volume as their first contact with the series will know what’s going on, but even so, I managed to develop the core problem — creating a buffer against the ravages of the Night Watch — while still working in some background about the Sentinels, Lauren’s budding and conflicted relationship with Pete, and the workings of magic in this universe. Overall, a good morning. I grossed 2,162 words, though my net was about 500 less due to rip-outs of some of yesterday’s material. I like this new direction better, though.

Going to have to call it quits for the rest of the day, though, and probably won’t make it into the community until my class at 11:00 AM — and then I’m going to have to leave right afterward. I have to get more of the copyedit revisions of The Wreck of Heaven finished, and my copyeditor and I disagree pretty severely about commas and where they should — and should not — go. I have the STET stamp that Jim Baen gave me nine or ten years ago out on the manuscript waiting. I’ve never used it in all these years — but for this book I might.

Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


Goal for today: 72,635

By Holly Lisle

Today the hero, now heading toward the heroine and the killer at top speed, goes through the gauntlet in an attempt to reach her before it’s too late. The book is going to end up short, I think, necessitating the addition of at least one subplot and a significant rewrite. I may end up having to let the first draft just sit for a few months while I do the third World Gates, which is due to be handed in December first. That’ll be okay, though — once I have the whole first draft down, I think this one may benefit from some fermentation.

Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


Almost done with the site

By Holly Lisle

Yesterday, my finest site hour — I got the damned template and comments for this page to work. I’ve been slogging links on the site, and reformatting pages to CSS so that the next time I want to completely redesign the site, I’ll be able to do most of it with the push of a couple of buttons.

I’ve been putting all but the very longest articles back on one page, instead of having them on short, site-readable pages. In spite of web wisdom suggesting that people shouldn’t have to scroll down to read a site, I get regular requests to have the articles in a format that would let people print articles to read offline later.

I’ve been dealing with bandwidth issues in the community — I picked an unsuitable host who averages by peak use, not average use, which means that the community looks like a skeleton of the rest of the site. However, the austerity measures have worked to the point of keeping the community accesible … so far.

Got The Wreck of Heaven done, today I’ll get back up to speed with Midnight Rain. I’m going to have to do a complete read-through to remember where I was; the expected one-week break to revise TWOH turned into — what? About a month? Sheesh.

Got my work cut out for me.

Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


Done!

By Holly Lisle

I’ve finally finished typing in all the revisions on The Wreck of Heaven. I replaced or rewrote a huge amount of the book — I didn’t know how much until I started typing changes in. Even in this final phase, the thing remained the Book that Would Not Die.

But it’s done now, and I’m glad to be done with it. I’ll print it off on Monday, and mail the thing. I’m taking tomorrow off.

I feel like I’ve just finished dragging myself off the finish line of a triathalon. Sheesh.

Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


And the word for today is “frustration”

By Holly Lisle

I have the site mostly switched over, but it keeps waffling back and forth — still hasn’t finished propagating across the net, apparently. So sometimes links work, and sometimes they don’t.

The community software is EVIL. Great software, it will do beautiful things, and Shalon Wood did yeoman work getting the initial set-up done, but there’s some weird bug that’s keeping it from working, and it won’t let him use the password I sent him so that he can even log in and see what’s wrong with it. Which means it had fallen back to me, and I am having no luck with the installation, and have discovered that I don’t even understand the processes well enough to ask an intelligent question that could get me help at the support site — assuming that I could then understand the help I got, which is not a given by any means. I have this sinking feeling that we’re going to still be using N54 next year, in spite of everything. My head is getting squishy from hitting it against the wall so much.

I am getting revisions done. I have to give the community stuff a rest, and I’ve already burned through another fifty manuscript pages, and expect to top out at 150 for the night.

But as days go, this one has really sucked.

Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved