Discussing “Fun…With Teeth”

Fun...With Teeth
Fun…With Teeth

Back when I first got published, I signed a lot of my books with a little extra exuberance—I drew a toothy smiley face and wrote in under it the words “Fun…With Teeth.”

Which was how I saw my fiction—I always wanted my readers to laugh, but I wanted some real edge in there, too.

Because, let’s face it. Sometimes I want to scare your socks of.

As the wear and tear of publishing (and some pretty hard times in my life) began to get to me, I lost some of that exuberance. All of my books have funny places in them, but with some of them, you have to wade through a whole lot of darkness to find it.

But when I decided to walk away from the meat grinder that is professional publishing, to deal directly with my readers, and to publish my own work, something strange happened. It was as if someone switched on a light inside me.

I was digging through my early works, the ones for which rights have reverted to me, and I discovered how funny some of those early books were.

I’d forgotten. From cats with hands who liked to play with matches to winged horses with bad brakes to a Miata-driving, beer-swilling dragon to infesting the entire state of North Carolina with the denizens from Hell (to the serious detriment of Hell), I had a lot more fun back then.

I want to find my way back to that.

I’d like to have you share a part of my return to laughter. In my case, laughter with really big, sharp, pointy teeth.

In the next couple of months, as I start getting my reverted novels converted into digital and print versions and moved onto platforms like Kindle and iBooks and Nook, I’m going to put together a little private membership site especially for the folks who like my fiction. You’ll have a bulletin board there where you can talk to each other, and tell me what characters you’ve missed and who you want to read about next, as well as a place where I’ll post some snippets of work in progress, cover images, and news about each book as I release it.

I don’t know what else I’ll put in there. But it’ll be free, and I’ll make sure to include some nice surprises from time to time.

Here’s the place to ask questions, offer your wish list, comment on my radical career change…

I’m glad you’re here.

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22 responses to “Discussing “Fun…With Teeth””

  1. Perry Jewell Avatar
    Perry Jewell

    I’ve been writing for years, thinking for more. I have enjoyed your writing and am grateful you share your abilities with others. I have a lot of curiosity that isn’t politically correct.

  2. Angie Avatar

    Hey um, I’m really glad that you’re re-publishing you’re old stuff, I think it’s really important to remember where you came from and what you did. However, you’re new series “Moon & Sun” has been one of my favorites since it first came out, but you havent released the next one in like 2 years. I would like to know if ur planning on publishing it any time soon or if you dropped it.

    1. Holly Avatar

      My publisher worked really hard to make writing the third one as unattractive and unprofitable for me as possible, and since this is how I make my living and keep a roof over my head, I had to move on. At some point in the future, I hope to pick up the series, but the rights on the first two books will have to revert to me first.

      Which, bluntly, may never happen.

  3. Jennifer Avatar

    It’s great that you’re converting some of your older stories to digital. I got an e-reader a few months ago and have been dying to put some of your work on there, but it is so hard to find. Is ‘Hawkspar’ going to be one of the converted books? I certainly hope so, because it is fantastic and one of my all-time favorites.

    1. Holly Avatar

      Hawkspar is still in print. If it goes out of print and I get the rights back to it, I’ll self-pub it. But I’m not counting on that happening.

      1. david Avatar

        Does this affect any other stories of Korre?

        Do you want to have the rights to Hawkspar and Talyn before you do another?

        Also watching to see what happens. The fact that some business models are failing is not surprising, but many of them had a long time to alter the market to suit them and only them.

        Perhaps in this day of Nook and Kindle and Amazon, the market really is changing.

  4. Karen Avatar

    I am very excited for the readers’ website, as well. I really liked the First Folk in Bones of the Past and Mind of the Magic. It was such a cool twist.

  5. Kate Sterling Avatar

    Good luck with your revolution, Holly. And I loved the heck out of “Sympathy for the Devil”. 🙂

  6. Holly Avatar

    It will be wonderful to have your early books available to readers again – all too often I have had to scour ABEs and used bookstores after recommending a title to someone.

    Would you please consider doing audio as well – there are an awful lot of us who, for various reasons, consume more than 50% of their books in this format. Besides DIY (which goes along with self-publishing) there is Podiobooks to get started and suck in more readers.

    1. Holly Avatar

      I’ve considered audio. Evo Terra and I talked about it at some length years ago, but as always, time is the great enemy.

      Currently (when I’m not enveloped in migraines) I work about 70 hours a week. I’m hoping, post-quitting-teaching, to cut that to about 30.

      If that happens, then the possibility of doing some of my books in audio format becomes real.

  7. Ross Avatar

    I found your site when I wanted some advice on worldbuilding (which was extremely useful – thanks!), before realising you were the author of a book I’d picked up from a jumble sale years earlier, read, enjoyed greatly, and still had on the shelf: Fire in the Mist. All great fantasy with a nice twist.

    In between the epic magical battles, horrendous rituals, student drama and giant otters, Flynn is still one of the biggest thing from that book that I remember. Wish I’d thought of him first. 😉

    1. Holly Avatar

      I owned the cat who inspired Flynn, though not the one who inspired his name. My cat used to sit staring at candle flames with this intent, focused body language—and in those inevitable moments when I anthropomorphized him, that language said to me, “If I just had thumbs, I could DO something with that…”

      It was a short leap from there to giving him the thumbs.

      And an even shorter leap to realizing what a mistake that had been.

  8. Barbara Avatar

    Hi Holly,
    Inspired people inspire others with their enthusiasm, so good for you, and thanks so much for sharing all you’ve learned with the rest of us. I hope you’re feeling better now, and I’m cheering you on.

  9. estuary Avatar

    Because I’m delayed in following the walkthrough, I’m glad you’re sending out email updates. I’m watching this with awe and trepidation and a glimmer of excitement…

    One of the reasons I’ve never really pursued publishing is because of the million pounds of weight you’re alluding to, the way the joy has gone out of writing fiction for you after these years in the grinder, the just ick of working for someone else’s idea of what you ought to be writing. It’s never appealed to me.

    With your help, I’m plugging slowly along figuring out how to write a good story. Though I’m not a speedy student, I still recognize that I’ve benefited tremendously from HTTS and all you offer. I’m so grateful for our generosity and insight.

    1. Holly Avatar

      I’m going to keep folks up to date on how the self-publishing thing goes for me, on what works and what doesn’t, and on how, if you’re so inclined, you should be able to make it work for you.

      Plenty of other writers are doing the same thing, and as I have the time, I’ll hunt around, find their blogs, and link to them as well.

      If we’re going to throw a revolution, might as well make it a well-informed one.

  10. jess Avatar

    hi holly,
    i think what your doing is wonderful, and its great to hear you so upbeat. i’m glad your having fun with your work again 🙂

  11. Crystal Avatar

    Congraaaaaats on the decision! Change is power, and may your empowerment lead to much increase of happiness. ;D

  12. Penny Ash Avatar

    Fun with teeth. I love it. I want to read those books.

  13. Kari Wolfe Avatar

    Holly, you sound so wonderfully excited! We’re all here, backing you–and, hell, even hoping to pick up some of that excitement for ourselves 😉 Your excitement for self-publishing makes me want to do the same–never mind the scared sh!tless part. I’ll be here for the Holly-volution 😉

    1. Holly Avatar

      I’m thrilled when I see people succeeding with self-publishing. And (about four books now into getting ready to go live with my first six novels), I’m starting to get goose-bumps.

      There is something special to this. Something amazing, and yes, terrifying. But liberating.

  14. Jessic@ Avatar

    I know that you’ve been having a hard time lately with all the health problems, but I just have to say it’s so nice to see you…well, happy. It really comes across in your posts lately that you’re really excited, and it makes me excited to be here. Thank you for all your hard work to make sure we’re all included in this new publishing revolution. You’re one of my personal heroes. :} That’s supposed to be a smiley face with teeth, but it looks more like a mustache…

  15. Rebekah Aimee Avatar

    Ooh. So, no more contracts, then.

    You should put it in your newsletter when that site is up. : )

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