It’s Been a While

It’s been so long since I posted here that I’m surprised to find that no one has unsubscribed. And that the blog is still getting reads. I don’t know whether the changes I’ll be talking about will affect either of those facts, but life is what it is.

The direction of my writing has changed considerably and will continue to go in a new direction. First, I won’t be writing any more slave fic, even though there are more stories to be told about Carhagen and its inhabitants. Sales have been dropping steadily; I know there’s still an audience out there if I wanted to catch its attention. There have been no Amazon sales at all this month, and if that continues through October, I’ll be retiring Hidden Boundaries, Crossing Boundaries, and Within the Silence, probably permanently. They were a big part of my learning process, as a writer, and they proved that I’m capable of writing material that people will pay for.

When I can get back to fiction again, it will be mostly near-future dystopian SF. For now, all my energy is going into nonfiction. The major part of that is the book on the death penalty. If I accomplish nothing else in my life, that’s the single most important project I need to finish and see published. The secondary, but financially important project is turning out short articles for Bubblews.

For a content aggregation site, Bubblews pays unusually well. The money I’m earning there helps defray the cost of books for research, and allows me to be more active fighting against America’s death penalty than just writing about it. Some of what I publish there is even worth reading. I may use this blog to point to an article now and then, when it’s relevant, but not very often.

I also won’t be posting here too frequently, but hopefully, more often than every two months.  So, if I’m not currently writing fiction, what will I post? That’s still up in the air, but some of the articles I write for Bubblews could be expanded. Science fiction and writing, specifically. I keep them as short as possible there because the number of writers on the site mean that any article disappears quickly. Our archives only cover the last 100 articles, so anything older takes some persistent Googling to find, assuming anyone is that interested, which I doubt.

It’s safe to say that the subject matter will be more random than it has been in the past, and it might not always appeal to people who’ve been reading the blog for some time.

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5 thoughts on “It’s Been a While

  1. Sounds good to me, Catana. I love the fact that you’ve got a plan to do this non-fiction book and have found a way to pay for the research materials. You are one heck of a good non-fiction writer, so I’m really looking forward to seeing the work when it finally comes out. The only thing I would query is why you feel the necessity to take down the fiction you’ve done when it doesn’t cost anything to leave it up there, where it might be found in due course. .

  2. I thought about leaving it, Dani, but I’m looking at it as a part of my writing life that’s over now. It’s sort of like putting childhood things away in the closet. I’d like to establish myself with nonfiction and speculative fiction, if I have enough time left for it, and slave fantasy isn’t going to contribute to that. Some of my stories will include slavery, but in a more realistic setting, and it won’t be the central idea. But you know how often I can do an about face, so who knows?

  3. I too suggest you leave your books up on Amazon. From reading your posts over time it seems to me that you are concerned that your readers are only interested in the Hand Slave universe for the sex. I don’t think that is entirely true; there are readers of slave fic who want the personal stuff – the adjustment of people to one another and to their situation.

    I came to slave stories looking for adjustment to the status change, which is just what you gave me in the Boundaries novels. I was interested in the short bits you posted on AO3 that dealt with other characters, and that contrasting story about someone who could only live as a slave. These situations are not often handled as well as you did, or indeed at all in many stories. To me this is somehow also related the to prisoner writing you are doing; the status change is a shock in any circumstances, and coping an on-going process.

  4. Arethusarose, you’re shaking what little certainty I have about this. Of course, anyone who buys my books looking for sex is going to be bitterly disappointed. (That may account for some of the returns. I’d prefer to think that than someone is just reading and returning to get a refund because they want a free read.) For the time being, that decision will be on hold. But with all the other projects that have higher priority, I just can’t see myself writing slavefic again. Still, I’m very grateful for people like you who understand and appreciate what I tried to do with it.

  5. Your new projects sound fascinating – good luck with them.

    “There have been no Amazon sales at all this month, and if that continues through October, I’ll be retiring Hidden Boundaries, Crossing Boundaries, and Within the Silence, probably permanently.”

    I always get deeply distressed when libraries weed out old books. I understand the lack of space they have, but it saddens me that new visitors to the library won’t be able to read those books. One of the things I like about the virtual bookshelf is that one doesn’t have to weed out older titles.

    Of course, none of this means you have to continue writing slave fiction if you don’t want to. Just don’t assume that every reader who would love your stories has already found them.

    “I’d like to establish myself with nonfiction and speculative fiction, if I have enough time left for it, and slave fantasy isn’t going to contribute to that.”

    I write slave stories and speculative fiction and nonfiction, and I haven’t encountered any problems. Speculative fiction is filled to the brim with slave stories. It’s where I *learned* to write slave fiction. And if you’re writing nonfiction about prison issues, that certainly seems compatible with fiction about captivity. But if you really feel that the genres won’t mesh, you can always use a new pen name.

    “I thought about leaving it, Dani, but I’m looking at it as a part of my writing life that’s over now. It’s sort of like putting childhood things away in the closet.”

    “They accuse us of arrested development because we have not lost a taste we had in childhood. But surely arrested development consists not in refusing to lose old things but in failing to add new things? I now like hock, which I am sure I should not have liked as a child. But I still like lemon-squash. I call this growth or development because I have been enriched: where I formerly had only one pleasure, I now have two. But if I had to lose the taste for lemon-squash before I acquired the taste for hock, that would not be growth but simple change. I now enjoy Tolstoy and Jane Austen and Trollope as well as fairy tales and I call that growth: if I had had to lose the fairy tales in order to acquire the novelists, I would not say that I had grown but only that I had changed. A tree grows because it adds rings: a train doesn’t grow by leaving one station behind and puffing on to the next.” —C. S. Lewis.

    My novel “Blood Vow” was started when I was sixteen and was finished nearly two decades ago. I trust that my writing has improved since age sixteen, and even since 1995. But I still like the novel, and judging from the reactions of my readers, some of them still do also.

    I no longer write nonfiction. I still have my old nonfiction websites up, and last year I reissued some of my old journalism articles. Nonfiction isn’t what I’d write today, but those articles might be of interest to some readers, so I make them available.

    Unless you’re really ashamed of what you wrote before – and I can’t imagine why you would be – then I suggest you let readers judge for themselves what works of yours they’d like to read.

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