Sunday, July 20, 2014

Movies about Authors

I adore movies. Some days, don't tell anyone, even more than books. Is it allowable to admit that? Too late now, right?

Anyway, I'm particularly fond of movies about authors, or books even, so long as they are about books and not just movies based on a book. (which is fine, of course, but I feel a different animal altogether) I've made lists of these in previous posts, and recently posted a review of Authors Anonymous over at the Evil League of Evil Writers

And I liked it. 

So I'm going to do some more reviews of movies about authors and/or books and I'm open to suggestions. I have a few in mind to start, fist most likely will be a delicious flick I watched yesterday evening called The Grand Budapest Hotel. Which isn't exactly about authors, but has one as a character and is celebrating the work of one particular author. So I'm going to count it anyway because, hey, it's my blog. 

I'm also looking at Inkheart, Romancing the Stone, (and the sequel) Stranger than Fiction, and Misery...but I want to get to them all and we know there are a lot of them. So if you have one favorite or least favorite movie about a writer, let me know in the comments. If I haven't seen it, I'll make a point of watching and reviewing. 

And maybe y'all can give me your take on them too. 
I liked Authors Anonymous a great deal, as you can see if you pop over and check out the review, but I had some reservations/cautions on it too. 

Anyone else seen it that has a different take, feel free to share too, and in the meantime, I'll work on a second viewing of The Grand Budapest Hotel.

~Frances 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cover Reveal: SEEN Princes of the Shroud book two

Just got the go ahead to share. :)


Princes of the Shroud
book two

SEEN


coming in November
from 
The Zharmae Publishing Press

Rowri is a priestess with prophetic dreams—and she’s dreamt of her soulmate. So when she volunteers to be the gifted bride in a peace negotiation between her own peoples and the Tolfarians, she is certain that the lilac-skinned man in her visions is the Tolfarian leader she is to marry.

But prophecy is never simple, and visions are never clear. Shayd, a seer and one of the Shrouded, is summoned to transport Rowri to her new husband-to-be. When Rowri sets eyes on his lilac skin, she knows she’s made a terrible mistake—one she’ll have to live with for the rest of her life if she wants to save her people and prevent war.

The two are drawn together, and the fates of two races hinge on the decisions they make. On the precipice of volcanic eruptions, galactic terrorism, and mercenary attacks, Shayd and Rowri must give up every hope of happiness for their people, or sacrifice everything for true love.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Cover Reveal: Cursed by Fire


My fantastic editor at Zharmae has her very own cover reveal today, and I am THRILLED to participate in it. The book sounds like a winner, and the cover is severely awesome. 
Introdcuging, Cursed by Fire, a debut book from Danielle Annett....



Title: Cursed by Fire
Series: Blood and Magic #1
Author: Danielle Annett
Designer: Mae I Design
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: January 201

Book Description:

It has been six years since the Awakening and peace in Spokane, Washington is still tenuous at best. The vampires and shifters are all vying for control of the city and the humans seem to be the ones suffering the consequences, or so it seems.

Aria Naveed has spent the last two years of her life fighting to make the many wrongs of the world right, but soon finds out that the humans aren’t as weak as they appear and may be a more terrifying foe than any of the other races combined.

When a stranger rolls into town with trouble on his heels, Aria finds herself trapped in the middle of a battle that could cost her more than she has bargained for as a fight for justice turns into an unexpected fight for her life.





Danielle Annett is a reader, writer, photographer, and the blogger behind Coffee and Characters. Born in the SF Bay area, she now resides in Spokane, WA, the primary location for her Blood & Magic series.
Addicted to coffee at an early age, she spends her restless nights putting pen to paper as she tries to get all of the stories out of her head before the dogs wake up the rest of the house and vye for her attention.

You can learn more about Danielle on her website at http://www.danielleannett.blogspot.com or follow on on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ AuthorDanielleAnnett and on twitter @Danielle_Annett





“Mike you and I both know that that isn’t going to happen so why don’t you just tell me what fur ball they’re going to saddle me with.” I said as I collected my stack of papers and organized them into a semi-neat pile.
Mike noisily cleared his voice, “Uh hey Ari...”
“God I hope that whoever it is that he isn’t a complete moron. If I’m going to be stuck with a pack partner, the least they can do is send me someone competent.” Mike noisily cleared his throat again.
“What?” I asked, looking up from my desk.
I was greeted by a tall man standing just inside the office, casually leaning against the doorframe. He had tousled brown hair and steely grey colored eyes. High cheekbones and a strong jaw formed his masculine face and a hint of stubble dusted his jaw line, not enough to appear unkempt but just enough to give a roguish impression. Dressed in black jeans, a black T, and a black leather jacket, he oozed tall, dark and handsome with deadly intent.
“That would be this fur ball right here.” He said, an arrogant grin lifting the corner of his mouth. I let my head fall to the surface of my desk, then for good measure I gently knocked my forehead on its smooth surface, one, two, three times. Dammit I couldn’t believe I had just called him a freaking fur ball! I could feel my cheeks warm in embarrassment and did my best to hide it.
“You all done with the show?” He asked as I lifted my head from the desk. I glared at him for good measure and then allowed my head to connect with the desk’s surface once more before sitting up. rubbing the slight sting away “Yea, I’m done.” I told him. Well, at least this wouldn’t be as bad as I had thought. James was the only shifter that I actually personally knew and was one of the few individuals I considered a friend. I met James about six months ago at a shifter bar downtown, though at the time I didn’t actually know that it was a shifter bar.
A group of coyotes had decided I was easy prey and were giving me a pretty hard time. James had intervened before things got out of hand which basically meant that he stopped me from wiping the floor with their coyote asses and burning the entire building to ash.  It was probably a good thing that he had stepped in but I remember being furious with him at the time, I had really wanted to give those bastards a piece of my mind and show them that I wasn’t just some naive little girl. That was back when I was still cocky over my abilities. Things had changed since then and the thought was sobering. Now being a pyrokinetic was something I had to hide and honestly, that just plain sucked.
“So, you’re my partner?”
James nodded, his face going serious, “Yea I’m you’re partner, ready to do something reckless?”
I smiled at that, James knew me all to well.
“Absolutely.”
Grabbing my messenger bag I followed James out of the office, aware of Mike’s unapproving gaze on my every step.







Thursday, June 19, 2014

Let There Be Dragons!

The impending (like any minute) launch of the first Kundalis books marks my first step into the world of dragons. I've always loved them, always been a fan, but haven't incorporated any into my writing until now. I think, I was waiting for an idea that was a little bit oddball, a touch off plumb, and just a shade or two different.
I hope I found it, and I hope you all like it.
As always, I'm having a blast.

Introducing, the Kundalis Dragon Series:
STORM DRAGON
Kundalis: book one


Title: Storm Dragon

Series: Kundalis

Author: Frances Pauli

Publisher: Zharmae

Release Date: June 19, 2014

Genre: NA, Urban Fantasy


Blurb: 
  Karin knows she’s gone completely insane—nuts—absolutely batshit crazy, when 

she spots an insidious blue dragon twining through the trees at a rest stop in the Cascade 

Mountains. Despite agreeing to join her roommate at a psychic fair, she’s never believed in 

anything metaphysical. She’s pretty sure the Reiki treatment she succumbed to has brought on a 

frighteningly realistic hallucination—until they roll their mini-van in the middle of I-90, and she 

is rescued from the vehicle by the same monstrous blue figment of her imagination. 

  She awakens to find that she’s been delivered to a cabin high in the mountains instead of to a 

proper hospital. The “doctor” looking out for her is more of a new-ager than a physician, and 

the people who own the house, including the urban highlander version of Fabio, don’t have any 

intention of letting her leave.

  Faced with the unimaginable, and strapped to an all-too-real dragon, Karin must decide how to 

tame the beast or risk losing herself to it forever



Blog Tour Schedule:

6/19: Coffee and Characters: http://www.daniellecromero.blogspot.com Promo Post

6/20: Pure Textuality http://puretextuality.com Promo Post

6/21 Musings in Fiction Alley http://musingsinficitonalley.blogspot.com/ Promo & Review

6/22: Indy Book Fairy http://paranormalbookfairy.blogspot.com/ Promo Post

6/23: Seeing Night Reviews http://seeingnight.blogspot.com Promo & Review

6/26: Imagine! Create! Write! http://imaginecreatewrite.blogspot.com Promo & Review

6/27 Workaday Reads http://www.workadayreads.com Promo Post & Interview (Later Review)

6/28: Deborah Jay http://deborahjayauthor.com/ Promo Post

6/29: WS Momma Readers Nook http://wsmommareadersnook.blogspot.com/, PromoPost Giveaway

6/30 The Far Edge of Normal jaletaclegg.blogspot.com Promo Post, Interview (Possible Review)

7/1 Will Read for Coffee www.willreadforcoffee.blogspot.com Review

7/2 Mad Hatter Reads http://madhatterreads.com Promo Post

7/3 Peanut Butter and Whine http://www.peanutbutterandwhine.com Promo & Review


a Rafflecopter giveaway


About the Author

Frances Pauli was born and raised in Washington State. She grew up with a love of reading 

and storytelling, and was introduced to Science Fiction and Fantasy at an early age through 

the books kept and read by her father.Though she always held aspirations to be a writer, she 

chose to obtain her Bachelor's degree in visual arts. The stories, however, had other plans for 

her. By the time she entered her thirties, they were no longer content existing solely in her head. 

Compelled to free them, she set aside her easel and began to write in earnest.Her original love 

of Speculative fiction led her into the realms of Urban Fantasy and either romantic or humorous 

Science Fiction, where she finds herself quite comfortable. Her tales feature fairies, aliens, 

alternate dimensions, and the wonders of space, usually with at least a touch of romance.

Frances currently resides smack in the center of Washington with her husband and two 

children. When not writing she dabbles in insane things like puppetry, belly dance and 

playing the ukulele. She collects rocks, and is a firm believer in good wine, fine chocolate 

and dangerous men.More information on Frances and her writing can be found at 

www.francespauli.com

EXCERPT


The black cat crossed my path on purpose. I scowled down at it. Would it still count as bad luck 

if the beast was just messing with me? Amber eyes blinked up from the sidewalk. The kitty had 

been lounging beside the car in the next parking space, but when I tried to open my door it had 

stood, sauntered directly into my path and laid down there instead. Did it count if kitty wore a 

cutesy red bandanna and matching harness?

“Are you coming, Karin?” Steph already stood outside the driver’s door. She’d managed to 

leave the vehicle without supernatural interference, and now she leaned back in through the 

window, her auburn hair glinting in the last rays of August sunshine. Her round face crinkled into 

a grimace. “I have to pee.”

“Go ahead. I’ll catch up.” I watched my roommate bound away and cringed. I had to go too. 

We’d been in the car for over an hour and I’d polished off my water bottle a few miles back. 

Outside my window, the cat yawned, exposing needle teeth and a scratchy pink tongue. “Hey 

there, kitty.”

I pulled the lever on the van’s door and pushed the panel as far as I could without bumping the 

stupid cat. It yawned again then blinked and stared. Ridiculous. A cat on a leash had trapped 

me in the car at the only rest stop for another twenty minutes easy. I’d never make it that far. 

Too much water and road behind me. I sighed and made a soft hissing noise through the 

The cat didn’t budge, but the sound got its owner’s attention. A skinny redhead wearing yoga 

pants held the other end of the cat’s leash. She stood as far away as possible, chatting with 

the man in the car on the far side of her Volvo. When I hissed, she turned my way and the flat 

crystal around her neck sparkled.

We’d probably been at the same event. Everything about the cat’s owner looked like she’d fit 

in at a psychic fair far better than I had. This was my punishment for going, sitting here until 

my bladder exploded while psychic kitty and his mommy held me hostage. The woman smiled 

at me, then dropped her eyes to the sidewalk and frowned, tugging the cat’s leash gently and 

making a similar noise to tempt His Majesty away from Steph’s mini-van.

The black coat shimmered when he finally stood up. He wasn’t finished torturing me, though. 

His spine curved and he reached out for a nice long stretch, staring at me with his huge eyes 

and laughing his internal, kitty laugh while I fidgeted against the seat. At last, when he’d tired of 

my torment, he turned and walked as slowly as possible away from my door.

I popped out of the vehicle like a cork and sidled between the van and the woman’s Volvo. A 

second black cat stared out from the front seat. This one wore a pink collar and a tiny, feminine 

bow around her neck. Unbelievable. We’d stopped at the rest area version of the Twilight Zone 

in the middle of Washington State. Somehow, the Seattle psychic fair had knocked us through a 

metaphysical vortex and the weirdness had tried to follow me home.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

STORM DRAGON Blog Tour Sign-up

The first book in the Kundalis dragon series will release on June 19th. My awesome editor at Zharmae is putting together a blog tour and giveaway, and sign ups are now open for anyone interested in participating.

You can get in on the fun here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1YTOT3Dp-VSQWUyntfDUuXkGXql7JSBdeffbdssrzYH8/viewform



Monday, June 2, 2014

The Chain

I had to reference Fleetwood Mac, or my husband would never have forgiven me.

Today I'm playing in a linked blog tour, thanks to fellow author, Annette Snyder, whose work and bio can be found here. One of the fabulous things Annette does, is host the Fifty Authors from Fifty States blog which can be found here. Her book, Intimate Flames, was also a 2011 EPIC finalist. She has sweetly invited me to join the My Writing Process Blog Tour, and my answers to the tour questions are below, along with the three authors that I am happily introducing for the next tier of the tour.
Thanks, Annette!

My Writing Process:

1) What am I working on?
I am currently working away at book four in the Kingdoms Gone fairy tale series. Blame the Bearer is going to continue the story left off at the end of Horded and I'm about half the distance through the first draft as we speak.

 2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
The Kingdoms Gone series is about our perceptions of people. The books explore misconceptions and first impressions and the perspective of each character by taking someone who may have been seen as the antagonist in one book and casting them in a different light in the next...sometimes by placing them in the role of hero or heroine, and sometimes by showing them at different times or stages in their lives. Blame the Bearer has at it's core a protagonist who, up until this book, has been cast as incredibly villainous. Whether or not his story can redeem him, however, remains to be seen.

3) Why do I write what I do?
I am writing the fairy tale series for many reasons. I have always been fond of them, for one. Aside from that, the fairy tale is a caricature. It is both a reflection of reality and a symbolic story, and so very useful for exploring concepts like good and evil, the nature of character, people and the dangers of looking only at the surface or first glance. The world does not have to be exact, for it is fantasy and myth, not history. The focus can shift to the people, and how they change when we twist them to look from a different angle.

4) How does your writing process work?
This often changes from book to book, but usually I do a little pre-writing. I don't outline, exactly, but I do line out the major plot points and character arcs and then import that information into Scrivener. Once I have the bones in, then I usually dive in with the storytelling. I write from start to finish chronologically, and though many authors do it, can't imagine trying to skip about and then piecing it all together afterwards.
Of course, I drink obscene amounts of coffee and tend to mutter to myself in a very cliche manner as well.

Thanks so much for joining our tour! Next week three of my favorite people will be posting their answers too. Check them out!

Up Next Week:

Three fantastic authors and great friends will be posting their answers on Jun 9th at the following links:

S. Evan Townsend
S. Evan Townsend has been called "America's Unique Speculative Fiction Voice."  After spending four years in the U.S. Army in the Military Intelligence branch, he returned to civilian life and college to earn a B.S. in Forest Resources from the University of Washington. In his spare time he enjoys reading, driving (sometimes on a racetrack), meeting people, and talking with friends.  He is in a 12-step program for Starbucks addiction. Evan lives in central Washington State with his wife and has three grown sons.  He enjoys science fiction, fantasy, history, politics, cars, and travel.  He currently has five published fantasy and science fiction novels.


Adriane Ceallaigh, Author of Unbound: Kayla Blackstone Book One, enjoys knitting and managing the Central Washington Authors Guild. She can be reached at Author@adrianeceallaigh.com 



Voss Foster lives in the middle of the Eastern Washington desert, where he writes speculative fiction.


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Because you can't kill literature...

Literature, like art, is a concept that evolves. I've mentioned this before. You can't kill it. You can't destroy it. But it WILL change, like all art, over time. And like every generation in history...ever...the one experiencing the change will panic, howl and moan about it.

A lot like when my mother gets ranty about cellphones and how texting is going to destroy humanity.

Change is scary. Scared people do crazy weird shit. They say weird shit. Sometimes, they forget to think clearly. Anyway. I'm a fan of change because it makes the world uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable is the BEST PLACE in which to make art from. That's when the good stuff happens. Yes, the bad stuff too but, YAY ART.

There's a big kerfluffle going on about Amazon and Hatchettte in the book universe at the moment. A lot of it is more moaning about the death of literature. (because people don't get that you can't kill it. Seriously, it might change into something YOU don't like, but that's not the same thing)

Anyway, I don't like to chime in on industry stuff because I'm not any kind of authority on it. One of the people I consider an authority on it, however, has chimed in. He chimed in until tears came to my eyes and I got all steamy and gooey and so, I want to share it here. You can read the whole thing at his blog: THE PASSIVE GUY. 

but his comment below is the real gem:

Because who could be better for democracy than a small number of huge international media conglomerates controlling the future of ideas?
What could be better for democracy than an inbred group of gatekeepers who decide what appears in bookstores and what does not?
What could be better for democracy than contracts that control and restrict what authors are permitted to write?
PG submits that Amazon is far more egalitarian and pro-democratic than big corporate publishing is.
Want to write about your personal philosophy? Want to push the boundaries of the literary form?
Don’t go to New York. For all their pretense (read the entire Atlantic article), they’re cogs in a corporate world that’s cramped by convention and quarterly profit requirements, pretenders striking poses for one another.
This is the group that has presided over a long decline in American reading, questing for short-term gain by pushing book prices ever higher while paying authors less and less and transforming them from independent artists into anxiety-ridden grist for a soul-destroying mill.
Literature in the United States was doing just fine before the industrial literary era dawned, killing dozens of small publishers and thousands of independent bookstores.
Make no mistake about it, today’s traditional publishing establishment is the product of decades of consolidation, concentrating more and more power over what is published into fewer and fewer hands. The latest and largest example of this trend is the merger of Random House and Penguin to create the largest publisher in the world.
As independent authors arise, empowered by Amazon’s democratic commons of ideas, PG says we’re looking at a renaissance of American literature, an upheaval that is shoving the suits out and putting authors back in charge of the art they create.
Despite the dying spasms of Big Publishing, the wall between writers and readers is coming down. Uncontrolled and unmediated ideas are being released into the wild, giving readers the opportunity to decide which will flourish.
Whether the path out of corporate serfdom comes via Amazon or someone else, authors who have discovered the freedom that comes with owning and controlling the fruits of their labors are not going back to the plantation.
As Passive Guy has read the tsunami of screeds that have erupted from various participants in the legacy publishing world, he has noted a common subtext: “Big Publishing is the devil we know. It gives me enough gruel to survive. Don’t mess with my gruel!”
PG and many independent authors agree in part. We do know that devil and believe it’s time for that devil to go. Whether a new devil arises or not, we know the old one is beyond redemption. We’ve found a better way.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Writing it online...

MY WRITING PROCESS MEME---  The Earth Tigers

I was tagged in this meme by webserial author Nick Bryan, whose story, Hobson and Choi, is also available on Jukepop serials. Nick's post can be found here, and his serial is well worth checking out!! 

The authors at Jukepop are incredibly talented and very supportive of each other, and I want to give a big thanks and a shout out to Nick for inviting me to play today. :)

Now on to the questions and The Earth Tigers. 


1. When and where is the story set?
The Earth Tigers is set on a planet whose dominant life forms are primarily arthropods. The sparse human tribes are fairly primitive (though they do have tools and woven cloth) and the major civilization in the planet's history was arachnid, built in cooperation with human assistants. The timeline is well after a major war has reduced the spider's population and driven a rift between them and the humans. Now, the giants are waking, and the spiders need to reforge the old bonds to be ready for their return...The only problem is, in the interim, the humans have developed a bone-deep hatred for all spiders. 

2. What can you say about the main characters?
Horatch is a T'rant scout. He is, most simply, an enormous tarantula. His former mate, whom he still harbors a deep love for, is the leader of his people. Horatch leaves her and his city on a quest to find a human to offer the Old Ones when they return. He hopes that his success will cement his people's future and win him a permanent place in Niatha's affections. 
Milyi is a human girl who had difficulty fitting in. The only thing she excels at is dancing, and she does that all wrong according to her teacher. Though she, like all of her people, harbors a terror of spiders, her grandmother's plans to marry her off leave Milyi just rebellious enough to listen to Horatch instead of squishing him on sight. 
Saku steps on a bee hive while hunting and is fatally stung. He is rescued from certain death by Angel, a monster Wisp who carries him to her city far to the north. Though she is his savior, Angel also stings him repeatedly, using her toxins to control and warp Saku's thoughts until he like many before him, vow to serve the Wisps in their war against the spiders. 

3. What is the main conflict?
Ultimately the conflict in The Earth Tigers is Spider versus Wasp. I've modeled the "villains" in the serial on the tarantula killing Pepsis wasps. The T'rants and their Great Ones (monster sized tarantulas) battle the Wisps for the loyalty and assistance of the humans, whom they both need in order to maintain their dominance over the planet. 
On a personal scale, Horatch vies for Niatha's love with her current mate Metacha, a much stronger and larger male with a seriously bad attitude. Milyi struggles to find her real place in the world, adrift from her own people and thrust into a group of others that are hostile and competitive. 
Poor Saku labors under the influence of Wisp venom to spread the wasps' Truth to the rest of his people and lead them into the grip of the Wisps and away from loyalty to the spiders and their Great Ones. 

And as always, more to come! The Earth Tigers is updated weekly on the blog, wattpad, textnovel, goodreads and jukepop. 


The Infectious Phaze:
Below are links to more authors who will answer the above questions about their own serials. Check them out as well. :)

TR Goodman was born after a volcanic eruption with a love of scifi and fantasy. Armed with a pen and sonic screwdriver, he now writes his own stories. 
Website: http://www.trgoodman.net
Serial post: http://www.trgoodman.net/2014/06/blog-hop-abigail-abernathy-and-my-serial-writing-process/

Jennifer Beasmoney is a fellow Jukepop author. Her serial, Innerworld--The OtherWorld is going strong over there. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Upcoming Events

The Moses Lake Muses and the Colombia Basin Author's Guild, two groups that I belong to, have some events coming up in May that I will be participating in.

On May 10th, we'll be having the second annual library reading at the Moses Lake public library. This is a great chance to hear a diverse group of local authors reading from their current works, and the event is free.
Details are at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1382004848751857

The last reading was great fun and showcased some amazing stories.

On May 17th there will be a full day of writing classes, meet the local authors and readings at the Kindred Cauldron in Moses Lake. The itinerary and details are on the facebook page below, and we will be hosting giveaways and prizes during the evening readings.
https://www.facebook.com/events/567634546668822/


If you are local to Washington state, and interested in seeing what our wordsmiths are up to, please enjoy either or both events.


Friday, April 25, 2014

The Tsunami of Crap is a Load of Crap

 I almost fell for it. It's easy to get caught up in the miasma of information, opinion and other stinky rubbish swirling about on the Internet. I follow a lot of industry blogs, and when you hear something over and over....and over, it has a tendency to sink in.

A lot of people are bemoaning the "tsunami of crap" spawned by the self-publishing revolution. (because of course there was no crap out there before....oh. Right.) It's partially true, I'm sure. Once something becomes cheap (or free) and very easy to do, you get a flood of claim jumpers. I love that term. You get old timers and newbies alike all rushing for the mother lode and they all have a shovel and a sluice and....

Well, that's a different story.

But when self publishing became cheap and easy...and somewhat effective. Everybody became an author. In fact, you didn't really even have to know how to write a book, because you could happily recover a public domain classic, post it everywhere with a mocked up publishing house name and go to town making money.

I'm not arguing that this isn't a bad idea. Bad. Bad bad.

Still, the reaction to this flood of quick-fic was a resounding wailing and pulling of hair. A rending of clothing and moaning about the death of the industry. The tsunami of crap would sweep us all away and literature would die a quick death by drowning in it's own....well you get it.

Except I don't think it works like that. Yes, readers will have to put on hip waders for awhile. Authors will have to shine brighter, but I don't believe for a second that the tsunami of crap can kill Literature because, you see, I have a fine arts background. (hard to believe, I know) Publishing is not the first art form to go through this, and I think it's pretty safe to say we can all relax.

A tsunami of crap will not drown literature. I have two words for anyone who thinks it will.

Bob Ross.

Now, to be fair to our happy squirrel friend, he wasn't the only one involved. My personal favorite was The Magic of Oil Painting. I spent hours in my youth listening to his heavily accented, "Darker, darker, darker." I learned how easy it was to paint, and so did the rest of the universe. In fact, for about two decades, everyone was an oil painter.

They churned out seascapes and mountain scenes in their living rooms by the metric ton! They painted flowers and still lives and....okay, mostly seascapes and mountains, but still. Oh, you'll say, but they didn't have the Internet, they didn't have the public eye....

Enter the family restaurant. I can't remember sitting in a restaurant as a child that wasn't virtually wallpapered in crappy oil paintings. They had pretty (god-awful!) frames and hearty price tags and suddenly everyone could be an artist.
I bet some of them sold too.
And you know what?

Fine Art is doing just fine. :)
Just. Fine.

Because it's not the same thing. And because eventually, the living room painters who realized they weren't making a ton of money quit, the ones who didn't care kept painting, for themselves, their families, whoever. The ones who were dead serious about their art got better...moved up, etc.

And the best part (I'm not cringing, I swear) is that a lot of people LIKED this living room art. They bought it and they enjoyed it and there isn't a damn thing wrong with that.

Art is taste based, people. Literature is taste based. We can set up a scaffold of craft and style and critical analysis, but in the end, people will want different things. People will like and appreciate different things. People will pay money for different things.

And if you don't believe me, cruise through Art History. Cruise through LITERARY history for that matter. What is good CHANGES. I know we hate this idea, but it's true. We may not even like what becomes the Literature of tomorrow. (I have my suspicions, and they look a lot like WHAT GAMERS WANT) We can strive to be our very best, and that is all we can do.

But worrying about the Bob Rossian rubbish  flooding our Amazon channels is wasted angst. Save that drama for the page. Literature will survive....but don't be surprised if it looks different afterwards. We can all focus on our own ability to adapt and relax a little about what other people are doing. Float along with the tsunami and just see what happens next before we get our knickers in a twist. Don't panic, just keep swimming. :)

"Darker, darker, darker."

~Frances