Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Reclassifying Myself

All that exercise I've been doing has actually paid off. I have a very favorite skirt I haven't been able to wear in about a year, and it fits again! Since I didn't have the brainpower for work yesterday and I had to go out to go to the bank anyway, I hit the mall to do some pre-WorldCon shopping. I have a few business appointments during the con, including meeting the new editor for the first time, so I feel like I need to dress slightly more professionally on those days, but not so much so that I look out of place. Ann Taylor Loft was having a sale and I had a coupon, so I picked up a couple of cute casual things that look professional without looking stuffy and that still can play into the Geek Goddess image (hey, whatever it takes to stand out in a crowd that huge). And because it seems that all milestones relating to Enchanted, Inc. must be celebrated with the purchase of red shoes, I celebrated the signing of the movie option by buying a pair of red Keds. I'm not sure why I suddenly felt the urge to have red sneakers, but I did. Perhaps I was inspired by Doctor Who, but Converse high-tops are really not my style, so I did my own version.

I still haven't figured out my exact wardrobe for the convention, and I'm not sure how to dress for the Hugo Awards, if that's formal-ish or just usual con attire. There was a mix of everything for the World Fantasy Awards. I think the Infamous Red Stilettos may have to come with me because they're kind of my signature and the way people often remember me (and the ballet has made them a lot more comfortable because I've got the leg muscles to handle that heel height).

I'll post my full con schedule later in the week so those who will be at WorldCon can find me.

In other news, I've been hit with another wave of reader e-mail (and it does seem to come in waves). I don't know if the people who e-mail me read this, but just in case, there's a Frequently Asked Question I want to address. I'm often asked if I might do Book 5 as an e-book, and the answer is no, for a number of reasons. For one, this is how I make my living. It takes me about half a year, in total, to write a book. E-books (with the possible exception of erotica) don't make much money. Even Stephen King couldn't pull off a profitable e-only book. I can't afford to spend half a year working on something just for the love of it, because that keeps me from being able to write something that will make enough money to allow me to pay bills. Yeah, if everyone who's bought a copy of all four books in the series bought the e-book, it might pay off, but that's not realistic. E-books are still a niche market. Plus, publishing it as an e-book or self-publishing it would make it less likely to be published traditionally, so my agent has advised against it. It would be a shame if something changed and the publisher would have wanted it if they had it "new," but they then didn't want it because they know the most hard-core fans already have it. Even if I was interested in exploring those options, I already have my next year or so of work planned, so it would be a year before I could start working on Book 5, and in that time, things could change. Of course, if they suddenly came to me and asked me to write it, I would reshuffle my schedule, but for now, there are things I'm working on that I'm excited about and that some editors have already expressed interest in, and those are taking priority. I haven't given up, by any means, but if I'm going to do it, I'll do it in a way that will get the book to the largest possible audience. It won't be the only series in history to have a slight gap between books. Hey, there were three years between books 4 and 5 of the Harry Potter series, so a two to three year gap between books 4 and 5 of my series isn't too unreasonable.

Meanwhile, I think I'm going to have to come up with my own genre classification because after seeing the concentration of urban fantasy at Conestoga, I've realized that I really don't fit in there. Yeah, my books are fantasies that take place (mostly) in an urban environment, but the publishing industry seems to have defined the term more specifically than that, to the point that other things I would have thought of as "urban fantasy" also don't fit in, like Charles deLint. So maybe what I write is "contemporary fantasy." It's more about how traditional fantasy elements confront modern times, while I think "urban fantasy" has come to imply more horror-type elements, with a strong element of paranormal romance.

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