Friday, September 17, 2010

Thankful for the Ants

After being away for nearly two weeks, I returned home to find that a number of uninvited guests had move in: ants! Apparently, the high waters of Hurricane Hermine that drenched Austin while I was away flushed the ants out of their home, so they took up residents in mine. I’m not a bug person, and while ants are probably the most tolerable, they are still a nuisance. I complained for a few minutes as I wiped ants off the counter, but as I listened to the local news anchor report on the body of a woman who was found after her SUV was swept away by flood waters, I realized how very lucky I was to have ants as my biggest issue. It was the same way five years ago when I lived through the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Other than a broken window and being out of work for a short time, I remained relatively unscathed.

The same has been the case for a storm I, along with several close writing friends, have been weathering in the publishing world. By now, several writers here at Novel Spaces have discussed the issues regarding my former publisher, Dorchester Publishing. I’d made the decision not to publish with Dorchester well over a year ago, and was lucky to land with another house, Harlequin’s Kimani Press, soon after. However, I still had five titles, both stand alone books and novellas, that had been published with Dorchester’s Leisure Books imprint, and was concerned about what would come of those books. Frankly, I still am, but I recently came to the realization that I am in a much better place than some of my fellow author friends.

The upheaval of the past several months has been tough, but compared to debut authors who thought they would get to hold their books in their hands, and all those authors who spent tons of money promoting a paperback book, I hardly have room to complain. It may turn out that I’ll never see another cent of the money I’m owed, and that the rights to my books may never revert back to me, but I’ve moved onto bigger and better things. I’m lucky. Even better than lucky, I believe I’m blessed, which is why I will try to curb my tendencies sing the woe-is-me song. When I take the time to notice how others are affected by a situation, I’ve discovered that, compared to many, I have nothing more than a handful of ants.


Phyllis Bourne said...

My heart aches for debut authors so looking forward to holding their books.

I doubt I see any more money from Dorchester. And I won't lie - I really like money, and it does buy happiness!

On the bright side, they took a chance on my stories with 40something and over-50 romance protagonists. They also brought me together with folks who are now my best author friends.

Charles Gramlich said...

It's a scary time to be a writer, but something of a promising time as well. We all need a bit of luck, though

Liane Spicer said...

I too am counting my blessings, Farrah. I have no idea what will become of the rights to the first book but my agent assures me the option book is free and clear. Things could have been much, much worse - as they are for a number of Dorch's authors. I feel it most for the debut authors who won't get to hold their books.

You know that saying that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger? I'm applying it to this mess.

Are you from Nawlins? I've always wanted to visit there and now it'll never be the same, I imagine.

Jewel Amethyst said...

Both my full length novel and my novella are published by Dorchester. I have no idea what is happening and quite a few of their contact personel are no longer with them.

But as Liane said, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Or to put it in the Kittitian vernacular: "Wha' nuh kill fatten, wen oo ded oo mus' ratten!"