Thursday, July 2, 2015

#LoveWins, Amazon's New Policy, Update & Independence Day

My apologies in advance for the length of this post. I go weeks without posting and when I do, I tend to ramble a bit. Also, my apologies to Optimist for the lack of eye candy. :)

Love Wins & Other -

Unless you live on another planet, you're aware that same-sex marriage is now legal everywhere in the United States. There was a huge celebration all over the place when the ruling came down. Unfortunately, there was also a lot of gay bashing all over the place. I watched people who I have known my entire life go into homophobic rants all over social media. These were people who had always claimed to be supportive up until the United States Supreme Court made gay marriage legal. While bashing the ruling and everyone in the LGBT community, some even threw out "I have gay friends". Well, good for you. You have gay friends. How many times have we heard the same thing from the same homophobes as they attacked people for who they love?

BUT! They have gay friends!

No, people. These aren't your 'friends' if you are constantly bashing them and their so-called lifestyle. I saw a lot of the supposed friends have their feelings hurt on a day they should've been celebrating. I watched two different people on Facebook come back at a couple of these people. It was sad. I really do have gay friends, but you know what? Those aren't just words to make myself look accepting. These people are genuinely important to me and I don't say one thing to their faces and then turn around and say something totally different when they aren't around.

The hate I witnessed is unbelievable. I can't imagine how difficult it is for those who are forced to live it every day of their lives. I identify as a Christian. MY God loves everyone. I sat here steaming as I read one Facebook status after another by these so-called Christians who judged and threw out scriptures about why everyone in the LGBT community and the allies who support them are all going to Hell. These same people conveniently missed the scriptures in the Bible that also condemned a majority of them and things they've done and likely do on a daily basis. But you know how it is, right? It's okay for some folks to go from one marriage to another and to do all these other things that the Bible says are wrong, but DO NOT get married if you're gay and do not support those who do! Give me a break. I've never seen so many hypocrites in one place before. I have two personal Facebook accounts. On one it was constant gay bashing. On the other, the ruling was celebrated, but I was forced to read one post after another bashing my heritage and every person who lives in the southern part of the U.S. I couldn't win either way.

A majority of the time when I see someone acting silly and childish I say nothing. I'm not the type of person to call anyone out. Why bother? They will continue to see things the way they do and why upset myself by sinking down to their level? But I will say this - Get a grip. Grow up. Stop acting like a petulant child. Oh, and I can't not say this... jealous, much?

I graduated from high school a long time ago. When I walked out the door of my high school for the final time I was walking away from teenage drama. You know all I want to do? I want to read. I want to write. I want to spend time with my family. I want to annoy my best friend (lol) in one Facebook PM after another. I want to laugh. I want to enjoy life. What a shame that some are so miserable in their own lives that they feel the need to hurt others. We're not always going to agree on things and that's okay. What kind of boring world would it be if everyone agreed all the time? My husband and I are as different as night and day, but we accept and respect each other. Isn't that the way it's supposed to be with everyone? I'll never understand all the hate and silliness over, well, pretty much everything.

I could go on about all this, but it would be a huge rant, so I'll stop with this -

To everyone who has now officially been given the same rights as the rest of us... Congratulations! I was extremely proud and admit to getting teary when that ruling came down. Now I can sit back and hope to see the same freedoms given to those in other parts of the world in the very near future.

Playing Catch-Up -

I said in my last blog post that I've been pretty much off the grid everywhere. I'm trying very hard to play catch-up, but it might take a little while. My oldest son's birthday is Friday and then we have Independence Day on Saturday, so I can see not much getting done during the long weekend.

Finding Alex -

I've been trying to write a lot lately, but I've had what I call my ADHD moments so whether anything I've written is good or not is something that I really can't say right now. When I'm in a better frame of mind I'll go back into the completed first drafts and hope for the best. I've started Finding Alex (part of the Taking Lance world) three different times, but I haven't been good with any of those. I'm hoping the one I just started works. With it being the final one in the series, I need to be able to bring everything and everyone together from the previous stories and do it right. This has added a bit of possible unnecessary pressure on me. I want these guys to go out with a bang and in a story I'm proud of.  If it takes a lot of rewrites to accomplish that, I don't mind. Too much anyway. :)

Alex Inspiration
It should be noted that Alex and Dean bring other men into their bed and it's always done with the other partner. There's no cheating or hooking up away from the other one. It's always done together. There's also zero drama and/or jealousy from either Alex or Dean when this happens. It's just an added part of their relationship. Some people will be bothered by that, so I felt it should be noted long before the story is published. As I've mentioned before (and when they were introduced in Saving Travis), there will also be a rather large age difference between them. Anyone who reads my books knows that I'm a huge fan of books with characters who have substantial age differences. Because of that, I enjoy writing them.

If things go as planned (though it's subject to change as I write) Lance and Rick will be getting married (planned several books ago) and I might even have Marc and Travis doing the same. Expect a lot from the other characters in the series. While the story will be Alex and Dean's, I will be elaborating on a lot of things with the other guys and moving them forward where I hope there are no questions when the series officially ends. I admit that I will be very sad to see the series end. Taking Lance was my first published work and Rick and Lance will always be special to me. I think Lance will likely always be my favorite character. I may or may not revisit all the guys in quickie short stories down the road (for holidays, etc.), but once the HEA is there, it's not going away, nor will I add any silly drama with any of the guys breaking up and coming back together. I could sit here and list a bunch of series that did that and I can say loudly that I am not a fan.

If you read the other stories in the Taking Lance world, you know those were written in first person point of view, with Keeping Lance and Saving Travis alternating between the two main characters. Finding Alex will be written in third. I know it's not always a good idea to change things up like that, but in order to have all the stories told for all the characters, first person isn't doable this go 'round.

Dean Inspiration
I'll tell you something else I'm not a fan of - books with flashbacks. While I'll try to keep them at a minimum in Finding Alex, I will have to add them. In Saving Travis Alex and Dean were already an established couple. There was a bit thrown out here and there about issues the politician Alex had gone through to get where they were in that story and those issues have to be addressed.

I know a lot of folks aren't fans of books with established couples. Like me, you probably want to see the first meeting, the excitement over the first date, the first time they kiss and have sex, and I want to see every detail as they work their way to the happily-ever-after. When I wrote Saving Travis and introduced these guys, there was no intention of giving them their own story later. Well, we see how that turned out. ;) The readers will still be able to see Alex and Dean when they met. Their first date and first time having sex will be detailed. In between all the other stuff (re: Rick, Lance, Marc and Travis), the reader will be allowed to watch as these two unique men were brought together as the couple they are. I've got a sweet spot for Dean for some reason. He wasn't that big of a deal in Saving Travis, but he will be for me. He had to overcome a lot to finally find his true love. Alex plays a huge part in helping him overcome that. Of course, Alex had his own issues to overcome.

This will be the finale of a series I never planned to write. Taking Lance was originally written as a standalone, but I changed the ending literally at the last minute. I wanted to see Rick and Lance together as a couple later, not simply two guys who hooked up (*ahem!* across a kitchen table using cooking oil as lube...). I guess the point I'm trying to make is that while Alex and Dean's back story will be known, I have to give the others their due as well.

Amazon's New (Author) Policy -

I can't end this post without mentioning something that somewhat has my head spinning. I mentioned in my last post how Amazon has changed (as of July 1st) the way they pay authors who are in the Select program (re: Kindle Unlimited). All of my books to date are enrolled in Select and are not available anywhere else as a result. I thought long and hard before I chose to go exclusive with Amazon. I don't do anything lightly. However, all authors who have their books enrolled in Kindle Unlimited are now - if I read the email correctly - going to officially be screwed in regards to royalty payments in the future. Don't get me wrong, the original payment structure was not fair to everyone. I get that. What I don't get is the fact that now (if my calculations are correct), for each download by someone enrolled in KU, authors will get the equivalent of half of a penny for each page read in their books (if you're interested, it means that I'll make roughly 13 cents off each KU download of The Guy in the Coffee Shop, one of my best sellers.... this is based on what Amazon says today I should get based on the 27 pages they came up with). At what point in a book does Amazon consider it to be the first page? I get not calculating the title page, the copyright page and dedication page. How many people actually read those anyway? But what about a prologue? What if - like a majority of short stories - there is no CHAPTER ONE? Meaning that the story is too short to break up into individual chapters.

*takes deep breath*

I don't publish my stories to make a living. Hell, if I solely depended on my royalties to live on I'd have starved to death long ago. However, I do publish with the hope of being fairly treated by the company I'm publishing them through. I purposely charge a relatively small amount for everything I publish, though I've been told that .99 stories aren't taken seriously. Maybe they are. Maybe they aren't. I can't say for certain because the stories I've published for that amount have done fairly well.

So, what do I do? Do I keep my books exclusive to Amazon when I could be publishing them other places? Do I sit back and wait to see what happens after the first month's royalties come in? At this point I really don't know what to do. I could go back to Smashwords and hope for the best. I could publish individually on other e-tailers. I could do a lot of things, but at the moment I am simply lost. But isn't that the way it always works? You think you have something figured out and then it gets turned on its head?

I'll tell you what will likely be happening soon, as I've already seen it happening since I started typing this - Independent authors will leave the Kindle Unlimited program in droves. If it's not worth it monetarily to them (us!) to keep the books in the program, they will be seeking other options where they aren't being devalued by this large company who knows they can get away with it. Each indie author publishes independently for their own reasons. I have mine. To know that we are basically getting kicked in the face makes us wonder if we should continue giving this huge company an even bigger take from our hard work. Personally, I don't want to basically start all over again and start publishing here and there, but it looks like it will probably be my only option in the near future. If this happens, I will also be unsubscribing from the KU program as a reader. If a lot of the authors I read are leaving the program, is it worth what I pay each month? Probably not. Not to mention that Amazon is likely making a killing off all those Kindle Unlimited subscriptions. They're making so much off them, yet they can't support the authors who are publishing and putting their books in the program. That's not even close to being fair.

Independence Day in America -

If you are American and will be celebrating Independence Day on the 4th, I hope you'll stay safe and remember what the holiday is about. It's not all about fireworks and the beach and throwing meat on a barbecue grill. Also, when you're lighting those fireworks be considerate of people who may've served our country and came back home with PTSD. While the fireworks may be all fun and games to most of us, there are those who are strongly affected by them. PTSD is a very real condition so please be mindful. Also, be careful where you play with those fireworks. Each holiday where they're prevalent I read or hear stories on the news about people getting hurt and fires being started. I live in the country so I have to be on the look out for stray ones on my property as well.

I hope that everyone is doing well and that the week has been good for all of you. Enjoy your weekend. Enjoy your holiday and stay safe. If you're going to drink, do it at home or make sure you have a designated driver. That "one more drink" isn't worth getting behind the wheel and taking a chance.

Below is a video that says it all, in my opinion. While I might not be overly thrilled with the way certain things are done on occasion, I'm still very proud to be an American. Even all these years later, I still get chills every time I hear this song.

I am aware that the SNL clip didn't come up correctly for those who receive my blog posts via email. My apologies. As with that one, if the one below doesn't come through, click the link in the email that takes you to the actual post.

Until next time,

~Candi Kay

P.S. To my best friend in the world - Lots of love. Big hugs. And many, many prayers.

1 comment:

  1. Don't you just love those friends who add a BUT to something, like I have gay friends, BUT. You know you're my friend, BUT.

    It seems Amazon is too big for its own britches. It's not fair to writers.

    Happy Independence day.