BarbHendee.org

News, commentary, and fiction by Barb Hendee, co-author of the Noble Dead saga (www.NobleDead.org); author of the Mist-Torn Witches series, the Vampire Memories series, and more.

SITE UPDATE: “Tales” Page

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Additional details have been added to our page for “Tales from the world of the Noble Dead Saga” about Homeward, II: The Feral Path. This new work by Barb is set for release sometime in the first week of June, 2012.

J.C. is already working on compiling this new e-story to be made available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Stay tuned for more details to come as we get closer to the actual release date.

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Late Spring Again . . .

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Wow, JC and I have launched full throttle into outlining the next Noble Dead novel.  We always start outlining in late May, and we're usually drafting by August.

I can't believe it's already that time of year again.  This will be book twelve . . . so we've been doing this a while (smiles).

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ON SALE—Karras the Kitten (ebook)

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Time for another offering in “Tales from the world of the Noble Dead Saga.” This story opens a new sequence we’ve labeled “Bones of the Earth,” which centers on tales about the dwarven people. Some of you may even recognize several characters herein. We’re offering it up earlier than scheduled to make sure it gets out the door before we are overloaded with novel work. So without further ado…

Bones of the Earth, I: Karras the Kitten

[Book Cover] J.C. Hendee
$3.00 USD

Short story, Episode 1 of 3, 26k+ words
ISBN-10: 0-9855616-1-0
ISBN-13: 978-0-9855616-1-1
ASIN: B0083CWTKQ
English Only
Also available at all international Amazon outlets.

Karras, who humans mistakenly call “Carrow,” is not a typical Rughìr’thai’âch, "Earth-Born," or dwarf. In fact, in serving his family’s shipping and trading business, he has taken on too many human ways in place of those of his people. No wonder that, in attempting to “barter” for marriage with the fiery and dour Skirra"Sliver"of the fallen family of Yêarclág, he has bungled the deal for years. Dismissed once more by her to salve his heart’s wounds, this time those wounds get salted with the unwanted assistance of a blustery clan-kinFiáh’our, or the great "Hammer-Stag."

The old honored warrior has his own notion of what Karras needs. To Fiáh’our, honorable barter for love and marriage is akin to one battle after another. And only the way of their people’s warriors can see Karras to victory… over himself, first of all.

May their people’s eternal ancestors, the Bäynæ, watch over themespecially to keep them from each other’s throats.

Here’s hoping you find this entertaining during the wait until the release of the next book in the Noble Dead Saga, S3B2: The Dog in the Dark, next January 2013.

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A Worthwhile Read

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One of my writer friends from Colorado, Brian Hodge, just posted an excellent article on the myths of the published writer.  For any young writers out there who visit my site, this is worth a read.

5 Undying Myths About Published Writers And Their Eerie Powers

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Agent or No Agent?: Some Thoughts on Reality

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As many of you know, JC and I have launched into a fun part time project in the cracks of time in which we will e-publish some stories and novellas set in the Noble Dead world.  The first one, “The Game Piece” went live two weeks ago, and so far, it’s sold a fairly small number of copies—but about what we expected.

For us, this is fun, and as the stories become more plentiful, we’re hoping the project generates a little more money.

But . . . if this had been a paperback Noble Dead novel (even a very short novel), it would have sold thousands of copies by now, as it would have been crammed into the racks at B&N, Fred Meyer, and the Safeway store.  That’s how we make our actual living.

I was reading a blog by one of the “go indie gurus” this week, in which he shouting to the rooftops that no one needs an agent anymore.  A lot of these folks say that no one needs a publisher anymore either.  “Just publish the book yourself!”

Well . . . yes, but I have watched a number of folks go this route and feel really disappointed when the book sells only a few copies, mainly because almost no one knows it exists.

So, the writer decides, “Okay, this might not be working for me. I’m going back to trying to land a New York publisher.”

The hopeful young writer reads a lot of blogs and then decides, “According to several established folks in the business, writers don’t need agents anymore.  Whew, that’s a load off my mind. Landing an agent is tough.”

For established writers, it’s quite possible that they don’t need an agent.  At present, JC and I have arranged our careers so that we are “agentless.”  We have a long-standing relationship with our editor/publisher.  They would cheerfully negotiate directly with us.  If need be, we can have an IP (Intellectual Property) lawyer go over a new contract.  We really could continue our careers without an agent.  Frankly, I’m not crazy about the idea of paying someone else 15% of my income forever if I don’t have to.

I see nothing wrong with telling established writers, “You don’t need an agent.”

But what about a new writer?  An unpublished writer?  This person is so eager to get his/her manuscript in front of a real editor.  The big publishing houses all have gone to a “No Unagented Manuscript” policy—and they are serious.  They receive such an unbelievable flood of submissions that I think this was sort of a self-preservation tactic—whether it’s fair or not.  There is an assistant at the front gates of the editor’s office who is opening manuscripts, looking at them, and sending back everything from unpublished writers who submitted the project themselves—or at least that is my understanding of how this works, and I’ve been in the biz, chatting with editors, for eleven years. 

See . . . this is the part I don’t get with some of these blogs that shout to the rooftops, “You’re free!  Wheeeeeee!  No one needs an agent anymore.”

That is true if you’re really going to go indie—and hopefully sell a few copies of your book.  It’s true if you’re an established traditional writer with a record of selling books.  But if we’re talking about an unpublished writer who wants a contract with a New York publisher, I just don’t see how anyone can get his or her project as far as the editor’s desk without an agent.

I don’t.


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Tales from the World of the Noble Dead

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For those of you who haven't seen this yet, JC and I are e-publishing some stories set in the world of the Noble Dead.  This first one is about Loni--the lone elf living in Miiska in Dhampir and Thief of Lives:

Amazon

B&N

JC's first story, "Karras the Kitten," will be up very soon!

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The Final Task

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Yesterday, I received the proof pages for Ghosts of Memories.  My task is to proofread the manuscript for any errors or typos and send my corrections back to my publisher.

I do love this particular story--in which our heroes locate a vampire who's been making a living as a "spiritualist" or medium.  I also close the series with quite a bang.

But . . . once I complete this proofread, I will be finished with the Vampire Memories series.  This is my final task.  As I looked at the manuscript yesterday, I found myself both sad and happy.  I'm a little sad this series has come to an end, but I'm excited about the Mist-Torn Witches and looking forward to a working on a new project.

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Blogging: Walking Between “Interesting” and “Too Personal”

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Some time ago, when I had a new book coming out in less than a month, I wrote to my publisher’s marketing director (who is not the director I’m working with now), and I asked her what kind of marketing was being utilized to help promote my book.

She wrote back:  “Thank you for asking that question.  I’d be glad to cover some ways that you can promote your book. First, do you blog?”

She went on to explain to me how having a strong Internet presence and regular blogging could help get the word out about my book—as long as I made the blog interesting.  That isn’t exactly what I’d asked her, but . . . it did getting me studying the blogs of other writers.

Back when I was chatting on Live Journal, I posted all kinds of thoughts and ideas and opinions, including political ones.  When JC created this blog for me (along with the new Noble Dead site), he really wanted us to focus entirely on marketing our books or offering professional thoughts on writing or the business—and nothing else.  Although in many ways, I agreed with him, I tend to personalize most relationships, and for me to stick strictly to marketing wasn’t easy.  I started up the Wednesday Writer’s Corner to offer some thoughts and advice.

He also thought we should keep the comments function turned off because well . . . there are a lot of crazy people out there who spend waaaaaay too much time attacking other people on the Internet (smiles).  But a few days ago, we both turned our “comments” functions on, and we’re going to give this a try.

So I have put some thought and study into just “how much” a writer should share in his/her blog.  The following is just my opinion, and nothing else.

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