So much has happened over the last few months… may I extend a belated ‘Happy New Year’ to you? Actually, it’s not that late if you happen to be Chinese!
I have met, (okay online), an inspiring soul called Katwise. She makes an excellent living by making glorious upcycled clothes and lives in a heavenly rainbow coloured house in upstate New York.
Fabulous eh? I admire anyone who ploughs their own path.
It generally comes with a price though. Some people get scared of anyone who refuses to stay with the herd; from within the warm depths of safety in numbers, they take any signs of individuality as an unspoken criticism of their own personal desire to stay safe. They can get pretty nasty and cranky.
Then there are the fans.
These are the coolest and the best. They are the people who ‘get’ you. Who hear what you have to say, and are genuinely pleased when others discover you too. I am blessed with some extraordinary fans who have given me amazing support.
I started out with a couple of beta readers and slowly, bit by bit, book by book, the circle has widened. Word of mouth has really helped and now interest in The Last Changeling has spread to every continent… er…except Africa
…. Hey guys, what’s going on??? J
Katwise has got tens of thousands of fans – although I don’t know if many hail from Africa
– I know she’s hitch hiked extensively through the continent.
But then it got a bit dark and nasty… some ‘fans’ started copying Kat’s work and threatening her livelihood. She freaked a little, but then took a deep breath – and more importantly, she took the advice of a wise woman and actually embraced the copiers! If these copy-kats were going to rip her off, the least they could do would be to make goodcopies of her upcycled sweater coats… so she started selling tutorials on how to make exact replicas of her clothing!
I find this extraordinary. It is the highest – risk strategy I can imagine, yet for Kat it has worked out. To date she has sold over 10,000 copies of her tutorial at around $6 each!
My friend Dan Baines creates magical tricks and one was ripped off and made in Asia. Worse yet, they even copied his DVD – featuring him(!), where he pledges to help anyone who can’t make the trick work. And many couldn’t. He only became aware of the cheap copies when disappointed people started contacting him.
So, what is this building to?
To give you a flavour of my novel The last Changeling, here’s some blurb:
Can you be sure everyone you meet is 100% human?
Are myths and legends secret instructions for dealing with humankind’s oldest enemy?
What is lurking beneath the ancient streets of London, England?
The Last Changeling is a dark fantasy that unfolds against a backdrop of over 500 years of British history. When Queen Elizabeth the First and her astrologer the extraordinary Dr. John Dee set up a secret organisation to combat ‘metahominids’, they began the longest secret war in history.
Meta hominid is ancient Greek for ‘other man’ – a name for a race of creatures that we commonly identify with child abduction, tales of lost time and unexplained disappearances. We call them ‘aliens’, but a couple of hundred years ago, people called them ‘fairies’.
When 21st century government budget cuts compromise the centuries old cover-up, a shambling, unlikely hero, known only as D, becomes our last and only hope against the rising of this dark and persistent enemy. Yet they are not the only enemy ranged against him, for D has to unmask a traitor and combat the meddling of a reckless amateur, hell-bent on breaking open ancient secrets.
Will D save the child or the city; the country, or the planet?
Just remember, whatever happens, parts of this story are true.
So, that’s my book, but, later on in 2014 an occult publisher will be releasing a novel with the exact same title as mine, by an author with so far, only one published book that has nothing to do with the paranormal. It’s strange for a ‘straight’ author to dive into the occult, but it seems this is what she has done.
She is writing a book about fairies – but her book appears to have far more in common with mine than that. I introduce D9, a secret government organisation. Their first case appears to be the basis for the story of her book. They say ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,’ but what about plain, old-fashioned plagiarism?
Thus I find I am David, the publishers, if not Goliath, are certainly bigger than my publisher The Art Clinic, but we are on the case.
Yet is there more to this than meets the eye? My typical reader is alternative and intelligent. They enjoy the chilling frisson of darker themes, and are acquainted with the films of Guillermo Del Torro.
My readers are far more likely to read ‘The Da Vinci Code’ than ‘Twilight.’
The other book is definitely aimed at the ‘I’m in love with a spangly vampire’ brigade. Something my readers would view with scorn – and the worrying thought is that any link to this other camp would definitely deter new readers for my book. The other one doesn’t just ‘not fit the profile’, it is the polar opposite to it.
It does make me wonder…. is this another bid to bury my book?
When I put it on a Kindle promotion last November, the Amazon.com product page for The Last Changeling refused to load. I blogged about it at the time. Just yesterday I started another promotion… and yet again at the very beginning of the promotion, The Last Changeling on Amazon.com refused to load.
I would like to be as laid back as Katwise about this ‘Sincerest form of flattery’, but even she has stated in her tutorials that she expects to be credited for her intellectual property. She has good ideas and she makes a living out of them. Any one should be safe from opportunists trying to steal their livelihood, and yes, that includes me too.
I will keep you posted, in the meantime, any help or advice, or any words of support you may like to leave would be hugely appreciated. Thank you.