Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Copyright Alliance Letter garners 7,000 signatures and counting


Washington, D.C. - The Copyright Alliance and its grassroots network of creators today announced circulation among creators nationwide of a letter to President Obama and Vice President Biden, asking the Administration to pursue policies supportive of the rights of artists.

"Artists and creators make important contributions not only to our society and culture, but also to our economy," said Lucinda Dugger, the Alliance's Director of Outreach. "Increasingly, creators are finding their work misappropriated, reproduced and distributed without their knowle dge, consent or benefit by those who believe intellectual property should be free for the taking. It is important that creators speak up about their works and how the principle of copyright empowers and provides incentive for creators to earn a living with their talents and ideas."

The announcement follows a rapid internal response to the letter, which within a few days of circulation among the Alliance's grassroots network garnered nearly 7,000 electronic signatures. With artists encouraging participation within their personal networks on blogs and Twitter feeds, the letter already has been signed by creators in all 50 states and representing a full spectrum of creative disciplines.

Signers include authors, photographers, songwriters, graphic designers, filmmakers, musicians, publishers, jewelry designers, web designers, photojournalists, illustrators, video game developers, architects, cartoonists, composers, playwrights, voice actors, animators, sculptors, painters and videographers.

"The immediate and overwhelming response signals an awareness and frustration among artists across America that if they do not speak up, their rights will be eroded," continued Dugger. "This letter provides a platform for them to make their voice heard on an issue critical to their success and livelihood."

Creative works are a key contributor to America's economy.  In 2007, copyright industries in the U.S. contributed $1.52 trillion to the nation's GDP.  They employed over 11 million workers and represented over 43 pe rcent of the U.S. economy's total real growth between 2006 and 2007.  [Source: Copyright Industries in the U.S. Economy, the 2003-2007 Report; Stephen E. Siwek, Economists Inc. for the International Intellectual Property Alliance].

"We believe the Obama Administration understands and values the important contributions creators make in our society," said Copyright Alliance Executive Director Patrick Ross. "The appointment of Victoria Espinel to the position of Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator was a strong sign by the Administration that it believes in the importance of creators' rights and seeing those rights are enforced here and abroad. But there is much more that needs to be done, such as ensuring Ms. Espinel has the tools and resources to do her job and receives the cooperation she needs from key officials throughout the Administration. We'll be watching with optimism."

Individuals interested in signing the letter can do so at www.copyrightalliance.org/letter <http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102734722723&s=3048&e=001nT-8_QyboWiTxBJBJXMc-j6c6JfceDN4vNthl4F1-9BONyrPE9f7C7r56_h2zE24yKZLfaMLnLmqIYZMZPe66qTajdIj6pAvaOtW4J1VdS1zZkICKCVZeonr0TQ6xSmciXHIVGJA3Zo=> . The Alliance intends to deliver the letter to the Administration later this fall.

Posted with the permission of Lucinda Dugger 

Rowena Cherry

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Raising the bar (code) for authors

All credit to Deborah Macgillivray for sharing a heads-up with me, which I am now passing on in my own words to my author friends.

Apparently, (and quite rightly in my humble opinion) bookstore buyers would appreciate a bit of fairness and equality when it comes to where authors' "Buy" links.

I used to have "BUY" gateway pages, directing would-be purchasers to bookstores in the USA, in Canada, in the UK, in Europe, in Australia.... everywhere in the world. I had so many links, I was afraid I'd look like a spam site!

So, I rationalized a bit. Rather than choose one online retailer over another, I directed my front page "BUY" links to my publishers' sites. That ought in theory to be fair to all, and put my reader en route to the best possible new book price. I still have links for Tesco and WHSmith and Blackwell and Forbidden Planet in the UK, (it seems that in the UK only Book Express or amazon.uk has Forced Mate, by the way) and to Loot in South Africa, and to Krisostomus in Continental Europe, and to my bookseller friends in Australia and New Zealand.

It looks as though I'm going to have to diversify my links to the USA stores, or in the future, my next release may not be ordered by stores to which I've neglected to link.

The recommended format is








For those who would like handy urls to get started, here are mine

For Knight's Fork







I'm also adding Book Finder for my readers' further convenience


As I think it will be helpful to me, I'm assembling the "All My Books" pages at the same time








For e-books






Abe books

BOOKFINDER (a compendium of all US book sites)

I hope this is helpful, and makes a chore a little easier.

Best wishes,
Rowena Cherry

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Crazy dragon-shape-shifting Tuesday

Anatomical inconveniences to do with being a part time Romantic dragon! USA Today bestselling authors Susan Kearney and Jade Lee join me, Rowena Cherry, to discuss dragons in general, and fictional heroes and heroines who turn into dragons.

Ten a.m. (Eastern) until noon (also Eastern)

Look for "Crazy Tuesday" on http://internetvoicesradio.com

Is anyone else having trouble with their followers?

I've just checked around, and I don't think it's my fault. I think many blogs' followers are flashing.

Just saying.

Global Change Lecture


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Shameless, but clever?

Asking for votes is not something I like doing. I'm more of the same school as the person on Twitter who posts his secret of social media marketing: if you are promoting Fightclub, do not talk about Fightclub.

So, I'm lagging woefully behind the Wake Up Celebrity Author Contest leaders (a business book and a horoscope story) who are obviously better at marshalling friends and strangers to show up and vote.

Voting involves awarding one-to-five stars for the cover art, the title itself, and the blurb. It's a way of proving that you (the voter) were there. You are also encouraged, but not obliged, to leave a comment in praise of the author. Self-promo in the course of the comment is fine, as long as the comment is approximately about the author, too.

I commissioned a video, as you may see.

I don't think it is helping very much, but I'll tell you a secret. You can promote a video on YouTube through the Google Adwords program. I'm paying .10c per click. I've had two clicks.

ROTFLMAO. Okay, that's not going to help me scale this wall of woe, but here's the thing. I've had over 9,000 impressions. For 20 cents!

I haven't checked on the effect on my sales... I really ought to, oughtn't I? But I do have a second book in the contest, which is acting as a sort of "control" because I have not asked anyone at all to vote for it (and this is not a hint).

Surprisingly, it is getting votes. Well, the contest ends on the 25th September 2009. In the meantime, I've got a few financial incentives being posted around the web for voter (for Insufficient Mating Material). There will be a random drawing for voters who leave a keyword in the comments box.

One contest is being run on Keta Diabolo's blog.

Another is being run on Gather

Another is being run on the Raven Happy Hour blog

And I have a Dorchester contest, where one lucky person could win all four of my books, autographed.

Today is International Coastal Clean Up day. My best wishes and eternal gratitude go out to everyone who is picking up human waste (trash, I mean) on the world's beaches, also to everyone who refrains from loosing balloons into the sea, and everyone who cuts up the plastic things that hold six-packs together.

Today is also the start of Rosh Hashanah. My best wishes to everyone who is observing a religious or holy festival this weekend.

Rowena Cherry

What's Wrong With EBooks

My author friends might be interested in a few of the articles that can be found via this link.

Elgan: What's wrong with eBooks?


Monday, September 14, 2009

Don't Copy That Floppy

A video on YouTube is creating quite a stir. Also, quite amazingly, there are well over 1,000 copies, and no sign of any spam.


Watch it all the way through, and you will appreciate (or not) some impressive credits and the offer of a substantial reward.

Report piracy and you might win $1,000,000


I wonder if the reward could equally well go to someone who reports e-book theft? I certainly hope the reward is an equal opportunity reward scheme!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

How to Write a Convincing God By Fantasy Author Sandy Lender

"Not All Gods Are Created Equal, But They Could Be." Sandy Lender's hook grabbed me, but I'm already an admirer of Sandy for many reasons, not least because of her fabulous blog, her way with dragons, her private love of turtles, and her familiarity with very large weapons.

Please don't be shy to ask Sandy about anything!

By the way, when C.L. Talmadge was my guest, I personally gave away a printed copy of Mating Nethttp://search.barnesandnoble.com/Mating-Net/Rowena-Beaumont-Cherry/e/9780976539711 to one commenter of my choosing. It would hardly be hospitable not to do the same (or similarly) for Sandy's visitors.

I'll give one commenter chosen by me one autographed print copy of Insufficient Mating Material. (Please vote for its cover, title, blurb at http://tinyurl.com/Award-5-Stars Further, anyone voting for Insufficient Mating Material and leaving a comment mentioning "the convincing god blog" will be entered in a draw to win a $10 gift certificate.)

Not all gods are created equal, but they could be.

You know, I really am a nice little Southern Baptist gal. I just happen to think a polytheistic society where gods flit about having sordid (or quality and loving) affairs with their minions is fun to write. So when Rowena offered the topic of “How to Write a Convincing God” to me during my current online book tour, how could I refuse? This is right up my dragon-infested alley.

A convincing god should have a variety of traits: compassion when it’s needed; pity when it’s needed; love for his worshipers; strength; understanding; a forgiving nature; broad shoulders; great mojo…

One specific trait I think makes a god convincing in a fantasy or sci-fi novel is the unwavering ability to bow to a goddess when she walks in the room. I’ll just assume anyone reading this blog is familiar with Maya Angelou’s poem Phenomenal Woman. That’s the concept. Think about it: If a goddess is around, and she has spoken her mind, the god in the great golden hall (or standing on the edge of a cliff or on the wrong side of the door to a ship’s airlock) needs to grasp the concept.

Bowing is good for most men, wouldn’t you say?

“Some days, you just want the dragon to win.”

Choices Meant For Kings
Chariss is in danger. Her geasa is hampered by the effects of a friend’s marriage. The dashing Nigel Taiman hides something from her, yet demands she stay at his family’s estate where he and her wizard guardian intend to keep her safe. But the sorcerer Lord Drake and Julette The Betrayer know she’s there, and their monstrous army marches that way.

When prophecies stack up to threaten an arrogant deity, Chariss must choose between the dragon that courts her and the ostracized kings of the Southlands for help. Evil stalks her at every turn and madness creeps over the goddess who guides her. Can an orphan-turned-Protector resist the dark side of her heritage? Or will she sacrifice all to keep her god-charge safe?


A Tense Little Excerpt From Choices Meant for Kings
By Fantasy Author Sandy Lender
You won’t find this excerpt anywhere except Sandy’s current online book tour…

As the soldier stepped toward him, Nigel reached out his arm and caught him by the neck. He slammed the captain against the far wall. He pinned him there with his body, leaning against the man as if he could crush the wind from him with his presence.

He brought his face close to the soldier’s ear and spoke lowly, fiercely, so that no one could have overheard him. The menace and intent behind the words was as surprising to the captain as the words themselves.

“I asked you to accompany [Chariss] on this journey tomorrow because I have faith in your sword, and until this moment I trusted you to keep your distance from her. Now, I find her down here at your side with a look upon your face that suggests more than you realize. So help me, Naegling, the only thing that stays my hand is how displeased she would be if she learned that I sliced you open.”

“The look you see is merely my concern for her honor. Nothing more.”

“I’m not a fool. And I’ll use every last piece of Arcana’s treasury to pay the prophets to justify my reasons for marrying that woman, so you can unconcern yourself with her honor.”

Hrazon stepped off the staircase then and saw Nigel pressed against his guard.

“I still believe you’re one of the best soldiers Arcana’s ever seen,” Nigel continued, “and I want you at her side for this journey, but, so help me, Naegling, she comes back alive and well and not confused in the least about her affections for me, or I will string you up from a tree in the orchard and attach your intestines to your horse’s saddle before I send it—”

Hrazon cleared his throat. “Excuse me. Is there an issue here I should address?”

Find out how (and where) to follow Sandy on her current blog tour, and perhaps you may win a prize...


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Writers don't get paid for book tours

I was watching Power Lunch on CNBC yesterday, which I always do, even when I'm writing. A musician, entrepreneur, and co-author of a business book was being interviewed.

He was asked about piracy.

Kudos to Bill Griffith, and especially Michelle Caruso-Carrera for asking their guest, 50 cents about piracy. Of course, they targeted music piracy. Too bad they didn't ask his co-host, who was also a guest, about book piracy.

Essentially, the mega-rich musician/author guest (whose name is 50-cents) said that he did not mind piracy at all, and that musicians looked on the theft of copyrighted musical works (he did not call it theft) as inevitable, and as promotion for his concerts and tours and merchandise.

I find this attitude, while understandable, essentially immoral. Musicians muddy the waters of what is right and wrong when they tell people that stealing is good for the victim. They undermine all copyright by confusing the public, and by saying they don't mind theft.

That makes the rest of us, who do mind internet piracy look bad.

It's a case of "I'm all right, Jack!"

How popular does a musician have to be, to get a tour? Or a merchandising deal? Maybe not so much.

However, authors aren't usually paid for doing book tours. It's completely the other way around. Authors go on book tours to promote the book. Speaking engagements aren't usually paid. Anyway, authors write. Speaking is a whole set of other skills.

Authors don't sell merchandise (unless they are George Lucas, or J K Rowling... good luck to them!). Most of us can't even sell T-shirts, coffeemugs and tote bags, although we could create them at Cafepress.

Why don't we? Because we respect the copyrights of the cover models, cover artists, and cover model photographers, who usually sell limited rights to the publishers to use the images on the cover of books and for the promotion of those books, but not on mouse pads, underwear, screen savers and other merchandise sold for profit.

The best we can do is transfer a snappy quote from our books onto a T-shirt.

Anyway, I need a concluding thought to tie in with my opening. Otherwise, I would not admit this thought had crossed my mind... but if I happen to see this musician's business book on some of the file-"sharing" sites, I shall hope that the CNBC Power Lunch team are also tracking this book, and that they will have their guests back to ask about book piracy!


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Margo J is the winner of Rowena Cherry's print copy of Mating Net

I am thrilled to announce that Margo J is the winner of a print copy of Mating Net.

In celebration of Dragoncon, for Romance or Horror Lovers

My publisher, Dorchester Publishing, is holding a drawing as part of their Dragoncon celebrations. Someone will win a free Kindle...


Enter before September 11th!

Good luck.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Politics, tyranny, and romance (guest blog)

Who loves a tyrant?

I do... Just a bit. When I read about C.L. Talmadge, I knew that we had more than one thing in common.

Can you guess or deduce what it is? Read on...


History is littered with tyrants’ blood-stained efforts to obtain ever more political power.

The ultimate power grab, however, is spiritual. It is the absolute height of presumption for any person or institution to stand between individuals and the divine and lay claim to the only path to heaven.

Even more menacing is the clash of piety, politics, and passion. This combustible collision is the backdrop of a heretofore unknown history, a vanished past chronicled in the Green Stone of Healing® speculative epic.

This hidden tale is really herstory. Four generations of protagonists are strong-willed females whose lives are at the epicenter of the power struggles of their theocratic island nation, known as Azgard. So are their loves.

Azgard is the perfect setting for politics, tyranny, and romance. The priests of the state-sponsored Temple of Kronos have far-reaching power. They preach the superiority of the island’s dominant Toltecs — a tall, red-skinned people with black hair and eyes — and forbid sexual contact with the subservient race, the pale, golden-haired Turanians. They do not hesitate to mete out severe punishment for any infraction of their religious edicts.

The stated reasons for such laws are only half the story. The Temple also fears the strange, legendary abilities of half-breeds as a threat to its status and spiritual legitimacy. Half-breeds display the paranormal abilities that the priests used to possess but lost, and are trying desperately to reclaim to maintain their hold on power.

Along comes a romance, however, that defies this cruel social order. One of the highest-ranked, most powerful Toltec lords falls deeply in love with a Turanian woman. She refuses to marry him, but of their secret liaison is born, in a nation far to the east, a half-breed child, a daughter named Helen Andros.

Thirty-one years later, after Helen has returned to Azgard motherless and grown into an adult, her full parentage becomes public, igniting a political firestorm and launching the tale of the stone.

The revelation that Helen is the child of this powerful Toltec lord shakes the foundations of power. The top ranks of the Temple are divided on how to deal with her, as her very existence flouts their rules. One faction wants to slay her, and strives to bring about her death. Another group, however, wants to use Helen and create more half-breeds as tools in a tyrannical quest for absolute power.

The latter bloc eventually assumes control of the Temple and its leader launches his hidden agenda. The consequences are ever greater brutality and chaos. The Temple and its supporters eventually splinter into many groups that fight each other and prey on the vulnerable populace. Goons patrol Azgard armed with guns and motivated by murderous righteousness, waving holy writ as their justification for violence and greater repression.

Throughout this descent into madness, Helen and her descendents learn to use their green gem to offer a loving, inclusive alternative to theocrats and other wannabe tyrants, whose lust for absolute power destroys them and almost annihilates the rest of the world, too.

Even in the darkest hours, however, the heroines find love and romance to sustain them to a new beginning, where they hope their experiences will stand as a sharp reminder about the dangers of tyranny and the limits of power.

C.L. Talmadge is the author of the Green Stone of Healing® speculative epic. The fourth in the series, Outcast, will be published Oct. 1. Vote for the first book, The Vision, through Sept. 25 and get a free e-book on healing, love, and spirituality. Details at her blog: http://www.healingstonebooks.com/stonescribe

The series features four generations of strong-willed female characters who inherit a mysterious green gem ultimately revealed to mend broken bones and broken hearts, protect against missiles, and render its wearers undetectable.
For more information about each book, please visit http://www.greenstoneofhealing.com/

C.L. Talmadge's blog tour stops can be found here:

Tour/book one

I'm delighted not only to be able to share C.L. Talmadge's guest blog post about politics, tyranny and romance with my readers, but to offer a prize of my own to one commentator (of my chosing): a rare, printed copy of my short story, Mating Net.

So, please weigh in on politics, tyranny, and romance!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Did I promise to blog about hernias? Oh my!

Once upon a wartime, an army had a problem. Their soldiers were getting hernias... which I suppose is not too surprising considering the amount of heavy kit that soldiers have to carry around, not to mention the heavy lifting, the stretching, the yomping.

This story, however, is not about the Falklands war.

The army wanted its fighting men to get back into good shape as soon as possible, with the most reliable prognosis. (In those days, women didn't do battle.) Research was done, and... to cut a long and painful story short... the Shouldice method was perfected.

You may have noticed that this blog is personal, and not about the Craft of Writing at all. Nevertheless, (as Malcolm Muggeridge used to say on Mastermind) "I've started, so I will finish."

The Shouldice method does not darn or patch. It uses no mesh, just fine, cold, steel wire to stitch together layers of muscle and tissue. We're told that all that stitching will not beep in airports or in popular chain stores. We'll see.

The Shouldice Hospital does hernias and nothing else. It seems to do a roaring trade. I'm not sure I ought to say that! Every day, thirty people with hernias are admitted (after sanitizing their hands thoroughly before being allowed to enter the building, and then being interviewed, inspected by an admitting doctor, and thoroughly tested to make sure that a hernia is their only health issue.)

Hernias come from all over the world, not necessarily for their first repair, but almost always for the last repair for that particular weak area. For one hernia, it's four nights in the Shouldice, for two or more, it's six nights (they like patients to have a good day's break between surgeries).

Admission is between ten thirty and noon, and a patient's driver must stay... in case the patient isn't healthy enough for surgery (I assume). Then, they go to the room they share with one other patient. I infer that older patients get the bed nearer the en suite bathroom, so they don't have so far to go in the night.

Meals are served (by waitresses) in the dining room in the walk-out basement, except for on surgery day, when the patients are brought a tray in their rooms.

There's pool (the game), mini golf, an unremarkable pond in the grounds, artificial waterfalls in the gently rolling landscape, shuffle board (tremendous fun!), a wi fi hot spot, tables with magazines, cards, etc in the spacious and luxuriously appointed common rooms, also tv in the common rooms, lots of phones (but not in the room...) Every effort is made --almost every incentive given-- to encourage patients to walk, move, climb stairs, sit on chairs and benches of different elevations and degrees of softness.

It's really like a country club!

The last meal is around six at night. Those who are going to surgery early the next morning have to shower the night before. (The showers at Shouldice are not well-conceived and it is all too easy to flash or moon a surprised visitor emerging from an elevator. Use of the elevators is not encouraged.) They are given a sleeping pill, which generally does not work terribly well because almost everyone is nervous. At least the patients are all going through the same thing!

Nevertheless, they say that every hernia surgery experience is a bit different. Not every gentleman will discover that he has post operative rings of colour (like a coral snake) in parts adjacent to the operative area.

Soon after five am, the fasting first batch are shaved for surgery (with ruthless efficiency). Then they go down... in the elevator. (Wearing surgery outfits). There are five operating theatres, so presumably, six batches of five patients pass through each day. They are not permitted to take false teeth, glasses, or other accoutrements, so younger patients have to help those with less good eyesight to find their beds (marked with name tags with names written small). It's a bit like musical chairs, except there is a bed for everyone. Then, after the patients are given a pill or a shot (according to their individual surgeon's preference) to relax the patient, each bed is wheeled off to a separate surgery.

For now, I will pass over the surgery.

Afterwards, the patients are returned sitting, in wheelchairs, are helped to change into their pajamas, and then sleep for at least four hours. They must remain recumbent for those four hours, and use a bedpan or bottle if necessary. After that, they may attempt to sit up, but must sit for twenty minutes before attempting to stand, and if dizzy must lie down for another hour before trying again.

Once awake, they are encouraged to drink lots of juice and water. Not only does this help to flush out the anaesthetic, and the vitamin C promotes healing, but it eventually provides an incentive to get up and talk ones first walk.

Tylenol is available. Moving does hurt (a lot), although it is going to hurt more on the following day when the anaesthetics have worn off. Patients spend the rest of the day easing themselves off their beds, and shuffling around the corridors and common areas. Visiting hours are 2pm to 4pm (great timing for helping with the first bottle, the first sips of juice, and the first sit-up) and from 7pm to 9pm.

That evening (the first after surgery), we sat at a dining-sized table, and played Pelmanism (or Concentration) to exercise the mind.

The third day (second after surgery) the patients are treated to gentle communal exercise classes at 11am, later half the clamps are removed from their incision, and they all compare notes. The fourth day (third after surgery) is much the same. The rest of the clamps are removed and patients and their visitors admire and feel the firm, banana-like shape of the swelling.

Discharge is early, between 9am and 10 am the following morning, after a doctor has visited, inspected, and answered any lingering questions. Patients may drive themselves home if they wish to do so and feel up to it. (Some choose longer routes on roads known to be free of pot holes.) Swelling and discomfort lessen over the next week, but will remain to some degree for a month or more.