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Questions continued: Blog post for them is here, but I'm dipping into the inbox backlog too.

"Melissa, I was horrified to find--yesterday--that there already exists a book called "RADIANT DARKNESS". It's a retelling of the Persephone myth (awesome), but my first thought was, "SHE STOLE MELISSA'S TITLE."

Hmmm. Since it's out first, I suspect that SHE has dibs, if there could be dibs on titles. I've seen two books w the same titles & w similar titles. Frex, there's a PROM NIGHTS FROM HELL and a PROM DATES FROM HELL. Both released the same year too. It happens.

. . . on topic, look at covers. I've seen covers w the fuzzy girl with outstretched hands, girl w outstretched hands holding a flower, girl w a big ol' wing tattoo. *shrug* Hell, Kelley Armstrong & I had almost identical covers for our last YA books--and we are published by the same house and released at the same time. It happens.

. . . concepts are another thing. Folks go on abt the Charlaine Harris Sookie-reads-minds-but-can't-hear-Vampire-Bill thing (early 2000 or 01) & then the Meyer Edward-reads-minds-but-can't-hear-Mortal-Bella thing (2005 or 06). Mindreading & vampires, neither are peculiar concepts. Seeing overlap isn't surprising.

On a personal example, I started writing a fairy tale I was so freaking proud of. I looked up books & stories. Nothing like it. La La La. Happy me. Then I'm out w a friend who has written a story on the exact same tale w a similar twist years ago. *sigh* I read his. It's brilliant, dark, & twisted. Last year, I started a story that included one folkloric snippet at the center. Research. Research. Happy. Research. Damn, the same friend had written that folkloric character in a bit of a story. The thing is that I could still play w either of those bc concept is not something that can be owned.

Whether it's title, cover, concept or folklore, these are not copyright/ownership things. We could go w Collective Unconscious (Jungian theory) or conicidence or "Nothing New Under The Sun." It doesn't really matter. It simply is.

. . . all of which leads to the next question how do you feel about fanfic?

I've tackled that one before. Short version? I can't read it, but you can write it. I do have these requests.

1. Don't go breaking the law. Fanfic is a not-for-profit thing. You cannot make money off of it. That's the law. Don't get yourselves in trouble by trying to publish it for money. That's not legal--or cool, actually.
2. Don't go posting NC 17, R type stuff where younger readers will stumble upon it.
3. Don't do x-overs w worlds where the other world belong to an author who is opposed to fanfiction.
4. And, this is a personal one, if you like my texts enough to want to spend time w the characters PLEASE do not write non-consensual stuff. I'm a rape survivor. The idea of someone writing my characters into any FORCED sexual activity offends me to extreme degrees.

What about non-canon pairings?

That's perfectly fine--as long as both parties freely say "yes." And, I'll go one further--If you as readers SEE non-con fics, give the writer a link back to this blog. I'm not a writer who will ask you not to write. I think fanfic is a perfectly fine way to practice your skills. It's very nice that you like hanging out w my characters too. You can put them through hell. Trap them. Break hearts. Send them into tragic battles or dire straits. . . just don't write anything non-con. No rapes. No sexual assualts. That's my big request to you.

Q: Open casting calls; being Ash; working on the film; can I make ____ this character?

Lots of film questions . . .

1. If there is anything I know, especially that which would be of use to readers to know, I will post it here. I'm also on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, & Goodreads. I'll post ALL film updates at these spots . . . and here on the blog. Goodreads & Facebook both have the same feed from this blog AND from Twitter. News goes live on those places.

2. I sold to Universal and Wild West Picture Show Productions. They run this thing. It's sweet that they talk to me, but it's theirs. They are in charge. I write BOOKS (& yanno, love doing so). I'm not a film person. I'm a book chick. They're steering & I'm sorta in the backseat going "oooh, really?" and "yeah, what I meant in that part was ____" and "Sure, that folklore is right here *scans* and *emails*"

3. My lovelies, I'm not even sure who half these actors ARE :) Here's the thing: I trust Valerie & Caroline & Vince & Peter & Victoria. I refused to talk to other people who I DIDN'T feel got it. These folks have impressed me. I'm asking you to trust them too. Will it be exactly as you pictiured the characters? Nope. Will it be exactly as I pictured them? Nope. Will it be crafted with passion & research & feminism? So far, I'm going to say YES it will. I really think the people involved so far get the books & the world & I'm happy with everything I've heard & seen & discussed so far.

Q: I have a school report . . . (continues on).

Look in my blog archives. I posted pictures from my life, answered questions, & am in general pretty wide open abt most things. The data is here if you need it-- OR you could do a report on someone far more interesting :) I recommend Faulkner, Browning (Robert or EBB), C Rossetti, K Chopin, lots & lots of very interesting folks to research. If you're looking for a living author, check out Szymborska (poet who won the Nobel sometime in the past decade for her amazing poetry), Gaiman (my fav living writer & a absolutely darling man), T Pratchett (master of satire & possibly one of the most articulate speakers I've ever heard) . . . Many, many fab folks out there (both of the living & not-living sort) you can research.

Q:  What gift did you send ___ ?

Aaah, the miracles of the internet!  I've had a number of folks ask this, & I'm not trying to ignore you--but it really wouldn't be interesting to anyone other than the person it was intended for. So the best answer I can offer is that sometimes I create gifts that are based on a series of questions I semi-casually ask my friends over a series of months. These are presents made for that individual only--and consequently not of appeal to the next person. I'm, in general, always in search of "perfect match" gifts for people. Sometimes that's a single item, & sometimes it's a bit more complex. I absolutely love to give gifts to those I care for, preferably on a completely random day. It's cool when a gift works, & I'm thrilled that this one did.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 7th, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)
Insightful, informational, and interesting as always. (Apparently today is an I-alliteration day =3).
Oct. 7th, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC)
Am loving these...esp. today's answer to the first question. I am constantly making myself crazy when I discover that an idea of mine I thought was so innovative and "different" is actually The Next Big Thing to already be hitting bookstores. I must remind myself that while the CONCEPT is out there, my exact STORY isn't.

Of course, it helps when someone else reminds me...so thanks! :)
Oct. 8th, 2009 12:35 am (UTC)
Great questions and answers as always Melissa. :) I commend you on being a rape survivor. :) Very uplifting and empowering for all women out there. :) Happy writing.
Oct. 9th, 2009 10:10 pm (UTC)
Last week, I tried to leave a comment under your "Writing thoughts - ask me anything" post, but my comment didn't show up after I posted it for some reason. Therefore, I wanted to follow up with a quick message where I hope you'll find it.

First off, I don't have any writing questions for you, but I did want to say that I was very impressed with your 45-hole suet feeder and that you make your own suet. I make my own seed/suet mix each fall/winter too! There's nothing like a big pot of melted fat, seed, and peanut butter to make it feel like winter. :) Would you be willing to share your recipe?

Secondly, as per your request on your userinfo page, I'd like to introduce myself since I've started watching your blog a few weeks ago. I'm an adult fan of YA urban fantasy, and I read your three faerie books over the past month. As a former sexual health educator and now a rape/violence prevention health educator, I wanted to say thank you for including themes about consensual and non-consensual activity in your books. I really like how you portrayed Aislinn and Seth's budding relationship in the first book by showing that consent and *not* pushing boundaries can be sexy and appealing too. I hope your readers will take that and see how appealing and possible a relationship like that can be in real life too. It also didn't hurt that my beloved spouse is named Seth too. :)

Best, Angela
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )