Monday, 4 February 2013
Do the Big Five Publishers Release Badly Written Books? You Bet They Do!
Now, one of the things I love about writers conferences and festivals, is not just meeting fellow writers, learning more about my craft and then getting the chance to pitch, but it's the fun scramble for free promotional books - fantasy, science fiction, romance... etc.
I came home, not only excited because two of the Big Five publishers represented asked for my full manuscript, but I also had an arm full of delicious reading material I could - figuratively - sink my teeth into.
Bring on rainy days so I could stay in and read!
Now, I write paranormal fantasy and that's what I love to read. So, naturally, the first book I picked up and settled in with, was a dark vampire romance published by Harper Voyager. With a cup of tea in one hand and my book in the other, I began to read.
Very soon, my excitement turned to disappointment, for instead of reading, I began to edit!
Here's an extract from the book:
'You've done it this time, Kaspar,' Fabian groaned in my direction, his eyes changing to become
colourless, matching my own and betraying his worry. The girl stared openly; as soon as I met her gaze she looked away and I was glad that despite her sharp tongue, I retained power over her. 'The King won't like this,' he added.
No, of course he won't.Neither will the council. I said nothing and surged back towards the mansion, as he fussed over her, adjusting her body in his arms so he wouldn't hurt her.
The run allowed time for panic to set in. I was already on thin ground with the council, where a no-confidence vote against my position as heir was only ever a misdemeanor away. Bringing the daughter of a man so high up in government into our world, therefore breaching multiple treaties, was definitely in the sin category.
Why didn't I just kill her?
When Fabian caught up I immediately grabbed her wrist and dragged her up the steps. She winced and trod lightly and I briefly took in her battered feet. With a resigned sigh, I tugged harder.
'What are you doing?' she demanded, digging her heels in despite the obvious discomfort.
'Getting out of this mess,' I responded, relieved to see my sister, Lyla, waiting at the bottom of the staircase, inside.
'Do you think you could get out of this without slicing my wrist up?'
My stride was shorter than usual as I faltered slightly, struck by a sudden admiration at the ease with which she accepted our existence, mixed with irritation at her boldness.
The girl just does not give up.
Lyla - more irritating than any sopping wet human girl could ever be - worked her features into a scowl, which was particularly effective on her usually doll-like face. She took Violet's wrist without a word to her, instead focusing on me.
'You really screwed up this time, little brother,' she growled.
Violet stared up at the other woman - who was almost a head taller and considerably slimmer - with utter awe. Lyla ignored it. She knew the effect she had on both sexes. Have fun with your fucking human war, she finished in my mind, sweeping upstairs with Michael Lee's daughter in tow.
I wasn't concerned about any war. I was highly unlikely to survive to see it, with the King's wrath progressing across the entrance hall.
Fabian dropped to his knees in a very low bow, screwing his eyes shut and crossing his fingers at his sides. 'Your Majesty.'
I honestly didn't know what to make of it, but I couldn't go on reading as the rest of the book continues similarly. The story itself is intriguing, but I have to ask the question - does Harper Voyager employ an editor? If so, there's no evidence of it in this book, yet they have the hide to deride and criticize indie authors! Were they so desperate to publish a vampire novel, and hop on the band wagon - so to speak - they neglected any form of editing?
I'd love to know what others think of this extract. Am I being too harsh? Or is this the type of writing we can now expect from the Big Five? And if the latter is the case, then why should I bother spending the time and money polishing my manuscript when this type of stuff ends up on bookshelf stores!
Posted by Tima Maria at 10:33