We celebrated Copyright Day on 23rd April, but what does it actually mean?
Copyrights are an important part of securing your work against a number of things, such as plagiarism. It allows you to take legal action against anybody, who has copied or reproduced your work without consent. It is a lifetime protection, although generally, copyrights last for the life of the author, or the remainder of the calendar year in which the author dies, and then for 70 years following the end of that calendar year.
So why copyright?
1. It’s beneficial to have your work on record when you register
Registering your book with the copyright office provides you exclusive rights.
2. It prevents others from copying your work
Copyrighting your book legally protects you if someone tries to steal ideas, characters, plot, or any likeness from your work.
3. You cannot sue for copyright infringement unless your book is registered
If someone does steal from you, you cannot do anything about it unless you registered your book.
4. You can produce derivative content related to your copyrighted book
Since you own the rights to your characters, story, and anything unique to your work, you have the freedom to produce more content related to it.
5. Your work can be performed or displayed publicly
If you apply for copyright, you have the freedom to use your book in any public way you wish since you own it. You don’t have to worry about someone else using your work in a public way without your permission.
In the definition literary works include books, anthologies, journal and newspaper articles, reports, conference papers, working papers, computer software and programs, letters, emails, novels, poetry, song lyrics, databases, tables and compilations.
So in essence all your writing is covered under copyright.
If you are unsure investigate with your publisher or the platform you are publishing with.
It is my pleasure to welcome back a fellow author to my blog. Verna has been here before, but today we celebrate her newest novel, The Bastard Sorceress.
Since your last interview, how has your writing life changed? I’ve learned to go with the flow. I’ve survived and found new publishers for my fantasy novels when my previous publishers stopped publishing. It’s happened to me more than once too! But I’ve been lucky to find new publishers willing to take me on. It’s a tough business, and small presses suffer the most. Other than that, I’m still a mad writer who drinks pots of tea and keeps a package of emergency cookies on hand when I create my tales. I’m focused in details of story, world, and characters. I put together book bibles for each novel that are very detailed about every aspect of story, world, and people in in. I still have plans on becoming the next princess of heroic fantasy. Just give me time.
What have you learned about your craft of writing? I learned I have a knack for three things-creating good dialogue, great characters, and giving my characters good names. It’s a gift I’m grateful for.
Would you ever write in another genre? I love fantasy, but would love to dive into science fiction, especially some space opera.
What inspired you to write about Sabine Fable in your latest novel? A new character I’ve never done before. I love my heroines, and they always lead my tales. With Sabine Fable, I wanted to explore a character who suffered a rough home life and poverty, but was determined to rise above what society dictated. I added real human elements in this tale of magic, and created flesh and blood characters with more depth.
What characteristics does she have that make her a force to be reckoned with? A tough upbringing can make a tough character. Her heart is good, but she is fierce and protective of those she loves. She does not trust easily. She champions the underdog because she is one of them. Her family once had magic, but mage fever took that away. She was a bastard, and judged for her low birth. Magic is currency in her world, and mages rule. Even humble charm caste has respect. She had none. Sabine is hungry for more than magic. She wants justice and to be treated with respect. She wants people to see her. And yet she would never betray a friend or family member for what she desires.
Which author would you most like to meet and why? There are so many! Many of my favorites have passed (Ray Bradbury, Tanith Lee, Robert E. Howard, Patricia McKillip). Neil Gaiman is one of many on my list. I did have the joy of meeting Tanya Huff (so awesome), Kevin J., Anderson, and the great Larry Niven at conventions. I would love to meet Jennifer Roberson someday. At least she is my Facebook friend. As are you, Mandy.
With several series of books, are you planning more? Yes, but with publishers rising and falling around me over the years, I plan to be more careful. Even if I plan a series, I will do each novel as a stand-alone. I am working on the second novel to Bardess of Rhulon, called War Poet. But I am writing my novels from that perspective.
Has a movie or TV show inspired any of your stories? Some of the actors in favorite shows or movies I may be inspired by. Some of my characters are drawn from well-known actors.
What aspect of writing do you like the most? The power to create my own worlds and stories. Yes, I am a goddess who rules her worlds.
Where can readers find your books? Amazon has all my novels, available in both print and Kindle. My books are also on Barnes& Noble online. And my new publisher (for Bardess of Rhulon & The Bastard Sorceress) TANSTAAFL Press.
Verna McKinnon is a fantasy author of adventurous heroines. She is the author of the novels, The Bastard Sorceress, The Bardess of Rhulon, Gate of Souls & Tree of Bones. Fantasy is her genre of choice, though she has some science fiction in the works. Check in with her at her website. You can also read some of her previously published short stories at her website http:// vernamckinnon.com. Stay in touch by subscribing to email list at http://vernamckinnon.com/newsletter.html for her quarterly newsletter for news & updates. Follow Verna on Instagram @ vernamckinnon.author & Facebook for the latest on her writing life as a fantasy author, animal lover, and how she stays sane despite the odds. Chocolate helps.
1. My inspiration for “Sounds Fishy” just came from jostling ideas around in my head. I tend to come up with some odd, humorous ideas with relative ease, so this concept was pretty tame by most standards. However, when I thought about a space crew flying around, it only seemed natural to make them fish!
2. My initial idea for characters was somewhat foggy and ambiguous at first; but when I thought about how they were going to be astronauts, it made sense to me that I should name them after actual astronauts and cosmonauts. Cally Wide for Sally Ride, Fuzzy Baldwin for Buzz Aldrin, and Journey Grey Area for Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first human to journey into outer space. I enjoyed the play on words that their names have become.
3. In the book, the three crew mates face off against the galactic shark mafia. Once victorious, they scoot off and make the statement that you never leave a friend behind. I’d like kids to think about that concept of loyalty and dedication, and to consider how they would look after one another if presented with a dangerous situation.
4. Why sci-fi? I love sci-fi. I think this is the genre that allows for the most creativity and the greatest allowance of the imagination. Plus, it’s just a lot of fun when a bit of whimsy is added.
5. Being that this is my first book, I learned about the whole process of constructing a story and illustrating it. I also learned what it’s like working with a publisher and the methods of advertising. There’s definitely more to it than I thought!
6. This is the first in what I’m planning on making as a three-part series. I am currently working on the sequel, “Smells Fishy Too”. It’s already written, and I am working on the illustrations at this time. I hope to have it out soon.
7. I need a quiet place to write, but the world is a noisy place, so I typically put on my music and block it all out. Plus, music helps me get my first ideas to the forefront of my mind.
8. Well, I love Steinbeck and Dean Koontz. I was never much into comic books, but one of my favorite illustrators is Todd McFarlane. He has a very Hogarth-inspired look to his work.
9. I don’t belong to a writers group, but that is something I may become part of. As a new author, this is still all new to me, so I’m sort of taking it a day at a time.
Lucas Salmon is an independent artist with over 35 years of experience in drawing and painting. These days he’s focused mainly on painting with watercolors. His style can be called “Realistic”, or “Photo-realistic”, depending on the subject matter.
In his early 40s, Lucas lives near the east coast where he continues to hone his skills as an artist, always seeking to improve his craft. Inspired by science and nature, he continues to experiment with different styles and subjects.
Lucas has found writing to also be rewarding. He has written, illustrated, and published his first book, ” Sounds Fishy”. He is now putting the finishing touches on his second book, “Smells Fishy Too”, the sequel. Both books were inspired by his great love for science fiction and remembered ideas from his childhood as he would create imaginative characters and worlds in his mind, just to keep busy!
My guest today is Calgary author Simon Rose, who has published eighteen novels for children and young adults, eight guides for writers, more than a hundred nonfiction books, and many articles on a wide variety of topics. Today, we’re looking at his latest release, The Stone of the Seer, the first novel in the Stone of the Seer series.
So what’s the new series all about?
The Stone of the Seer is an exciting historical fantasy series of adventure novels for young adults, primarily set in the turbulent period of the English Civil War.
The Stone of the Seer, book one in the series, features the Vikings, Leonardo da Vinci, and the political turmoil of the 1640s. At Habingdon House, Lady Elizabeth Usborne, Kate, and Tom encounter a magical black stone, mysterious ancient manuscripts, and the incredible time viewing device known as the tempus inpectoris, all while under constant threat from the murderous witchfinder, Daniel Tombes.
The other novels in the series are Royal Blood and Revenge of the Witchfinder, which will be published in the coming months. There will be a box set including all three novels at some point in the future as well.
And what’s the story behind the story?
The story, main characters, and some of the settings in The Stone of the Seer are fictional but are based on true events and the story features real historical characters, such as King Charles I. The English Civil War was a series of conflicts in England, Scotland, and Ireland in the 1640s and early 1650s. The war originated in the struggle between Charles I and Parliament, regarding how the country should be governed.
The king’s defeat in the civil war led to his trial and execution in January 1649. The monarchy was abolished and replaced first by the Commonwealth of England and then the Protectorate, before the monarchy was restored in 1660. However, the defeat of Charles I confirmed that an English monarch could not rule the country without the consent of Parliament, although this wasn’t legally established until the Glorious Revolution in 1688.
You must have done quite a lot of historical research for this book.
Yes, it’s a time period I’ve always been interested in, but it still involved considerable research. I’ve included a glossary at the end of each of the three novels in the series where you can learn more about the historical events, settings, and leading characters from the English Civil War, locations that are mentioned in the text, life in the seventeenth century, and details from other historical periods that are featured in the story. There’s also a page on my website all about the historical background behind the books, with links to online sources about the time period.
What are you currently working on?
I always have a current project or two and right now I’m writing another historical fantasy novel series set in World War II. I’m also working on sequels to the Flashback series of paranormal novels, which includes Flashback, Twisted Fate, and Parallel Destiny, which you can learn more about on my website at simon-rose.com. In addition, I’m working on screenplay adaptations of the Shadowzone series and have also completed a number of picture books for younger readers, which I hope will be published soon.
You also work with other authors, don’t you?
Yes, I do quite a lot of that these days. I provide coaching, editing, consulting, and mentoring services for writers of novels, short stories, fiction, nonfiction, biographies, inspirational books, and in many other genres. I also work as a writing instructor at the University of Calgary and have served as the Writer-in-Residence with the Canadian Authors Association. You can find details of some of the projects I’ve worked on, along with some references and recommendations, on my website.
So where can people buy The Stone of the Seer?
The novel can be purchased at most of the usual places, as follows:
Promoting a back list can be frustrating, if a little boring, as we naturally want to concentrate on our latest shiny novel. However, all our books are worthy of attention for as long as they are available for sale. There are several ways to keep the back list titles fresh and you can actually utilize the change in seasons to plan it.
Firstly, can you categorize your books by season. Look at the season the narrative is set within or it’s genre and use that as your starting point.
Summer: romance/vacation adventures/a beach read/contemporary summer town story.
Spring: a character’s new life/moving to a new town, school or college.
Fall: chilly horror/mystery/monsters and Halloween.
Winter: isolation/struggles of survival/Xmas romance.
I think you get the idea.
Here are some other ways to keep the older titles fresh.
Do a live reading (if restrictions allow) or read on any social media site or streaming site.
Upgrade the cover.
Revise the content – new edit, additional information, add book club questions and new reviews.
Write a prequel.
Arrange guest blog posts centering on the back-list book(s).
Create a readers guide for book clubs.
Use niche topics to promote.
Utilize a podcast interview to promote all your books.
Request new reviews.
Offer a sale price.
What methods do you use to keep your older books fresh and saleable?