Slightly Quacky: Lynne Connolly

Thursday, January 27, 2011 13:00
Posted in category Quacking About, The Pond

LynneCs iconYou want the truth? Well some of it, anyway.

I’m an adult and I write novels for adults. And I love writing them, so I’m not about to stop. I write for Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing, Loose-Id Publishing and Total E-Bound, and I love it. The best job I’ve ever had.
Lynne ConnollyI write books with sex in them because I believe that’s what an adult relationship should contain, and I hate the closed-door bedroom scene. All that sexual tension building up, and then you don’t get to witness the denouement! But I always remember where I am and who I’m talking to. And when I’m writing, the character I’m writing about. If I ever end up with a shy heroine who doesn’t want to tell, then she won’t. Sigh.

Of course, if you want a bit more of that, there’s some on my website, (with appropriate warnings).

I’ll wait while you nip over there and then nip back.

I hope to give you the news on the e-publishing scene, and publishing in general. News and goss, though the scurrilous stuff isn’t for me, and I won’t join in on any witch-hunts. But I can only say what I see, and any juicy tidbits I can confirm for you.

I’ve been in e-publishing since the year 2000 (why do we call it that, when every other year doesn’t have that pompous “the year” before it?) I’ve seen companies come and go. Mostly go, but that’s the norm, it seems. I was involved in a new market before, (disposable diapers, wasn’t that sexy?) and so far the e-book market has followed the pattern of emerging markets. First there are a bunch of companies, most of whom fall by the wayside as barriers to entry go up and the market expands. Then larger companies move in (I think we’re here at the moment) and the smaller companies that are left find themselves comfortable niches to fill, something many larger companies have also attempted with some success. Either that, or they go out of business. Percentage growth is huge at first, but since it’s on a small base, that’s not surprising. It continues to grow, and then flattens off in a nice, long plateau. Eventually.

Okay, how did that work for me? Well when I started out, I wrote a book for a company called RFI West (I can feel fellow authors’ shudders from here!) Not good, but out of it came some industry professionals who rose above the morass and are still with us. Then I went to NBI (more shudders) where I worked with the likes of Linnea Sinclair, Rowena Cherry and Ann Aguirre. Fun days, until the owner did a runner (as we say in Blighty) and left us holding – not a lot. We hadn’t been paid for nearly a year. From there I went to Triskelion. I know, I had all the luck, didn’t I? However, this was when the rumor machine went into overdrive. Some of the things I read at the time of Triskelion’s closure were completely invented stories that people just swallowed, because it was more fun than the truth.

Which was that they ran out of money. They went into mass market print, underestimated the returns and ended up with two warehouses full of books they didn’t know what to do with. Mostly from Borders’. Unlike the larger, well established companies, Trisk didn’t have the reserves to cope with that level of returns, and thus, bankruptcy happened. Oh yes, there were management problems, centering on the owner of Triskelion, whose – idiosyncratic – management style had something to be desired. But had the money been there, they might have had a chance.

After that, I decided on safety. If a publisher says it works like one happy family, I back off, fast. I have one of those thank you, and one is more than enough for me. I want a happy professional relationship where both sides keep their promises. With the publishers I have now, so far, so good. So very good, actually. An adult relationship with nice sales and great support.

Being an adult carries responsibilities. One of them is telling the truth, something I always try to do. And behaving like an adult which is something I do – mostly. When I lose my temper, I step back and wait, and the urge to lash out goes away. I’ve done a bit of that recently, and I feel better for it. Mostly.

I can honestly say that I love the publishers I’m with, and I love the way I’m treated by them. That might change, I hope it doesn’t, but I don’t ever discount it these days.

After all, here sits the woman who was happy with NBI and Triskelion, and said so, and the one who very nearly signed with RFI West.

Never say never.

I have several series going in historical, paranormal and contemporary genres. Richard and Rose, STORM, Department 57, Cougar Challenge – so I must be insane to want to write here as well. It’s a privilege, to be able to offer my opinion on the books I read, and the odd column on the business of writing. But remember always, they’re always my opinion only. I have my prejudices – I don’t like the Victorian era, for example – but I try to state them upfront, so you know. Big misunderstandings aren’t my favorites, either. Or revenge plots. But I love a story where the characters count, where the plot comes from deep inside their personas. I’m not keen on over-elaborate world-building, as that takes space from the romance. Yes, I’m a romance reader, pure and simple. I don’t often read anything else these days. I need those warm happies.

Oh yes, and the picture? Me with some of my favorite things. My laptop, my doll’s house and a chocolate cake. I thought of putting one of those author pictures up, the ones I paid to have taken. I hate to have my picture taken, so there’s not much out there, but this one, although not flattering, is at least honest. And the minion presenting the cake? My husband, who hates to have his picture taken even more than I do.

I’m on Twitter and Facebook, I don’t think I’ve deleted my Myspace yet, but I don’t go there any more, so I really should, and I have a website and Amazon page. I try to get to Romantic Times every year, so if you’re there – come and say hello!

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