Dangerous. Risqué. A catch. There's always a catch.
Three tales that will blow your mind.
From Under The Shadow of Wings
She had come to collect. All the places she had been before. All the places she had died. They had died. She could hear them all now. All her dead relatives. She came back to collect what was hers. What was theirs. She came back to kick some ass. She had already won. She had just come back to collect.
Playing the fate cards so fast, she caused pieces of past and future to fly by, appearing and disappearing. The onlookers—family—in her head were dizzy and not quite sure where to step.
While all of this was going on in her head, she sat in the bar of an airport, waiting for the red-eye. Her drink was Chardonnay. Next to her was a man dressed to be noticed. She guessed that with slicked-back hair and a model’s face, he was probably doing his best to feign nonchalance. He has those big, brown eyes—the ones that look at you and implore. Or seduce. Which one is he? Inside she heard her dead relatives bickering. Is he going to be the one?
They each had food and were waiting for their tab.
He finally looked at her and spoke. "I hate being held hostage by bad waiters, don’t you?" He smiled, white teeth gleaming.
She looked him over. His ticket stuck out from his jacket pocket. He would be on the same plane as her.
"Unless they’re very bad," she said with a smirk.
His red face showed that he was unprepared for her forwardness, but instead of backing down, he struck. He seemed to have recovered his confidence. "There’s no time lonelier than the night, baby," he said, looking at her like fresh meat. She hadn't controlled her body well enough. She knew her pupils had dilated at him and bet he noticed it too. He was that kind of guy.
She could hear her dead relatives. My tongue is in your ear washing grime, endless grime, off our face and hands. And the insects crawl around for their share of dead skin flakes.
Kat smiled but paid the tab she had finally been given and got up. Walking over to the elevator, she hit the down button and didn’t look back.
When Your Publisher Goes Out of Business
Not all of us can be published by the "Big Six" (which I think is now the "Big Five"). So when we send our books to other publishing companies and get accepted it's a time for celebration. Sometimes it's even like we've found a home. We make contacts with other authors working for the same publisher and communicate, share, and help one another. We learn about the different types of editors, artists, formatters, and all the people involved who bring a single book to market. Our submissions may even get priority over those not "in the fold." It feels like a community.
But what if that publisher ceases to be? Nightmares are possible. At the very least, there is heartbreak and scrambling. What happens to the books? Who owns the rights? What about the cover art? What about the editing? What happens to the readers? To the reviews?
The answers to those questions depends on the publisher and their sense of fair play. There are horror stories on the internet from authors whose house's just dropped out of existence one day. With no certainty to rights, they couldn't resubmit or republish their own work. Worse, some of the newly extinct publishers absconded with royalties due.
In my case, I was lucky. Yes, my publisher went out of business. Yes, I had to scramble to figure out what to do, but the publisher reverted all rights back to the authors legally— something of major consequence to every author. Cover art was a different story. We had to buy back our covers if we wanted them and that was if the artist even wanted to deal with the whole debacle. Not all authors had the option to retain cover art on their books.
Then comes the quandry: if an author resubmits, he or she loses all reviews and readership accumulated from Amazon, Goodreads, and other establishments. There is also no guarantee that another house will publish the book again. However, if an author self-publishes and puts the book back up with no changes, there is a chance that the reviews will "catch up" to the book, which is what happened with one of my novels. No mean feat because part of ownership required ensuring that the entire manuscript was reformatted to delete any trace of the previous publisher.
More of a blow to me personally though was the fact that I had quite a number of books out by that publisher and now, should I put them back out they will be listed as published by Createspace. Self-published.
There's nothing wrong with being an indie-author. I chose it on purpose for several of my novels. However, I submitted other works under my previous publisher specifically because I had that publisher, so it feels like a defeat to describe them as self-published. Maybe I'll pdf the contract for each one in the front, saying essentially: this once had a home.
There is an upside, however. The fact is that the relationships you create under a publisher or in any authorial community can continue on. We kept the Facebook page up and the authors still talk to each other on it all the time. Some of the people formed a new publishing company. I published a book under the new company. My editor for many books from before remains one of my biggest supporters. When I grew so sick that I literally couldn't fulfil the editing portion of my contract, those people stepped in for me. That kind of support and sense of morality is something magical. So, while the publishing company that gave me my very first contract no longer exists, the legacy it created through the people within continues on. May all authors be so lucky.
K.D. Rose is a poet and author who currently has published "Heavy Bags of Soul", "Inside Sorrow", “I AM”, “Erasing: Shadows”, "Anger's Children: Three Shorts That Will Blow Your Mind", "A Taste for Mystery: Two Novellas" and "The Brevity of Twit".
Her poetry has been published in Candlelit Journal, the Voices Project, and showcased in the Tophat Raven Art and Literary Magazine. K.D.’s book, Inside Sorrow won the Readers Favorite 2013 international Silver Medal for Poetry.
K.D. has an eclectic mind and loves language, physics, philosophy, photography, design, art, writing, symbolism, semiotics, spirituality, and Dr. Who. KD Rose is an avid supporter of music, the arts, cutting edge science, technology, and creativity in all forms.