Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Don't be a slave ... the sandals are so uncomfortable

I sometimes mostly always think the general public have the wrong idea about what it means to be a published author in New Zealand. I guess that isn't so surprising. Only big successes get reported in the media here. Or articles talk about what is happening to overseas writers, where an advance for a first novel in the US is likely to be in the 5,000 to 10,000 dollar range (sometimes much more, although it can also be zero) and an american debut author can be whisked off to London on an author tour and be interviewed by the press. Its all so exciting. We don't generally get whisked off so perhaps we seem less real to the media and the public. I think the general rule is you need to be something to be aspired to, or warned away from, to get media coverage. I just don't want the public to have the wrong idea. Our population here means everything is on a much smaller scale. Print runs are smaller, advances are smaller, and getting whisked away might mean a trip to the publisher's offices or a local cafe. I am not complaining. I want to live here and things are smaller here and that naturally will have implications, but I just want folks to know that its not a flash, rolling in money and junkets kind of occupation is all. And writing isn't a holiday, its a job (and often a compulsion). I think I'm probably repeating myself on this topic but I still hear the same misapprehensions when I talk to folk so I guess it bears repeating.

I also wanted to say that I am changing my mind about writing rules and writing advice. Go check out this smart link over at writer Helen Lowe's blog on Ten Bits of Advice Writers Should Stop Giving Aspiring Writers (warning - lots of swearing). I especially like the one on show don't tell (2) and on watching what you say on the internet (4). I've always been one for keeping both show and tell in a story (I find reading all show gives me a headache). As the blogger says - both have their place. I think I want to change my stance on adverbs too. They can be a bit of a lazy option sometimes but sometimes they are the right word for the job.

There is heaps of advice out there and lots of rules and some of it is good but its important to not feel straitjacketed by it all. Advice and rules can be a comfort and sometimes a lifesaver - something to cling on to when the creative seas get rough. But they aren't a cure all or necessarily your saviour. Following them can help make you a better writer and can help you improve your understanding of writing and storytelling, but sometimes you need to ignore the advice and the rules and sometimes you have to break them. They're your friends, not your masters. Don't be their slave.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Mystery...

An excerpt (pages 41-47) from the new thing I'm polishing:

The café was dark and grubby with an indeterminate colour lino floor, wooden chairs and round tables. Spiller’s was a perfect name for it, seemingly describing the behaviour of most of the occupants. It was nothing at all like the new shiny, chrome and black leather cafés that were popping up everywhere, with lots of glass windows and outside tables. While she preferred the idea of having hot chocolates at the new ones, Sally swiftly decided this one suited their purposes better. She felt sure no one from school would see them here.
With the nose blowing and the excuse making they were five minutes late for their meeting with Milo Lestrange. When they walked through the doorway of Spiller’s to the tune of a bell over the door they could see two little old ladies wearing what looked like tea cosies on their heads sharing a pot of tea and a plate of dainties in the far corner by the counter. Only two other tables were occupied. An old man wearing a disgusting stained overcoat and a knitted beanie pulled down over a mess of hair sat at a table also near the counter and a tall school girl sat at another by the front window. They were both horrified to see the school girl was wearing a St Welt’s smock, blazer and hat, and even more horrified to see that the school girl was Vanessa Blunt. She didn’t look up when they came in but seemed deeply absorbed in a book and a large piece of carrot cake. Sally shivered at the sight of her enemy. Avoiding the table near the window Sally and Abigail wended their way through to the counter. The old man cleared his throat as they passed.
An older girl had come through the plastic strip curtain to stand behind the counter when the doorbell had rung and now they gave her their order for two hot chocolates, two pieces of cake and a filled roll. Charmaine, said the badge pinned to the front of her white pinny.
“We don’t do hot chocolates. It’s either coffee or a mug of cocoa each. Alright then?” she said, not looking terribly fussed whether it suited or not. They nodded and as she rung up their order on an ancient till, Abigail handed over some money. The girl then busied herself pulling two slabs of carrot cake and an overflowing filled roll from the display case and arranging them on three plates.
“I’ll bring your drinks over,” she said pushing the laden plates towards them.
Abigail and Sally grabbed their food and turned back to survey the tables.
“Ahem,” came the old man again. This time the two girls glanced over and he was staring straight at them. He winked and tilting his head to one side, nodded.
“He wants us to sit with him,” Abigail whispered to Sally, a horrified expression on her face.
“I think its Milo,” Sally whispered back, “In disguise.”
Sure enough now that they were looking straight back at him they could both see that he wasn’t actually old at all. It was just his coat that looked like it had been through three life times. And they could see his hair had obviously grown quite a bit longer since the photo for the expedition was taken but it was still the same dark coloured wild mess it had been back then.
They walked towards the table and when they were close enough Sally leaned forward.
“Mr Lestrange?” she asked as quietly as she could.
The man nodded and they sat down at the table pulling their chairs around so their backs were towards Vanessa. She still seemed totally spellbound by the large book she was holding close to her face.
“Oh Mr Lestrange I forgot to get you something,” Sally said.
“Shhh, don’t say my name out loud like that,” the man said leaning forward over the table towards them. “And it doesn’t matter. I brought my own,” and he pulled a little flask out of his coat pocket and shook it. It made a light sloshing sound as if he’d already consumed most of the contents. Sally and Abigail smiled faintly.
“So which of you is Barque’s daughter?”
Sally stuck her hand up a little and said, “Me, I’m Sally. Oh, and this is my best friend, Abigail Fray.”
“Do you have a brother?” Mr Lestrange’s voice went down to a whisper.
Sally nodded.
“Any other’s?”
Sally shook her head.
“I remember Barque talking about his two children,” he continued. “A boy and a girl. Michael and Sally. No, ... that’s not quite right.”
“Malcolm and Sally?” Sally offered.
 “Yes...that’s it.  You do look a bit like him.” he whispered.
“Why are you whispering?” Abigail asked preparing to take a bite of the filled roll she had squashed into submission. Milo and Sally both turned to glare at Abigail. “Shhh,” they chorused.
“Well,” Milo said in a low voice. “Call me Milo.” He glanced at Sally. “I remember Captain Barque very well. Bill. That’s what he told me to call him. He was kind to me. No one else was on that voyage. I was the youngest and Bill took me under his wing. Treated me like a son. Or a younger brother. I remember it like it was yesterday. In fact I’ve had trouble forgetting it. Well, parts of it anyway. Other parts…hmmm…I don’t know. But one thing I know for sure. That one voyage changed my life completely.”
“It changed mine forever too,” Sally said softly.
“Here are your cocoas,” Charmaine said plonking two chipped mugs of flat muddy liquid on the table. Abigail smiled up at her in thanks and grabbed her mug to wash down the roll before she started on her cake.
“So what happened then,” she said.
“Well things were already difficult before we left port. Although your father had everything running smoothly Sally, Professor Angstrom and Major Blunt were complaining about everything from the food and the size of their cabins to the way their equipment was stored on board and the route your father was recommending they take. It all came to a head when we were only two days out to sea. I’d been laid up in my cabin the whole time with sea sickness. But on that second night I felt a little better and I thought it was time for some fresh air and I got up and went for a walk up on deck. I was outside the galley and I heard shouting. It was the Major and he was yelling at your father. Calling him names. Saying the expedition would be a disaster because of him. Your father was saying something about turning the ship round and returning to port right then. There was the sound of breaking glass and then steps and bangs and thuds and a shout. Doors were being opened and slammed shut and then more footsteps... and then the sound I can’t get out of my head. A scream and a crash and an enormous splash, like something very big had fallen in the water…”
“Dad...” Sally whispered, her eyes round and swimming with tears.
“I rushed around to the other side of the ship as fast as I could and I looked in the water and I called ‘Man Overboard’ and the crew came running but in the dark, even though they turned the ship around... you know even for a small ship like the Pole Star it takes a really long time. They don’t turn on a dollar coin you know. Well anyway, it was too late. We couldn’t find the body and…” Milo looked at Sally’s face.
“Please keep going,” Sally said in a small voice.
“The only person missing was the captain. The major was in the infirmary bandaging up the professor’s head. He’d taken a nasty knock and couldn’t remember anything. The major said it was the professor who’d screamed.”
“What did he say had happened to the captain,” Abigail asked breathlessly, peering over the top of her cake as she took another bite.
Milo looked from Abigail to Sally, uncertainty on his face. “I…he said…he said the captain had fallen.”
But Sally hadn’t heard. “There was that photo in the book,” Sally said staring off into space, her mind fidgeting around for something. “Of the Professor on the stretcher all bandaged. You couldn’t see his face.”
“That’s right,” Milo said.
“It could have been anyone,” she said, her expression suddenly hopeful.
“Ahhh, it looked like the professor. Whoever it was in the infirmary had the professor’s long black coat on too,” Milo said.
“But you never saw his face,” Sally persisted.
“No but the captain was a lot shorter than the professor, and the professor was…”
“But you couldn’t be a hundred percent sure. And it was a long time ago.”
“Well yes…but Sally, I don’t think it was the captain.”
“You didn’t see who went overboard?”
“No. Only the major knows what happened. And the professor. But he never recovered from the accident. He’s been in St Olaf’s ever since.”
“That’s not an ordinary hospital though, is it?” Abigail interjected. “It’s a mental hospital. Ooo, what if he’s too drugged to remember or so he can’t tell the truth or something.”
Milo looked aghast. “Look you two. It was all very straightforward back then. Don’t go inventing things that just aren’t true.”
“But it wasn’t straight forward at all.” Sally protested. “You said in your book that they weren’t going to the South Pole for oil. It was all about the army or something.”
“I don’t…remember…,” Milo said looking confused all of a sudden.
“You don’t really know the truth yourself, do you,” Sally said. “I want to know what happened to my Dad.”
“I can’t tell you any more than I’ve already told you. Although I do know the ‘Pole Star’ never made another voyage after that. It’s been in dry dock ever since. Down at the port.”
“Shhh,” Abigail said, winking and nodding her head towards Vanessa’s table. Sally turned to see Vanessa leaning back in her seat as far as she could without tipping backwards. Her book lay closed on the table and her cake plate was empty.
Sally’s face turned a livid red colour and she stood up so suddenly her chair fell to the floor with a loud clatter. She marched over to Vanessa.
“What do you think you’re doing, nosey parker,” she said banging the back left leg of the chair with her foot as hard as she could. The back legs slid under and the chair fell back with the tall solid Vanessa crashing down like a brick wall. Everyone in the cafe stared at the girl lying on the floor. Sally marched right back to the table, picked up her own seat and sat down. She didn’t look back. Vanessa lay in a tangled heap with the chair, like a tortoise stuck on its back unable to right itself, legs and arms waving in the air helplessly. Abigail snorted hysterically into her serviette.
“I guess somebody ought to help her up,” Sally said out loud in a most insincere voice so the whole café could hear.
 “Oh Sally,” Abigail gasped through tears of laughter. “How could you. She might be hurt.”
“She looks quite alright to me,” Sally said without even turning round to look. “I imagine it would take quite a lot to damage Vanessa.”
Eventually Charmaine emerged through the plastic curtain and helped Vanessa off the floor. “Lean too far back did we Miss. Happens all the time. There you go. Alright?” She picked up the chair and dusted off the back of Vanessa’s smock. Vanessa glared at Sally, gathered up her book and school bag and stalked out of the café.
“My goodness,” Milo said, “that was the major’s daughter. What a coincidence. Do you know her Sally?”

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Children get it....

I visited New Windsor School on Tuesday for my author-in-residence programme there and had such a lovely visit. I talked to two groups about ideas and plotting and I participated in one of the school's book clubs. We'd been reading Red Rocks by Rachael King which we'd all enjoyed. We discussed our favourite bits and our favourite characters. We liked how exciting and adventurous the story was. Many of the children had enjoyed the vivid description of the windswept Wellington coastline. Everyone agreed we'd like more children's books from Ms King please (I hear she is working on another one - yay!). And then as the discussion continued someone mentioned how they had connected with the main character in our previous book club read, my book Jack the Viking. Several members of the group said the words every author wants to hear - it was like what happened to me...that's just how I felt...- I loved that the fact Jack is able to overcome his problems was empowering for them, that I had written a character that was true to their experience. I'm glad I didn't cry but I sure felt like it. For those children my book made a difference and I was overjoyed.

We do have to be careful in our roles as adult writers and adult readers of children's material though. I agree with celebrated Australian children's writer Mem Fox who said "Do not write down to children. if the story makes adults wince, it will make children wince too. Write always for extremely clever, well-adjusted, lively children. Young readers will appreciate the compliment" ( from Mem Fox's Do's and Don'ts for Picture Books here - thanks to Sher Foley for the link). I think I would add that children are way smarter than us adults sometimes. They may be children with less experience but that doesn't make them less intelligent. Sometimes our maturity and experience and cynicism etc... is a burden that jaundices our view. I think this is well illustrated by this lovely piece found here at Beattie's Blog. Just cos we can't sort ourselves out as adults doesn't mean children don't know what's what. We should stop telling them what to read and how to live their lives and just be a better example ourselves

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Playing tag...

I was tagged here by fab fellow NZ author Phillip W. Simpson and I'm playing

What's the working Title of your WIP?
Barquing Mad: A Mystery
I really like this title but worry that people will think its about a dog and its not. I probably will have to change it but I think the words 'A Mystery' imply you can't take the first few words at face value

Where did your idea come from for your book?
I started this book so long ago I don't remember. I do remember submitting the first few thousand words to the NZSA for this brilliant open critique session they held at Old Government House in Auckland in 2004 and Graeme Lay and Tania Roxborogh critiqued it and were very positive and encouraging and said nice things to me. I think the biggest criticism was the stupid character names I had (they didn't use the word stupid - they were really very nice) and the names are now all different. The bully was called Mimsy Squat-Cottles (I blame famous NZ actor Michael Hurst who once said this name and got it stuck in my brain) and Prunella. I still like Mimsy Squat-Cottles but she is now Vanessa Blunt which is a little easier to read and a tad more modern and Prunella became Sally.

And this is what I ended up with:

What really happened to Sally's Dad lost at sea 7 years before? What were they really up to on that mysterious polar expedition? And why has her Mum suddenly chucked in her job? Why won't her teacher and the school principal and the school bully leave her alone? Sally needs her wits, her courage, her best friend, her best friends chauffer and even her brother's help to overcome the dangers and discover the truth.

What genre does your book fall under?
Children's mystery

What actors would you pick to play your characters in a movie rendition?
They probably haven't been born yet :) although Dakota Fanning would have been perfect for the 12 year old heroine Sally Barque when she was younger. I'd be played by Martin Freeman.

What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?
Sometimes parents get lost and it's up to their children to find them.

How long did it take you to write a first draft of your manuscript?
I think this one has been on the slow burner for about ten years. I finished it early last year but it wasn't quite right. Nearly done with the final draft and believe it actually makes sense now.

What other books would you compare this story to within the genre?
It's a cross between Famous Five and Stormbreaker

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Sheer tenacity. It was just one of those stories that I kept coming back to. I could see, inside the hot mess, a fun story that I wanted to tell, desperately trying to get free (probably from the shackles of all those commas).

What else about the book might pique the readers interest?
I really think its just the most unexpected little tale. Its got some girl power going on.

In the spirit of this game I am tagging five more fabulous NZ authors to have a play

Tania Roxborogh

Tania Hutley

Maureen Crisp

Sue Copsey

Fifi Colston

Monday, October 15, 2012

Airing my illegal download laundry...

On October 7th I read this View piece by Nick Grant in the Sunday Herald. Mr Grant says he 'can't get too excited about pirating and its alleged effect on the entertainment industry.' Thing is Mr Grant, perhaps you would feel more excited if someone else was making money out of your creative content while you received nothing. Sigh.

I sent in this as a reply:

I was somewhat irked to read Nick Grant's TV Preview piece on illegal downloading in the Herald on Sunday View section (7th October). As a creator of content whose material has been illegally downloaded more than 3,000 times in the last year without a corresponding increase in sales I take exception to the oversimplification of this issue. Yes I still do hold out hope that illegal downloads may benefit my sales in future but focusing on this ignores the fact that someone else is still benefiting financially from the illegal provision of material they do not own or hold license to, whether it is music, movies television programmes, books or some other art form. I doubt very much if any of Kim Dotcom's 2010, $42 million income went to the creators of the content his subscribers enjoyed. And many other companies benefit in the millions from providing download sites or having other associations with them. I also feel concerned that Mr Grant's lack of excitement over pirating reinforces a general attitude toward obtaining content for free. If that is the culture we create, that it's all right because everyone is doing it, that it’s only the big companies like the movie studios who object, or that this is just about politics, then I may be even less able in the future to earn a decent return from content I work hard to produce. If Mr Grant would like to give his writing away for free then he is most welcome but I can't afford to think like that.

It got printed (mostly) in this Sunday's Herald (October 14th). I get frustrated that the whole issue seems to have been swamped by the politicking over Kim Dotcom and the media's subsequent delight in watching Labour and National butt heads over this. It is too easy to forget (as Nicola Morgan has said) that there are not-so-well-off individuals at the sharp end of this issue. Still, very pleased that the Herald gave me the chance to air my opinion on this.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Winter's Day in 1939...(New Zealand Cover)

Coming out March 2013

The boy on the front cover is my father...(designed by Book Design).

The book has been reviewed on radio by Kate De Goldi and Kim Hill (you will need to scroll down the list) here and by John McIntyre of the Children's Bookshop in Wellington here. There are other reviews here, here and here.

Why and How I wrote A Winter’s Day in 1939

When the Soviet soldiers come and order them out, Adam and his family have no idea where they are going or if they will ever come back.  The Germans have attacked Poland and the world is at war. Boarding a cattle train Adam and his family embark on a journey that will cover thousands of miles and several years, and change all their lives forever. And mine too. Because Adam’s story, the story told in my new novel A Winter’s Day in 1939, is very much my Dad’s story.
I often heard fragments of this story from my dad when I was growing up.  It was shocking, and sad, and amazing.  My Dad’s family was forced out of their home and taken to a labour camp in Russia. It was freezing cold, and many people died from disease or starvation. Even when the Soviets finally let them go, they spent weeks travelling around the USSR , were made to work on Soviet farms and were still hungry and often sick, with no idea of where they might end up next.  As a child growing up in a peaceful place like New Zealand it was hard to imagine the real dangers and terrible conditions my father experienced.
 I didn’t get to know the full story until I was grown up with children of my own and was regularly writing stories for children.  I wrote a short story, also called A Winter’s Day in 1939, based on a single event I knew fairly well  from my Dad‘s childhood – when Soviet Soldiers first come to order them off their farm, the only home my father had known up till that point in his life. The story was published in The Australian School Magazine.  I showed the short story to the publishers Scholastic who liked it too. They wondered if I could turn it in to a novel.  This was a chance to tell my father’s story. By now I knew it was an important story that should be shared
Luckily my Dad had made notes about his life during World War Two; about twenty pages all typed up.  However I know people’s real lives don’t always fit into the framework of a novel and I knew I would have to emphasize some things and maybe leave other things out.
I read and researched to add the right details to the story. And asked my parents lots of questions. How cold was it in Poland in January 1940? Who or what were the NKVD? What were the trains like? What are the symptoms of typhoid? How do you make your own skis? Some information was hard to find. Some of the places that existed in the 1940s aren’t there anymore. And people didn’t keep records about how many people were taken to the USSR from Poland or what happened to particular individuals. But what I wanted to give readers most of all was a sense of how it felt to live that life.  So this then is the story of a twelve year old Polish boy in the USSR during World War 2 that all started on A Winter's Day in 1939

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The new religion...

I have wittered on at length in the past about book reviews. Specifically, poor reviews and how to survive them if you are the author of the book reviewed. But I discovered (unfortunately) another downside to poor, or shall we say, 1 star reviews. As I wandered Goodreads lonely as a cloud looking up some info for my research I came across a long book discussion on a popular book which I rather liked. The discussion ripped the book and its author to shreds. They approached it as a lesson in how not to write, with exposition on poor character development, telling not showing, etc... and folks, I felt nervous that I had liked the book. Was there something wrong with me? I mean, this level of vitriol surely must have some substance behind it. Was I too clueless to pick up on all these inherent failures? Did that make me a poor reader? Or worse, a poor writer, because I wasn't aware of these faults. I mean, I'd actually enjoyed reading this particular book. Looking at some of the issues raised, I disagree with some of the points made and the evidence for them. I don't see the examples given as particularly good ones of the crime the writer is accused of. With things like show not tell I am a firm believer of having elements of both. Showing all the time can become exhausting to read. I also think one person's poor character is another person's recognizable friend/self. The disturbing thing to me was my reaction. I felt bad I liked the book that had earned such a scathing review. I examined my own skills because of that review. I am still frequently amazed that people get so very angry about books and their content. Maybe it's like where people get highly agitated trying to defend or debunk a religion. And we feel defensive or kindred to that person in response. But I worried about my reaction. I don't want to be too afraid to pick up a book for fear of other people judging me badly on my choice.

And lovely writery friend and fellow blogger Maureen Crisp sent me a most interesting link with a terrific research project examining the number of male main protagonists (compared with female) and male vs. female authors of YA books (after the recent outcry over the perceived dominance of female authors in YA literature). The number of times I've been told we need more stories written specifically for boys, at which I've just nodded, is more than I care to mention. But hang on. The sex of the protagonist, or the genre of story have never stopped me reading something I thought looked interesting. Holy moly folks, I spent years reading war comics followed by years of romance novels. I've enjoyed male writers and male protagonists (Tolkien, Lewis, Dahl, Horowitz, Gaiman, Forster, Hemingway, Dickens, Conrad, Theroux, Hardy, Faulkes), a mix (Gaiman, Rowling, Le Guin, Susan Cooper, Holly Black, Hinton) and female writers of female protags (Alcott, Austen, Bronte, Wilder, LM Montgomery etc...). All I wanted was a good book. I've never been put off by the gender of the main character. After all I'm not allergic to the opposite sex. In fact I'm rather interested in them. Are boys not remotely curious about females? It hasn't stopped them reading the Hunger Games.  Let's not encourage boys to steer clear of reading books where the main protagonist is female. Because otherwise we run the risk of perpetuating a myth we're creating. Lets just help them find good books that they enjoy.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Mobius strips, the best mental origami....

I do love a good Mobius Strip (the never ending loop of time travel) story/movie. Terminator, Brian Falkner's 'The Tomorrow Code' and now the terrific Looper are some of my favourites. I'm a little embarrassed my sixteen year old had to explain one bit that I got muddled up on, in Looper but I think I get it now. I love having my brain tied up in knots - mental origami - good times.

I recently had the honour of writing the final chapter in this year's fabostory project. This fun online writing challenge for primary and intermediate school students provides a framework (plot, direction, characters) for budding writers to practice their writing skills with, and prizes are awarded for the best submissions. Every year children impress us with their abilities and their commitment and all the NZ authors involved are thrilled to be encouraging the next generation of writers. We have wrapped up the project for this year but keep an eye out for what we come up with next for 2013. If you think you might want to participate or your school might, just drop me a line, comment here or keep an eye out for fabostory4 online. If you want to know more about how it all works go check out this year's project at the link above or you can see last year's project here and 2010's project here.

I am currently working hard on pulling all the threads of this year's university studies together in my research project, so today's post will necessarily be brief. I cannot wait to have this assignment done and dusted but I have a wee ways to go yet.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sorry, but that's just how it is....

I confess I have been a bit ambivalent in the past about copyright issues, and free-illegal downloads of material whether musical, visual or literary or otherwise. Kim Dotcom chooses to live here in New Zealand and I have looked askance at the way his home was raided and his family's life turned upside down (his wife was pregnant with twins at the time) as the FBI sought through local authorities to deal to Megaupload. I think the political and media agendas swirling around Mr Dotcom have muddied the waters somewhat. Partly I thought it was an insurmountable problem anyway - like a runaway iceberg or inertia. The floodgates have been opened and as we can't go back in time we just have to cope as best we can with the hand technology is dealing us. Partly I thought there could be long term tangible benefits in someone freely downloading my books (I still believe this is possible - Its another route to developing fans from a source we might not otherwise have access to). But this comment in particular from Nicola Morgan changed my mine and clarified the issue for me  - I don’t believe I have a right to earn a living from my writing. What I do believe is that if anyone is going to earn anything from my writing, that person should be me. Not only me, but me foremost, me in control. - you can read the whole post here. Nicola made lots of other terrific points but this one seemed to be the clincher for me. I also recommend following the link in Nicola's point 6. The other links in Nicola's post are probably excellent too I just haven't read them all yet.

I agree the folk who participate in the production or distribution and sale of my books with my consent should be able to share in the benefits of any income. But no affected individual should feel happy, that someone who had no involvement in the creation of the content he is allowing people to download, is making millions at the content providers' expense. Millions. Every year. This writing business is the thing I am good at. I spend my time creating content for books. Selling this content is how I attempt to generate income and if someone is giving it away on my behalf without my permission, or is associated with that process, and they are receiving income in doing so, then I feel LIVID. Stop and think how you might feel if some complete stranger, without your permission, received the income you were owed for the hours you worked (and please no cracks about the IRD here). And everyone around you just said, sorry, there's no point in complaining, everyone is doing it.

It is too, too easy to click a tab and download something illegally in the privacy of your home and the likelihood of being found out and punished is miniscule, and hey everyone does it, and no one will know and lets face it today's technology is just begging to be used this way and musicians and photographers and artists and writers and illustrators and, and, and, and just have to accept that this is how it is now and there are other ways that they can probably make money, I hear Countdown is hiring.........ARGHHHHH! Don't be a part of this problem folks, be part of the solution.