Themes, Ideas and Characters

originally posted by Ika

Hi Cheryl…
And risk disturbing the balance of nature when its already affected by global warming (provoked by us humans)?? *gasp* I don't think the fellowship of seven would want to do that. *laughs*

originally posted by Cheryl

grin well it has to stop raining sometime I think in WOLAS the fellowship would be concerned that some evil villain was causing this disturbance in the weather. LOL They'd say the humans brought it on themselves let them deal with it yikes!!!

originally posted by Sandtiger

Hi Ika, Cheryl -

Sorry, I’ve been incommunicado for a week or so, mainly because of the federal election - and I almost missed the question aimed at me. (If there are others - let me know - June’s been crazy).

In terms of posting on Julie’s site. In my own opinion, it’s important to remember it’s NOT a writing site per se. It’s a group of Julie’s fans - many who are interested in writing. Innundating there with snippets will turn people off rather quickly. (Though they won’t say so - too nice) However, a snippet when you are saying hello is certainly not out of place. (It’s lovely to get some AWWWROOOs) I’d say about 300-500 words is best. Not more. My suggestion is to say hello, post a snippet, and if you’ve read Julie’s books, say so - and let everyone say hi. It’s a friendly bunch.

Feel free to ask questions about writing, submitting, editing, etc. - There are a lot of smart people on there, many who can answer your questions. Of course, There are also some important people on there (As in publishers, editors, numerous published authors, etc.) so I’d say be on your best behaviour and polite. (Not that you wouldn’t be!)

If you want test readers for your work, post a snippet and ASK for people to email you if they are interested. This is a pretty accepted method on the NG, and it doesn’t make anyone feel pressured. I’ve done it several times in the past, and it usually nets a few readers.

Whatever you do, don’t just send people your work (It’s happened) unless they ask. You’ll find a lot of email addresses on there, and basically - don’t consider them free to use unless you’ve asked first. (Unless of course you can get that person’s email elsewhere.)

I must say, these are just my thoughts - don’t consider them the rules or anything. I tend to be a little more reserved then some - and my suggestions probably show it.

Here’s a link to some Frequently asked questions, I’d say definately read those before you post :smiley: It might clear a few details up.

(link removed)

And if you have questions, just ask me - I will be gone from Friday - Wednesday, (A Convention, then three days up North) but I’ll be around otherwise.


Unfortunately, I don’t have the vaguest idea why you can’t get onto Julie’s newsgroup. I am not technically inclined at all, unfortunately. Maybe someone else here could help you out? I don’t know anyone else who has had trouble. She has a link to the group on her website - my only suggestion is to try clicking on it.


originally posted by Cheryl

Thanks Sandtiger that will help to have the link right here I think or on her site. I guess I didn't know which one it was but whenever I tried to go there it would get all goofy and mess up my connection online. But now I have better ISP but I remember my husband saying don't go to a newsgroup again. So I'm not sure whether to try it again or not. Would love to be there I'll think about it and see if I can get up the nerve to try it again. I don't think I'm near to showing anyone anything I've written yet so everyone's safe from that horror LOL maybe later. Once my dad goes over it maybe then I'll be more confident. I'll have him be my editor he's very smart and can quote shakespeare. grin My dad read some of what I'd written and he was openmouthed and shocked I'd written what I had. He said it was excellent that was promising.

I have posted the link, in the next thread in this topic, for an ONLINE writer’s critique group that Susan posted in this chat (In the writing topic, under the rejection thread) - - read what she says in that post.

Look at what this group does - you could probably learn just by reading what’s there, and seeing what critiques it drew, and looking at your own work, and drawing parallels…or you could pump up your courage and post.

If you want to be read, you have to take that chance sometime. Getting feedback - good and bad, means learning - both learning to write better, and to learn the discernment NEEDED to know when to break the “rules” -

People just wanting to get critique - this area is set up for that.

Julie’s group, as Jana said, is Julie’s fans - they are a grand nice bunch. Julie writes a superbly fine book. (I just finished her latest, Survivor, and it’s a sweet read. The main character is tremendously well drawn, and hauntingly endearing. She’ll make you laugh AND cry at her temper.) If you just lurk there, you can learn a great deal - about etiquette, kindness, courtesy, enthusiasm, good writing, good business, and just life.

Thank you Jana, for your neatly sketched rules of the road - they are wisely drawn, and good sense, for anyone visiting any site. Few are as kind as Julie - she’s an exemplary hostess!

originally posted by Cheryl

I will click on their and see what happens. You make Survivor sound great I might go buy it for sure now. If the heroine has a temper I like that.

originally posted by Ika

Hi Janny and everyone!

Thanks for the tip, Sandtiger. They really help. No worries, I'll be getting her books when I get back for the term hols this august. The people in Julie's website ARE nice!

I've had this question in my head for a while. Apart from excellent/bad manuscripts, does one's race, age, origins and background affect getting published/not getting picked? Just had that thought for a while…Since I heard that JK Rowling's publishers suggested her put synonyms to her name instead of putting her full name.

Cheers everyone!

originally posted by Cheryl

I certainly hope it's not like that Ika that would be stupid of them. I think they would appreciate a good new book no matter who wrote it. I'd heard in the 60's or 70's women authors use to put initials or change their name to a man's because their weren't many women author's I'm guessing men authors were more common back then. And men author's sold better. I'm glad things have changed since that time. That might explain CJ Cherryh I thought she was a he at first grin.

Many women opt to change their first names to initials so as not to make gender obvious.

Equally, some men, writing in markets deemed to be "women's fiction" take on a female pseudonym.

Sometimes these things are done at the publisher's request.

I prefer to follow in the footsteps of the Ballantines - first to publish westerns with female authors, under their own names.

I guess - I never bent to form, anyway - and if the work was mine, and held genuine, it was worth enough to sign my name to. If a reader's going to take their valuable time to share those words, it seemed (to me) dishonest to hide who I am…in any way. So I sign my own name to what I do, end of alphabet and gender notwithstanding. If I couldn't stand or fall, on the merit of my work, and if either gender or surname as W made a difference, well - the hell with that - time someone made a stand, or we won't have a world that's any different.

The work, as sent IN, will be judged on the story…it's on the marketplace where such things take on a "flinch factor" - and for each author/publisher pair to decide what's the right course for them.

originally posted by Cheryl

Thanks Janny. The one author that really through me was Mickey Zucher Reichert. I thought she was a he. Mickey sounded like a guys name. Then I found out he was a she and I was relieved. I thought she seemed too emotional in her writing to be a man. That puzzled me grin They said she did that to have a man's name to sell more books. I thought that interesting. I think you're right to be honest and up front. Robin Hobb also fooled me with her earlier books as Megan Lindholm. For some reason I like her better as Robin.

originally posted by Blue

My own case for the use of a pseudonym is to avoid ethnic confusion. My father's family is Czech, but the family name, Hauptman is of Germanic origin - the result of a barony granted by the Austrians. Since I am not a native German speaker, I do not pronounce my family name "properly" and there is nothing more irritating than being told you are not saying your own family name correctly!

I was a witness to a robbery, and a police officer who was taking my statement corrected my "improper" pronunciation. It does not help matters that the "proper" pronunciation of Hauptman sounds like a cat choking on a hairball.

I was rather rude to him when I informed him that I did not CARE how the "proper" pronunciation went, that I was not German. Of course, the inevitable "Well, how did you get a German last name if you are not German?" as if they have a patent, irritated me further. "If I must justify my ancestry to you, it is a barony granted to one of my ancestors by the Austrian Emperor for heroism!" That usually shuts them up.

My neighbor, who studied German for several years, informed me the pronunciation that is usually rasped at me is Low German, and is one possible pronunciation, considering the number of German dialects.

In any case, I have decided to use a pseudonym to avoid any more nonsense on the name front.One I have considered using for years has a rather nice ring to it, Andrea Denae Stuart, or A.D. Stuart.

originally posted by Trys


Two items on name pronounciation.

Firstly, I vaguely recall the case of a womman who married a man against the wishes of her family. The immediate parent had put a clause in the will (big bucks involved) that she could not marry anyone names Smith (her intended's last name) or she would be disinherited. She married the man after he changed his name to some outlandish spelling… but still pronounced it Smith. (THis could be Urban Myth).

Secondly, my last name is Waton. Most people pronounce it WHAT-son. I pronounce it with a broader A as in WATT-son. Many people don't get it.

Only a fool corrects someone saying their own name.


originally posted by Darren

Please Everyone,

My last name has only three letters and you would think that people could get it right.

When I say my last name generally the only letter they get correct is the "M". I get everything from Ulm, Ohm, Ohmn, Olim, everything but Olm.

I pronounce it rolling the O and the L, Dad's way pronounces it like an Irish name O'lim. Gee we can't even decide on it. Sometime even small last names can be a handful :wink:

originally posted by George

This is my exact gripe with the English language! There are no definitive ways of pronunciation!Things can be spelt is so many different ways AND there are so many homonyms!

Although i can understand if people get some names wrong…especially Greek, German or Polish surnames names!

Come to think of it, i knew a Yugoslav once who had a eight letter surname with only one vowel in it…it was a mouthful of consonants…

originally posted by Blue

Another thought that has occurred to me for an alternative to my family name is to use the proper Slavic feminine form, Hauptmanova.

Oops! Trys, put me down on the list of dummies who have looked at your last name and thought, "Watson".

George, I worked at an answering service for quite a while, and one of the things that amazed me about it was that Bob Smith would spell his first and last names for me about a hundred times in a two minute conversation, while Stanislaus Wladczlewski would listen to one attempt on my part, and say, "Close enough."

originally posted by Auna

hehe, I've got an easy last name, Gold, but you should see how many people try to spell it Gould or something exotic :stuck_out_tongue:

originally posted by Cheryl

Me too Blue I'm glad I know how to pronounce Watson now. grin. Nobody wants to know my maiden name here I married and got much better name. In school my name was so hard to pronounce they called me Cheryl Smith sometimes. grin

For the record: I knew Mickey Zucker Reichert Long and Long before she was published…nor had she appeared at a convention, or had a public front.

She was Mickey Zucker Richert, then, too.

Went (and still goes) by Mickey.

No concession to marketplace pressure, there.

originally posted by Cheryl

I'm glad then guess that was just wrong information I got. I should never listen to that until I know it for truth.I love Mickey Zucker Reichert she reminds me of your work Janny. I'm very excited about her new sequel to Return of Nightfall. I've been wanting that for some years now. It will be a great fall for books. In the fall I'll have Traitor's Knot and Return of Nightfall. Book Heaven for sure grin

originally posted by Frank T Davis

Thanks for the info re "THe Return of NIghtfall". MZR is alos one of my favorite authors and am glad to hear that she will have a new offering thi9s fall.