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bear by san

March 2017



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The book is due when it's due.

And yet sometimes we don't get it done on time, for one reason or another.

Apparently there's a vast internet kerfuffle about writers turning in books late. Since I just turned one in a year overdue (Chill) for the first and I hope last time in my career, I am moved to say:

Y'all do know we don't get paid until we turn those in, right? It's not like we have a vested interest in being late. We're generally doing our best out here.

What, nobody who reads SFF has ever blown a deadline at work?

I do sympathize with the annoyance of anybody waiting for a book by a favorite author, but it is kind of a first world problem, and probably not worth writing scathing letters over.


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Missing a deadline is really only something to be upset about if you're dealing with organ transplants or psychopathic terrorists threatening to blow up major metropolitan areas. Or possibly if the cat didn't get breakfast on time.
I recently (as in, um, Tuesday?) bought a book that was scheduled to be published last summer. I'm happy the book is now published. I'm happy I liked the book. I'm happy for the author, as he now has that book off his shoulders (brain? probably brain, thinking about it) and hope that the next book is not delayed.

What I don't understand, and I seem to share this confusion with your esteemed self, is the anger vented. From my POV (being a worker who's blown dead-lines, self-imposed or externally imposed), I find it really counter-productive. The occasional friendly question, not-too-frequent and from not-too-many sources MAY cause work to progress faster, but getting beaten, repeatedly, over one's metaphorical head, with the metaphorical faeces-covered wooden implement, really doesn't help, at all. If anything, it makes things go slower.
I'm fairly certain there are people who confuse us with vending machines.
What, you mean writers *can't* spit out mass-produced text when we put quarters into them? I'm so disillusioned!
We have a saying around here whenever we find ourselves hearing about, or having a first world problem. "Oh no! My latte is too foamy!"
I think I'm going to start trying that. I spend far too much time kvetching about my first world problems already. (And in Starbucks, but that's a different first world problem right there.)
I LOVE DEADLINES! They sound GREAT as they whizz by! <.<

My first book I gave them the realistic deadline of 1 year to which they replied "6 months" and given that it was my first contract I agreed...only to hit the original one year deadline. ;)
I think blogs have helped mitigate my own issues with waiting for books to be finished. (I can't wait to read Chill, but the little vicarious squee I get every time you mention it helps tide me over.) OTOH, there are probably people who feel more justified in whinging at authors because of the accessibility of their blogs. Some people will just be obnoxious no matter what.
How utterly ridiculous.

I admit I occasionally whine out loud to friends about how I really wish [x book] was out already, but good Lord, people, quit harassing the poor authors :(

(As someone who routinely runs head-first into fic deadlines I don't even get paid for, I know how easy it is to either come within the skin of my teeth of missing them, or just outright miss them.)
You have definitely put your finger on what bothers me about the whole idea of people sending off nasty letters to authors who've had a book delayed. Seriously? Would that I had that life, where this is my most pressing issue during the day, sending off nasty letters to authors whose books aren't out yet, because, of course, there are no other books (my to-read pile is TO THE CEILING, or it would be if it were actually a pile), and nothing else you could actually affect requires your attention at this moment.
IMHO, this is most frequently seen in fangirls/boys readers who confuse authors with mythical creatures who don't have to exist on the mundane plane of reality and so aren't subject to mere human foibles that tend to cause delays.
Hmm. I started a project to revamp my software (in part to compensate for serious issues raised by everyone hitting the 2/3/4GB limit for RAM on 32-bit machines) back in spring 2005. Estimated completion time, about five months. I am currently hoping to finish said project within a week. Though I must admit that schedule may be too optimistic.

Look at the bright side. At the heart of it, people are complaining to authors because they love their books and can't wait to read more. My customers complain because they can't easily load a 1GB file that requires significant processing into a machine with 2GB of RAM...
Well, you're doing better than Dan Brown, who is about five years over on the sequel to the da Vinci Code. (not like there's any money involved)(not that i suppose anybody on this list is waiting breathlessly)

and B)


and C) Are all fan-persons adolescent buttheads? If i ever get any, i suppose i will know, won't i?

Oh naw

Most fan-people are nice and wait quietly, mebbe wistfully, for an author's next book. These people who are behaving badly toward writers are no different than the drunks at a football game screaming obscenities at their team. They aren't even real fans at all, just morons who can't see beyond their own immediate gratification.
The difference between authors having complex lives and doing very difficult work, and authors being self-indulgent lazy people who jump around between projects on a whim, is impossible really to determine from the outside. I have an abiding belief that there are authors out there who won't write books that people want and which the authors actually could write. I just can't definitely identify any single provable case. The vast majority of authors who are late on something are more upset about it (if less rude) than their most fervent fans.

And it's absolutely certain that my being an asshole about it to the author (or publisher) will NOT help.

(Married to an author here; lots of author friends and industry friends, too.)
I would be interested to see the tone of the thing -- I suspect it's just disappointment manifesting as anger. Not so hard to understand, really.
*remembers how long Stephen King took between Dark Tower 1 and Dark Tower 2*

*laughs at impatient people*

(OK, I'm laughing because I didn't start that series until No. 3 was out, but still.)
Oh yeah. The wait between DT novels made all other waits into bionic eyeblinks.
I blame the internet. :)

Everyone has gotten so used to entertainment (of a variety of sorts) on demand and many have forgotten (or have no idea) of the process, creative or otherwise.

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