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Feb. 5th, 2011

Marla Mason

Winding down

Since I haven't posted in this journal in nearly a year, you've probably (rightly) assumed it's dead. Keeping separate blogs for T.A. Pratt and Tim Pratt -- which was always kinda silly, but there were boring and compelling reasons to do so for a while -- became too much of a hassle. So: follow me at tim_pratt.livejournal.com or timpratt.org instead.

I guess I'll leave this journal up for posterity, though I imagine it'll be infested by spambots and such: in other words, reclaimed by the internet wildnerness.

Mar. 8th, 2010

Marla Mason

Broken Mirrors Begins

It's Broken Mirrors time! The first chapter of my new Marla Mason novel is live now, and the first comment has my by-now-traditional authorial blathering. Please read, and tell your friends, and, if you like it (and can afford it), please donate. You get treats! And feel free to comment on the entry. I'm hoping there can be more conversation this time than there was on Bone Shop, since comments are right there on each chapter now.

In other exciting serialization news: My friend Amelia Beamer's zom-rom-com The Loving Dead is coming out later this year, and her publisher is serializing the book on her website! The first FOUR chapters went up today, with subsequent chapters to appear each Monday. (Me and Amelia: Making Mondays Better). I read an earlier draft of this book, and it's not your typical zombie novel -- though it does have all the zombie-related goodness I love. So when you're done reading mine, read hers; or vice-versa.

Feb. 26th, 2010

Marla Mason

Mirror Site

Behold the pretty: The new site for Broken Mirrors. Yes, I allowed myself to be dragged from the land of hand-coded HTML into the current century and set up a WordPress blog, so you can subscribe to the site via RSS if you do that sort of thing. taerin kindly made a livejournal syndication feed, so you can do that as well.

Updates will begin March 8, by 9 am Pacific time, and will continue every Monday thereafter until the serial is done (20-25 weeks, I'd guess).

I'm debating whether to include "behind the scenes" commentary with each chapter the way I did with Bone Shop. Did you all like that? If so I might just do it as a comment on each entry, rather than a separate post, to keep from cluttering up the feed.

Let me know if you see any typos or mistakes or etc. on the blog, too, please.

Feb. 22nd, 2010

Marla Mason

Broken Mirrors Update, with New Prizes!

I spent most of last week finishing up some freelance stuff, so I didn't make as much progress on Broken Mirrors/Marla #5 as I'd hoped. I could rush things and get the serialization started in a week, but it would be a little messier than I like, so I'm setting March 7 as the start date, with plans to update with a new chapter every Monday for probably 20-25 weeks. As I mentioned last time, there are various goodies and premiums for donors who give certain amounts (several people have already donated, for which I'm grateful!), from books to postcards to chapbooks and more. All those presents will be sent out as soon as humanly possible after the serial gets finished, probably in November.

I have a new prize too: The cover artist for the first four books, Dan Dos Santos, has agreed to sign posters and fine prints of the cover art from Blood Engines, Poison Sleep, and Dead Reign! (Links take you to the artwork.)

Donors who give $400 or more get the signed poster, and those who give $600 or more also get a signed giclée print, which Dan tells me look so good they're often mistaken for originals.

Note well: you have to make the donation and tell me which book's artwork you want by October 1, 2010 -- that's when we're placing the order for prints and posters, and, I hope, giving Dan a hand cramp from having so many pieces to sign!

Here's the updated list of goodies:
Clicky for the listCollapse )









Anyone interested in sending a check instead should mail tapratt at marlamason dot net, and I'll provide an address.

The fun starts in two weeks! I can't wait for all of you to meet Crapsey... and the jaguar... and and and...

Feb. 19th, 2010

Marla Mason

Broken Mirrors Update

The writing of Broken Mirrors, the fifth full-length Marla Mason novel, is going really well. Crazy well. Ridiculously well. Like, I keep putting off other necessary work in favor of writing just a little more Mirrors. I've got about 17,000 words written now, the first five chapters.

Once I have eight or nine chapters done, I'll start serializing the book, one chapter at a time, in exchange for donations. It will almost certainly happen in March -- possibly on March 1, possibly March 15, depending on how well the next few chapters go. (By the time eight or nine chapters are done, I'll feel confident that I'm not going down some false trail, and that I haven't written myself into a continuity trap or failed to mention something that'll turn out to be vitally important later on.)

I am indeed going to do a donations-with-benefits funding model. I will publish one chapter per week for about 25 weeks, to be followed by print and e-book versions when the serial is done. Here's how it'll work...


What you get for what amount (people outside the US/Canada will need to pay a little more for things that require shipping). Every successive level also includes the goodies from the previous levels, so the more you give, the more you get.:

Below $10: My heartfelt thanks, because it really does add up.

$10 and up: Your name in the acknowledgments of the print version and online.

$20 and up: A Marla Mason bookmark.

$40 and up ($50 and up overseas): A signed limited edition chapbook featuring a new, never-before-published Marla Mason story, to be sent by the end of 2010.

$60 and up ($70 and up overseas): A free, signed print copy of Broken Mirrors as soon as it's available. (This is a bit more pricy than I initially planned... but the book will be coming from an actual small press, rather than being thrown together by me via Lulu.com. That means it'll be a better product, but it'll also be more expensive for me to acquire and mail copies. Details on the publisher to be announced.)

$100 and up ($110 and up overseas): A personal handwritten postcard from Marla to you. (The reason she'd be sending people postcards? Will become clear by the end of book 5.) May contain light profanity and bad doodles.

$200 and up: A single-page Marla comic, artist TBA, suitable for framing.

$300 and up: I name a character -- or spell, or aircraft, or something else in the book -- after you, or use a name we mutually agree upon. It's a great gift: immortalize your loved ones! Or yourself. (If you donate this amount right before the last chapter goes live, it should still work; there's a moment where several names of lesser-known Felport sorcerers will be listed in the final chapter. But earlier is better.)

$2000 and up: I'll write a Marla Mason short story just for you, to be produced in a signed chapbook limited edition of a single copy.

$5,000 and up: I'll dedicate Broken Mirrors to you.

$10,000 and up: I'll hand-deliver a print copy to your door and make you a nice dinner at a time of our mutual agreement, and do a reading for you and your friends. (Destinations outside the US may require additional airfare. Query if you live in Australia or Europe or something and you're interested and we'll figure it out.)

Amounts are cumulative, so if you do many small donations, you get rewards based on the total you donated during the months the book is being posted.


So there you go. Start saving your pennies. The book will almost certainly start being published within the next month, and I'll notify the mailing list a week before it begins. Heck, if you want to get the donation ball rolling in advance, feel free. Just be sure to include a shipping address if you're going for one of the levels where I mail you stuff!








Feb. 3rd, 2010

Marla Mason

Broken Mirrors, Donation Models, etc.

The response to my straw poll was quite positive. So it looks like Broken Mirrors will happen, though I'm not entirely sure when. I could start writing it as soon as next month, and posting it a month or two after that, depending on how well the writing goes. I've thought about the book a lot -- I mean, I expected to write it last year -- so I don't think it'll be too tough.

Still pondering the donations model. Doing it like I did with Bone Shop -- free to read, pay whatever you want -- is certainly easiest. The hostageware thing (where I only post a new chapter if I get paid enough for the last chapter) works well for some writers, but I'd feel bad for the people who did pay if donations fell off and it didn't all get posted.

So I'm thinking I might offer premiums for donations at various levels. Something like this (not final, subject to change, might do something completely different, etc.):


Donations:


Here's what you get, in addition to free chapters. (Every successive level also includes the goodies from the previous levels, so the more you give, the more you get)

Below $10: My heartfelt thanks, because it really does add up.

$10 and up: Your name in the acknowledgments of the print version and online.

$25 and up: A signed limited edition chapbook featuring a new, never-before-published Marla Mason story, to be sent by the end of 2010. It won't be a short-short, either.

$50 and up: A free, signed print copy of Broken Mirrors, also probably out by year's end.

$300 and up: I name a character -- or spell, or aircraft, or something else in the book -- after you (or I'll use a name we mutually agree upon). Yeah, it's pricy, but if I set the threshold too low, I'll end up with all my characters named after people's cats, which could get silly. (And if you donate this right before the last chapter goes live, well, I'll do my best to squeeze your name in somewhere!)

$5,000 and up: I'll dedicate the book to you.

$10,000 and up: I'll hand-deliver a print copy to your door and make you a nice dinner at a time of our mutual agreement and do a reading for you and your friends, if you want.

Amounts are cumulative, so if you do many small donations, you get rewards based on the total you donated during the months the book is being posted.


What do you think?

Feb. 1st, 2010

Marla Mason

Should I Write the Next Marla Mason Novel?

I'm debating whether or not to write Broken Mirrors -- the fifth full-length Marla Mason novel, which will resolve the cliffhanger in Spell Games -- this spring, to be published online as a reader-funded serial in the summer or fall.

If you're interested in reading that (and more importantly interested in donating, so I can actually afford to spend time writing the book instead of hustling up paying gigs), send an e-mail to tapratt@marlamason.net and tell me. I'll put you on a mailing list and notify you when/if the book goes up. (Comment and include an e-mail address and I'll put you on the list that way instead.)

I suspect I'll use this model: I'll put up the first chapter, and post subsequent chapters as soon as I receive a certain amount in donations for each chapter (probably between $200-$300 depending on how many chapters there are), not to exceed one chapter per week. (Probably be around 25-30 chapters, but it's hard to say until I get into it. Making $7500 on the book would make it worth my while -- that's only about five grand after taxes, for probably three months of hard work -- so I'd aim for that as a minimum total.)

If I get a pretty healthy response to this call for interest, I'll do it. If I only get a handful of responses, well... I probably won't, because even though my wife got her old job back (yay!) we're still broke from her half a year of unemployment, hospital bills, the new need to pay for part-time day care, etc. I can only do this if I'm reasonably sure enough people want it and are willing to pay for it. So if you're dying for book 5, tell me, and tell any of your friends who might be interested.

I would probably follow up the online serialization with e-book versions and a print version. I'd also want to offer people who donate over a certain amount some kind of freebie -- like a signed never-before-published Marla Mason chapbook. Details to be worked out if this actually happens.

And if I get a really good response to book 5, I might even decide to do book 6 next year...

Dec. 2nd, 2009

Marla Mason

Bone Shop in Print

By popular demand: The print version of Bone Shop is available at Lulu.com. Just in time for the holidays! It will appear at Amazon.com, etc. eventually, though I understand it'll take 6 to 8 weeks to show up there. In the meantime, you can buy it at Lulu.

It's a bit pricy, which is a shame, but the high per-unit costs for Print on Demand publishing, combined with the profit margin required by online retailers, makes the high price a necessity. If you buy it from Amazon, I'll make under 90 cents per copy; I'll make rather more from Lulu, so I don't object if you buy it there. Unfortunately, it's a requirement that items sold via the Lulu Marketplace be sold at the same price (or higher) than the other online retailers, so I can't offer it any cheaper. But, hey, you can always read the whole thing for free. The print version is the same pocket-sized paperback as the other books in the series, so it'll sit next to them nicely on the shelf. And I think it came out quite well. The cover's below.

Here's the cover. (I may do variant covers, if I feel sufficiently motivated.)

Nov. 23rd, 2009

Marla Mason

Bone Shop on the Kindle

Bone Shop is available for the Kindle. So everyone who asked me to do that -- go buy it!

Oct. 26th, 2009

Marla Mason

Bone Shop: Part Eighteen

The final chapter.

Chapter 18

In which endings, of a sort, are attained.

Chapter 18 notes: Trivia and authorial blather







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