Sue Grafton: H is for Hubris

The indie-published crowd is in a deservedly righteous dither after Sue Grafton and John Green tossed the lot of us into the “isolated” and “lazy” slush heap of artists. This author will not even validate their positions with a rebuttal. My only response would be the following: Gertrude Stein, Walt Whitman, Virginia Wolff, Beatrix Potter, Edgar Allen Poe, Rudyard Kipling, Henry David Thoreau, Anais Nin, Deepak Chopra, Bernard Shaw, James Joyce, Zane Grey, William E. B. DuBois, Strunk and White, E.L James …self-published…every one. I could keep going but my indie-published, short-cutting fingers are tired. If this is the “lazy” and “isolated” conglomeration of authors of whom I am a part, well, I humbly accept my position within their indolent midst.

The publishing paradigm has shifted. To those on the “traditional” side, my sincerest good wishes and congratulations. But to those of us with the pluck and mettle, the tenacity and persistence, and the temerity to launch our best efforts into the hallowed realm of publication…kudos to you all, my thick-skinned brethren. Keep your chins up and your pens a’ penning.

Dorothy Hagan is the indie-published author of The Offshore Triumphs of Karla Jean, (2012) seven years in research, writing and publication. (Not a lot of books written about women working in the gritty, offshore world of men. Honest. Go try and find one.) Oh, yeah. And Lazy Hagan also published The Edge of the Grace Period in 2000, POD with IUniverse, before most “traditional” people had even heard of such a thing. Ms. Hagan’s books will never go out of print and will be entirely available when Oprah calls up for the Book Club.

Always Infinity: Does That Mean It Will Suck Forever?

As my teaching year swirls to a close, a long-forgotten voice reminds me that I have in fact recently published my second novel, The Offshore Triumphs of Karla Jean, a fun, adventuresome companion book joining The Edge of the Grace Period. With this recollection comes the additional reminder…that I am perhaps the world’s suckiest marketeer. I just can’t seem to do more than one thing at a time. To prove it, I’ve just gone an entire school year where I shared with not one colleague my status as Double-Published Authoress. Sadly, I am woefully behind as a carnival barker for my own literary prowess.

But alas, just like the sanitary napkin Always Infinity, this persistent circumstance cannot in actuality continue to suck forever. Shortly, I shall embark on Marketing Campaign Number 674 (or so it feels) and attempt to share my stories with a much broader audience. I may even dust off my keyboard and write some more.

So to the interwebs, Oprah Winfrey, Cameron Crowe, Sandra Bullock, Abby Hagan, et al…you are all hereby on notice that you shall be the focus of the systemic pesterization of a writer in the mood to hock her literary wares in your directions. Here’s hocking at you, kids…

To my faithful readers, perhaps it’s a good time to suggest a great book to your friends for summer reading. Two by Dorothy Hagan come to mind…

And don’t forget this awesome book trailer…created by Abby Hagan:

Author…Teacher…Teacher…Author…

I am forever going back and forth as to whether I am an author first or a teacher first. It is the classic chicken and egg scenario. I have recently accepted a new teaching position, which has definitely caused me to put the teacher hat firmly back on my head. But then today I will be speaking before a Rotary club luncheon, so the writing and publishing hat is going on there now. I suppose the two endeavors go hand-in-hand. I cannot seem to do one without the other.

In the Company of Walt, Beatrix and Benjamin and…You? Join Us for Session Four: The Top Dozen Ways to Publish Your Work

Hello, friends!

It is hard to believe that we have completed three of four sessions in our Creative Writing Workshops. They have been fun, informative and effective. Please come and join us for Session Four: The Top Dozen Ways to Publish Your Work. Come and learn about the differences between traditional and indie publishing. Learn about publishing to ebooks and/or print-on-demand technology. Find out what’s best for you.

Please ponder the following:

Imagine a world with no Leaves of Grass. Or The Adventures of Peter Rabbit. Or Poor Richard’s Almanack.

Or imagine further, that after you wrote that first draft, of the first attempt, of your first real writing adventure…imagine there was no tome of instruction called The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr., with his student E.B.White. Yes, imagine if this first response in writing instruction, had not been available.

That could very well have happened. Because along with being great contributions to our literary existence, all four of these works have something else in common.

They were all…dare we say it? Self-published. Every one.

Come join us this Saturday, June 23, 2012, from 9 am to 12 noon. We will be meeting in room B1104 at the University of Houston-Clear Lake campus. I will be leading a session discussing the very topic of self-publishing, or indie publishing, as it’s called today. Technology now allows virtually anyone to be published. For some folks that’s not a good idea. But for others it is a duty to humanity to share their gifts. Depending on your contribution, self-publishing is not vanity. I would go so far as to call it duty. It is incumbent upon you as an author to find out if the world will benefit from your contribution.

Walt Whitman. Beatrix Potter. Benjamin Franklin. Legacies we have to enjoy because they were bold enough to publish their own work. Who among us is being called to join them?

If you can’t make the Saturday session, watch this blog for further announcements. More sessions are in the works. Thank you as always for stopping by.

Time: Saturdays 9:00 a.m.-12 noon

Dates: Saturdays, June 2, 9, 16 and 23, 2012

Location: University of Houston-Clear Lake

Bayou Building: Room B1104

Cost: $20.00 per session, materials included

Note: These are non-credit, informal workshops. This program is not endorsed or affiliated with UHCL or the LITR program.     

Announcements:

Coming soon! “One True Sentence” Writing Workshops in your area! If you missed this last series…more are on the way!

And also…

Do you have an organization and need a speaker? How about some hot topics?
Would you like to know what Karla’s offshore world really looked like? How about a PowerPoint presentation to find out?
Or would you like to know the latest about indie publishing? And what that might mean to you?

I would love to come and join you! Just drop me a line here or at dothagan@aol.com

And did you know…

The Edge of the Grace Period is now live on Kindle! Check out this companion novel of The Offshore Triumphs, also on Kindle for $3.99!!!

In the Company of Walt, Beatrix and Benjamin and…You?

Imagine a world with no Leaves of Grass. Or The Adventures of Peter Rabbit. Or Poor Richard’s Almanack.

Or imagine further, that after you wrote that first draft, of the first attempt, of your first real writing adventure…imagine there was no tome of instruction called The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr., with his student E.B.White. Yes, imagine if this first response in writing instruction, had not been available.

That could very well have happened. Because along with being great contributions to our literary existence, all four of these works have something else in common.

They were all…dare we say it? Self-published. Every one.

On Tuesday, April 17, 2012, at 7:30 in the bright, early morning, I will be leading a session discussing the very topic of self-publishing, or indie publishing, as it’s called today. Technology now allows virtually anyone to be published. For some folks that’s not a good idea. But for others it is a duty to humanity to share their gifts. Depending on your contribution, self-publishing is not vanity. I would go so far as to call it duty. It is incumbent upon you as an author to find out if the world will benefit from your contribution.

Walt Whitman. Beatrix Potter. Benjamin Franklin. Legacies we have to enjoy because they were bold enough to publish their own work. Who among us is being called to join them?

If you have not registered to attend the Tuesday session, watch this blog for further announcements. More sessions are in the works. Thank you as always for stopping by.

Announcements:

Do you have an organization and need a speaker? How about some hot topics?
Would you like to know what Karla’s offshore world really looked like? How about a PowerPoint presentation to find out?
Or would you like to know the latest about indie publishing? And what that might mean to you?

I would love to come and join you! Just drop me a line here or at dothagan@aol.com

And did you know…

The Edge of the Grace Period is now live on Kindle! Check out this companion novel of The Offshore Triumphs, also on Kindle for $3.99!!!

Events Scheduled:

UHCL presents Small Talk/Big Ideas
In the Company of Walt, Beatrix and Benjamin:
Indie Publishing Then and Now

Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 7:30 am to 9:00 am
University of Houston at Clear Lake,  $15.00 admission
To register go http://prtl.uhcl.edu/portal/page/portal/ALR/roundtable
Seating is limited. To reserve your seat in the conversation by phone, call Kris Thompson at 281-283-2040.
This event is presented by the UHCL Alumni Association. For more information on the association, please visit www.uhcl.edu/alumni.

Southern Belle Book Club
Saturday, April 28, 2012, 10 am
Bayou Vista

UH Clear Lake Official Book Tour Launch: Book Signing and PowerPoint Presentation
What would Karla’s offshore world really have looked like? The rigs? The helicopters? The gritty work?
Come join us for a PowerPoint presentation to have a look at just that! Stick around for a free reception and
book signing. Enjoy fabulous nibbles created by the inventive Cindy Smith!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 6:30pm to 8:30
University of Houston-Clear Lake
2700 Bay Area Boulevard  Houston, TX 77058

Garden Room and Atrium I

Annoucements and Upcoming Events

Announcements:

Do you have an organization and need a speaker? How about some hot topics?
Would you like to know what Karla’s offshore world really looked like? How about a PowerPoint presentation to find out?
Or would you like to know the latest about indie publishing? And what that might mean to you?

I would love to come and join you! Just drop me a line here or at dothagan@aol.com

And did you know…

The Offshore Triumphs is now live on Kindle for $3.99!!!

Events Scheduled:

J Connor Consulting, Inc. Book Signing
Wednesday, April 4, 2012, 1:00 pm
16225 Park Ten Pl # 700  Houston, TX 77084
Industry leader and trailblazer Jodie Connor is hosting
a book signing in the Energy Corridor-Private Event

UHCL presents Small Talk/Big Ideas
In the Company of Walt, Beatrix and Benjamin:
Indie Publishing Then and Now

Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 7:30 am to 9:00 am
University of Houston at Clear Lake,  $15.00 admission
To register go http://prtl.uhcl.edu/portal/page/portal/ALR/roundtable
Seating is limited. To reserve your seat in the conversation by phone, call Kris Thompson at 281-283-2040.
This event is presented by the UHCL Alumni Association. For more information on the association, please visit www.uhcl.edu/alumni.

Southern Belle Book Club
Saturday, April 28, 2012, 10 am
Bayou Vista

UH Clear Lake Official Book Tour Launch: Book Signing and PowerPoint Presentation
What would Karla’s offshore world really have looked like? The rigs? The helicopters? The gritty work?
Come join us for a PowerPoint presentation to have a look at just that! Stick around for a free reception and
book signing. Enjoy fabulous nibbles created by the inventive Cindy Smith!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 6:30pm to 8:30
University of Houston-Clear Lake
2700 Bay Area Boulevard  Houston, TX 77058

Garden Room and Atrium I

Upcoming Events

Hi, friends! Thanks  for stopping by. Hope you check out my book and read it soon. It is a great story!

Have you finished reading The Offshore Triumphs of Karla Jean? Leave a comment and make my day!

Events Scheduled:

Book Signing: Barnes & Noble Bookstore-Pasadena
Saturday, March 3, 2012 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
5656 Fairmont Parkway
Pasadena, Texas 77505

Networking Breakfast:  In the Company of Walt, Beatrix and Benjamin: Indie Publishing Then and Now

Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 7:30 am to 9:00 am

University of Houston at Clear Lake,  ticket information coming soon

UH Clear Lake Official Book Tour Launch: Book Signing and PowerPoint Presentation

Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 6:30pm to 8:30

UHCL Garden Room and Atrium I, free event, more details to follow

It’s My Party…And I Don’t Have to Cry

Interesting week on the march toward publication. Good news, bad news, more good news.

Good News: Utter elation following a visit with my former professor of Humanities and Women’s Studies. She stated “I would be honored to read your manuscript” for a possible cover endorsement. Additional elation when my beloved University of Houston at Clear Lake asked “if I would consider” doing my book launch at the university. Really? Really?! To say I was honored at the proposal would be a profound understatement. I was invited to discuss this further next week, and you can bet I will be there.

Bad News: Received my first “conventional, traditional” editorial review from my publisher. To be succinct, the reader completely missed the focus of the novel. I guess, because it begins with a helicopter crash with an unknown outcome, she considered it “an adventure story.” That couldn’t be further from the truth. That is like saying Steel Magnolias is about diabetes. Or Gone With the Wind is about civil war fashions. I politely reminded this editor (not the same one who read the book) that my story is call The Offshore Triumphs of Karla Jean. Notice the plural. Not just the one triumph. Anyway, I went round and round trying to explain a complex story about human challenges and behavior that include themes of sexism, addiction, bad theology, issues with children and above all redemption…but alas. I was told, “Well, if you want it to be marketable, it needs more peril and action.” Geesh.

But!

More Good News: I am an indie author! What this means is that I get to say “Thank you for your professional input. I will take it under consideration. Now let’s move forward with my story!” Over the last fifteen years or so, I have heard countless authors complain mightily that their publishers insisted they make wholesale changes to their story’s premise, or risk loss of publication. And that is maddening to an author. Your creative labor, tears, blood, planning and sweat get ignored because an editor you’ve never met says, “Ya know, it could use more action scenes.” But not with indie publishing. You are the editor and the final word. And that is Good News Indeed.

However, and there is always that “however.” Just because you write an amazing story, that is possibly fit for publication, it does not mean you are ready to do so. My next blog entry will talk about what it takes to prepare a manuscript for publication, and it is monumental. You can’t skip important steps. And there are many steps. Until then, in the words of my generation, keep on keepin’ on.