I had some short stories, poems and photographs to share ... and so here I am

The Lions of Lyon (28) + Odd Thoughts


This one makes me feel energetic for some reason, kind of all geared up to go to a nightclub or something! I feel a bit strange about my lions; today I finally lined up the entire series, which will run to 48. It means there's an end in sight, and that always make me a feel a little sad! But there are some crackers left to come, for those who've been following the series. As we speak, I am putting up a Shameless Lions blog, so you can see what beauties came before. It will also be useful for when I call on you, dear reader, to help me choose the best five.

* * *

There are lots of good entries flooding in to the flash fiction contest happening over at Clarity of Night. What I find interesting, and I'm not sure if it's good or bad, is that many people have gone for murder, violence or something grim. It's fascinating to see how writers take an image and see something bad. Mmmmmmmmmm. I wonder. It's what the writer wants to say, but it must be hard for some readers. I've had to take breaks after reading some, finding it heavy going. It must be a sign of our times.

* * *

I wonder whether anyone would be interested in reading my finished novel in instalments on a blog? Many people seem to be doing it. I could set up a separate blog and post a short chapter a week, enabling comments at the end of each chapter, just as Mr Pundy did over at his blog. I could also publicise the fact on those sites that talk about free online novels. Is it a good idea? Would a possible future publisher mind? Would there be a market? Would you take the time to read it? Do let me know. I'm in that ideas stage re what to do with my work.

* * *

It's official, and I knew it. On Tuesday Lyon had its warmest April day since 1922 - 29 degrees, which is a middle-of-summer temperature! (UPDATE: today, Wednesday, it got up to 32 degress celsius, which is 89.6 fahrenheit!). It's great, even though I do fear for the planet. What it does mean is that I can take off outside to read and write (yes, pen and paper writing!). Our city fathers have made Lyon so much more people-friendly over the past year. Ugly carparks that clogged up the banks of one of the two beautiful rivers that flow through here - the Rhône and the Saône - have been ripped up and replaced with grass, cycle paths and benches!  

Now there are more pleasant places to get away from our crazy pace of life! A bloke with a book on a bench! Yes! This is turning more and more into my idea of a perfect city! Where do you read when you're not at home?


The Moon Topples said...

Shameless: I know what you mean about the darkness which lurks in the stories. I haven't read a lot of them yet, but I recall being shocked at how many entries to my last contest involved murder or mayhem, and the theme was "vision," which I would have thought was reasonably bubbly as a prompt.

As to posting your novel online, I think it might hurt you in terms of selling that particular work (but am not sure) but it might generate a buzz that would help you publish future output. Hard to say. Sci-fi author John Scalzi did an online sales thing (people tipped after downloading a pdf) and now he's pretty successful, but that's genre writing, which always has a more loyal fanbase than does general fiction.

OK, enough rambling.

L.M.Noonan said...

I have been contemplating exactly the same thing Seamus...on the one hand you get the audience, and I do believe You would get the readership/audience and some good critical feedback, but my gut -sorry about the southern hemeispere colloquialism here, my gut tells me that what the moon toppples says is probably true. In short kiss goodbye to that particular novel.
I feel for you,
You want people to read it...is it enough?
If you decide to do it, what about podcasting...do you have a mellifluous voice? Do you knoe someone with such qualities?
Did you not write recently that you once werea diskjockey?
I shall be watching- from the backside of the earth,and rooting for you. God...how crass!

Unknown said...

I also toyed with putting up a novel on a blog but I had to ask myself, and answer truthfully that I would not want to read a novel in this way. Downloading a PDF file is fine but there are very few people who will do this. In the same way I have found that people prefer shorter blog posts as well.
I would say talk to Pundy but he appears to have done a bunk!

S. Kearney said...

Thanks. Yes, I had the same comment from a writing tutor, who said that 80 percent of all assignments (short stories etc) always involve the ugly, nasty side of life. Maybe because that's where stong emotions and extreme description lies! :) Your thoughts re novels online are also very interesting, things that I must consider. It's very hard to know how this all adds up.

Thanks for your kind words. Yes, I think we writers have probably all considered putting our baby up online, but are scared about the consequences. If in doubt, as they say. So, I will probably leave it out in the end ... until the day comes that all avenues have been exhausted and I just want someone to read the darn thing. Difficult area.
Disc-jockey? Never! - except at a friend's wedding once, and that was a total disaster. But I have been inflicting my voice on radio and TV audiences for a good 20 years now as a journalist, and I still am. Melliflous? Oh, it wouldn't be right to talk about myself in that kind of way. At the moment though - with a bad throat -there's nothing mellifluous about it ... I sound like Darth Vader!

and Minx,
Yes, you're probably right about PDF files. I would prefer something already up and posted like a blog entry, but it couldn't be a long chapter. It's true that people already battle to find time to get through their favourite blogs, books, papers, magazines, etc ... reading a dense chapter every week would take some diligence. Without an already fired-up audience, this could be hard. I have thought about doing a murder/mystery kind of series on my blog, with little snippets on a regular basis, with a quirky character as the detective/sleuth. Would people read it though? Maybe if there was a 300 word maximum per post? And Pundy, yes, where is he? Does he feel he gained anything?

Unknown said...

Putting a novel on a blog has raised some interesting questions. One writer's group insists that in doing so you give away your initial copyright and then agent's don't want to buy second rights. Others, of course, argue that you don't get genuine feedback - people are just unwilling to give constructive criticism and instead tell you how much you love it. For my part, I joined a critique group and find that works really well.

Looking forward to seeing the Shameless Lions Blog!

Debi said...

OK - I'm going to be honest, cos I know you wouldn't want it any other way.

I wouldn't read it I'm afraid. I'd love to have the time but even if I did I have trouble reading lengthy text on screen. I rarely read anything but the shortest short stories and even struggle with long blog posts.

And too often I find I can't find enough time to visit all the blogs I want to anyway ...

I seem to remember other people saying they had rare visits and comments were very scarce when they've done this. Others (Lee I think) that it's been good for them.

I don't think it would effect your chances of straight deals that much though. Look at how many book deals have come direct from blogs, reproducing much of what was originally posted there ...

Good luck with whatever you decide and please stroke Muffin's tummy for me.

Unknown said...

Oh well I don't know about posting your book on a blog, but many other people have answered that, so instead I'll tell you where I read. Anywhere I can: the metro, just finished a book at the hairdresser's, parks. In fact I seem to do most of my reading outside nowadays!
Oh and I'm looking forward to seeing the Lion Blog. I saw 3/4 in the flesh (or plaster, whatever) when I was in Lyon. That one with the strange boy/girl/slave type on top of the Lion was in George's brasserie, near the station. I had told the Queeb about you and your lion posts and that one in particular, so I was almost jumping up and down when I looked up and saw it!

S. Kearney said...

Hi! Yes, there is something to be said for critique groups. I haven't put a novel online to date because of all the reasons listed above. Mmmmmmmm. I may just keep the status quo then.

Yes, I know what you mean. The big TIME question and the SCREEN problem! I think many people wouldn't read it and I wonder who actually does. Muffin is very happy to get another rub (300 already today) and she wants to know what all the fuss is about over the lions! :) I fear she will sneakily try to get into the series - she is so cunning like that!

and V,
Reading on the metro! That was my life when I lived in Paris, almost missing stops because I became so immersed. The lion blog is up, as well as that fancy Slide thing!

Suzan Abrams, email: suzanabrams@live.co.uk said...

Hello Seamus,
I'm dying to read your novel so why do you torment me like this you terrible naughty boy. :-)

But wait a minute...
being engaged on a fair number of debates on the Guardian Books blog, I've learnt to my surprise, many now read online, choose their books online, vice-versa. You can't ever make a sweeping statement on something like this because if people like your work they will read it and you will find an audience for it.

I read all my world classics on the net. And I finished Pundy's first novel in 3 days. But I also read books from shops. So I don't think anything is a no-no. If I paste a story snippet on my blog, I can still get a small crowd except that you may have to wait a day or 2.

But don't you want a nice looking paperback in trade....
then can I suggest a roundabout way?
It's hard to get a book publisher to start with it but it's not impossible, I would think. Say, if someone were interested in your work: I would open a special blog for the novel excerpts.then you can always delete it later. It won't show...even on Google's cached, it will simply say...Blog no longer available. So that would be cool too. And that is what I would do for me. And am at this moment, contemplating it. Hee-hee! :-)

Suzan Abrams, email: suzanabrams@live.co.uk said...

Hi again Seamus,
It's just occured to me that I wrote once about a young american guy who blogged a novel over the summer a couple of years ago. He was one of the lucky ones where publishers grabbed it and he was paid a big advance. Afterwards, he simply removed the blog. If you look for the title, you will get a notice saying it's no longer available.

Another way if you used Blogger to post your novel would be to cut and paste the entire template in Microsoft Word or somewhere. Your dashboard will still be there but without your template when people click onto the blog where your novel used to be, they will get a blank page. So if you want to slot your novel back online, if it doesn't matter to your publisher, then just copy and paste the template codes back in the Template section & the blog will instantly show.

S. Kearney said...

Hi Suzan,
Thanks for these interesting points ... the Internet is such a beehive, isn't it? There seems to be success stories for those who paste their books on blogs and disappointing stories of nothing happening, with the added sting that publishers or agents might not go with a book already sitting around in cyberspace. Then you hear of agents snapping up books sitting in said cyberspace pool, and not appearing too worried that it's already been "published" somewhere. Ah, the mystery of it all. It's good to get this feedback though, before throwing myself forward. I'm still hopeful of hooking a mainstream publisher for now, so it's not urgent.:)

Suzan Abrams, email: suzanabrams@live.co.uk said...

You have a real talent, Seamus. My view - and just mine - would be for you to hook a mainstream publisher. I believe it can happen for you. cheers. :-)

L.M.Noonan said...

Wow, what a lot of comments, and such good advice and interesting options. Is'nt it great that you're able to generate this level of interest?
I think the online novel thing is half a dozen of one to six of the other. So flip a coin, what have you got to loose?

Anonymous said...

I have posted my story in sections on line. You do have to keep the sections fairly short but people do read them. I have had some awesome emails though not often comments on my story. If you worried about it post a few entries and see what happens. I think people might go for it. It is of course up to you:) Good luck.

S. Kearney said...

Hi wolfbaby, thanks for this feedback. I am still in the deciding stage and still can't decide! :) When in doubt best to leave alone, as they say ... :)