Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Me against Amazon and Twilight the keyword !

Wanna hear a funny story ?

I wrote a little book -- like in one month, just for fun, called "The House of the Midnight Sun." 

Kind of Twilight fan fiction (from Edgar's perspective)  -- or satire.  A tiny bit funny.

Starring Stephanie Meier instead of Bella.  She ends up being the bad guy.

But... really takes on a life of its own, stops caring about all that.


I got an email from Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing people, saying:

"During a quality assurance review of your catalog, we found that the search keywords for the following book(s) are misleading to our customers:
The House of the Midnight Sun (ID: B00D476Q1S) - contains search keyword(s):twilight
Search keywords that are not accurate descriptors of your book’s central storyline or are 
completely unrelated to its content may be misleading to our customers and are unacceptable.
 Misleading search keywords, such as reference to other authors or titles, result in 
confusion for customers as to why your work is included in search results.  

We ask that you remove all misleading keywords, including but not limited to those above, 
for all of your catalog’s affected books and re-submit the books for publishing within 
5 business days. If your books have not been corrected by that time, they will be removed 
from sale in the Kindle Store."
It's like "It's not misleading. That's the whole point. It's connected. It's Fan Fiction."

And Stephanie Meyer can't copyright a keyword.  Satire's protected under Das 1st Amendment.

And besides: only like five people have read that book of mine (not including my own mother--she hasn't).
(p.s. I don't think it's her lawyers meddling against me.  Is it possible some fan bought it, thinking it to be Midnight Sun?  Then, they deserve it.)  Probably just a few people clicking "NO" after  "Was this helpful?

Anyhow... Here's the email I wrote back to them [trying to be nice]:

"Hi !

My name is Joe Hunt, author of The House of the Midnight Sun, ID # B00D476Q1S.

I got an email saying I have a misleading keyword -- that I would like to appeal.

Remember, Stephanie Meyer was going to write Twilight from Edward's perspective, and call it "Midnight Sun" ? 

So, that's kind of what I did.  I wrote a book from _Edgar_ 's perspective.  The female character is actually named Stephanie Meyer instead of Bella.

So it's FAN  FICTION  or RPF  [Real Person Fiction--but not really].  It's SATIRE.  It's supposed to be funny.  But, actually kind of serious.  I think it's pretty well-written.  Takes on a life of its own.  Becomes its own story.

And I titled it "House of the Midnight Sun"--like "House of the Rising Sun."  (The song.)

So, I really do want that word "twilight" in there.  It plays off of her books, but then takes on a life of its own.  So I don't want to delete it.  Please.  I like it in the keywords.  It fits.  It's not misleading.  Totally connected.

Have you read my book ?

But: Satire is okay, right ?  Covered by copyright.  Imitation, the sincerest form of flattery.

Stephanie Meyer can't copyright the word "Twilight," can she ?

Anyhow...I'm trying to ask you nicely.  Hopefully, this can be worked out.

I'm asking you nicely.  Okay / Sincerely !

Joe Hunt"


Anyhow !  Watch this thing blow up in my face.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Review of the Bone Season.

Okay! So, I looked up that book--"The Bone Season"--some comparing to J.K. Rowling. (Amazon lets you read the beginning, right ? 5 or 10 pages.) You should, too !

Anyhow... It's _okay_. But: one of those things I don't like: Where up-front, chapter one [w/ Sci-Fi / F.], they have to tell you like ten new words and what they mean, just so you understand what they're talking 'bout later. I get sick of that.

 But, in general: I can see why people would like it. Tell me what you think ! 

Actually reminds me of "Clockwork Orange" a little ! (The book.)

p.s. I haven't read the whole thing. (All in good time.) But: I still want to talk about it.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Shakespeare's sister.

Sometimes I feel like Shakespeare's sister. Have you heard that theory ? That: what if he had one, equally genius ? Wouldn't've had the same opportunities, or been as successful--b/c of her gender.

There actually is a real-life example: Mozart's sister, Nannerl, also played piano--but they didn't promote as much, married her off fairly young...

So, _me_: I feel like J.K. Rowling's hillbilly cousin (or something). That, you know: I'm pretty proud of my work lately...think it would make a good movie--but: it's slightly hard to claw your way into people's literary hearts.

You know: J.K. Rowling herself did a little experiment--with Cuckoo's Calling, under a fake name...and, sure enough: flew below the radar--until it was revealed: she wrote it.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Nobel Prize predicton, 2013 !

The Nobel Prize in Literature: TBA this Thursday ! Who do you think will win ?

The New York Times article [link below] mentions Haruki Murakami--who[m] I really like. (Reading Norwegian Wood right now.  Read 3 others--my favorite: Hard-Boiled Wonderland.)

_But_ ... I'm gonna predict the poet Adonis ! To represent, for Syria. (And he's great, a ton of fun.)

Sometimes they say: the prize in Lit. can be act like a 2nd peace prize.,0,7700231.story

 p.s. I swear: I didn't actually read the whole article, and put Adonis anyway--then I saw: he shows up at the end.  (But I've seen his name on the short list, other years--so that's why I bought a book of his.)

And...back in the day--getting an MFA in UMass--I was trying to be a little expert on the Nobel Prize, like as a shadow thesis.  (Vs. just writing a bunch of poems.)

Remember, I went on a Mormon mission to Sweden, too--got back and thought: "Should be able to do something useful with this language."  (Tried a tiny bit of translation--and liked it.)

I actually put together a little anthology of Nobel Prize-winning poetry, b/c it doesn't exist, and it should.  (People would buy it.)  Not totally finished, but: sent to FSG a while ago.  Haven't heard back.


Part II !

Someone--Cassandra Jones--wondered: "Margaret Atwood?"--so I'll say a few words.  You do see a few Americans on lists every now and then: Phillip Roth, Joyce Carol Oates.  I like Thomas Pynchon, altho. he's kind of thick, hard to read.  But...

I don't think so.  Wouldn't put my money on it.  Think they a little Anti-American.  Two years ago, one of the main people... [Horace Engdahl, maybe?--the guy that actually announces them] came out and said--paraphrasing, basically: "No one in America is writing anything of international importance.  Like they're regionalists."

And they were catching flak for a while: too many English or European winners.  So, they are playing catch-up a little.  (They've admitted it.)  A Chinese winner last year...

Okay, sincerely, good enough.

How I got the idea for Scarecrow-to-the-Aliens.

# 0. Actually, maybe can't pinpoint exactly when came together--but a few dominoes !

A. I was just sitting around one day, thinking--w/ Harry Potter, Series of Unfortunate Events, etc.--"Why are they always stupid orphans?" 

Then thought, "I should write my own.  Have, like, a...Home for Magical Hoboe Orphans."  B/c:

1. Of course, has to be magical, too.
2. Who would have orphans more than hoboes ?
3. Hoboes, in the abstract are funny--like on the Simpsons.  (But I know: not in real life.  Not making fun of anyone--you'll see.)

B. A long time ago, in high school... [I never liked UFO's.]...Thought up the phrase: "God put me here on earth, to be a Scarecrow-to-the-Aliens."  I liked the concept.

C. I think sometimes: "The trouble with writing Fantasy is: if a bunch of crazy stuff going on, how do you explain its effect on the real world?" 
I like my stuff to co-exist with the real world.

So, eventually thought of a marble world super-imposed on the real world.  That way, a war could happen in secret--not freak out the norms.  (I like stuff super-imposed on other stuff.)

D. Then: I like the idea... "If this crazy war is going on...What if it's all a charade?  That the soldiers or agents don't even know they're being used."

So, needed to take a step back--some kind of puppet master, pulling strings.

E. And if there is such a character as "The Scarecrow-to-the-Aliens," what would he / she look like ?

Thought it would be fun if what they're doing: kind of secret.  People don't know exactly what they're doing.

I've been to a butterfly pavilion before. They're pretty cool.

& I like the idea of voodoo dolls.  Holding some little object--and it really affects a person.  So, why not butterflies ?

Anyhow / Sincerely !