The Worlds of Terri Pray

The highs and lows of chasing a writing dream. From fantasy to erotica and beyond as seen through the eyes of Terri Pray.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

So Where Do Things Stand

Well the reviews are coming in steadily for Scars- and for the most part they have been very good indeed. Loose ID has proven to be a wonderful company to work with and I hope to continue to work with them in the future.

My membership folder for the RWA arrived today. For some time I held off joining the organization but it seemed like something that I needed to do now. Now that I’ve seen the information on the site under the members section I can say it might well pay off for me. There are also a couple of internet chapters for special interests that I will be looking at joining next year.

Several of my reclaimed stories have already found new homes. Winters Sweet Kiss, A Small Lesson and Ettore’s Women have all been accepted by Renebooks for their Sizzler line. Mojocastle has accepted Eternal Slave/Eternal Priestess under the new combined name of Enslaved by Blood. Green Dreams has also found a home there.

Ruby Kisses has been submitted to Phaze though I understand that I might have quite a wait there.

Play for Me, which was in the cue with eXtasy books but was never looked at, has been accepted by Triskelion for their new Fever shorts line.

Not Just a Mom, which was in the cue for eXtasy has a home with Lady Aibell.

So there are a few others I need to re-work and submit, including Beast Within, To Tame a Heart and the Eternal Wars. Though Eternal Wars as it’s set in the same universe as Astaria will more than likely end up with Under the Moon. I also have Pride of the Tavern, Fire and Steel, and A Touch of Magic to re-write and find new homes for. So I’ll be working on those in between writing new pieces.

Currently I’m working on a contemporary sensual romance, with a plus sized heroine. I’ve got about another week of work to put into the manuscript before I submit it, and then it’s a case of finding a good home for it. I’ve got a feeler out, to see if one company might be interested, if not I there is one other publisher who might take a look at it.

I’ve got several now waiting in the cue, or ready to be released, with Mojocastle. Deed Wife has been through edits. Enslaved by Blood might be coming out for Halloween, Insatiable Desires, Green Dreams and His One- Book One, are all in the cue.

Renebooks now has London, Winters Sweet Kiss, Dangerous Desires, Ettore’s Women and A Small Lesson all in the cue. So they certainly have enough to keep them going for some time. However I have a fair idea that To Tame a Heart will end up being submitted to them before the end of the month. That one shouldn’t take me too long to re-write for Sizzler. There’s also the serial I had with Bethany’s, Punished by Moonlight. It needs some work and rounding out but it would fit well with Rene.

So that’s where things stand currently.

Basically speaking I have seventeen books, of varying lengths, now on sale and I’m due to have another seventeen released over the next twelve months, which gives me time to work on some longer manuscripts without causing there to be too many months without a release, or some new level of exposure.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bethany's Group

For over a year now I’ve been struggling to sort things out with the Bethany’s Woodshed group. First it was over Astaria, or rather Sword Sworn as it was originally entitled. It took me until January 2006 to get Bethany/Ann to remove the book from sale and I still haven’t been paid for the print copies she sold.

Now I’m at my final tether. She removed my books last month, yet I have not been paid at all since mid January. She’s sold books of mine and has NOT paid me. I have tried contacting her and have had repeated promises from her to send me statements and payments. Nothing has happened.

I’m now at the point of taking legal action against this woman and her company. I’m tired of being jerked around and strongly advise people to stay away from her. Basically, by not providing the money, she is stealing from authors. And I am not the only one. Three other’s to my knowledge, have filed complaints against her with various agencies!

Stay away from her.
Her sites are Bethany’s Woodshed, Spanking Castle, Wicked Castle, Wicked Velvet, Punishment Spanking, Spanking Ranch. I believe there might be some others but these are the ones I know of at this time.

Again, she is not paying authors.

Do not hand this woman your manuscripts. She is not reliable and will steal your work.

Con Report

Well I have to say unless things dramatically change this will be the last year we attend Valleycon. I’ve never seen a convention so badly organized and I can’t say it was the fault of the majority of the convention volunteers. They simply weren’t given the information needed to answer questions nor was the brochure laid out in such a manner that the information was to hand.

Now please keep in mind that attending conventions has become common place for me, so I’m well aware of just how the details of a convention should be dealt with in order to keep things running smoothly.

Firstly- No one knew for certain just what the hours of the dealers room actually where. Not even senior members of the convention staff as the person in charge had not seen fit to make that information public. Now considering that the dealers hall is often a vital part of a con this is not something you just forget to have written up. The dealers NEED to know what time it opens, closes, what the set up time is, when we have to be booked in by and where our tables are before we arrive. This is why it’s normal for a convention to send out packs, or even just emails with the details in at least a week before the convention takes place.

However the excuses for why such information didn’t go out ranged from blaming the group in Minnesota who were handling the forms originally, to a computer crash, to a simple ‘opps’ we thought ‘he’ (a gentleman I won’t name here but he has been in charge of the convention for some time) had sorted all of this out.

Secondly- Left hand- Right Hand. This was a convention where, typically, the left hand had NO clue what the right hand was doing. I applaud the convention volunteers for the way they tried to pull things together, but throughout the weekend I continuously heard ‘well he was supposed to take care of that’ or ‘he has the details about that and I’m not sure where he is now’ . Excuse me but you DON’T leave your staff hanging like that. They are on the front line and they end up dealing with the fallout. It’s just not fair to the guys on the front desk. This is how conventions end up with a bad name. One prime example of this was a panel I was a part of on the Saturday. Myself and two other authors were to be on the panel and it was listed as starting at 4pm. However the other two were busy doing a signing at Barnes and Noble and could not be there for the start of the panel.
Yet no one bothered to inform those wanting to watch the panel, or myself, so I was sat there looking like a moron trying to cover for the other two authors. This fubar could have been prevented by a simple note on the door of the panel room and letting me know. Even the staff (or some of them) DIDN”T know this was going on.
Yet when I spoke to the other authors they’d made it clear they could not be there at 4pm.

Three- Turn out. Maybe TWO tables in the hall did better than break even, that’s how bad the turn out was and it was nothing like the conventions of the past. More than a few attendees of the convention weren’t even aware there was a bloody dealers room in the first place as it wasn’t mentioned properly in the brochure! Hello! Don’t you think trying to draw traffic to the dealers room and keep the dealers interested in coming back would be oh I don’t know – a good idea? If you think I’m joking about attendees not knowing about the hall one of the con volunteers asked one lady right in front of me if she knew about the dealers hall and that attendee said ‘what’s that?’

Four- The appearance of Bait and Switch. Apparently it had been known for some time (ranging between from the very day Shatner was announced as attending the convention, to two months plus before the convention date- depending on who you were talking to – that Mr. Shatner was either NOT attending, or his ability to attend was unlikely.) At no time did he commit fully to the convention to the knowledge of several members of the con committee. If a guest has NOT confirmed then a convention puts PENDING on the pages, they don’t turn around and try to act as if it’s all in the bag. Then when it was announced that he wasn’t coming then the dealers and those who had already paid for badges, should have been informed and given the chance to be refunded for the cost of their tickets.
Because many will have paid JUST because of that guest.
And because pending was not put on the site at the time it makes it appear as though the convention was a con job. A way to get money from joe public without any plan of following through on the promises associated with the ticket. Now the convention cannot claim that they had no contact with the vendors because several of them spoke to staff members prior to attending the con, but at that point had already committed to coming. At no point, to my knowledge, were any refunds offered to vendors.
Now I am not accusing the convention of actually setting up a bait and switch, I am trying to make it clear that this gives the APPEARANCE of such.

This doesn’t even go into some of my other concerns about the convention, such as whispers of companies apparently slated to attend in the dealers room next year. Considering the cost of attending a convention as a dealer I cannot see why any large company would pay out the thousands of dollars in costs for manning a booth when the convention can only bring in 800 people through the door. I mean do the math people! When traveling to set up for a convention there is the initial cost of the booth, plus extra badges, we all know that one. But then there are the other costs that obviously the person behind this little rumor DIDN’T think about-
Room cost.- The company not the staff pay for this.
Travel cost – The company, not the staff pay for this.
Food- A fair amount of the food and liquids needed are paid for by- yes you guessed it- the COMPANY.

So for a small company a single table with travel, food, hotel etc can be around $1000 for a larger company with multiple tables, and staff members, plus food, travel, insurance if there are any electronics involved, could run to between $3000 and $5000 for a small convention like this one.

Ah but a large company can do that in sales.

Sure they can. However to cover costs they have to do DOUBLE that as the inventory is not free! So say they have to take $6000 just to break even. How in hells name are they going to do that on an attendance of 800 people?
And if said company are pulling out of bigger conventions, ones that pull 5000-10000 people through the door each year because it’s doesn’t make financial sense to do that con…

You see my problem here?

And that was just one of the rumors that traced back to this one particular person.

Now on the positive side of the convention. Yes there was one, two actually. The two main guests, pulled the con out of the fire entertainment wise. They were sharp, witty, quick on the ball and treated those attending the convention with a rare show. I can say meeting Claudia and Dean was an honor. The improv’ night was a blast and I cannot recall when I laughed that hard. Both are talented performers and wonderful human beings.

The SCA also did their damn best to pull the con up by the bootstraps. It was very clear if it had not been for the work by the local SCA there wouldn’t have been half the events taking place. But even they could only do so much.

Valleycon owes a debt of gratitude to their wonderful guests and to the SCA for their hard work. Without both the con staff might have had to deal with many a very angry attendee and as it was I saw, first hand, more than a few attendees were both disappointed and outright furious at how badly the convention had deteriorated over the last few years. What had once been a fantastic gaming convention, that had learned how to balance media, larps, rpgs and literary related events had turned into a convention where the gaming rooms were virtually empty, the only literary panel nearly fell apart (though myself and the other two authors when they were able to arrive did our best to fill the void) and the dealers were treated poorly.

Things can be turned around and I wish the con committee all the best in attempting to fix the problems. But they have a long, hard road ahead of them.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Long Over Due Update

Well it finally happened. After several long talks and legal advice taken I requested release from my eXtasy contracts. On September 30th that release came into effect and the books I had with eXtasy reverted back to me. I wish the company well. Apart from the fact that the release was granted at my request I feel it best to say nothing more about the situation at this time.

Now, on to other things.

Scars has been released from Loose-ID and is doing very well indeed. The reviews have been interesting and mixed, but for the most part good. I was expecting the mixed reception because of the some the more volatile subjects Scar’s deals with. However I am trying to write something new for Loose-ID and hope it will pass muster.

Mojocastle has proven to be a new home for some of my work, including three previously released eXtasy works. They’ve been re-written to some extent and should be out in the near future, all being well.

Under the Moon is growing nicely, with some wonderful new authors and I am delighted to announce that issue one, Bad Boys, will be released in time for Christmas. I’ve been able to work with some truly amazing artists and look forward to doing so again as the months progress.

And I’m off to Valleycon in Fargo, ND tomorrow, or rather later today. I’ve got a long trip ahead of me, with Sam and John, plus the kids and I’ll be doing that on little or not sleep. Why? Because my daughter has a nasty cold and has spent half the night coughing. So I’m down stairs with her keeping her warm and settled. *Don’t we just love Mummy duties?*
So have a good one, and I’ll try to report in about the convention. Looks like I’m on a panel on Saturday so it will be a lot of fun, plus we have a booth in the dealers room. The kids will be at their grandparents so we won’t have to also deal with them running around the convention