Censorship, a Request, and an Unexpected Delay

selective photo of stop talking sign carried by people walking on street
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CENSORSHIP

I think I’ve mentioned here before that I have the dubious honor of my first novel, Blood Rain, being censored by Amazon.**

My publisher and I have been working finding out why this is the case for some time now; our best guess is the censorship relates to the child abuse/child trafficking theme and some anti-trafficking legislation in the US.

It should be pretty clear that the perspective in Blood Rain is “child trafficking = BAD BAD BAD,” but that only applies to human readers.  We surmise certain keyword combos have triggered the AI and the book is summarily removed without any human review.

You’d think it’s possible for Amazon.ca to have a different editorial policy than it’s parent company but it does not . . . at least functionally. Thus Blood Rain has been pulled from there as well.

*grumble*

adult alone autumn brick
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AN UNEXPECTED REQUEST

Yesterday Z. @ my publisher asked if I would be open to rewriting Blood Rain so that all the tweenage victims are young adults.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. Would it really be a big deal to make such a small change? Is it a small change? Or is it a change that changes everything?

I’m unclear on what my next steps should be. As I see it I could . . .

revise Blood Rain and hope that our educated guess about the objectionable material is correct

or . . .

I could step out of the process, let Z. figure it out, and work on other projects in the meantime until I know for certain what needs to be changed to avoid censorship

or . . .

I could raise my middle finger and refuse to make any changes, come what may.

I don’t have an answer yet. What would you do in my sitch? Is this the hill I should die on?

photo of planner and writing materials
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A DELAY

Z. also let me know that she sees no point in publishing Blood Down the Bones until the first book in the series gets sorted out.

Can’t blame her. On the other hand, it’s a shame to have to stop now on Blood Down the Bones when I was gearing up for a December 2019 publication date.

On the other other hand, other projects have been languishing at the wayside and I yearn to finish them.

 

** You can still buy copies from me.

Well . . .

A few things to know:

For a couple of years I was working “J-O-B-S” to pay the bills and give me some emotional energy for writing.

At the end of Summer 2018 I returned to my (emotionally demanding + weird hours required) profession.

Consequently, writing (incl. blogging) has sloooooowed down.

But it hasn’t stopped. (Go me!)

Right now I’m working on:

  • The Blood Rain sequel, Blood Down the Bones
  • A YA novella called Gaia Shrugged
  • A second volume of short stories in the Fables series

In other news, my publisher, Filidh Publishing, advises that Blood Rain is no longer available on Amazon. Apparently this is because of recent US legislation that has had a chilling effect on  what kind of books Internet bookstores feel comfortable offering. It’s easier for them to simply not carry certain titles than it is to fight the power.

Apparently the child trafficking theme in Blood Rain is a no-no. For the record, I’m against child trafficking. That should be pretty obvious to anyone who actually reads the book.  That said, keyword searches for (what some think of as) objectionable content are not context-sensitive, so it would seem the fact that child trafficking is a theme is a problem, regardless of the frame placed on it by yours truly.

Trying to figure out work-arounds. *sigh*

Writing is Weird

There I am, sitting at my desk, working away on the sequel to Blood Rain, working title Blood Down the Bones.

Beautiful summer day, not too hot, gentle breeze, nicely sheltered from my mortal enemy, the sun. Cat sleeping on his perch nearby, spouse tending me with cups of hot and iced coffee. Perfect writing day, yes?

I finally make a decision I’ve been mulling for a few weeks, whether to kill off a certain character from Blood Rain.

I draft the scene.

Then I am overwhelmed with sadness. I had actual tears in my eyes. Sheesh.

like the character I just murdered, and didn’t want to kill them, but it was the only way to move certain pieces into place in the sequel.

How does George RR Martin cope? I don’t know. Is he a secret (or not-so-secret) sadist?

R.I.P. imperfect but noble character, you died a good death. I’m sorry I had to murderize you. And in such a pitiless, horrible way, too. The motherfuckers. How dare they do this to you?!

_________

Photo by Simone Dalmeri, used under a CC licence. I salute you as well, generous photographer

Reviewers Needed!

Hey y’all, I need some reviewers! 

Here’s the deal:

  • I send you an epub or paperback copy (your choice)
  • You post an honest review without spoilers on Good Reads or Amazon.ca (Canadian author, eh?) within thirty days of receipt
  • You send me a link to your review via email [ chloe(dot)a(dot)cocking@gmail.com ]
  • I send you a nice “thank you” note

Be advised that Blood Rain contains violence, gore, and other stuff not suitable for sensitive adults. If you enjoy horror, this is the book for you. If you don’t enjoy horror, give it a wide berth.

The short stories in Fables, Fictions, and Fantasies: A Compendium range from humorous to drama/action/adventure and back. There is a some cursing and a bit of (what I think of as) mild violence. It’s a much lighter read than Blood Rain, so it’s suitable for general adult readership.    Continue reading “Reviewers Needed!”

Surrey Muse Reading this Friday Oct 27

muse poster

I’m the book signing author at Surrey Muse this coming Friday

Here are the details . . .

Surrey Muse meets (5:30 – 8:30 pm) every Fourth Friday of each month except December.

Presenters
Three presenters (Author, Poet, Artist/Performer) use 20 minutes each. Each presentation is followed by 10 minutes of discussion/questions. A host cannot reduce/change time allocation. An online profile is posted at Surrey Muse web page for each presenter before the meeting. A Data Projector can be made available if needed. A microphone is not allowed. Photographs may be taken and/or videos may be made for our blog and Facebook pages. A permanent link will be added to Surrey Muse Sidebar in ‘Featured’ links for each presenter (please send yours if it’s not there). An event report (hopefully) will also be published. At this time, there is no honorarium for presenters.

CD/DVD/Book Signing
Another author/performer who has launched a book or a cd/dvd in the previous three months is invited to be available for Signing. The author/performer is introduced by the host to read for 7-10 minutes at the beginning of the meeting, and they will have a table to display/sign/sell any or all of their titles. This is an optional item of our program.

Refreshments
There can be two 10-minute breaks or one 15-minute break. A host can reduce the duration/number of breaks to make up for lost time.

Open Mic
35-40 minutes of Open Mic with 7 minutes for the Opener, and 5 minutes for each participant. A host can take no more than 5-7 minutes to make up for lost time. Begins with the Opener. Book Table provides the sign-up sheet. Open Mic presenters may be mentioned in event reports, may appear in photographs and videos, and may be on our People page. Bring your poems, short fiction, creative prose, art, songs.

Book Table
All Presenters, Hosts and Participants can place their books, CDs, DVDs and art for sale at the Book Table without any cost.

Events are free
Donations are welcome and much needed.

Venue
#405 – City Centre Library
10350 University Drive
Surrey, BC V3T 4B8
(604) 598-7420

Huzzah!

 

the muse

We’re in the last few days before the book launch, and truth be told I’m vibrating with excitement.

It’s also true that some unavoidable family stuff has come up,  so at least some of my attention and energy is directed that way too.

I am looking forward to a long long sleep on Sunday Oct 22.

 

Change of Plans

 

aaa computer
Used under a CC license, no attribution required 

Blood Rain update:

 

My publisher informs me there are some problems on the print production side of things. (I blame all the evil spirits in the writing.)

Consequently, the book release, the book release party, and everything attached to it (such as the monthly newsletter) have been re-scheduled to October 2017.

More news will be posted here as this process unfolds.