Something Wicked This Way Comes

Saturday, May 24, 2014

THE HOUSE THAT LOVE BUILT, & an Update for the End of May

My wonderful readers, fans, and friends -

It's the end of May 2014, and I can't believe the time has gone so quickly. I haven't been posting new material on GA as much as I'd like, which means you all don't see the work I'm doing. But believe me, there is work going on, and soon - very soon - you're going to see it. 

Better, you're going to be able to READ IT.

I'm currently finishing up two editing contracts. One is for the Young Adult series called Upstaged. If you have teens or if you simply like stories about bands and young gay guys, I highly recommend you check out this series written by SL Danielson & Nephylim.

Upstaged: Opening Act

Upstaged: Waiting in the Wings
The third book in the series is called Duet. I'm not yet sure of the release date, but when I have it and a cover, I'll post it up. A total of 12 books have been written in this series and will be slowly released over the next few years.

The other book I'm editing right now is the third and final installment in the Nighttime series by MA Church. The first two books were not edited by me, however they were fairly successful and well-liked. Since it's a series, I do recommend you purchase them and read them before reading the third book. That way you'll be able to fully appreciate the richness of the world MA has built. 

Nighttime Wishes

Nighttime Dreams
The third book is called Nighttime Promises and is scheduled to come out on July 8, 2014. This date is significant because the series is about aliens, and July 8th is the date aliens supposedly crashed a UFO in Roswell, NM back in 1947. Keep in mind this is MA's first alien trilogy, published before The Harvest. If you want to read her first foray into inter-species love, this is it, & I'm proud to be editing the final installment.

That leads me to my next announcement. I won't be doing any further editing after June 1, 2014 except on a very limited freelance basis. This means I'll be devoting all my time to writing, subbing my written work out to publishers, and promoting my published works. I've spent quite a bit of my time over the last five years helping other authors get published and achieve their dreams of reaching that coveted "bestseller" status. The trouble is, time spent helping others is time taken away from my own writing, often with little to no compensation. While I've enjoyed working on those projects, getting to know those authors, and extending my network of friends within this industry, it's not getting my work published and it's not putting my books in the hands of paying readers.

If you are interested in hiring me as an editor or researcher after June 1, you can email me the synopsis/proposal of your project plus your outline and your first chapter and I'll get back to you with a time frame and a final price quote. My prices are based on the Editorial Freelancers Association. Please feel free to use my prices as a guideline when hiring an editor for any self-publishing venture, by the way. Any good editor worth hiring should be willing to work either by the hour or by word count, and should be able to give you samples of their work, as well as provide references: current, satisfied, published clients. If they can't, don't hire them.

Editing, basic copyediting5-10 ms pgs/hr$30-40/hr
Editing, heavy copyediting2–5 ms pgs/hr$40–50/hr
Editing, website copyediting$40-50/hr
Editing, developmental1–5 pgs/hr$40–60/hr
Editing, substantive or line1–6 ms pgs/hr$40–60/hr


PROOFREADING9-13 ms pgs/hr$30-40/hr

WRITING1-3 ms pgs/hr
Writing, fiction$40-50/hr
Writing, ghostwriting$50-60/hr
Writing, erotica
Writing, journalism$40-50/hr
Writing, medical$60-70/hr
Writing, nonspecified$40-100/hr
Writing, technical/trade$50-60/hr

After June 1 I'll be devoting the majority of my time to writing, and man am I looking forward to that! The only other hurdle in my path is the two-house-in-two-state move I'm coordinating. As I mentioned in my last blog post, we're losing a home to an eminent domain campaign. 

Eminent domain is the power to take private property by a state or national government. It's not a new concept; its existed for over 2000 years. James Madison wrote the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution as an attempt to curtail abuses of this power. He explicitly mandated there must be compensation for the property, and that the government could only take property for "public use." 

Compensation has since been argued to mean "fair market value," a phrase that itself means the price that a willing but unpressured buyer would pay a willing but unpressured seller in a voluntary transaction, with both parties fully informed of the property's good & bad features. "Public use" means the property taken must be used to benefit the public rather than specific individuals.

Our home and the other homes in our neighborhood are being taken for a massive roadway expansion project. This is one of the most common eminent domain campaigns, and impossible to fight. Everybody uses roads. That doesn't make it any less inconvenient, though. 

Because of this event, we're using the opportunity to combine our household with that of another, the couple with whom I fell in love last year. We're turning a traumatic event into something exciting, an adventure for our families. As any of you who've followed and read my writing knows, I'm a huge advocate of polyamory and an outspoken polyamorist myself. So I'm blogging about "The House That Love Built," and I hope over the next month as the move gets closer and throughout the summer as we move in and combine our families, this will be a unique and interesting process that you all enjoy sharing with us.

That's all. Update complete. Happy Memorial Day. Eat watermelon, have BBQ, enjoy the memories of those no longer with us. READ BOOKS!

Be Well -

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Every time I return to this blog I vow to do better about writing on it. The truth is, I never wanted a blog. I was told I had to have one, and it was repeated over and over by so many people so many times that I finally created one. But you know what? I think they were full of shit. I've never been good at journaling and I barely have time to keep up with my social media - which I do enjoy and get involved with, and can therefore be myself on - so this whole, "Tucker, you have to have a blog to be successful" thing is just a load of crap. I think I'd be much better off having somebody create a website for me and pay them to maintain it, rather than this blog that I neglect outrageously.

Which leads me to the first part of my update. 

Sigh. Yet another round of rejections on the Feywild Faerie Tales. This makes three now (a total of six publishers) and I'm struggling to understand just what exactly I'm doing or not doing. When editors from different publishers give you advice that is directly in conflict, it's kind of impossible to know if any of the advice is actually sound, or if its all just their whims. And that makes me want to scream, because then I wonder well shit, if somebody else had read it, somebody who had a greater liking or understanding of fantasy or fantasy tropes, would I be looking at a contract now instead of this confusing email? And if I weren't so determined to see it available in print - if I were willing to settle for a digital only release - I have no doubt it would be out by now. But I am determined. So I continue to deal with:

That was the month of March.

April was even more fun.

I was trying to think of ways to be more engaged with my blog and several of my writer-type friends (or perhaps acquaintances is a better word) suggested I join the Wednesday Flashers. I know the group, of course. I've edited for several of them and even more are authors on GA where I'm an author. However there was a huge stumbling block to me joining the group. It's run by Julie Lynn Hayes. As the first Editor-In-Chief at Romance First Publishing, she was my boss when I originally went to work there back in early 2012. Then I took a contract editing a series she was writing called Forbidden and she became one of my authors.

Long story short, Julie and I have completely opposite working styles, and we were utterly unsuited to working together. This was abundantly clear to me after doing the first few installments of her series. The trouble was, it wasn't so clear to her since she was putting forth minimum effort & getting great editing that she didn't have to pay for (and guess what? the publisher never paid me either!) So after five months of this nonsense and five months of no payment, I quit. I went to the only other employee of the publishing house - the president - and asked to be let out of my contract. Below is the email Julie sent me. Keep in mind she was supposedly the Editor-In-Chief of a publishing house, and my boss, when she sent this.

Sent: 7/1/2012 8:56:46 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: disappointed

I am not only disappointed and frustrated but I am very hurt that you could not discuss this with me, as an adult - I'm not even counting the brief flurry of text messages we exchanged - but you chose to skulk behind my back and then stab me in that same back.

We should have been able to work this out, but you chose not to, for whatever reasons, whether it was because you didn't want to work on Forbidden any more (although I asked and you said you liked it), you didn't want to work with me any more, or.... what? I'm at a loss.

Is it because I do not conform to your ideas of what a writer should or shouldn't do, because I choose not to outline? I apologized for running so late this month, and I said I'd do better, but I also said, in all honesty, I couldn't swear to being able to conform to a schedule. And because I told you this, you chose to dump me like yesterday's trash?

You went behind my back to Stephanie, and that was a place you should never have gone because there are things you don't even know. Doing this has probably cost you, for reasons I won't even go into.

The point is that I liked how you edited Forbidden, I enjoyed working with  you, and I wanted to do better. But you couldn't be bothered to talk to me, so I guess that tells me what you really thought of me.

Tuck, we all have our problems, everyone does, and I understand that. You're a wonderful editor, no doubt about it. But from where I stand, you have no heart, no soul, and no conscience, and a definite lack of people skills. I thought I was bad, but I would never have done what you did.

I'm guessing you just don't care about editing for RFP. No, not because you shafted your EIC, but because I was your biggest and only supporter. I hope that in the future you'll think twice before you do this to anybody else.

Have a good life, Tuck.


Julie L. Hayes

I took over as Editor-In-Chief when she left RFP, and she's held a grudge ever since. I explained this to several members of the Flashers, but they insisted they could "get me in" to the group. After numerous emails back and forth, I bit the bullet, humbled myself, and took the plunge. I emailed Julie requesting entry into the Flashers.

Here's the email I received back.

Sent: 4/27/2014 10:43:25 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: Re: Wednesday Flashers
Mx. McCallahan,

After careful consideration of your request, I must reluctantly deny it, as I do not think it would be in the best interests of the group. I wish you luck in finding another flash fiction group to join. I'm sorry this did not work out for you.

Take care.
Julie L. Hayes

Two years has certainly improved her manners. But I imagine she had a little happy going on as she hit send. And what that email amounted to was this:

I sent an email to those authors I'd edited for and rubbed elbows with on GA, to let them know what had happened. If it were me, I'd want to know that the leader of a group I belonged to was keeping people out based on her personal grudges rather than their writing skills or lack thereof. Unsurprisingly, even those Flashers who had been so sure they could get me into the group had nothing to say about the situation, and I'm sure not a one of them said a single word to Julie or challenged her decision.

This is why I don't belong to many groups. I get disenchanted with how despicable people are pretty easily.

And now we're on to May. 

My family gets to deal with the lovely concept known as "eminent domain." For anyone who doesn't know what that is... Google it. I'm not teaching a civics class here and I'm still too angry about what's going on to be able to write about it reasonably. I'm also too damn busy helping to pack up a huge house that a ton of people have called home for eight years...

The jist is this: the government has decided they'd like the land on which my family's house sits. So we have to leave because they're taking it. Period. We have until the end of June to relocate. 

Gonna be one helluva summer.