Guest Blogger–Keith Gouveia–Woes of Our Wares

We’re already in the tenth day of 2010 and at the rate this year’s progressing, I fear it’ll be over before I realize it. Time is something that has become an abstraction to me. It’s continually at the back of my mind and sometimes I swear I hear a ticking clock’s hands move with every second or minute that passes. There are times I wished those hands would slow down or stop so I can catch up or savor the moment. Then there are other times when I just want those hands to speed up.

But we all know time is a constant variable and it doesn’t matter how hard we wish for it to change, it never will.

And with that pondering thought, I’m delighted to introduce to you my second guest and good friend, Keith Gouveia.

His piece is on patience; one thing I obviously struggle with each day and always seem to lose the battle. There are also some questions he answered after his piece.

I’ve known Keith for many years. He is not only a talented author whose horror stories of zombies, demons, devils, and yes even brown mallards, have made me shudder and look over my shoulder in fear, but he has also edited and co-edited some pretty awesome award winning anthologies as well, which you can check out on his website www.keithgouveia.com

So forget about that ticking clock, sit back, and enjoy the read. 🙂

Woes of Our Wares

By Keith Gouveia

Next year marks ten years since I was bitten by the writing bug. Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re interested in the written word whether it be reading your favorite author’s or creating your own. So I’d like to talk about this crazy business, because along the way I’ve learned a lot about the publishing world—the hard way, and if you can avoid some of the pitfalls, then it’ll have been worth it.

Time and time again, I’ve seen aspiring authors, and even a few pros, make the simplest mistakes to hinder their chances of publication. Stupid and lazy mistakes that should have been avoided with a little common sense, such as: not reading, or simply not following, a publication’s guidelines; inundate an editor’s mailbox with questions regarding their story’s status; and worst of all, submitting what might as well be a first draft.

If you stopped to take a look around, you’d notice everyone has a story scratching under the surface, begging to be released, but very few actually take the time to scratch that itch. However, that’s still tens of thousands of people writing and submitting, all vying for the few publication slots available in a given year. So why would anyone run the risk of soiling their chances right out of the gate?

Simple answer really. They aren’t patient enough for this business. The major publishing houses take on average a year to publish a book after it has spent the good part of a year to a year and a half in the slush pile. The small press turns a book around a lot faster, but even for them, life gets in the way. Though your story might have been responded to in a week to a month for the last call, it would be foolish to expect that kind of turn around every time. Editors, much like you, have a life and though they schedule their time accordingly, all it takes is one hiccup to clog the machine.

I frequent several writing forums, and though I don’t post much as I’d rather be writing on whatever project I’m working on, I do read them daily. I’ve seen editors put themselves out there in public forums to help keep the lines of communication open. It is a wonderful thing and something they don’t have to do, but, unfortunately, there are those who pester them. Some even mistake this courtesy as friendship and come away with egg on their face. Regardless if you’re friends with an editor, never forget this is a business and your relationship should be treated as such when dealing with the written word. Writing is such a personal thing it is hard to not take rejection personally, but there’s nothing personal in rejection, it’s simply business. The sooner you come to terms with that, the better off you’ll be.

Some of the small presses I’ve had the privilege of working with are Coscom Entertainment and Library of the Living Dead. The men in charge of these two presses are wonderful people and they will be a force to reckon with in the near future for other presses. I’ve had success with some of my novels and novellas with Coscom, and success with some of my short stories with the Library, both turn a fine product, but don’t take my word for it, check them out for yourself. Coscom Entertainment: http://www.coscomentertainment.com/revoltofthedead.html and The Library: http://libraryofthelivingdead.lefora.com

In closing, I thank you for your time and wish you luck in all your endeavors.

1-What POV do you prefer to write your stories in? What POV do you prefer to read?

I prefer third for writing and reading.

2-When did you know the writing bug had bitten you and left you incurable to its wayward effects?

In High School when our English teacher gave us the option to write about whatever we wanted and not some forced topic.

3-If you were to come upon a genie’s lamp and called forth that mythical being, what would you wish for?

One wish, to be with my wife ’til the end of time.

4-Is there any story you read or movie/show you’ve seen that you wished you could have written the story for and changed or strengthened the plot/storyline?

Funny thing, Nickelodeon has a cartoon Danny Phantom that I wished to God I had created. Sometimes it’s too goofy for its own good and I’d keep it darker.

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