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Patti O'Shea - Paranormal Action Romance Author

 

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

To Update or Not To Update
There's a discussion happening right now on one of my writers loops that I'm finding interesting. Should backlist books be updated or released as is?

Some say yes, that technology and attitudes have changed. (Some of these authors involved in the discussion have books from the 1980s and 1990s.) They say that readers will be jerked out of the story if someone is looking for a pay phone for example.

I totally understand wanting to do this. There's an unfortunate reference to MySpace in one of my books that was written before it was obvious it was in its death throes. I'd love to erase that, but this is a book to which I do not have my rights returned.

Other authors on the loop say, no, just put the year it was published at the front of the book so that readers realize when it takes place. They ask an interesting question: If a book is updated now, will it need to be updated again in another ten years because of technology changes?

There's also a debate about early books not being as well written versus early books having a certain something to them that comes from that inexperience.

What's the most interesting to me, though, is this is a debate I had with myself a few years back when I got the rights back to four books and a novella. The earliest was only written in 2002, so it was less than ten years old at that point, but my writing had improved and I write much tighter now than I did in my early work.

I ultimately decided not to rewrite, but to correct a few minor things that either were introduced in edits or that had always bothered me. There were many reasons why I opted to do it this way.

First, if I rewrote--especially my first story--what I released would bear almost no resemblance to the originally published version. It would (in essence) be a brand new book and there were too many readers who wanted an ebook version to spring a completely different story on them.

Second, the time factor. I'm a slow writer and I'm even slower now that my day job hours and commute time in Georgia have stolen two hours from each weekday that I used to have when I lived in Minnesota. I wanted to spend the time I did have to write on new stories.

Third, all four books and the novella were set in the future and all of them were written in the 2000s. I simply didn't have the kinds of issues to deal with that authors who wrote contemporary romance in the 1980s have to consider for a re-release.

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posted by Patti O'Shea at 11:00 AM 0 comments

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Salute
I wish I'd seen this earlier because it would have been more appropriate for the 4th of July, but I'm sharing it now anyway. I'll confess that this made me tear up. It's also a reminder that there can still be good commercials made.


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posted by Patti O'Shea at 11:00 AM 2 comments

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Vacuum Sealed
Or my most exciting recent purchase. ;-)

I'd been thinking about getting one of those vacuum sealers for food because I like to buy in bulk and I can't go through things fast enough. I hate throwing food away, but I've done it many times because it sits too long. I had a conversation with someone who already had one, read some reviews and bought one.

I didn't have anything fresh to use it on since I hadn't grocery shopped in a while, but I decided to break up some packages of meat in the freezer. This way I wouldn't have to thaw out everything to get one steak or hamburger.

The directions on how to use it weren't that good, but I decided to wing it. As it turned out, it was so easy that instructions were unnecessary.

I quickly ran through the starter bags included in the box. Luckily, there are instructions for making your own bags from a roll of plastic. That worked easily too and I continued to bag and seal.

I've only used it once so far, but I can see this being a good purchase for me. The unfortunate thing is that vegetables have to be blanched before they can be vacuum packed. Like I'm ever going to do that. Overall, though, I can see this as something I use often, so money well spent.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

When Did You Lose Your Compassion?
There's a thing that's been going on for a while online that bothers me. A lot. Sites like The People of Walmart and others like them--and the people who share these pictures on Facebook, Twitter, etc--make me want to cry for humanity.

You see, when I see someone who's wearing a pair of underwear cut up to make a shirt, I don't think OMG, that's so funny. Instead, I think, that poor woman is so broke, that she's struggling to keep herself and her family clothed.

When I see someone post a picture of a naked overweight woman outside in a clear plastic rain slicker, I don't think, Oh, gross. I think that poor woman is mentally ill and needs help.

I addressed this back in my 2010 release, In the Darkest Night. Farran is working at a discount store when some college-aged girl takes a picture of her with a scar on her face. The purpose was to laugh at Farran--cruelly laugh--and to get other people to laugh at the disfigurement, too. It devastated my heroine, and if these people have seen the mean-spirited and hateful comments on their photos, they're probably devastated, too.

I see this online time and again and it makes me angry at the people who think it's okay to laugh at someone else's misfortune--whether it be mental illness or fashion faux pas--or laughing at another person for looking different, for example like the stereotype of a nerd.

It also makes me hugely sad. When did we lose our compassion for our fellow human beings? People who've done nothing to us, but who appeared in public wearing something that others found worth mocking. So many of those pictures clearly show the person is probably mentally ill or so poor that they can't afford to buy better clothes. Don't even get me started about laughing at someone simply because of how they look.

I stopped going to places like Fail Blog because they became meaner and meaner and meaner about people. I even sent a comment to the site saying that I hated what they were becoming. When nothing changed, I stopped visiting.

Life is hard for a lot of people--why do some people think it's okay to laugh at the expense of others? Do they have to tear someone else down to feel okay about themselves? Because that's a pretty sad reason.

My wish for the world is that more people practice compassion and empathy for their fellow human beings. Life is about helping others, not mocking them.

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posted by Patti O'Shea at 11:00 AM 4 comments

Sunday, August 24, 2014

25 Cool Maps

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