Saturday, August 17, 2013

Ramblings about getting stuff published

If you're familiar with the work of Nancy Reil Riojas, you can go below to get one of her short stories for free.

La Bloga receives free copies of many books, some self-published, though we almost never review the self-published. Some of that is due to time constraints: we can't even review all the books we want to that are released by traditional publishing companies.

The changing technology of the publishing world makes getting our work "out there" easier than before. So, we are seeing much more chicanada, latinidad available than mainstream publishers allowed before.

In a roundabout way that brings me to the three literary conferences--and a writers retreat--I will attend in the next few weeks. At WorldCon in San Anto, Tejas--possibly the world's biggest SciFi/Fantasy convention--I'm on these panels:

Bilingual Writers/Monolingual Audience • What Happened to US-Based Spanish Language Publishing? • Should SF-F be Covert Commentary on Current Social Issues • Chicano Science Fiction • Latino Characters by Mainstream Authors, Diversity or Cultural Appropriation?

There are themes that weave through these titles. Dichotomy is what sticks out in my mind. Bilingual/Monolingual; US/Spanish; SF-F/Social Issues; etc.

The fact the conference organizers were willing to cover these topics is a good thing. I was surprised they accepted my proposal for the last panel on Diversity/Cultural Appropriation. Advance discussion indicates I might have my hands full.

We raza know there are still barriers, prejudice and privilege involved in trying to get our stuff published, notwithstanding the success of Junot Díaz, Isabel Allende, Laura Esquivel, and others.

Fellow bloguero and author Manuel Ramos likes to say, "It's all about the writing." He means that the value of a work, of a writer lies in their prose or stanzas. It would not be true to apply those words to what the prospects are of getting a Chicano manuscript published in the U.S. today.

The only contest my writing took first place in was Britain, years ago. I've also gotten two short stories published in English in Romania, although I'm not clear how tough the competition was.
The fact that our stories might be better received outside of our country, in English, means something that I won't try to interpret; attempt your own.

At any rate, wish me luck holding my own on these panels where not everyone may realize things raised in this post. And if you're attending, stop by because you might be one of few in the audience agreeing with some of my points. And check out Nancy Reil Riojas story below and send us a review, if you want.

RudyG, for La Bloga

Chicana story Hannibal
Reached No. 2 in England's Itunes ebook store.

Hannibal A True Story
Author/Publisher: Nancy Reil Riojas
Vendor: Smashwords
Has appeared on the charts 309 times. It has appeared on charts in Canada, UK. It has appeared on the Arts & Entertainment, Theater genre charts.

A man craves revenge against a young woman but indirectly uses his enormous canine that ultimately wants to kill her. Which one survives?

Excerpt: "We hear a bellowing bark. At once, Hannibal releases my ravaged shoe. When he looks down from the roof of the Caterpillar, his thick chain flops over the edge and dangles in front of Sampson’s face. Sampson continues to bark while he tries to climb, but his large size causes him to topple back down to the ground. He constantly jumps up against the side of the Caterpillar and ultimately clenches, between his teeth, the chain from Hannibal’s collar. Sampson tugs like a plow, anchors his big front paws into the soft earth, and yanks and yanks while he watches Hannibal’s head jerk downward, again and again. Hannibal resists, claws the metal roof, incessantly tries to heave Sampson’s weight until the groaning body loses balance at the edge, drags off the Caterpillar roof, and lands with a loud thud into the dirt below."

Go to where it is free and no credit card required.


Anonymous said...

Thanks RudyG for sharing your impressions about all this publishing stuff. Good luck on your panel and future publishing success.

Adrian said...

It sure seems difficult out there. For example, I am fairly certain that I would never be able to get out there were it not for self-publishing. I would say, though, that I think a lot of Latinos and Latinas do not read books regularly. I wish it were not true, but if they did, the publishing industry might take a closer look at some of us indie writers. Publishing is still a business, after all. Keep fighting the good fight!