Frequently Asked Questions
What are you working on right now?
Aquamarine, Pretty Little Mermaids, book 1.
Will you write more for Akiko & Petra?
Yes, I plan to. The stories for these characters are both in the early plotting stage, but they are never far from my mind. I'm sorry I can't commit to an exact timeline just yet.
Why can't I buy "specific title in a specific format" here?
I built my career as an author by putting my books exclusively into the Kindle Unlimited program. That program has become less and less worth it over the years, so I plan to take my full catalog wide and sell it here, in my store, but it will be a slowish transition.
Will you read my manuscript?
I only wish I could read every manuscript I'm asked to read. On top of having a TBR a mile high, I have a full schedule producing content and running this store. I don't have enough hours in my day where I'm not staring at a screen. I'm so sorry, but please don't sent me your manuscript. I do congratulate you on finishing it, though!
What is your policy on AI?
There's three parts to address on this topic: digital narration, digital art and digital writing.
Digital narration: while I believe that no one can narrate a story better than a human (I adore my narrators; Marni Penning, Manon Kahle, Gabra Zackman, and Mikael Naramore) there are challenges to using human narration. Good quality narration starts at around $300 per finished hour. For a full length novel of 10 hours, you can do the math. Also, human narration takes a long time. Sometimes VERY long. Just ask the listeners who have been waiting for A Memory of Nightshade for over a year now. So, while human narration is always my first choice, it is dependant both on time and on funding. Since I'm spending more than $30k in 2023 into French translations, I don't have the budgets I would normally have for audio. Digital narration is a good solution to offer readers until I'm able to hire my favorite humans.
I have readers who are visually impaired who use Alexa to read books aloud to them because they can't afford to buy all the human narrated audiobooks they would like to consume. I feel that providing a digitally narrated file is a step above Alexa, and a service they appreciate.
Regarding digital art: all of my covers and banners are made by human artists, and they always will be. Many professional artists are now utilizing digital art to help them create their masterpieces. If they do, then that is their choice.
I have and do use digital art to produce character images which helps both my human artists and my readers understand my vision. For example I developed many images to illustrate the cast from The Scented Court. To have hired a human to produce these images would have taken months and cost thousands. I wouldn't have been able to afford that, but with Artbreeder, I was able to produce them in a few hours. So while human artists will always be my go to, I will use digital art when it makes sense from a budget and time perspective.
I have paid human artists somewhere in the region of $100k over the course of my career as an author, maybe even more, I haven't calculated the exact number. I don't plan to withdraw that support, ever. If you weren't aware, AI artwork cannot by copyrighted, this is an important factor that keeps the power in the hands of human artists.
Digital writing: I'll never use AI to write my stories. I might use it to help me work through a complex plot problem, or to perfect a blurb, but it will never write chapters for me. Full stop.
Final thoughts: I am not fully comfortable with any kind of AI because no one knows where it's going to go, but I don't buy into the hysteria that its going to put artists out of business any more than escalators made staircases obsolete. I think it far more likely that artists will use AI as a tool to help them (they are already doing this), just as writers are already using AI to help them fix plot holes, and the visually impaired are using AI to be read to.
As I type this, Amazon is being flooded with AI written books. Are they hurting the sales of human authors? No, not the good ones who focus on producing the best quality story that they can. AI books get bad reviews and subsequently sink to the bottom of their categories where they languish like a pile of rotting leaves. AI will improve at storytelling over time, yes, but I'm not a catastrophizer and I don't believe in living in fear or hysteria about what might happen. I have to live in the moment, keep creating, and fearlessly live day by day.
AI can't be stopped by campaigning against it, although I sympathize with those who are trying. We will just have to wait and see how the landscape forms itself over time.
For the record, I do wish engineers would focus on making robots that can take over mundane jobs so that humans can be free'd up to create. I believe to be human is to be creative, and inventions should support that, not usurp it.