Fictional Short Story About Anorexia

The Heart Fails Without Warning is a beautifully written story about a family’s struggle with anorexia.  It starts like this:

September: when she began to lose weight at first, her sister had said, I don’t mind; the less of her the better, she said. It was only when Morna grew hair – fine down on her face, in the hollow curve of her back – that Lola began to complain. I draw the line at hair, she said. This is a girls’ bedroom, not a dog kennel.

Visit the link above to read the entire story at guardian.co.uk.  The Heart Fails Without Warning was written by award-winning author and novelist, Hilary Mantel.   Go here to see a list of Hilary Mantel’s books at amazon.com.

Tooty Nolan’s Unique Fiction Now Available in E-books!

You might remember Tooty Nolan from my previous post, Hamster Fiction — The Next Big Thing?  This author’s books are now available for download for under two dollars.  If you’ve ever read his innovative and often bawdy and humorous work, you’ll know that’s a bargain.

If you haven’t read his work, check out the author’s new blog, Oh Look – It’s Tooty Nolan Again!, where you’ll find selected chapters from all of his books, including the brand new story, The Psychic Historian.  (Purchase the e-book here, or read extracts from The Psychic Historian here).  Tooty Nolan warns in his book description:

Warning: Contains Ribald material. Not suitable for younger children or prudes.

Support this struggling author and buy a book.  Or, if you can’t spare the cash right now but you like his stories, leave a comment on his blog and let him know.  Authors need cash, love, and feedback.  Do what you can.

Hamster Fiction — The Next Big Thing?

Time after time, people write to me and say, “Edie, where I can I go to find spectacularly written stories about hamsters?”  Okay, nobody has ever actually asked me that, but if they did, I would have to tell them:  Tooty Nolan.

Tooty Nolan is the pen name of the eccentric and exceedingly funny author of 4 separate series of wildly entertaining stories, all featuring a world where humans never evolved, but rodents did.  Chapter 1 of his Fanfare for the Common Hamster series, begins:

As a hamster Felicity Bugler wasn’t much of a looker. She was too short to begin with. And her buttocks just didn’t seem to have that tapering effect that so pleased a male hamster’s eye.

These stories take place at locations like “The Institute of Highly Important Studies” and are filled with whitty phrases like Who the fluff is that?” 

You can find all 4 of his series on Tooty Nolan’s blog The Bucktooth Times:

I could see these being published, and Nolan is currently looking into doing just that.  Be among the first to discover this author and read them now while they’re free.

(Edit:  Tooty has moved blogs and I’ve updated the links in this post to reflect that.  Also, these stories are now available for purchase, and you can read extracts on the blog.)

You can also find out more about Tooty Nolan on his About the Author Page which features various photos, across the decades, of his werewolf-like hairiness, including one of him with his (thankfully non-hairy) child.  (He’s actually kind of goodlooking underneath all that hair.)

Pretty Good on Paper

Found a great blog called Pretty Good on Paper.  There’s a plethora of random yet interesting information here including how to keep your password safe and keep a list of passwords that nobody else will be able to decipher, how to fold a piece of paper into the shape of a terrier, and a post on re-reading Stephen King in which he writes:

“I have one of those unique minds that can forget all but a few basic plot elements from a novel I read only a couple of years back. This special skill allows me to enjoy a book just as much upon second, third, or fourth readings. It can save money during those times when you are mainly reading for entertainment or escape.”

You can also see an extensive list of book reviews he has done or, if you’re looking for free stuff to read on the net, you can read some fiction written by this blogger.

Once Free, Forever Free?

Yesterday I referred to a NYT essay by Stephen King on short fiction. Today, I’m cribbing from the Wall Street Journal, specifically a piece by Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) .

Adams used some of his past blog entries for a new book, which meant they had to be removed from the web. For that, he caught flak from readers, some of whom retaliated by giving the book bad Amazon reviews. As he said, “For readers of my non-Dilbert books, I inadvertently set the market value for my work at zero. Oops.”

Why does this interest me? Because next year I have an anthology coming out…of work I originally posted online for free. Let me explain…

In yesterday’s blog, I mentioned I did annual online novellas. Freebies. The #1 ongoing question I get asked is: when will these be available in a real book? I’ve always said they’re meant to be free, but I’ve admitted to hoping that someday I can publish them as a charitable endeavour.

My chance came this summer. Long story short, my agent was approached and, ultimately, the collection went to my regular publishers. We negotiated to keep most of the short stories, my latest novella and a graphic-novella-in-progress online. The older stuff (4 novellas & 2 stories) is being edited, and put into a single volume. My advance and any royalties I earn will go to World Literacy.

This seemed a good way to balance the demand for a “real book” version with my unwillingness to profit from these “freebies.” But am I totally comfortable with it? No. And I wouldn’t have been any more comfortable turning down the offer.

I would have liked to keep the stories online. I understand why the publisher won’t allow that (and it was what I expected). I suppose if I bought a book and discovered the same stories were currently free online, I’d be miffed. And I don’t even like to read online. I just wouldn’t like the feeling I’d been “ripped off” (yes, I’m cheap)

So, is Adams right? Does putting work (fiction or nonfiction) free on the web set the market value at zero? What would you say if you bought a book of stories, only to discover they’d once been free online? Or that they were still free online?

Kelley Armstrong is the NYT bestselling author of the urban fantasy series, The Otherworld. For info on her novels or to read sample chapters, check out her website at www.KelleyArmstrong.com