Cleaning up the 5,000+ photos on my phone and… have a random assortment of old-ass art. Featuring lots of tabletop RPG characters, terrible photography, inconsistent character designs, my old Gaia Online avatar from circa 2009… and a picture of Lain in the Dashcon ball pit.
I have… so many Thoughts™ about this post from Foz Meadows. Not directly related to her experiences but by golly if general shape isn’t familiar, and… well.
I never really talk about this publicly, because the Code Of Silence surrounding the publishing industry really is desperately heavy and thick, but there were basically two Incidents that caused me to abandon my never-particularly-successful writing “career”.
The first I’ve alluded to previously, and was essentially that the third Wyrdverse book got canned because the publisher wanted substantial re-writes to re-frame the story from what it was—basically focusing on a broken interpersonal relationship between a sexual abuse survivor, a lesbian filmmaker, a young trans boy, and girl-version!Lain—into… a mainstream m/m romance that would appeal to the publisher’s perception of the m/m market as being middle-class straight white cis women.1
The second was being told, by multiple different publishers, that Elias of Dragon of Rosemont High was unsympathetic because—and I am absolutely not making this up—he’s bullied. The fact that he’s black and the character who’s bullying him is white? And that that dynamic is repeatedly pointed out by Elias himself, even though technically the motivation for the bullying is eventually revealed to have a different rationale?2 I’m su-uu-uu-ure has nothing to do with it.
And I bring this up not because I think my experiences are anything as bad as what Meadows went through—mine were just frustrating and disappointing, not actively traumatic—but I guess just… to have this out there. The degrees and details vary, but I’ve heard the same story over and over since, always whispered quietly in the back of the barcon. Because the publishing industry runs entirely on the hopes and dreams of people who know, deeply and completely, that they are worth nothing and can be replaced at any time.3 And no-one wants to be That Author, and every pressure—from your agents, your publishers—is to be Positive At All Times At All Costs. So nothing gets said, and nothing gets done, and the cycle repeats.
Same shit, different day.
- See also: arguing with the publisher over the sex scene in Stormbringer. They wanted it rewritten with Lain in his male human form, again to appeal to some supposed “mainstream” m/m audience. ↩
- And actually an even more different one, if I ever actually wrote more books in that series… ↩
- If you’ve ever wondered why so many people who “make it” in publishing seem to be assholes? Ta-daa! ↩
Trying to get better at commissions (i.e. requesting them), so… here is Lee, by the amazing Dross.
I love the colors (I always have trouble coloring Lee) and goopy twisty elephant-trunk tentacles and Lee’s big dumb toothy smile and also I really need to start, like. Posting this story somewhere…
From the left: Legion Director Haborym Lee (demon of Lilith’s brood), Sgt. Devid “Davey” Chaudhry (retired space marine, possessed host), Park “Rose” Jang-mi (lawyer, witch).
I re-drew Rose’s face like twelve times and I’m still not happy with it, but… hm.
Davey is also technically Lee!Davey, hence the very… un-Davey expression (and outfit!). But then I wanted to draw Lee, too, so… eh. ~ * ~ A R T ~ * ~
It’s Davey, it’s Lee… it’s DaveyLee!
(With an eyepatch, because yaarrr! Demon space pirate!)
So I find stories like this kinda wild because Davey’s job in the SPACE DEMONS book is basically buying alien films and TV shows, and “redubbing” them with human actors for distribution in human-controlled space.
And it’s like… the tech to do that didn’t really exist in 2017 when I wrote the manuscript for that book. And now it totally does.
Oh yeah. The thing I mostly did today while booth-manning? Worked on coloring bigboy/-non-gendered-demonic-entity Lee.
I’m actually kind of happy how the linework turned out on this, so now it’s just, like… trying to figure out how to actually color lineworked art, since I, like. Don’t. Normally.