Tuesday, October 26, 2010


by Louis Bertrand Shalako


All Rights Reserved

We're holding onto novels like 'TIme-Storm,' for the time being.

My computer doesn’t know the proper spelling of certain words, but I think Microsoft’s spelling and grammar checker will eventually supersede ‘Chicago Style.’

Like flying at night, you have to learn to trust your instruments. I Google words to check spellings when the computer and I disagree.

I have three novels in reserve, two sci-fi, one fantasy. I have a collection of poetry, and probably enough material for two collections of short stories. I want to get more stories published before putting them out. I love foreign language credits. Someone spends eight or ten hours doing it, and that beats selling a story in English for $5.00 or $10.00. I plan to do a first draft of another novel this winter. Provisional title, ‘A Work In Progress.’ Lots of satirical humour in that one.

This afternoon I was re-writing a 15,000 word story, and also kind of dreaming about putting together a collection of short stories. It is a lot of fun, after all; I have the material just lying around. There is some logic in having another title out in time for Christmas. Theoretically, this is my vacation after ten months of hard work.

Right now I have 460+ friends on facebook, some of whom are guys like Mike Resnick, Robert J. Sawyer, Vicki Delany, Douglas B. Smith, and people with anywhere from one to sixty or seventy books. You learn very quickly that there are about fifty million pretty good writers in the English language. I aspire to compete with the best of them. Should I engage in a race for the bottom with the worst of them? I’m better than that. Some of them have awards coming out the wazoo. Resnick has the record in sci-fi. I’m too shy to talk to some of them guys! (So I just listen.)

E-book sales are exploding, with amazing new figures published every month. Probably one in five books sold this year will be an e-book. That trend will continue. It is a tough business, but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now. My goal is to put out sixty books and a few hundred short stories before I die. (A man has to have a goal, right? — ed. )

Ultimately, it is not really about money. It is about the books, and getting them into the hands of the readers no matter what it takes. Interestingly enough, the e-book readers like Kindle and Kobo are wonderful for the elderly, or for people with arthritis, or Parkinson’s disease, because you don’t have to turn pages and you can magnify the text with the touch of a button. With the new ‘e-ink,’ batteries maintain their charge for a very long time according to published reports.

Hopefully, this is the year of the e-book reader for Christmas. Wouldn’t mind one of them myself.

Anyhow, I will go to my grave feeling a lot better, knowing that I did my best.

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