Thursday, February 17

Correction

I'm issuing an official correction . . .

I think some people got the wrong idea from yesterday's post.

Look, nobody at Del Rey has insisted or demanded that I de-violenciate CAINE BLACK KNIFE. There has been some discussion about the level of graphic description of violence in the Overworld stories, but much of it has come at my own instigation.

I am very aware that CAINE BLACK KNIFE and DEAD MAN'S HEART are Caine's Last Best Shot at Making It . . . if he doesn't break out, he -- and Overworld -- are dead, as far as the publishing industry goes. So I asked Chris Schleup (my editor at Del Rey) straight out what he thought I could do, as a writer, to help prevent CBK from becoming the same kind of spectacular flop, sales-wise, that HEROES DIE was.

He told me that Del Rey is aware that the floppitude of HEROES DIE had more to do with marketing and packaging failure on their part than with the quality of the book itself (which is why they plan a re-package in conjunction with the release of CBK), but that he and the Powers That Be are of the opinion that some people are turned off by the exceedingly fierce and graphic descriptions of violence and suffering in HD and BLADE.

This, my good friends, is something we all know to be true.

Most people who read fantasy are looking for THE WIZARD OF OZ -- y'know, Baum wrote those books because he thought that traditional fairy tales were too scary and violent? If he'd lived to see the film made from the first of his Oz books, he would have sued the fucking studio for making the Wicked Witch of the West so, well, wicked, and for making the flying monkeys give kids nightmares . . .

So I've got a double-switch going in CBK. I've learned so much about controlling esthetic distance and using psychological closure while writing these three Star Wars novels, that I get to do shit in CBK that's actually WORSE than most of the stuff in HD or BLADE . . . but I get to do the RESERVOIR DOGS thing, where the worst of it happens in your imagination . . .

So I get to look at the beancounters and say, "Graphic violence? Where? Which sentence?"

"Well, okay, that one . . . but that's an isolated case. Except for that one there. Okay, there's one more, but really . . ."


It's honestly not a question of standing firm. This isn't about artistic integrity. I don't have any.

I can only write what I can write. I literally CAN'T do it any other way . . .

I am who I am.

18 comments:

Barb said...

How do they figure that people are turned off by the violence? Based on book reviews or what "real" readers think?

Ben said...

I can't believe that people are turned off by violence anymore after last year when all my conservative relatives flocked to see that movie about Christ getting the crap beat out of him.

Hopefully Del Rey can arrange to have copies of your Overworld books available on the book tour and more properly market them to the right audience.

Chris said...

Yo Stoverdude with regards to yesterdays post feel free to rinse my computer skills, I figure I owe you a few computer tips for all the writing tips so just ask.

Mastadge said...

Ben -- they're actually released THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST RECUT dvd with six minutes of violence removed or some such.

JT said...

It's bullshit.

Your fanbase would have been a fraction then, to what it is now. Your profile amongst the genre fans is high and you have people eagerly awaiting the next Caine novel.

Is it not normal for book two to outsell book one and then book three to outsell book two? Why choose to ignore the success of book two? Didn't they worry about this before releasing BOT?

If they sorted it out and got you a distribution deal in the UK and gave you the budget you deserve for marketing, they wouldn't be whining now... fuckers.

Sorry mate.

JT said...

... sorry for consecutive post

And the people 'turned on' (in a manner of speaking) by the levels of violence in the Caine books, are the same people turned off by the shit Goodkind and Jordan churn out.

People will catch on, they already are for f sake!

Chris said...

Yo JT (is that Justin Timberlake or John Travolta?), I don't think Matt was suggesting Del Rey are being over-sensitive about this...

JT said...

Yea I can see that Chris, but still, MW has taken it onboard. I just think it belongs in the 'better to say something, than nothing' bin and when asked, the guy threw the 'too much violence' crock.

JT can mean Juicy Tits if it pleases you mate.

Darrell Ralph said...

Correction

Hey Blogger, you got an interesting blog here! I'm definitely bookmarking you right now!

I have a Fantasy Knives site. It pretty much covers
Brad Duncan related stuff.

Come and check out Brad Duncan if you get time :-)

custom knife said...

Correction

Hey Blogger, you got an interesting blog here! I'm definitely bookmarking you right now!

I have a Fantasy Knives site. It pretty much covers
SILENT OPS BAYONET related stuff.

Come and check out SILENT OPS BAYONET if you get time :-)

Balisong Venturi said...

Correction

Hey Blogger, you have a pretty good blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a hand crafted knife Fantasy Knives. It pretty much covers
hand crafted knife related stuff.

Come and check out hand crafted knife if you get time, Nice going !

hand crafted knife said...

Correction

Hey Blogger, you got an interesting blog here! I'm definitely bookmarking you right now!

I have a Fantasy Knives site. It pretty much covers
custom knife related stuff.

Come and check out custom knife if you get time :-)

collectors knife said...

Correction

Hey Blogger, you got an interesting blog here! I'm definitely bookmarking you right now!

I have a Fantasy Knives site. It pretty much covers
Famous Knife related stuff.

Come and check out Famous Knife if you get time :-)

Balisong Venturi said...

Correction

Hey Blogger, you got an interesting blog here! I'm definitely bookmarking you right now!

I have a Fantasy Knives site. It pretty much covers
Custom Art Knives related stuff.

Come and check out Custom Art Knives if you get time :-)

Balisong Venturi said...

Correction

Hey Blogger, you got an interesting blog here! I'm definitely bookmarking you right now!

I have a Fantasy Knives site. It pretty much covers
Brad Duncan related stuff.

Come and check out Brad Duncan if you get time :-)

hand crafted knife said...

Correction

Hey Blogger, you got an interesting blog here! I'm definitely bookmarking you right now!

I have a Fantasy Knives site. It pretty much covers
Chris Reeve Mnandi related stuff.

Come and check out Chris Reeve Mnandi if you get time :-)

Darrell Ralph said...

Correction

Hey Blogger, you have a pretty good blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a Brad Duncan Fantasy Knives. It pretty much covers
Brad Duncan related stuff.

Come and check out Brad Duncan if you get time, Nice going !

Famous Knife said...

Correction

Hey Blogger, you got an interesting blog here! I'm definitely bookmarking you right now!

I have a Fantasy Knives site. It pretty much covers
Balisong Venturi related stuff.

Come and check out Balisong Venturi if you get time :-)