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Interview and Guest Post with Lynne Cantwell

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future? I’d go back to the Renaissance.  I love the music of that time.  But before I got into the time machine, I’d want a guarantee that I’d be able to come home!  With my luck, I’d be stuck in some hovel, tending a passel of kids, instead of living as a fine lady in a castle.

If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose? Some of my college friends.  I’ve lost touch with almost all of them over the years.  It would be nice to see them again.

If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you? Notebooks and pens, knitting needles and yarn, and sunblock.  Okay, so that’s three groups of things…

What is one book everyone should read? I don’t know that I can recommend a single book.  I’ve been known to recommend Stephen R. Donaldson’s Lord Foul’s Bane, but a lot of people can’t get past the rape that occurs within the first few chapters.  They refuse to try to understand why it’s necessary to the plot.  So I’ve kind of given up on book recommendations.

If you were a superhero what would your name be? When I was in college, majoring in journalism, I sometimes referred to myself as Ace Deadline.  That’s as good a name as any.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose? Ace Deadline’s superpower would have to be the ability to whip out deathless prose in the blink of an eye – and get paid well for it!

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? It varies.  Right now, I could go for some chocolate mint chip.

If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose? Louisa May Alcott.  I would enjoy comparing notes with her about making a living as a writer, then and now.

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? I make a pretty good breakfast burrito – scrambled eggs, leftover brown rice, salsa and shredded cheese in a multigrain tortilla.

Night owl, or early bird? Night owl, for sure.  I think people who say they love getting up at the crack of dawn are lying.

One food you would never eat? Liver.  Eww.  Thanks, but no.

Pet Peeves? I have a ton of writing-related pet peeves.  One of the biggest is books that haven’t been copy-edited properly.

Skittles or M&Ms? Today, almond M&Ms.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Urban Fantasy

Rating – P13G

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When I’m Queen of Publishing

by Lynne Cantwell

The publishing industry has been undergoing a major upheaval during the past several years.  For decades, publishers had held all the power over authors. They had put publishing contracts on a pedestal and convinced writers that the only way to be taken seriously is to have one, while simultaneously cutting back on hiring unknown authors and offering contracts with lots of zeroes to celebrities who can’t write their way out of a paper bag.

When I’m queen, things will be different.

First, I will wrest the publishing houses out of the hands of their corporate overlords – you know, the ones who insist that editors do more with less so that their CEOs and stockholders can rake in profits.

Then I will require that editors get back to editing.  Instead of having them spend their time chasing celebrities, they will have to find and nuture real writing talent.  I’ll also hire a ton of copy editors, because spelling and grammar mistakes annoy me.  Publishers will still be allowed to send books overseas to be scanned into digital files, but I will enact a stringent quality control requirement that the resulting digital files match their source material exactly, before they’re released as e-books.

Speaking of e-books: They are, of course, the wave of the future.  When I’m queen, publishers will have to compete against Kindle Direct Publishing and Smashwords the old-fashioned way – by dropping their prices, instead of colluding to keep prices artificially high.

And there will be no more of this attitude from publishers that indie authors are no-talent hacks.  A lot of indies have gone indie over the past couple of years not because they can’t write, but because publishers have made it so difficult for a new author to break into the business.

In addition, as queen, I will not tolerate vanity publishers – those companies that prey on the hopes and dreams of writers by overcharging them for substandard editing and marketing services.  Vanity publishers will have to clean up their act, or I will put them out of business.

I fully expect that industry executives will moan and groan about my reforms, and call me a socialist and worse.  But it won’t matter, because I’ll be queen.  They won’t have any choice but to obey me.  And maybe, eventually, they will come to understand that I’ve restructured the industry for their own good.

Publishers can blame Amazon for allowing just anybody to publish a book – and they do.  But indie publishing has become a juggernaut precisely because of the failings in the traditional publishers’ current business model.  Smashwords and Amazon simply tapped into the frustration of would-be authors who couldn’t get the time of day from the Big Six.  The resulting indie groundswell has revealed the publishing industry’s shaky foundations, and so they’re running scared.

You think they’re scared now?  Ha!  Just wait until I’m queen.


  1. Hi Krystal! Thanks for hosting me today!