Set your pocket watches! New Steampunk Fiction coming soon…

Contrary to popular belief that steampunk is dead, and thinking that maybe you missed the recent announcement on The Shared Desk or the Ministry website, I wanted to bring the news and the official launch date for the next project from Imagine That! Studios

10 April 2012

 

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Tee Morris Cooks Up Erotica ala DARK!

At the end of 2009, I was invited by The Chef to return to the Erotica ala Carte kitchens for another round of saucy, spicy fun. My menu items on this go-round were:

  • Female P.O.V.
  • Time travel
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Leather and Lace

The end result was “Dagger of the Mind” and my return to podcasting fiction. In light of so much talk and controversy concerning it and coupled with the way my year has been, I have been ready — so very ready — to do this.

But be warned…this story goes dark. WAY dark. Darker than I imagined I could ever go in my writing. This is not safe for work, kids, queasy dispositions, or those new to Pip’s podcast. I’d recommend working up to this one by listening to early episodes, and then having a listen to what the Chef describes as “the darkest we have ever gone…”

Something terrible is in Anna’s mind. Something alien that uses desire as a whip, but is it trying to drive her mad or is something even more nefarious going on?

This is my return to writing, and I can’t thank Pip enough for being my Muse (or Swift-Kick-in-the-Pants, whichever you prefer) in this setting. This story has been receiving a lot of traffic on Twitter, and I’ve been pretty humbled by the reactions. The inspiration behind this stems from one of my favorite movies of all time — Time After Time. (It’s on my AppleTV Wish List.) The film marked the directorial debut of Nicholas Meyer (who went on to direct Star Trek II and VI), and stars a young Malcolm McDowell as H.G. Wells and a young David Warner as Dr. John Leslie Stevenson whom we find out later is Jack the Ripper. I love time travel stories, but this one stands out as a favorite. I also wanted to try something different, something the EalC Kitchens had never seen before. I went into fetishes that haven remained unexplored, and then there was the Horror angle I dedicated in following. I was told in one harsh critique that “Horror and erotica simply do not mix…”

Someone didn’t tell Clive Barker that. Twisted as it is, Hellraiser is an incredibly sensual, erotic work. (And yes, terrifying.)

What has surprised me the most about this short story is that, for the first time as a writer, I’m discovering the possibilities. This world, these characters, and this situation are far from done. I’m thinking I may have my first erotic thriller in the works, and I am thrilled at where my ideas are leading me.

Oh my Muse, you are the dark, delicious, and saucy temptress…

And while people have been talking about it, I should point out that both my Erotica ala Carte dishes are eligible for the 2010 Parsec Awards. So if it hasn’t happened already please consider nominating:

If you shared your thoughts (good or bad) concerning my “Erotica ala Dark” on Twitter, thank you! Feel free to leave comments here, or go to the Erotica ala Carte site and share your review with the Head Chef.

And feel free to share this twisted tale on your own blog….if you dare….

Feeling the Love from across the pond!

In this picture are two people that I hold very dear in my life. One of them is my daughter. I will let you try and figure which one of them is her…

martyn_kiddo

The other “bloke” is Martyn Casserly, a journalist, an accomplished musician, and now he is an award-nominated podcaster with his one-minute Movie Mantras podcast. (Martyn is also a dad and a good mate to boot…although his opinions concerning the new Craig-Bond films and recent Doctor Who are completely wrong, but I digress…) With the many endeavors he had going, Martyn approached me this Spring to talk about an article he was penning on podcast authors. He was optimistic that Wired Magazine (UK) would pick up the column. So I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

This morning, I checked my Twitter stream and found this waiting for me:

My article about Podcast Authors is up on Wired ! @scottsigler, @sethharwood, @jchutchins, @teemonster all appear. http://bit.ly/Pv53w

Now live on the site, Wired Magagine (UK) picked up  “Novels by Podcast” where Martyn discusses how we authors are giving away our hard work in audio format for free. He also goes into the genesis of the podcast novel and why we do what we do.

“Giving away your stories isn’t a risk… it’s a competitive advantage,” explains Scott Sigler. “If a reader who’s never heard of me has $25 to spend and they’re looking at my book next to a Stephen King book, who are they going to choose? They take King. He’s a proven storyteller. But if King is $25 and my story is free they may try me out first. Why not? It’s no risk to them. If they like me, they buy me. If they don’t they buy King. Whatever happens the customer gets what the customer wants.”

It is a tight article covering successes and milestones; and while many who follow us on Twitter, on blogs, and through podcasts, may consider what we do “old hat” after four years, podcasting — and more importantly, podcasting fiction — is still a brand-spanking new concept to the mainstream market. Articles like Martyn’s and venues like Wired are getting the word out about what we are doing. That’s what is important here: getting people to listen.

Show Martyn appreciation by blogging about this article (and yep, I got it covered from the business perspective over at Imagine That!), syndicating his link in your feeds, dropping him comments on the article’s page, and talking it up on your podcasts. Let Wired know we’re paying attention and appreciate their support, and let Martyn know both on Twitter and on Wired that his words ring true.

Thanks, Martyn. Well done!

TeeMonster on the Move!

tee-jumpPhoto by Kreg Steppe

Hey, everyone! I’m closing in on a pretty busy chunk of time, and it all starts next week. As you can see in the photo, I attempted to jump to New Zealand, get a head start on the travel. The only problem is this picture is taken at CREATE South 2009 in Myrtle Beach, so that puts me by the Atlantic.

Oh yeah, and while I got some serious hang time in the photo…my distance was FAIL!

Before I get into the schedule, I got good news on All a Twitter: the manuscript is now at the publisher and currently being prepped for printing. You can pre-order the book but keep an eye on Imagine That! Studios for latest developments on my latest book concerning Social Media, and get ready — I got something else coming this summer.

Oh yeah, and I’m nearly done writing my smut for Chef Pip. I really am a naughty boy.

Now, here’s my upcoming schedule. This is where I will be:

May 22-25
Balticon 43 in Hunt Valley, MD

May 29-June 1
Conscription in Auckland, New Zealand

June 2
ANTI-Social Media, presented for LIANZA, 12pm-2pm
Room 420 Kate Edgar Information Commons Building #315
2 Alfred Street, University of Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand

All a Twitter, presented for LIANZA, 3pm-5pm
Room 420 Kate Edgar Information Commons Building #315
2 Alfred Street, University of Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand

June 3
Social Media Mainline Workshop for LIANZA, 9am-5pm
Computer Lab Room 433, Kate Edgar Information Commons Building #315
2 Alfred Street, University of Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand

June 6 (JUST ADDED!!!)
Podiobooks: The Best Audiobooks FOR FREE Online for Tararua District Library, 1pm-2pm
Dannevirke, New Zealand

June 15
ANTI-Social Media, presented for LIANZA, 12pm-2pm
Seminar Room, Reserve Bank of NZ
2 The Terrace
Report at ground floor reception no later than 11.45am
Wellington, New Zealand

All a Twitter, presented for LIANZA, 5pm-7pm
Conference Room, Department of Conservation
18-32 Manners Street
Report at ground floor reception no later than 4.45pm
Wellington, New Zealand

June 16
Social Media Mainline Workshop for LIANZA, 9am-5pm
SOLD OUT (Waiting List available)
Computer lab 510, Level 5, WelTec Wellington Campus
11-17 Church Street (off Boulcott Street)
Wellington, New Zealand

June 17

Speak Geek to Me, for Te Papa Tongarewa: The Museum of New Zealand, 10am-12pm
Location: TBA
Wellington, NZ

If you are in New Zealand and looking for a primer on Social Media, you can still sign-up for the Auckland workshop. I could not be more excited about this upcoming trip the Land of the Great White Cloud…

18.5 hours on a plane…AFTER I fly from DC to San Fran. Whoofah!

Next time we talk, I’ll be in the Southern Hemisphere. See you on the other side of the world!

The ONE Video Podcast Your Social Media Life Depends On…

Imagine That! Studios presents…

A FIVE-PART
EPIC MINISERIES
VIDEO PODCASTING
EVENT!

*explosions — screams — kittens and puppies*

Yes, Tee Morris premieres his seminar, ANTI-Social Media: What NOT to Do with Web 2.0, today! Running exclusively at Imagine That! Studios, Tee brings his opinions and commentary on Social Media askew in this…

FIVE-PART
EPIC MINISERIES
VIDEO PODCASTING
EVENT!

*explosions — screams — kittens and puppies*

…and critics are raving!

@PodcastJunky says:

“It’s coming from the house of awesome so it is nothing less than fabulous.”

@akaMonty raves:

“Tee Morris once again proves that he’s more than just a beefcake”

Social Media trendsetter Chris Brogan

…didn’t return my calls and I don’t know what the restraining order is all about.

@zard proclaims:

“Tee Morris is holding me at ransom unless I write this blurb. Send help!”

Podcasting’s Rich Sigfrit pushes you down, presses his foot against your trachea, and states:

“If you can’t be a good example, be a bad example: Tee Morris brings you Anti-Social Media.”

So you — yes, YOU — must stop whatever you’re doing, focus on the screen, and bask in the awesomeness that is this…

FIVE-PART
EPIC MINISERIES
VIDEO PODCASTING
EVENT!

*explosions — screams — kittens and puppies*

(And if you really dig what you’re seeing, the rest will be made available in installments at Imagine That! Studios. Thanks for playing along, everyone, and thank you, Jason, for the “Epic Miniseries” idea. Nice way to kick off a week!)

Write, or Go Home!

As you may know by now (provided you subscribe to Imagine That!, or follow either of my Twitter accounts), I’m working on a new book: All a Twitter, from Que Publishing. I’ve seen the tweets and also taken some heat from other DC consultants (and here’s a shock – these consultants are NOT on Twitter, but will give an opinion nevertheless…) concerning books about Twitter. I am still very optimistic, nay confident, nay cocky, that All a Twitter will be unlike the other books hitting the shelves between now and the summer.

For starters, my book will be written from a user’s perspective. Other titles (that I am aware of) are being written by people in Marketing, meaning the underlying intent of these books will be “This is the way you leverage Twitter in order to monitize your Social Networking experience.” I could go on a tear about that…another time. This isn’t what my rant is about. It’s concerning another quality of this future book.

All a Twitter will say on the cover “by Tee Morris” meaning the book will be written by me.

This is what my rant is about.

My revelation that people claiming to be writers but in fact are not writing books even though their names are on the cover, started at the beginning of the year. In a social setting over good food and good wine, the subject turned to how much work goes into a book. I pulled from my own experiences with the For Dummies crew, which really blew away those at the table. I told them the breakneck schedule of writing computer books was not uncommon. That was when I turned to another author, one I had just met that had written a book on Twitter. I asked the author “How long did it take you to write your book on Twitter?”

The author looked at me as if I had asked the question using the Lothlorien Elvish dialect. The (self-proclaimed) best-selling author scoffed and said, “I didn’t write the book.”

“But your name is on the title?” I asked.

“Yeah, it is, but I didn’t write the book.” The author then told me, with an alarming amount of pride, “I went to my network on Twitter and asked my followers what they wanted in the book. They wrote what they wanted, I took what they sent in, and put it together.”

Say what?!

Yes, I know, ghost writing is nothing new. Happens all the time. You have people helping others behind the scenes (as Wikipedia states with Alan Dean Foster writing the novelization of Star Wars, but handing credit to George Lucas), so I know that bylines may not always be as honest as they should be. Where I call “Shenanigans!” is when the books in question are “How To” books.

When you pick up a “How To” book and look at the title’s byline, you make a strong assumption if not conclusion that its author is an authority on the subject matter. How much confidence, then, would you have in an author if they were to tell you they farmed their work out to other experts, and then granted it a cursory eye once it came in? So let’s set the scenario: An author, based on their expertise and a proposal they have put together, is hired to write a book. Instead of researching their expertise further and actually writing the manuscript, these authors-under-contract have others write sections or chapters for them. They then shape the content in a fashion that fits their own needs, and then send off to the publisher the material under their name, not the individual who actually wrote the chapter.

Allright, that doesn’t make you a writer. That makes you an editor. An Acquisitions Editor. Barely. This was a similar process I followed as an Acquisitions Editor for Ben Bella Books’ So Say We All with one major difference: The individual chapters all carried the author’s bylines so you knew who wrote that particular essay.

When I agreed to write All a Twitter, Que Publishing sent me a list of guidelines and this is their standing on Citations:

Such use should be limited. Readers are paying for a book that shares your practical experience of the subject and they expect that the material in the book has not been published before.

“Readers are paying for a book that shares your practical experience…” Huh, what a concept!

The business behind “not-really-writing-a-book” I also have to wonder about. At Jeff Pulver’s Social Media Breakfast in Washington DC, I mentioned that I had just taken on All a Twitter. One of the attendees asked me “So you’re actually writing the book?” It turns out he was approached to write a chapter for another Twitter book being produced this year. His reply to the offer was “What’s in it for me?” A valid question, seeing as he wouldn’t have a byline in the final published work. The “author” of this Twitter guide didn’t reply to his query.

What. A. Shock.

These “smoke-and-mirror writers” take questionable business tactics one step further as, with byline under their belts, they bill themselves as experts and sell seminars to conventions, expos, and special events. Money – in some instances, big money – is now exchanging hands. I’m not sure who makes me angrier: the people claiming to be authors and taking credit for work that isn’t theirs, or the organizers of these events who don’t take a few minutes before planning their schedules to evaluate a speaker’s street cred. When you carry around on your blog, website, or resume a publishing credit, there is a measure of trust involved that a book carrying your name on it was written by you. I doubt if I could sleep soundly betraying that trust because I believe in the “Put Up or Shut Up” ethic. If a book is going to carry my name, I’m going to be the one held accountable for it so I’m going to make sure the words are truly my own.

Chances are, with this blogpost, I’ve effectively painted a bulls-eye on All a Twitter, and on anything else with my name on it. Critics, nay-sayers, and maybe a few guilty will hold my work under a magnifying glass. And you know something? I’m okay with that kind of attention because I can stand by what I write. Oh, I did ask for some help here and there, but you can be assured those who helped me out will be given salutations and citations.

You can also be assured that when a book says “by Tee Morris” on it, that is the truth. So keep an eye out for All a Twitter this summer. It’s written by Tee Morris.

Seriously. It is.