David is back to update us on his Crow Man book world. He’s had some problems and we discuss what he’s doing to help that and thoughts on what any author could do.
He also would like to get a book of short stories based in his Crow Man world and offers any author that would like to participate in a short story compilation to get in contact with him
raedvdr at netscape.net (replace at with @)
To hear a bit from one of his Crow books, listen to the next episode 83C where he reads a chapter from his latest book.
[00:00:46] Stephen: All right. Welcome to episode 83 of discovered words. This is the second interview with David Ray. He was on early on in the podcast and he’s come back to give us a little update about his Crow [00:01:00] series. We talk a little bit about issues faced. Don’t really come up with a good solution to it though. We do have a good talk.
David also is offering anyone that would like to write in his Crow world that has read the books and enjoys the settings and joys of the character. And you may have an idea for a story, a short story. Anybody that’s interested can get ahold of him. I’ll put his, uh, website on the show notes. And if you write a short story, he’ll curate them to compile into a short story collection.
So if you’re looking for a collection to get into a, this could be it, check out his book and you might find something. You really enjoy and would like to be a part of, so it’s nice, David, Doffer this? Check it out. If you’re an author looking for some world to write in, I want to wish everybody a Merry Christmas.
If you’ve noticed there’ve been two episodes coming out each week and. Particular episode [00:02:00] has the interview and then a separate episode with a chapter read, which I’ve been doing with some of the authors who would like to do that. So it ends up being three, four episodes per week. That’s because I’ve had so many people want to be on so many people want to get back on so many people wanting to read their chapters.
Everything’s gotten very busy with discovered wordsmith. So I hope you’re enjoying things. Uh, let me ask if you are listening to it and enjoy. Go check out the author’s books, give them some love. They work really hard to get these books out. And that’s one of the issues David and I talk about is how hard it is to get a book out and make some money.
You might spend a hundred hours on it and make a hundred dollars off of it. If you’re like. So the authors, the reason I wanted to do this is to help authors that are struggling authors that are trying to figure out how to make a, make some money with selling books and entertaining people [00:03:00] by doing that, by letting their create creative urges and juices flow.
Okay. There you go. Um, but that would help a lot and to help the podcast, if you’re listening to it, that’s great. Let somebody else know. That, Hey, check this podcast out. Uh, listen to some of these authors and read their books. And if you’re, if you go to your podcast, Provider the app, uh, apple, wherever it is, give us a thumbs up, give us some stars, give us a review.
It would help a lot. The more reviews a podcast gets, the easier it is to be discovered. The easier we are to be discovered, the more people will listen and the more people will, uh, find some books that they want to read. It’s a, win-win, uh, you know, there’s a lot of readers out there looking for the next new book.
They like the next author that they really enjoy in this. But if they don’t find the podcast, they’re not going to find that author. So please just take a moment, give us a review and some stars and a thumbs [00:04:00] up in a lake or whatever it happens to be. Uh, it would be very much appreciated, especially the holidays, right?
That’s an easy thing to give. So anyway, uh, here is David and stick around for the chapter. Read of his book. Uh, when we’re done with the interview, it’ll be a separate podcast. David welcome back to the podcast. It’s good to see your face at this time now that we got connected. So tell us a little bit about how things are going with Chromat.
[00:04:28] David: So Groman is going well, it’s expanded some port to become part of the book seen to Crotona. So no, and three probate is in the works doing quite well. Three quarters of the way through, and I’m excited for it. I think that, I think I’m liking where it’s going. Yeah. And I think if you like cruel, [00:05:00] man, I think you will very much as well.
I think it really expands the universe that we S we started to create this, this dark world. The world is CA the sun has kept count. It expands the understanding of what’s going on there and why it’s happening and what the fates are. It also explores the world where the 12 priests of darkness are constantly reincarnated and they investigate that in.
Whether it being reincarnated as a blessing or a curse, particularly if you’re being reincarnated by the darks, but forced to serve them for Tana to be. But it also starts to look at how you can escape from this hell. And that really carries over. And to a groupie with the opening scene as the high [00:06:00] priest of darkness burning has a daughter and has a conversation to stop our body being ripped apart by Jacko and has had to be with God about who’s really to blame for
[00:06:13] Stephen: Fort scoring, at least your second book.
Did you see an increase again in sales, on your first book? I hear that happens quite often.
[00:06:22] David: I did see some yes, absolutely. But what I would say is that the traction not a hide with the first book was markedly more prominent than it than with the first book. We actually had a release party online. If we’d been better planned on the first book, maybe we would have done that too, but it’s.
We’ve got a release party arranged. Oh, there’s a plan. Now we were in the pandemic. And when you fought, we had to do so in a, in a funny kind of, we cruel mine suffered from not having a release with us crew tower [00:07:00] as does the time for release. And there was really a lot of entries at the thing and the feedback there.
It was really, when are we getting book three, which is feedback. You want people to be enjoying your work and to be discussing it and looking forward to engaging at basically just gating it really. And I see what this is about how you can set it. There was a suggestion, Steven, and I might actually meet this suggestion to you that I, while they’re waiting for book the, could we get some short stories or something?
I hate the mover. I threw that suggestion back at them and said, I would be happy to QA short story collection set and the, the, the crew tower world. And I would be happy to have any volunteers. That wanted to be part of that. If anyone that is out there yourself included would like, take me up on [00:08:00] that offer.
I think that would be really quite an exciting thing to do, to have, and
[00:08:05] Stephen: Amazon did this for a while. They called it Amazon worlds. The, where you could, as an author have put your world into here and other people can write in that. I think that’s great. And actually, that’s something I’ve talked to a couple of other authors about, I think that’s pretty cool because you get a totally different perspective.
Maybe. Things you didn’t even think about for your own characters or stories or world or situations. I think that was that’s pretty cool. I’ll make sure to make a note of that. Well,
[00:08:31] David: even like the writing world though, it’s boss also quite, it’s fairly connected and then there’s people who’ve written short stories that I know you can just shift the set in there.
That could be in my world. And I think it would be great. I’ve done collaborative work in the past, and I really love it. Mostly with my nieces. They’re quite a bit younger than me. And then we’ve done [00:09:00] that collaborative work that we’ve had published online and various forums and things. And there’s a real buzz that you get from seeing these kids in the note, kids now.
Getting stuff and say, look, this is something you can do.
[00:09:18] Stephen: And was this collaborative writing in your pro world or was it something else?
[00:09:24] David: Nope. Nope. So basically they have written short stories and I said to them, this are really good short stories. Have you felt by publishing them? Here’s what we could do is if, if we, if we make this 200 word.
I guarantee it or go on looking, find someplace to get on. Okay. So my role really was just as the editor to prune 2000 to 200 and to look at what was, what the story was and the, I didn’t do all of it. [00:10:00] They signed it off and said, yeah, that’s fine. It was recorded on various different websites. And of course, the great thing about flash fiction is that the story, the same story can be 50 words, a hundred words, 200 words, as long as some done a thousand, I guess it still counts as flashback.
And so they’ve been in a few places with these stories. Yeah, it’s great fun.
[00:10:25] Stephen: Besides looking at doing some short stories and some of the things you mentioned, you didn’t really get a release party for the Crow. So now that you’ve got two books out, what are some of the things you’re doing to market and get the book out there and get the word out?
[00:10:39] David: So I have to confess I’m not the world’s biggest market. I think in terms of marketing, the big things are that know that we’re not in lockdown. Um, I hope to be able to attain some book fairs and Cami coordinator not actually sell through that. I think podcasts. So a good way to do it and [00:11:00] really another good way actually is if you do have submissions successful permissions onto these online forums, that people go, sorry.
That’s okay. Sorry, go ahead. What else are you? Have you done? And. Also, there’s a better promotion on Twitter. I do in someone Facebook, but I’m not, I do work full time, so it’s not something I can do an awful lot. Often. I still think of this as a hobby. So I’m not really looking to not looking to invest into this convert into a major income stream.
But having said that, I think, eh, There are things you probably you’re better placed to know how to mark than I am. I’m not an expert on it by any means you can, you can send it to sites and review sites. And sometimes you get sales from that as [00:12:00] well. Sometimes not as many as you’d think, but you know, LA July, I got my half yearly check-in for it.
And it was enough to pay for a whole town room away for the night. And that was nice little treat that we wouldn’t perhaps now the rise of hard again, I think it’s this idea of building track and building your credibility. Right. If you’ve got one book out on your own, right. Hard to market, whereas if you’ve got three, then there’s a sense of, yeah, this guy is a right.
This, guy’s got a story. I’m not going to read this story and then he’s going to yeah. I never going to hear from him. We get to see books here. If I like I can go on and read more, he’s going to be writing. So I think that’s also very important and nothing that a lot of it is also by word of mouth that people read your book.
And [00:13:00] actually, so today with a friend who had been reading Chromat and he was telling me his perspective on it, and it was really interesting to hear.
It’s a bit of a buzz to hear that someone is, has been reading your book and fought the, thank you. He felt there wasn’t enough sex in it, or no, no, that’s not true. He said that it was quite intense pain and some of the relationships and they kept expecting there to be say, I still didn’t the same
[00:13:36] Stephen: with your writing.
Now that you’re on the third book, are you doing anything different or what do you feel you’ve learned? And now that you’re on the third book.
[00:13:45] David: So I think actually in both two boots, when a blue bike on them, there’s things that I think, oh, maybe I should have changed this bet. Maybe I should have changed that.
But I think what I’ve learned is this, there’s no rush. [00:14:00] Make sure that the book is where you want it to be. And sometimes. You write and you feel that a book has to be a certain lane or certain size, and you’re like, oh, I don’t know for what and a, but if you take things out that are necessary and make the boot a little bit, that writing is still there and you can use it in other parts and other stations.
If you’re right, we’re talking about short stories that are, but I’ve taken out already from. The first two books that could easily become part of a short story.
[00:14:38] Stephen: I agree. It is hard to pull your own stuff out because you wrote it and you want to keep it all. But I’ve been wanting to write a series of stories like goosebumps, like kids, goosebumps book, where they’re just a little bit scary for the young kids, but more silly, goofy.
And I wrote a couple of stories and I’m reading these gumball. Oh my gosh. These [00:15:00] are like so dark. I can’t give these out to like fourth and fifth graders. No, one’s going to read them. So I saved what I had, like a snapshot and then I cut out like the darkest stuff and rewrote it. So it’s more lighthearted and it works much better for middle grade.
So you gotta do what’s best for the story and your audience. Definitely.
[00:15:24] David: Indeed. And sometimes there’s interesting things that come out when you talk to people. So one of the things that came out, one of the critics of crew man felt it didn’t have enough female voices in it. And that the female characters were sufficiently prominent.
I would dispute that. And when I, when I was at the book launch, I mentioned this, the audience. My publisher was who as a woman was quite insane, but I said [00:16:00] no quibble about whether it meant meets this past or amended it. Let’s just see how can I meet female voices, eh, more prominent and my writing. Cause I would like to do that.
I thought I’d done it, but there’s no denying as you can, as you can see face to face. I’m male on PLM stale. So I can fall into these adders. So I’d like to do base. And the suggestion that came back was female point of views and to your right. And it was just like a light bulb went on. Brilliant idea. So I’ve included female points of view in my writing, and it’s been of great benefit to me.
It’s helped me. The stories on further and quicker and give a day to it that I didn’t, I don’t think it was necessarily [00:17:00] missing from other books, but was not as prominent. So having dynamics are entirely about women and how they cheat each other and how they judge each other and women on any NICET teach other than may not.
So it’s actually been quite interesting to have this point of view from this, from these characters, from these female characters and this being nice.
[00:17:27] Stephen: And now I remember reading about Stephen King when he was writing Carrie, which was his first big book and how he basically said I am not a teenage girl.
I don’t know anything about this by threw it away. But Tabitha pulls out of the trash and helped. Get all the parts, right? So it sounded and felt like it was from female. And I know as you said, we’re both a similar age and we’re both white males, so it can be hard to write from a female perspective and everyone starts yelling, Hey, you need to do this.
So when you do it, they’re like, you’re not a female. How do you know about that? [00:18:00] So there’s a tricky balance and you’ll always get those detractors mad at you one way or the other, right. What have you done to help make sure you’re getting the voice, right? Your wife, reading your nieces, or what are you doing?
[00:18:13] David: That’s a really good question. And alpha readers and beta readers are a great resource that you definitely should take. I also think that in a funny kind of way, I do not have to justify right. In a female voice and I don’t need to have my female be voiced to be on a Gordon or famous. Yeah, that maybe sounds a bit harsh, but I don’t feel that it’s my job as a writer to produce a playmate about the ales of, um, the patriarchy and how we can rate women in Crow bay is an old elderly woman.
She is fairly religious, she’s quite judgmental. She’s PR she’s fairly [00:19:00] profession in the law of. Fabulous. Don’t have to, like, they just have to recognize that as a genuine email, you want to call it a stereotype. That’s biting. I can live with that, but it’s genuine and it’s real. And it’s my experience. And it’s my recollection and my understanding of someone like my dear granny, who had lots of fall of no doubt about it, but that she was a real person wars.
I’m not apologizing for writing from that. And from the main man, he said my understanding of food I’m around women all the time. I’m sure you are as well. I wish I was part of a patriarchy put them down. So. Maybe I should,
[00:19:49] Stephen: but I know for me, because I write middle grade, I’ve got a middle grade girls age wise in there along with boys and we’ve got teachers, I’ve got parents, I’ve [00:20:00] got men and women and girls and boys.
Maybe I’m not right. And maybe it doesn’t come across right. Sometimes, but I just treat them as characters just because it’s a girl doesn’t mean she’s going to be humble and submissive and weak, but I also don’t feel the need to promote. Women power them don’t take that wrong. Oh my gosh, she’s down against women, but my books aren’t about promoting feminism or women, a gay breaking the glass ceiling or any of that.
That’s just not what my books are about. And it would be this ingenuous to write that way.
[00:20:36] David: If you hadn’t gone along that lane, what you’re actually doing, in my opinion, it’s your toe. You’re starting to write about exceptionalism. Yeah. And I think that’s not the best week to. Women and say, oh, y’all should be like Margaret Thatcher, or you should all be like Beyonce or you should all be like that.
It would be it’s a bit [00:21:00] like if you were turning all your male characters and all of them were Navy seals and all of your male characters were sports jokes, or all of your male characters were successful. Businessman called bleak Carlington and all the rest of it. Stereotyping is not unique to a woman by any means.
And if the greater diversity that you have. So if you think of the characters and led to chip that you love, it’s not the winners, it’s not the winners. You don’t in comic books. It’s the winners. You like, you love Superman and Batman. We’re talking about. Something else. We’re talking about a consideration of the human condition.
Okay. Maybe I did that. Just some kinds of pompousness, but that’s what we do. And the human condition for the vast majority of. Isn’t that I’m going [00:22:00] to live in an apartment overlooking times square in Manhattan, because the majority of us aren’t going to do that. It’s still time for us. Can I see times square your
[00:22:12] Stephen: window?
That’s Ohio. We’re pretty far away country,
[00:22:18] David: but you know what? No, there are places for that. And there’s nothing wrong with reading John Gresham and all these high powered lawyers and all the rest. But you know, that’s not really, can you, I can’t even really remember off the top of my head, any John Gresham characters.
Nevermind. One sec. Take you remember plenty of the fathers and that you liked them because of who they are. Uh, and how just ordinary people have done things that are extraordinary, perhaps you don’t really know it.
[00:22:56] Stephen: Right. And that’s the thing I just don’t, I’m not trying [00:23:00] to promote an agenda one way or the other that.
Women or men are stronger, not stronger or whatever, because it minds a fantasy world and they, some of them know magic and some don’t and I’ve got men and women with magic and I’ve got men and women, uh, that are the most powerful magicians, uh, across the board. In fact, in my book, the magic council is the leader of the magic council is a woman.
And I didn’t make that choice. I better put a woman in here and make her powerful, so people don’t get upset. It was just the character in my head. W when it was forming in my head and I’m writing it, it was a woman and it just fit. And the name came and the mannerisms and all that, it was just that’s who she is.
So I think that’s more important. It’s just men, women leaders, not leaders, boys, girls, whatever, just they’re treated the same across the board. That’s where we’re trying to get to anyway. So
[00:23:56] David: in my boots, but my boots. Promoting [00:24:00] mysogeny that’s not seen, that’s just the way things should happen. It’s saying this is part of the horror, the way these people are treated because of their gender.
And, uh, this is things that we need to look at and understand and overcome. So I guess that there’s a bit of an agenda and maybe there’s a bit more polemic than I really thought,
[00:24:24] Stephen: but sometimes though, and I’ve had trouble with this with some people. If you have a character who is, let’s say one of the KU Klux, Klan, white racist, who clicks Clinton.
And there they treat people poorly based on their skin color. If you put that character in your book, you’re putting them in there because that’s part of the world. You want that character in there, but then some people get upset. Like you’re promoting it, you’re pushing your agenda and that’s not it.
Sometimes you have to have that character to provide the counterpoint to what your other characters are, your heroes or what you’re trying to get across. And if you didn’t have [00:25:00] some of that, Maybe your particular story needs it. I’m not saying everybody should throw KU Klux Klan members in their books because hopefully they all end poorly for the KKK members.
But, uh, I think it needs looked at as the story, not just, oh, that character and people get upset about that sometimes.
[00:25:20] David: Yes they do. And it’s always worth listening to what they say and reflect on it. And. Is there some truth in that and cannot write better in the future that address that I think sometimes somebody says, oh, my my publisher was really mad for no votes.
If they felt this book was a bit, the woman went really represented. And I understand where she’s coming from too, that, um, that, that is the sense of judgment about things. But you need to just need to step back from that and say, so. What would, [00:26:00] how could I have done this better in a way that would have incorporated that and made it better and yeah, incorporating a female point of view more in particularly in cruel bait as being something.
I’ll take that on board. Now I’ll bring on board. If you say something wrong and it’s famous, something. And they see, oh, that was a faint. Then you say, let me reflect on, let me do bad and move on and improve and be a better person. And not all of us want to do. And you don’t need to as if you were going to be rock jacket and there are still people that duty of care, you will find faints of sake, sexism and racism in those boots.
Not to excuse in any way. It does. You have to look at that from the understanding of the individual that was right in that and move on and see [00:27:00] what was good about that book and Fort Walton. Let’s see huckleberry Finn. That’s probably a better example because millions of people still love huckleberry Finn and read it every year and they don’t go all that.
Mark Twain. I don’t know about him. It’s about five races and you said. He certainly was not the kind of man that would be wearing a clue growth, but he has understanding of what was appropriate to ways to think about peoples of other races and car loans is not the same as you. And I knew we would never use buying, which if that, and we would never think of, of other people from other races and not, we only.
Our understanding of these issues is better. We should be not condemning other people about that.
[00:27:54] Stephen: And my point, and I know people would get on me because, Hey, you’re a white guy. You can’t [00:28:00] say those things about huckleberry Finn. In particular. I talked about that example before, but a couple of things to remember is number one, that was the world, how it existed and that.
So he was writing what the world was like. That if we write now about people who don’t want to take the vaccine in a hundred, 150 years, are people going to be condemning our book? Because we were writing poorly about people that didn’t take the vaccine, same type of thing. Number two, we’re told as authors write what people want to read at that time, since it was about that world.
And that’s what people read. If he was writing about it differently, they might’ve looked at what the heck is this, and they wouldn’t have bought it. And in
[00:28:43] David: defense of, of mark Twain does some fair, these racial stereotypes and in fairly subtle ways, probably not enough. Cause you see, I’m not black. I can’t see her things.
Right. So there’s [00:29:00] something about that. When you read about the. Th they remain on Murderball they’re misunderstood. The no understood, but that is a respect for people of color in this. Yeah, absolutely. There’s also a bit of, there is also admiration
[00:29:21] Stephen: for them as well. Coarse language and words we would not use nowadays.
They were thought differently at that time. But huckleberry himself is friends with. Um, he’s, doesn’t treat them so much as an underlaying, as he does a friend. And I think that’s missed sometimes because of the language or because of him calling him slave Jim, sometimes it’s, that was a common way of talking and all that.
If mark Twain wrote it differently, people might’ve condemned it at that time because who does he think he is? And not saying he should, whatever, then that’s a whole nother debate, [00:30:00] but it’s 150 years ago. Point is it’s difficult and sometimes you have to make choices. And like you said, I don’t want to condemn stuff.
That’s that old, take it in context of the time period.
[00:30:14] David: And there probably is stuff from that time period. If you read them, we would say stuff, context. This is not something I’m going to hear. I can’t think of any examples. Just know Brooke Caplin comes close, comes close stuff about the white man’s burden and stuff.
Like, in fact it doesn’t come close, stuff like that. I just find a faint. And this
[00:30:38] Stephen: sounds snarky. It’s really not. But you change cultural perception. If Disney made a huckleberry Finn cartoon, they would change it. So it doesn’t have all that offensiveness. And that’s the story. People would remember more, we’ve got jungle book and the Disney jungle book doesn’t really have the racism that [00:31:00] some of the other, the real books do.
[00:31:03] David: The jungle book has a lot of racism. And I think it’s more, some of these portray. So there’s actually quite a bit of racism in chem, but it’s more observed than not Julie central to the story. It’s an observed racism, but yeah, I do struggle quite a bit with couple.
[00:31:27] Stephen: And like you said, it’s something we just got to keep trying to improve on.
Neither one of us, it sounds like it’s trying to talk down to anybody else. Men, women, black, white, uh, Asian south American. It doesn’t matter. I think some people just need to express their thoughts without turning to anger and violence. That’s my biggest problem. I’m willing to talk and listen. And like you said, improve, okay.
Before we get going here, because it’s always fun to chat and talk. I love what you offered about Chrome and I’ll put the word out about [00:32:00] that. But do you have any last minute advice for authors who have been trying to get their first book out now, they’re looking at you cause you’re getting your third book.
[00:32:10] David: I think one of the things, and you’re probably the same. When you look back on your writing as a whole, I approached my writing to begin with something I did for my sale, which is good and really excellent. Something that I’m really happy about, that this for most part. Well, you have to remember. To be published.
You have to write for somebody else and you have to take what you’ve written and turn it into a narrative, a story that you’re directing somebody. And therefore you’ve got to think very carefully about who you want that story to be [00:33:00] for. And for that story. Yeah. And, and between writing crew, man, I’ve been involved in another project.
It’s, it’s a retailing of the story of Cupid and psyche around late Victorian earlier at Wharton turn of the century, say in upper class, England, and a, it involves traveling across Europe and to Turkey and things. And it took me a long time. Love the story from the beginning and. Everything flow, really not general, blah, blah, blah.
And Peter readers love it. And I got an editor and they said, so you’re, you’ve told me that your book is steam punk. Your book’s not really steam punk. It’s just got elements of steam punk, make the steam punk more prominent in your, in the book. And don’t send them to Turkey, just invent a land and send them there.
And I thought really hard [00:34:00] about it. And then I realized that she’s right, the book hasn’t steam and the audience, the people I’m writing this book for is no for steam punk. And then having thought that through and realized that I had to re or I’m in the process of redrafting that whole book for the people.
I want to tell a story and the. Realizing that these are the people that I want to speak for a guest really fought that comes down to as know your Jordan, which is easier said than done, particularly friends. We often trace, I discovered that my book is actually fantasy of minors who even existed. All of the inspirations for the story I’m struggling [00:35:00] now, but oh gosh, I’m on the spot here.
And I’m saying he helped me out. So Michael Moore called Jane Austin, even though that’s a comedy of Monash, a fantasy of monitoring. All of these people that I guess Phillip Dorman could be included as a fantasy of manners. It’s not the book really isn’t about that blends and demons. It’s about something else.
It’s about that. Creating this society. It’s a fantasy society rather than a fun to see technology. Maybe I should Google lesson tell you, it says on the Google, you can do it later. No, we know your audience, know your chain, or know exactly what you’re going to put. You’re going to do no exactly for books.
You are coping. I know Jonathan strange. And Mr. Norrell was one of the know exactly for the books that you think you should stand next [00:36:00] to on the bookshelf and write into that. Or if you’ve not done it yet, start thinking about now and rewrite your books so that they actually sit in exactly where you want them to do.
If it means, oh no, I really wanted this book. I really wanted to be rich and famous already and wants to retire. Don’t worry about that because the likelihood is you’re never going to be famous. Just make your book as good as you can and get people that you think will love it.
[00:36:29] Stephen: Agreed. I like that. Great.
All right, David, it’s been wonderful catching up to you talking to you today. I appreciate all the wisdom and the discussion that was as a good talk. I like that. Super.
[00:36:43] David: Thank you very much.