I started writing as a kid, but never considered writing for publication until I was around 30 years old. Then it occurred to me that making a living as a writer wouldn't be a bad deal. I wrote four novels, went through numerous workshops and critique groups, and worked hard to improve my writing skills. In 2005, I attended the Viable Paradise workshop in beautiful Martha's Vineyard. It was probably the single most influential, helpful writing-related event I've experienced.
That same year, I entered my novel in a contest for which first-place was a hardcover contract. I won! The publisher wanted to work with an agent, though, so I made a list of the ten most relevant agents for the genre and queried them. That's when I found out that getting an agent when you already have a publishing contract is pretty easy. The Kinshield Legacy was my first published novel.
At the five-year mark, they reverted rights back to me, and so I self-published it under the imprint name Peach Orchard Press, to make it available in ebook and paperback.
In the late 1990s, I was a contributing author for a tech book on Seagate Crystal Reports 7. I've also been writing professionally for software companies for about thirteen years, with a nine-year break to write software (C++). Writing software is fun, but technical writing is less stressful.
K.C. May is a pseudonym. I'm also trying my hand at romance, writing under the name Alane Hudson.
Just wanted to give a quick shout out for my favorite piece of writing software, WriteItNow! If you want an editor with a built-in way to keep notes about characters, events, locations, ideas and even submissions, this is it! When you've written your manuscript, you can export it to text, html, pdf or rtf and import it to your favorite word processor or desktop publisher to prepare for publication. It's everything I've wanted in an editor and more! It even helps you keep track of daily word count targets. Try the demo. Seriously. It's that good.
Here are some of the sites where I've been interviewed or featured or wrote a guest post:
November 12, 2010 - I was one of three guest authors on Book Chatter. Check it out! http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/10817143
DRM (or Digital Rights Management) refers to the encryption that is often applied to electronic media to prevent customers from sharing the files they've purchased, or to keep them from using the files on any but the particular device that the seller wants them to use. The principle is the same, whether it's DRM-restrictions on a music file, a movie DVD, or an ebook. The purported purpose is to protect the copyright—to prevent the purchaser from engaging in misuse of the file, whether it's uploading it to a pirate site or sharing it with Grandma.
The effect of DRM is to alienate the customers, by limiting their fair use of the media, by making it hard to archive their purchases for safekeeping, and by generally getting in their way and treating them like would-be criminals. That's my view, and I believe that many of my fellow writers share it.
I've come to hate DRM, both as an author hoping to reach readers, and as a
customer of books or music or movies hoping to use my purchases in the way that
best suits my legitimate purposes. Therefore, whenever I have the choice, my
ebooks will be available for purchase or download DRM-free.*
* I published The Kinshield Legacy for the Kindle without fully understanding what DRM was. Unfortunately, this cannot be changed once the book is published. Check out my pledge:
If you buy one of my ebooks from a store that uses DRM, and you can't download or read the book on your chosen device—whether it's the reader you originally bought it for or another—I want to help. Email me, preferably with some evidence of your purchase, and I will provide you with a copy that works for you. If you want to convert the file to work on a different device, feel free. I trust you to honor the copyright and not share the file indiscriminately. I figure if I treat you with respect, you'll respect my need to earn a living, so I can continue to write. And you'll get to read my book and own a copy of it, which was the whole point to begin with.
Does this mean I support the notion of readers downloading my books from a torrent site for free? No, I really don't. My books are inexpensive and provide hours of what's hopefully worthwhile entertainment. They cost less than a 2-hour movie rental, a meal at McDonald's, or a fancy coffee drink. Each book takes me months, sometimes years to write in my spare time. Writers have bills to pay, just like everyone else. So please don't steal books.
adapted with permission from Jeffrey A. Carver