Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Revisions and Number Four

I’ve been working on revisions for the sequel to CassaStar, but it’s slow going. There are only so many hours in the day! I’m afraid I will have to cut back a bit on blogging if I hope to finish. So, if I’m not commenting as much, you’ll know why!

Since I’ve a big announcement planned for Friday, I wanted to post this today. Many of you had asked what was the deal with the author and the book, I Am Number Four, when I commented that I refuse to see this film.

The real author’s name is Jobie Hughes, and he was paid a whole $500 for his book. It was published by a book-packaging company called Full Fathom Five, created by James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces. (Remember him? The dude that lied to Oprah?)

Helen Ginger posted about the situation last November. For the full story, visit Straight From Hel.

So, I won’t be seeing I Am Number Four. Fortunately, Unknown comes out this Friday, and unless the critics bash it, I’ll go see that film instead.

See you all Friday!

77 comments:

JL Stratton said...

I'm feeling your pain, Brother! I don't know how some writers do it. I just cannot seem to muster up enough free time to run a blog, promote my work, keep up with social networking, work at my full-time job, and write new stuff.

But it sure is fun and rewarding, isn't it? Best of luck to you.

Liz Pezzuto said...

Keep at it! Juggling all of our other responsibilities and finding time to write is tough, and sometimes impossible.

Terrible about that book company. Creating books just to find the "next Harry Potter"? Totally lame. I'll be sure not to support anything that comes out of that company.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

JL, thanks!

Liz, I can't either. It's sad.

Laura Pauling said...

I don't think the writing community in general has responded well James Frey. It's too bad. Hope you get a lot of writing done!

Talli Roland said...

I know, Alex - I feel like I'm running furiously trying to keep up with everything these days!

I didn't know that about the book! Wow!

Univarn said...

I did revisions once. By the time I got back to the chapter I had paused on I wanted to kill all my characters... not the best of signs.

Mary Vaughn said...

Thanks for the reminder about Four.
Frey may someday *be written* as a victim in his own book.

Take the time you need to do things your way.

The Old Silly said...

Go for it - get that sequel done - priorities, hmm? ;)

Gail said...

Do what you must but rememeber to find the joy.

DEZMOND said...

I'll be watching I AM NUMBER FOUR, because I have to support my favourite Alex Pettyfer, but I do not support the publishing company which published the book the film is based on.

Margo Benson said...

Sending good thoughts re the revisions - Already I have to be very strict with myself over blogging vs writing time.

Angela Felsted said...

Good luck with your revisions. I had not heard that story about the book. Now I need to go and check it out.

mshatch said...

I don't have much interest in that film either, rather go see the Adjustment Bureau, or maybe Battle/Los Angeles.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

I don't understand why any writer would even bother with James Frey's little empire.

But, as for not seeing the movie, the way i understand it is, the writer actually gets a cut of the movie profit, so the way to support the writer is to actually see the movie.

I'll probably see it when it comes out on Blue Ray. Way too busy this weekend

Budd said...

this is a toughie. On the one hand, he is getting great compensation, on the other, his name is not associated with it, but lots of writers have nom de pluers.

I probably won't go so the movie for completely different reasons.

Karen Walker said...

Alex, I am glad you are paying attention to your energy and cutting back so you can focus on your writing. I wasn't sure how you did as much as you do in bloggydom. Sending you virtual hugs and good wishes in your revision process.
Karen

Bossy Betty said...

Get to work, Alex. We adore you.

Stephen Tremp said...

I remember that blog from Helen and commented on it. I'm mad as hell at the greed that is out there. Pays to have a great agent when shopping a book or a script.

Doo said...

I think unknown will be good.

However I'm still gonna see I am number for, sucks to hear that though :/

Cherie Reich said...

Good luck with revisions.

And, oh, wow, I didn't know that about the I AM NUMBER FOUR book. That's terrible!

Tony Benson said...

Good luck with the revisions. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel.

Balancing blogging time with life and writing time is a real challenge. I don't always get it right, and for the last week or so I haven't had enough writing time.

Paul Joseph said...

Good luck with your revisions, Alex. It is certainly understandable if the blog has takes a backseat. There are plenty of times when mine gets neglected, and I imagine the revision process will be one of them.

Jules said...

Like you have told me, "take care of things we will be here." Glad you told/linked to the real story about #4, think I will pass as well.
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Oh gosh, yes--I remember reading all about that. What a rip-off for the poor writer!

Best wishes with the writing!

Charles Gramlich said...

Oh wow, I didn't know the story behind "I am number 4." Thanks for the heads up.

Sangu said...

I'm not keen on I Am Number Four or the story behind it, either. Though I have to admit it doesn't sound like my kind of book/film anyway, so I wouldn't have gone to see it even if it hadn't had the whole James Frey debacle behind it.

gideon 86 said...

You can do it, Alex. You're a man of many talents... Juggling your time to be the best of them

It's a fine art we ALL need to learn. Keep at it, you're doing a great job.

I hate people that capitalize on other's talent. That is why I NEVER buy anything Martha Stewart.


Michael

Summer Ross said...

Alex- do what you need to do I'll still be around.

Melissa Bradley said...

Unfortunately, there are lots of machine pubs out there and writers fall prey to them all the time. Nothing they do is technically illegal and the best thing we can do is keep spreading the word.

Good luck with your revisions!

TS Hendrik said...

I forgot what I was going to comment about as this is the first time I've noticed the comment box refers to you as 'Captain Ninja Alex' and that's awesomely hilarious.

Lindsay said...

I'm not sure if I'll be seeing I Am Number Four either. I read the story behind the publishing machine behind it and it made me sad.

Good luck with the revisions.

Old Kitty said...

Big announcement for Friday?!!? Ooooh how exciting!!!! Yay!!!

Good luck with your revisions!!!

I've just read the post about Jobie Hughes over at Straight from Hel's blog. Not only did Mr Frey not put this author;s name on the book but one of the characters'!:-(
It's a nasty business all round!! Take care
x

Hannah Kincade said...

Ugh, revisions. Good luck!

I can see why you wouldn't see I Am Number Four. I look forward to your Unknown review. Ha!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Univarn, that's not a good sign!

Sezz, then just avoid the book.

Stephen, it's a warning to other writers not to fall into the same trap.

Tony, I haven't had any time lately.

Michael, good reminder about Stewart!

Melissa, spreading the word we can do!

Glad I could amuse you, TS!

Thanks everyone! I'll try to visit when I can...

Carol Kilgore said...

I, too, am hopeful for UNKNOWN. And I totally get the time and lack of time thing.

Holly Ruggiero said...

Revisions are kind cool, no? Have fun.

Pat Tillett said...

I'll miss your face, but I'm REALLY looking forward to the sequel! So do what you gotta do my friend!

Amy Wood said...

I can relate to never having enough time. Sending positive energy your way. Hope it gets better :)

Kate said...

Good grief - I'm shocked - my daughter's reading I am number 4 at the moment!

Can't wait for your announcement!

Lynda Young said...

I'm in the middle of revisions and I'm finding it slow going as well. I look up and suddenly the day is over! Waaaaaaa.

Anne R. Allen said...

Revisions come first. We'll miss you, but we all need to keep priorities straight. Try my slow blogging formula and blog once a week for a while--just let us know what day to come looking.

I blogged about the evils of James Frey's empire last November, but I didn't know that I Am Number 4 was a product of that slave-labor camp.

People fell for the scam because Frey pitched his program at places like Yale and Princeton and the students thought his program had been vetted.

I hope the word is getting out how horrible his sweatshop is--and how much money he's making off unpaid labor. He retains ALL rights to anything they write after they take the $250, so not only do they lose a book, but they lose all characters and plotlines in perpetuity. Somebody needs to drive a stake into that guy's heart. Oh, except I guess he doesn't have one.

More important than boycotting the film would be getting out the word about who really wrote the novel and broadcast Jobie Hughes name around. Then when he comes out with his own books, he'll have some name-recognition.

Beth Zimmerman said...

Proud of you for standing on your convictions! More of us need to do that with increasing frequency! :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I certainly understand about the time factor.
I had read the story about the author of #4 before and already told my daughter we wouldn't be going to see the movie.

M Pax said...

Good luck with the revisions. My copy of CassaStar is on the way. I'm looking forward to reading it. New shoes are coming with it, so I'm extra excited.

Hanny said...

Well, good on ya for making the smart choice, but we'll all miss you in the blogosphere. I often find myself spending more time blogging than writing. It's fun!

Ella said...

Priorities, YOU got them right~
Wow, that million pieces article, whoah. Be part of something, but no fame, maybe a percentage...sucks!

Frey is a piece of work, quite the art form of manipulation. If you sign the dotted line and are smart enough to read the fine print, then you know what you are in for!
Wonder if Jobie read the contract...I'd bet, NO!

Chuck said...

I am ready to see Unknown and don't care what the critics think...they're not me! This looks like a straight up high-tension Liam Neeson movie and that's all I need!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Pat, I'm doing it!

Anne, that's what I'm trying to do as well - spread the word.

MPax, thanks!!

Ella, sadly, I bet he didn't.

Thanks everyone for understanding!

DiscConnected said...

Cutting back on blogging?

I demand a full refund of my subscription fee!

Oh that's right....never mind!

Go with the paying gig, Alex!

Larry

WritingNut said...

I googled it after I read your post last time, and I was truly stunned... just horrible :(

Good luck with revisions! We'll miss you, but we know it happens :)

ali said...

Whoa. I hadn't heard that story. That SUCKS. That could happen to any of us! It's terrible to think of what sharks are out there. Man.

And hey, good luck on the revisions. We're rootin' for ya!

Karen Peterson said...

I'd heard something about the situation with I AM NUMBER FOUR but I didn't realize James Frey was involved. I would stay FAR away from anything to do with that guy!

Good luck with the revisions! Very exciting!

Arlee Bird said...

I know where you're coming from Alex about those hours in the day. I'm finding it difficult to keep up with comments and do all of the other things I want to do as well. It's a challenge and the Challenge hasn't even begun.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Disc!

Karen, I would as well.

Lee, that's an understatement!

Helen Ginger said...

Writing comes first, Alex. We'll understand if you cut back.

In a way, I hope the book, I Am Number Four (not necessarily the movie, though) is a best seller. Perhaps then Hughes could cut his ties with Frey and move on to his own work. He probably has a contract with Frey, though.

Hart Johnson said...

Thank you for spreading the word on this Number Four nonsense. I get so disgusted seeing authors treated so poorly and somebody else getting rich off of them--one of the reasons I'm still committed to the agent/traditional publishing model.

Good luck with your edits! (and we all understand--you'll be back!)

Colene Murphy said...

Good luck on finishing! Time off from blogging is often just a necessity to get work done. Do you have a name for the sequel yet?

Such a shame about the author. :(

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Helen I hope he moves on to big things.

Hart it is a shame.

And no name for the sequel yet!

Patricia A. Timms said...

Good luck on your revisions. I hope they come smoothly.

Thanks for the heads up on James Frey.

Similar to the story of The Edward Stratemeyer Syndicate which produced Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Bobbsey Twins, etc. The true authors signed their identity away never having the opportunity to get recognition for their work on those books until it was too late. The pay was very little as well.

If James Frey can get away with it then it's a shame for the dummies who come under his evil tricks. But hey, on the brighter side, when you sell your soul to the devil you get what you want. Hughes is now famous and being recognized even if through controversy. Who wouldn't want to at least consider publishing his next book? He got what he wanted: a foot in the door. And it was a mighty large foot. He got nothing this time around (just like movie stars) but the next time will likely be more profitable.

The best we can do for this author is keep his name attached to his work regardless of the pseudonym on the cover of that one story.

This is not all bad news. It's a reminder to play it smart and try not to get screwed in the process.

Happy revising.

Sommer Leigh said...

Good luck with revisions, Alex! I don't think you should worry about blog stuff until it is done.

I am also not seeing I am Number Four or reading the book. Shame too because it is totally up my alley. I think the movie looks awesome, but just when I think I might see it my conscience kicks in and I remember why I don't support things that are fundamentally wrong.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex .. gosh .. keep going & good luck - it will all come right in the end!!

That story about the author is terrible .. I've been reading a few posts on Writers Beware .. and these sort of packaging people.

Thanks for highlighting this .. Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Patricia, you're right - better be warned and make smart decisions.

Sommer, good for you!

Hilary, at least the word is getting out.

Jeffrey Beesler said...

Get on with the revisions already so we can get you back sooner, Alex!

N. R. Williams said...

That's terrible about the author. Good luck with those revisions. I will have some soon too.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Copyboy said...

I am with your on that one bro. That's amazing. 500 bucks! He deserved less. haha

Ciara said...

I hear ya, Alex. I've been pushing really hard to finish edits on one book, sub another, and plot another. Oh, while I'm keeping up on blogs. :)
Good luck with book II. I'm still super excited about the first one. :)

Major.Mack said...

Rental!

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Yikes! I don't know how that would work out for me, but I think at least I can say that I truly followed my dreams and that is a great example to my kiddles.

Happy friday, Alex!

♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥

Nebular said...

You won’t be seeing I Am Number Four? I certainly will. The trailer rocked.

Pat Tillett said...

I'm torn...
I want to see the movie, but I don't like to see people being screwed out of what is due to them.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Thanks Alex for your visit and comment. Yes it was a lovely place and of course I had fun.....That's what life's about.

Take care.
Yvonne,.

Ellie said...

I've just read Helen Ginger's post and have to say I'm both shocked and sadenned by what I read. $500 for a novel and not even having your name on the cover? Not good.

Good luck with the revisions, Alex. You can do it!

Julie Dao said...

Whaa--? For real? No, I don't know that story! I'm going over to that blog to read about it. Where have I been that I don't know that someone dared lie to Oprah?!

ediFanoB said...

Good luck with revisions Alex!
I'm sure you will do all that is necessary to present us (your readers) an awesome CassaStar sequel.

Maryann Miller said...

I know the pressure to finish a work in progress. Feeling the pinch, too. Hope your making good progress.

Patricia Stoltey said...

In my humble opinion, we all need to cut back on blog comments and get some writing done (except during the April A to Z Challenge, of course).

Jennie Bailey said...

Since I can hardly wait to read the sequel, I'm all for you taking time off from blogging to finish it!! Totally get it.

If you hadn't mentioned that about I Am Number Four, I never would have known. It's not well publicized and I think that's something that needs to be shared. I passed it on and I'm proud to say that no one I know has gone to see it this weekend. Not sure about the rest of the world, though.