Why not Weather Child?

If you haven’t heard of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, you must not have been paying attention during the last year.

The topic of this post is not the Twilight series of books. You probably all ready have your opinion of them anyway. I am going to try to examine, however, an inadequacy (as I see it) in the publishing industry, and I will be using Twilight to try and make the point.

Ms. Meyer’s books have become a world wide phenomenon. There are four books in the series with the first all ready made into a hit movie and the second in production. Great for Ms. Meyer’s and her copious fans.

I am really not trying to lambast Ms. Meyer’s or her work in any way. However, now we’re getting to the meat of the issue. I am not a publisher, nor am I an editor or a literary agent. I am a voracious reader and will get new story content any (legal) way I can. I have long been a subscriber to podiobooks.com (and you should be too) and regularly haunt the literature category over at iTunes. I have heard some great stuff and some not so great stuff. I have many of my new favorite authors due to podcast novels. (Just an aside, but if you have similar patterns, see if your favorite podcasting author has any books in print, possibly from a small publisher, and consider making a purchase. You can also donate over at Podiobooks and you might consider doing so if you can.) I am always anxiously awaiting anything new from Tee Morris (Morevi- also my favorite hardcopy novel right now, you’ve got to read these books- and Billibub Baddings novels), Scott Sigler (Ancestor, Earthcore, The Rookie, Nocturnal, Infected, and Contagious) Phil Rossi (Cresent and Eden), Mur Lafferty (too many to mention, but check out the Heaven series and Playing for Keeps) and Philippa Ballantine (Chasing the Bard, Digital Magic – in print only so far – and, the reason for this posting, Weather Child). Most, if not all, of these authors will be happy to talk to you on twitter.

If I were a publisher, whatever my reasons might have been, Twilight never would have seen the light of day. (And before you ask, yes, I did read it and all of the sequels.) Now, from a publishing standpoint, this would have been a nightmare. These books have caught the attention of a generation of readers whether I appreciated them or not. And more importantly, whether I thought they would have sold or not. If I had passed on these books with the comment to the author along the lines of “There are enough vampire love stories in the world all ready,” I definitely would have missed out on the paycheck of a lifetime.

I have questioned time and again how books I feel are poorly written, have rehashed story lines, weak one and two dimensional characters and holes in the plots large enough for a whole pack of werewolves to trot through end up with publishing deals while works such as Weather Child, which through seven episodes (as of this moment) are deemed as unlikely to be able to garner an American audience as we are too nationalistic to enjoy a tail that takes place in New Zealand. (Yes, that is the reason Ms. Ballantine was given for the manuscript’s rejection.) Why does this happen? Do certain authors “make it” because they have more agressive agents, etc. or do they impress that one publisher that is going to champion their cause? I don’t know.

I seriously have no answers, I just see injustices. Why do I care? Well that’s simple: because it is keeping books like Weather Child from gracing my nightstand.

If you haven’t been listening to Weather Child, I strongly suggest you give it a listen. Ms. Ballantine and her minimal cast are doing a wonderful job keeping me entertained with a wonderfully dark story of magic, possession, intrigue and I sense romance in the first quarter of twentieth century New Zealand. You can find Weather Child at http://www.weatherchild.com,
http://www.pjballantine.com, iTunes or Podiobooks. After the first episode, I bet you’ll be thinking, “Sweet bacon! I need more!”

Comment Pages

There are 2 Comments to "Why not Weather Child?"

  • odin1eye says:

    Just an update, another of Ms. Ballantine’s work landed her on the desk of Ace Publishers. You will soon be able to purchase her newest novel at your local bookstore. Full story at http://www.pjballantine.com/2009/04/15/celebrate-good-times/ . Congratulations Pip!

  • Doc Coleman says:

    It has long been believed by many that publishers print the best books around. This isn’t true. Publishers buy and print stories that they think will sell. They may be good stories, or they may be re-worked claptrap that just happens to correspond to the latest craze among teen girls with plenty of excess currency and no impulse control. Just because it is in print doesn’t mean it is good.

    And sadly, just because it is good, doesn’t mean that it will be printed.

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