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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Vicki's Angelfish

So many people have asked me about the angelfish I raise that I've decided to begin a new blog for animal and fish lovers. The name is Vicki's Angelfish and I hope you'll pop in today to see my first post at www.vickisangelfish.blogspot.com.

My fish keeping inspired scenes in my Black Swamp Mysteries series, in which Vicki Boyd and Dylan Maguire are angelfish breeders--which is actually a front for their real jobs as CIA operatives. I thought most folks' eyes would glaze over when they heard Vicki or Dylan speak of their angelfish business, which was perfect for two people who wanted to fly under the radar.

But in reality, each time I appeared for a talk or signing, I was asked about the angelfish. And the truth is, each time I wrote about them, my own angelfish would begin spawning again. The result has been a mushrooming little industry that holds a great deal of fascination for many. (Shown here is a rare blue angel and an even more rare Siamese angel in the background. All fish shown in my blogs are from my own collection.)

So if you'd like a peek into a relaxing world, come along with me and get to know the personalities, traumas and lifetimes of my angelfish. Along the way, you'll meet my rescue dogs, hear of their stories, and enter a world you won't soon forget.

Come along with me to Vicki's Angelfish... And be sure and sign up for notices when the blog is updated, as the mailing list is separate for the angelfish!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

What Does He Have That I Don't Have?

Last week I read a fascinating chapter by Spencer Horn on his philosophy of taking responsibility for our own actions. The chapter was included in a book entitled Speakers on Life which also included Jack Canfield and others.

As I read it, I realized this was the difference between the average person and the hero in a book.

The average person may lament over current struggles or circumstances. They might try to figure out where things went wrong - whether it's a relationship, health, work conditions, home environment, volunteer activities, car problems, or a myriad of other things that tend to go wrong.

But the hero of a book never looks back. They don't take the time to analyze. They don't point fingers at other people and try to fix the blame on anyone other than themselves. They don't claim the Victim Mantle.

The hero acknowledges there's a problem; he or she doesn't attempt to stick their head in the sand. They also take responsibility for their own actions and admit when they've said or done the wrong thing.

Once they have acknowledged the problem and taken responsibility, they look at ways to make things right. They take action. Instead of wasting their energy agonizing over their circumstances, they move on. They look at the cards that Life has dealt them and they determine to make the best of things with what they've got.

They may not always be right. Their efforts don't always succeed. But they keep moving. They keep trying. They don't give up.

What else makes a hero?

And if you're interested in reading this wonderful article by Spencer Horn, follow him on Twitter @SpencerHorn and he'll send you the free eBook!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Can You Write Too Much?

A week ago, I was at a luncheon when one of the readers present said she would not read a book from an author who wrote more than one book every year or two. Her reason: if they write books too quickly, how good can it really be?

I had never heard this theory before and it led to some thoughts on authors who have multiple books released in the same year:

Acceptance and Production Takes Time

Janet Evanovich says it took more than ten years for her first book to be accepted by a publisher. During that time, she continued to write. So when that first book was accepted, she had several more to submit - and since it was a series, it meant there were multiple books in the pipeline at the same time. If several were released in the same year, does it mean she wrote them all in the same timeframe? Absolutely not.

Practice Makes Perfect

To say that Robert B. Parker and Gore Vidal were prolific writers is an understatement. Both of them could write quickly - and well. If a person is working a full-time job and juggling family commitments, they might be able to write only an hour or two each week. But if a person is writing full-time with the same commitment as an "outside" job, they could easily work for 40 hours a week or more. I routinely work 60 hours a week; while it's not all writing (some time must be devoted to the other duties of an author, such as marketing and promotion and this blog) I do write for several hours every day, six days a week and often seven. The process of constantly writing makes writing easier and faster.

The Genre Matters

What an author writes also dictates how much time is required. Non-fiction requires fact-checking. Historical or biographical work could require interviews, trips to the exact locations where action took place, and a great deal of research. Each of my historical work (Songbirds are Free and River Passage) took two years to research and for each hour I wrote, it took an additional 3-4 hours (and often more) during the writing process.

A cozy might take place in a small town with a few fictional characters and a local crime - requiring very little if any research. I've read romances that take place in villages with three or four settings at most.

Word Count

Word count is often dictated by the genre. If an author is writing a mystery like Robert B. Parker's books or a western like Louis L'Amour's, the word count could be as low as 65,000 characters. Compare that to Gone With the Wind, War and Peace or a Stephen King novel - and the latter books could each equal 3 to 6 of the smaller ones.

The Team Behind the Author

I know of only one or two bestselling authors who can write their first draft and it's 99% ready to publish. The rest of us need an editorial team to make our work shine. Mine consists of a team: a content editor (whose function is to comment on the book in more general terms), technical editors (those who check for accuracy) and a micro-editor or line editor (who goes through each and every line and scene with a fine-toothed comb.) I am usually making changes to one book while writing the next one.

And Then There's Franchising...

For best-selling authors the public is clamoring for, there is a lot of pressure to produce, produce, produce. Some of these turn to other authors for help. Tom Clancy lists the co-author on his cover; James Patterson always acknowledges his co-authors. Other authors prefer to use ghost writers and never reveal that someone else actually wrote the book - although readers are often stumped by the dramatic change in style from one book to the next. I know of one best-selling author who uses a team to write each book; then she puts it together like pieces of a puzzle.

What do you think? Can a writer produce too many books, too quickly?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tonight's the Night

Tonight is the official launch of my 14th suspense/thriller, Secrets of a Dangerous Woman. Just ten years ago if someone had told me I would have 14 books published and four more in various stages of production, I don't know if I would have believed them. Add to that the fact that I've started two series and at least two books a year will be published, and I know I wouldn't have believed them.

If you're in the Lumberton area, please drop by and see me at the Carolina Civic Center's Historic Theatre in beautiful downtown Lumberton. I'll be speaking there at 7:00 pm and selling and signing books afterward. The event is FREE and open to the public.

Since moving to Lumberton, North Carolina about 7 years ago, I've been writing full-time. I truly began enjoying it when I began using Lumberton as the backdrop. Lumberton is like a step into yesteryear; the historic downtown area is lined with giant trees that seem to shake hands above the road; the black waters of the Lumber River meander through town; the shops downtown are quaint, unique and friendly.

Yet just below the surface of the black waters that snake their way through town are secrets long hid... Secrets that begin to form and grow and undulate with each book I write.

Black Swamp Mysteries has an ensemble cast. I wanted to constantly surprise the reader and keep each book fresh - while, as book reviewer Donna Coomer put it, "feeling like you're reuniting with old friends."

The series' plots revolve around international crime, which will have the characters moving around the world in clandestine operations. Vicki's Key took place partially in Afghanistan in the remote regions of the Hindu Kush along the border of Pakistan. Secrets of a Dangerous Woman includes scenes in Argentina, where Brenda Carnegie was snatched up by CIA operatives and taken back to the United States in the darkness of night. Dylan's Song, which will be released in 2013, takes place in Ireland as Dylan and Vicki work to locate and extract a missing CIA operative.

Where do I find my ideas? I often find them right in the CIA's own declassified records. Truth is always stranger than fiction, isn't it?

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Frugal Book Promoter

Today I am visiting Carolyn Howard-Johnson at www.TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com.

I absolutely adore Carolyn. If you are a writer who wants to launch your book sales into the stratosphere, you MUST get Carolyn's book, The Frugal Book Promoter. It's filled with tips and tricks to getting more media attention and more sales - all on a shoestring budget.

Carolyn will be traveling all the way from Los Angeles to participate in our next Book 'Em North Carolina event. Her talk is sure to be packed with authors who want to "make it big" - she is one of the premier book promoters in the country. So mark your calendar for Saturday, February 23, 2013 and come out and meet her!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Big Brother is Watching

I am always amazed when I learn of someone who thinks they can get away with lying.

As someone who earned a living in the computer industry (before becoming a full-time writer) I know the technology is there to watch anyone at any time. From satellites that can zoom in to determine the exact breed of a dog walking in the middle of the night to cybertracing every keystroke - in today's day and age, there should be no expectation of privacy.

So when I read about best-selling and award-winning author RJ Ellory faking his own book reviews, I could only shake my head. What was even more intriguing is his books are good. He didn't need to establish fake identities and go on amazon and other sites to praise his own books and trash those of his rivals. All he needed to do was allow his words to sell themselves - through the pages of his books.

Now his name will forever be known as the person who faked his own reviews.

Just like the author who bought thousands of copies of his own books to propel it to Number One - and then tried to return them.

Or the authors who pretend to be someone they are not, even establishing identities with fake families and alter-lives.

It always catches up with you. Always.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September - A Time of New Beginnings

I have always loved the month of September.

When I was young, I thoroughly disliked summer. They were too hot, too long and too boring. I wanted the excitement of school, of cooler air, of ball games and cheerleaders and school bands. I wanted evenings catching fireflies, smelling the flowers that bloomed in the autumn and riding my bicycle around town.

I loved going to school and reading history, literature, social studies; even math excited me. I wanted to learn everything I could.

Each September I feel that same excitement. As the air gets cooler and the days get shorter, as the leaves begin to turn to crimson and gold, as the grass slows its growth and birds prepare for their journeys south, I feel the same lump in my throat, the same catch in my belly, the same feeling that something exciting is about to happen.

What is your favorite month and why?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Cerberus Rebellion

One hundred years of peace and prosperity. War changes everything.

So begins The Cerberus Rebellion by Joshua Johnson, who is a guest today at Book 'Em North Carolina. The Cerberus Rebellion is "Gunpowder Fantasy" which blends the best of battles and war stories with fantasy.


On the world of Zaria, Elves, magic and mythical beasts coexist beside rifles and railroads. The futures of two nations hang in the balance as rebels and revolutionaries trade gunfire with loyalists and tyrants.

Eadric Garrard was raised to believe that as the rightful King of Ansgar, his loyal nobles and fearful subjects answered to his every whim, no matter the cost or consequence. His decision to send his troops thousands of miles away will test that fear, and loyalty.

Raedan Clyve was ordinary until an Elven ritual involving a griffin’s heart turned him into something more. Twenty years later, he still struggles with the magics that rage through his body. His mentor holds him back from his full potential and he faces pressure to find a suitable wife and father an heir.

Hadrian Clyve has picked up where his father left off and works to expand his family’s influence amongst the Ansgari nobility. His aggressive negotiation of alliances and shrewd choice of marriage agreements has earned him respect, and resentment. When his King calls his troops to arms, Hadrian has other things in mind.

After a century of scheming and decades of preparation, Magnus Jarmann is ready to bring his family’s plans to fruition by launching a war of independence that will free his people and return his country to its rightful place among the nations of Zaria. The King’s call to arms creates an opportunity that Magnus cannot afford to miss.

In a war, little is held back; in a revolution, nothing is safe.

Check out an interview I did with Joshua Johnson and read an excerpt from The Cerberus Rebellion. He'll be popping in at Book 'Em North Carolina all day so leave a question for him. He is also giving away .mobi copies of his short stories (details available at www.gunpowderfantasy.com/products) to one commenter at every stop. Grand Prize for one random commentor and host with the most comments: The Chesian Wars collection (all published 3 short stories and an additional prelude short story exclusive to the collection).


The more you comment, the better your chances of winning! The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/07/virtual-book-tour-cerberus-rebellion-by.html









Thursday, September 13, 2012

Secrets of a Dangerous Woman

My 14th book was released earlier this month and I'm really happy to say it has come out of the starting gate at a gallop. For the first time ever, the eBook was released a month before the printed edition. The excitement has been building and in a few weeks, I will embark on an around-the-world blog tour - 21 stops in 21 days.

Secrets of a Dangerous Woman is part of the Black Swamp Mysteries series. It is set in Lumberton, North Carolina, where the black water of the Lumber River snakes through town. It's the perfect place to hide a body.

The town is a step back to yesteryear with its wide historic streets, trees overhanging to meet in the middle of the street like two ancient friends shaking hands...

And it's the site where a group of operatives gather, ready for their next CIA mission.

Vicki Boyd is a psychic spy who can travel to any longitude and latitude and report back to our government on exactly who and what is there;

Dylan Maguire is an undercover operative on his first CIA mission in Secrets of a Dangerous Woman;

Brenda Carnegie is a computer hacker who prefers to live on the wrong side of the law; and it's her illegal exploits that have her in Dylan's crosshairs as he undergoes his first mission: to interrogate her.

Christopher Sandige is a political strategist who is infatuated with the beautiful and mysterious Brenda but who may find he could risk too much to find her and keep her safe;

And when Brenda escapes from Dylan's custody, it's obvious that she had help from within the CIA's own ranks. With Vicki Boyd's help, Dylan finds her again. But now his mission has changed. Now he must discover why some in the highest government offices want her killed -- and others will risk everything to help her.

And when he discovers her true identity, his mission has just become very personal.

Buy it today at amazon: Kindle or in printed form. Also available at all fine book stores and for iPad, Nook and other eReaders!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Work In Progress

Thank you, Abyrne Mostyn, for tagging me in this wonderful Author Event that allows authors to talk about a current work in progress. To participate, I have to answer 10 questions about the book I am currently working on - and I needed to select a few outstanding authors who will carry the torch into next week.

And before I begin - here's a shout-out to my son Mike, who turns 38 years old today!

10 Questions About My Work in Progress


1. What are you writing now?

I am currently writing the fourth book in my Black Swamp Mysteries series. It’s entitled Dylan’s Song and it takes Dylan Maguire and Vicki Boyd to Ireland for a CIA mission.

2. Can you give us a peek into the mission?

In Secrets of a Dangerous Woman, Vicki learns toward the end of the book that a CIA operative was on the trail of a terrorist as he criss-crossed Europe. He followed him from Germany to Great Britain and then to Dublin, where the operative and the terrorist both disappeared. Dylan’s Song picks up with Vicki using her psychic gift to try and locate the operative and verify whether he is alive or dead.

3. If Vicki is able to see the operative through remote viewing, why is it necessary for her to go to Ireland?

As Vicki is working on this mission, Dylan receives a call that his grandmother—a woman who helped to raise him—is on her deathbed. He doesn’t want to return to his homeland but Vicki and their boss Sam convince him he should go. In addition to seeing his grandmother before she passes away, he’s been given an assignment: to extract the operative and bring him back to the States. Vicki goes along because she wants to know where Dylan is from and to see the place of his birth and early years.

4. Why was Dylan so reluctant to go home again?

Dylan had a hard-scrabble childhood; his father abandoned him and his mother when Dylan was just three years old. His mother was an alcoholic who truly didn’t provide the mothering and comfort that he should have been able to expect. Plus, Dylan is hiding a secret—the real reason he left his homeland for the United States.

5. What happens to Brenda Carnegie, Vicki’s sister and a computer hacker?

Brenda is released into Vicki’s and Dylan’s custody while awaiting trial on a multitude of computer crimes. Because special CIA transportation is arranged to take them to Ireland, Brenda is allowed to accompany them. And as you can imagine, the last thing she’s going to do is stay out of trouble while she’s there!

6. What happens to the fish operation while they’re in Ireland?

Sam is recovering from injuries sustained in Secrets of a Dangerous Woman so he’s unable to accompany them to Ireland. He stays behind to care for the fish—which shows a side of Sam readers have never seen before!

7. So does Vicki discover Dylan’s secret?

Not only does Vicki discover why Dylan really chose to flee Ireland—but she is harboring a secret of her own that is even more explosive.

8. Are there more books in the Black Swamp Mysteries series in the works?

Yes. While in Ireland, something occurs that rocks Vicki’s and Dylan’s world. It sets them up for the most important mission of their lives, which unravels in the book following Dylan’s Song.

9. When will Dylan’s Song be released?

It is scheduled for release in the spring of 2013 which means my deadline is fast approaching!

10. Are you concentrating solely on the Black Swamp Mysteries series?

No; I’ve begun another series as well, featuring an Irish homicide detective, Ryan O’Clery, who works for the Lumberton, NC Police Department. I don’t have a release date yet for The Tempest Murders, the first in the series. But once I finish with Dylan’s Song, I’m set to write the next book in that series.

Five Authors to Follow!

Next week, these authors will be discussing their current Work in Progress.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Christie Silvers

Bonnie Watson


I hope you’ll visit their blogspots to see what they’re working on! All of these authors will be at Book ‘Em North Carolina next February 23 – so come by and see us all! More information on the event is at www.bookemnc.net.



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering 9/11

I understand how the nation felt when they awakened on December 7, 1941 to the news that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. I am certain when I awakened to the news of the attacks on 9/11 I felt the same anxiety, the same sadness, the same worry, the same anger... the same feeling that nothing would ever be the same again.

And I do believe it changed the citizens of the United States.

I, for one, was reminded of who our friends are throughout the world as other nations and their citizens joined with us in condemning the attacks on innocent civilians.

I was also reminded that we are not completely safe, though we have oceans on two sides of us and we are not at war with our neighbors to the north or the south.

I was reminded that ships or submarines filled with enemy combatants need not appear on our shores; enemy aircraft carrying bombs do not have to fly in formation over our cities; our soldiers do not have to dig in around our towns to face an opponent's lines forming around us. It took only a few to remind us all that we are not invulnerable.

But they did not destroy us. We did as Americans have done for centuries. We picked ourselves up, we dusted ourselves off and we were and are determined to remain a free nation filled with free-thinking, independent people.

There are so many who lost their lives that day. So many mothers and fathers who lost sons and daughters, children who lost a parent, men and women who lost sisters and brothers, uncles and aunts, people who lost friends they will never see again.

And yet my faith tells me we will see those we lost when we cross over to the other side.

I believe that because I can believe it. Because even though a few vile, heartless and cowardly men killed innocent Americans, they did not change our way of life. I can continue to believe in God - or not - an afterlife - or not - because I am an American.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Age of Angels

I don't usually broadcast my personal experiences but Irish author Kevin Flanagan, the bestselling author of books on angels, convinced me to share one of my angel stories.

I've always believed in guardian angels. You can read what happened to me while I was still living in Washington, DC at Kevin's blogspot today.

Then let me know if YOU'VE ever experienced an encounter with an angel!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Miracle of Life

Anyone who participated in Book 'Em North Carolina this year or who is registered for next year's event has come in contact with Katie Huneycutt. I first met Katie when she was a librarian in the Columbus County Public Library system. I was thrilled when she was selected as the Youth Services Librarian for Robeson County Public Library. Katie loves children and when she told me she and her husband James were expecting their first child, my first thought was "That is one lucky child!"

When a child comes into this world, his or her entire life is laid before them as a clean, white slate. Baby Huneycutt will be surrounded by love and adoration, rocked and cuddled and kissed. Katie and James will rediscover our world through the eyes of a child's wonderment and curiosity of all that surrounds us. Things that are taken for granted by all of us will take on new and beautiful proportions when seen through a child's eyes.

Along the way, Baby Huneycutt will discover his or her own unique talents - whether it's to be a love of music, of sports, of the great outdoors, of reading, of history... There are millions of possibilities as he or she finds her way through life, exploring and trying a hand at different talents, different venues and different paths.

The time will pass by too fast and Baby Huneycutt will move from diapers to "big clothes" and all too quickly it will be time to start school. And along the way, he or she will decide where their special place will be in this very special world of ours. Work, volunteerism, hobbies and friends will all fall into place.

I wish for Baby Huneycutt and parents Katie and James, every beautiful experience they could possibly have. I wish for them a lifetime of love, of miracles, of beauty... and most of all, a lifetime of precious memories.

Please help me congratulate Katie and James today by leaving a comment below. And please visit Book 'Em North Carolina's blogspot, where others are joining in on the celebration with their own posts and comments.

Katie and James, from the bottom of my heart: Congratulations!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Guest from Ireland

It's no secret I love the Irish. And when I find an Irishman who is also a writer, I'm like a child in a candy store. Add to that, an Irish author who does videos on how to pronounce names in his book and sayings from the Irish and I'm in heaven.

Please join me at Book 'Em North Carolina in welcoming Ciaran West from Limerick, Ireland, talking about his newest book, The Boys of Summer. You'll find a complete interview there with links to purchase his book.

And in the meantime, if you'd like a quick lesson on how to pronounce Irish names and words, here's a glimpse into Ciaran's world:


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Changing World

Maybe it's a sign that I am growing older but lately I've been pondering the changes that have taken place just in my lifetime.

When I was growing up (oh so many years ago) we had one telephone. It was on the wall in the kitchen and with five children running through the house, there was no such thing as a private conversation. I remember years later when I was on my own, buying a cord that allowed me to walk through two rooms of my house while on the telephone. I thought that was high tech.

I wrote my first poems and short stories on my father's old Underwood typewriter, which he had used during his college years in the 1940's. The first typewriter I owned was a Smith-Corona. It was portable so I could carry it with me though I mostly left it in the living room. It was not electric and if I made a typo, I had to use White-out and blow on it until it dried.

In the 1970's while working in the Washington, DC area, I fell into the fledgling personal computer industry. My first computer was an Apple that I paid more than $12,000 for. It was green print on a black background; the resolution was low and graphics were almost non-existent. It could only load one program at a time and sharing information from one program to another was a complicated process.

By 1984, I had started the first of two computer companies in the Washington, DC area. Our first classroom instruction consisted of DOS, dBASE, LOTUS and WordPerfect. I designed the computer course curriculum for the United States Secret Service, the Marine Corps and the Department of the Navy. And I was the first contractor to teach personal computers to the Department of the Army's Training and Doctrine Command.

By the late 1980's, I was dabbling in the Internet long before it was available to households. By then, Microsoft and the Windows Operating System were taking off. And by the mid 1990's I was working with Intelligence and federal and local law enforcement in identifying cybercrime and figuring out how to protect sensitive information.

Today, every grade school has computers. All but the poorest high schools require computer literacy. Expensive, clunky pieces of hardware are no longer needed to run sophisticated programs. Smart Phones are capable of performing more intricate functions in the palm of your hand than multi-million-dollar computer systems were just a few decades ago.

I can drive across country with a telephone in my pocket and when I want to make or receive a call, I can talk to my car the way I speak to a passenger- and the car will make the call for me. With the same phone, I can take video, take pictures, check email, ask for the best Gas prices, find out about movies old and new, and do more things than this column has room for.

If so much has changed in the past 20 years, what will the next 20 be like?


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

No More Rejection?

Before I continue with my mini-series on manuscript rejections, I hope you'll pop over to Carolyn Howard-Johnson's and read one of my favorite reviews on my 13th book, Vicki's Key. It was printed in Suspense Magazine earlier this year. My 14th book will be released this month, entitled Secrets of a Dangerous Woman!

NOW ON TO REJECTIONS...
COULD THEY BE A THING OF THE PAST?

Last week I ran a couple of pieces about famous rejections and my email was flooded with feedback from authors. The publishing industry is a complicated one and hearing how varied the authors' experiences and paths have been prompt me to ask:

Will manuscript rejections soon be a thing of the past?

At one time, publishers needed deep pockets, large staffs and costly technology to publish a book and distribute it. But with the invention of the personal computer, affordable publishing software and the Internet, the possibilities today are limitless: from the traditional method of manuscript queries and submissions to self-publishing, eBook publishing, small and mid-size presses with traditional and hybrid business models.

Could publishing soon follow the movie and music industries?

Consider the movie industry just thirty years ago. A few large and powerful companies had Hollywood in their grip. Women who wanted a film career often were met with the "casting couch" and a single movie mogul could make or break an actor's career.

Flash forward to today's movies. Ever wonder about the film credits at the beginning of a movie? When Gone With the Wind was released, the first screen the viewer saw was "David O. Selznick's Gone With the Wind." Compare that to The Bourne Legacy; listed with Universal Pictures are Relativity Media, The Kennedy/Marshall Company, Captivate Entertainment, Dentsu and Bourne Film Productions.

Just who are those other companies?

Sometimes the companies are owned by actors - Ben Affleck, Drew Barrymore, Tom Cruise, Tom Selleck are just a few of the actors who moved from the big studios to their own production companies, though they often work in conjunction with the larger companies, especially for distribution. Other times, they are directors or producers who work on or bankroll a production and then team with a larger company for marketing and distribution.

The music industry was similar just a few years ago. Often a musician would be left with paltry earnings while the music moguls who produced the record would reap most of the profits. Then artists such as Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers began to realize they could own their own production companies and keep more of the profit. Rappers were on the forefront of developing their own industry. Today many musicians have their own companies but they team with the larger companies for distribution.

Could publishing be headed in the same direction?

It made headlines when New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer left one of the Big Six and started his own publishing company. Janet Evanovich was rumored a couple of years ago to be considering starting her own publishing venture (she signed with a different publisher instead.)

To be sure, there is a segment of the author community who look down their noses on authors who are published by any company outside of The Big Six. But flash forward to the next generation and the one after that... What do you think the publishing industry will look like?