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The Supernatural Books


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#1

Keith DeCandido

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Posted May 23, 2007 @ 8:15 PM

For those of you wailing and gnashing your teeth that there is no Supernatural tomorrow night, I have just the thing t/o/ /t/o/r/t/u/r/e/ /y/o/u/ /e/v/e/n/ /m/o/r/e/ for you!

An excerpt from the first-ever Supernatural novel, my own Nevermore. This excerpt is from Chapter 9 of the book.

Hope you like it, and remember, you can preorder the book from the good folks at Amazon.com.

Edited by Keith DeCandido, May 23, 2007 @ 8:22 PM.


#2

WynterWolf

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Posted May 23, 2007 @ 9:24 PM

Thanks for posting the excerpt Keith, is it safe to assume that you flip POV back and forth between the boys through out the book?

And Demian, would it be possible to change the thread title on this and have a general book discussion thread so it doesn't get muddled with the comic or the general merchandise?

#3

Keith DeCandido

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Posted May 23, 2007 @ 11:35 PM

Thanks! There are scenes from both Dean's and Sam's POV throughout the book -- it's about equally divided, and we get a few other POVs floating around, too.

#4

WynterWolf

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Posted May 24, 2007 @ 1:14 PM

Thanks Keith! (And thanks Demian) I'm looking forward to reading it.

#5

Allathlete12

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Posted May 24, 2007 @ 2:54 PM

Ooooo...nifty!

#6

WynterWolf

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Posted Jun 4, 2007 @ 6:54 PM

After the kerfuffle on LJ over Keith’s excerpt, I thought I would point out that he has made a follow up post related to the responses he received about it. The original kerfuffle was pretty spectacular (and entertaining if your name wasn’t Keith DeCandido), but I have read enough tie-in novels that I know what to expect – and what not to expect – and while I will definitely agree that a poor choice was made in what excerpt to share… Keith, if you are still reading here, rest assured that although I didn’t like the snippet you posted (for various reasons), that won’t stop me from buying the book and I’m certainly not going to judge the entire book on just that one excerpt, and I am looking forward to reading it.

Edited by WynterWolf, Jun 4, 2007 @ 8:46 PM.


#7

simpatico

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Posted Jun 4, 2007 @ 7:16 PM

But... he was a jerk to his potential readers and obviously looks down on everyone, which is assy AND stupid. And he didn't even apologize, all he's saying is that we're wrong about his writing abilities, which... I'm sorry, but his excerpt begs to differ, whether it's a rough draft or not. Good writers' rough drafts don't have those kinds of problems, from my (limited) experience. Besides, I doubt he would post something that had been drastically changed in the final version. So no, I'm not buying this book; ESPECIALLY not because I feel sorry for the guy.

Edited by simpatico, Jun 4, 2007 @ 7:17 PM.


#8

Livy1213

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Posted Jun 4, 2007 @ 7:42 PM

I seem to have missed something. Something happen about the book over at LJ? I didn't realize there was something wrong with the excerpt.

Edited by Livy1213, Jun 4, 2007 @ 8:02 PM.


#9

karasu amagoi

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Posted Jun 4, 2007 @ 7:52 PM

It's here, Livy. I suppose I do feel sorry for the tie-in writers, who were something of a poor stepchild for many years, and after gaining some degree of respect find themselves in competition with fan fiction, in that there is plenty of supplemental material (legality notwithstanding, an issue about which the fans aren't particularly concerned nor are the copyright holders) beyond the tie-in books. Tie-in serves a slightly different audience, anyway, and rather than worrying about the copyright holders coming down hard on fan fiction authors, they are just as likely to attempt to co-opt them to make money. Why pay publishers for what the fans will do for free? Note the 'DIY advertising' campaigns.

I suppose he can take comfort from the comments there, where there is support from the people who either never the excerpt or will buy it just in support of 'Supernatural,' never mind the contents. Which is as much as he should hope for. Once you're in a hole, stop digging.

#10

Zanne

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Posted Jun 4, 2007 @ 8:00 PM

Once you're in a hole, stop digging.


Unless you want a really big hole, of course.

#11

WynterWolf

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Posted Jun 4, 2007 @ 8:09 PM

Yeah, I don't feel sorry for him. I like tie-in books well enough for what they are, but as you say karasu, I think they are for a different audience than what you will generally find online. I have found a few gems over the years so I will read them if I have enough interest in the source material (but right now I'm trying to slog through a Torchwood one that all it's doing is reminding me how much I HATE Gwen Bloody Cooper ;-D).

#12

bookwrm74

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Posted Jun 4, 2007 @ 8:10 PM

While I agree that the excerpt wasn't exactly Pulitzer worthy, I have to say that this author wrote one of the few Buffy books that I thought was really well-written and true to the characters' voices. I'm always curious to see how TV characters are developed (or not developed!) in novels, so I'll probably buy one of them to check it out.

#13

Lucy Wiggin

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Posted Jun 4, 2007 @ 8:13 PM

Well, Joe Haldeman, (who also happened to be a Hugo winner) wrote Star Trek novels, so I'm not ruling out every single tie-in novel. However, he's the exception. I hardly feel the urge to buy those SPN novels, and not just because I'd hate giving the CW money.

#14

McGonz

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Posted Jun 4, 2007 @ 8:43 PM

Does anyone have a link to the original kerfuffle?

#15

karasu amagoi

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Posted Jun 4, 2007 @ 9:02 PM

That would be this, McGonz, unless you count the original little fizz that started right here.

Again I say, in defense of tie-in writers in general, they are on a very short leash. So it may just be as simple as audience mismatch. What fan fiction lacks in editorial control, it gains in freedom of expression. The fan fiction world has grown immensely of late, and we're used to that freedom. Word count, structure, serious restrictions on what body parts brothers are allowed to kiss... What a straight jacket. So standards are different.

My expectations of tie-in books are low generally, not to slam the authors, but because they have to be mainstream. I, for one, am spoilt, and will put up with a few misplaced commas in exchange for the same (or better) insights into the characters, the same (or better) degree of inventiveness in plot and situation, with the bonus of not having to put up with (how shall we say?) towels, dim lighting and really irritating close ups. Major league monkeyfucking, that's the phrase I was looking for.

The excerpt managed to miss the mark of even my low expectations, but it's not like I care that much. It is the guy's livelihood, you'd think he'd be more careful of what he posts.

#16

McGonz

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Posted Jun 4, 2007 @ 9:13 PM

That would be this

Yikes. That's some harsh stuff. I'll admit, I didn't think the excerpt was that good, but jeez, dial it down.

Again I say, in defense of tie-in writers in general, they are on a very short leash. So it may just be as simple as audience mismatch. What fan fiction lacks in editorial control, it gains in freedom of expression. The fan fiction world has grown immensely of late, and we're used to that freedom. Word count, structure, serious restrictions on what body parts brothers are allowed to kiss... What a straight jacket. So standards are different.

My expectations of tie-in books are low generally, not to slam the authors, but because they have to be mainstream. I, for one, am spoilt, and will put up with a few misplaced commas in exchange for the same (or better) insights into the characters, the same (or better) degree of inventiveness in plot and situation, with the bonus of not having to put up with (how shall we say?) towels, dim lighting and really irritating close ups. Major league monkeyfucking, that's the phrase I was looking for.

I agree. It would be really hard to write a tie-in-novel. People expect certain things from the characters, and there's only so much you can do. The again, it's hard, not impossible.

The excerpt managed to miss the mark of even my low expectations, but it's not like I care that much. It is the guy's livelihood, you'd think he'd be more careful of what he posts.

Also agreed. If I was going to post apart of my novel on the internet, I would make sure it would be the best damn part of it. Posting a rough draft (which I'm suspicous of) just isn't smart.

#17

karasu amagoi

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Posted Jun 4, 2007 @ 9:23 PM

Yikes. That's some harsh stuff. I'll admit, I didn't think the excerpt was that good, but jeez, dial it down.

Also agreed, but welcome to the internutz. This isn't Oprah's book club, and even a cursory cruise down Livejournal Lane or TWoP Boulevard will show that it's very mixed-used zoning: the neighborhood includes the well-manicured, thoughtful, adult, and constructive side-by-side with the seriously wacko St. Loony-up-the-Cream-Bun-and-Jam.

I love it. Use all the crayons in the box!

#18

Area Woman

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Posted Jun 5, 2007 @ 2:55 AM

Is this the same guy who flipped his tutu over the word canon?

#19

therelikeme

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Posted Jun 5, 2007 @ 8:39 AM

Yikes. That's some harsh stuff. I'll admit, I didn't think the excerpt was that good, but jeez, dial it down.


I actually thought they were pretty tame and even downright polite with many of the criticisms. But then again, I'm used to the amount of harshness and levels of expressing it that are to be found over here (ZING!).

That being said, dude's a professional writer. He should know better than to take offense at what people are saying about his work. It just comes off as desperate and like he's got no confidence in himself. Especially when who he's getting defensive at is a Livejournal community. Look at the shit people like Gamble and Kripke himself get from us sometimes -- and we're some of the Really Huge Fans. If they of all people can be gracious and accepting enough to not go "um WRONG!" about the fans criticisms, then some tie-in author should be able to too.

#20

karasu amagoi

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Posted Jun 5, 2007 @ 9:54 AM

Yes, Area Woman, that's him. And sadly it was my hand holding the bloody knife engraved with that cursed word. Who knew? I felt bad for about a minute, and even took the conversation over to his own journal so as not to take 'home court advantage' but it was to no particular avail. As therelikeme says, there are Issues. I send email to Ms Gamble after every one of her episodes, and she has responded graciously even to the less-than-fawning ones. (Okay, the first one was pretty fawning.) Mind you, I don't want her answering my fawning emails (and the one after 'Heart' was not fawning in the slightest, lemme tell you) I want her doing her good work for the show. Not to tell him his business, but I should think the author of the apparently unedited excerpt would find his time better spent working on his book than dealing with fandom in this fashion.

#21

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Posted Jun 5, 2007 @ 10:07 AM

As the only other writer of tie-ins who seems to be floating around here - I've been doing fanfic since I was 10 years old and I have the utmost respect, admiration and even some awe for the quality of the work I see produced by fans. Putting down fanfic because it hasn't been "professionally" published just chaps my hide.

When I did the two tie-ins for Quantum Leap, I worked under very few restrictions. If I brought in previously undiscovered characters (a brother for Al, or whatever), I was required to hit the Reset button at the end of the story and return everything to (ahem) canon. I was not allowed to bring Sam home. And that was it, as I recall.

There were length restrictions - I had to go above 75,000 words, although I think they did one book in the series that didn't reach that mark. When my second book kept getting longer and longer (I think it ended up in the 140,000 range), they told me fine, don't worry about it. I put in a LOT more cussing than was used in the series (for which I've had my kidneys handed to me by a number of diehards) but the editor didn't flinch. Even the publishing timeframe wasn't a problem - I asked for and got the extensions I needed in order to do more polishing.

So, karasu, I'll disagree with you about the short leash. Different publishers/editors may have different requirements, but I had all the flexibility I needed.

#22

Jason7272

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Posted Jun 5, 2007 @ 10:25 AM

As somebody who reads a lot of supernatural (lowercase) and horror fiction, I'd say the tie-in novel is about par for a lot of what gets put out, especially in paperback, these days. If anybody read Tom Piccirilli's Night Class, which won the Bram Stoker award a few years ago, you know what I mean. It was just about as bad. Even though I didn't like the excerpt, it isn't really fair to judge the whole book by the passage, but even so one would hope that Keith DeCandido would have posted the best part of the book to entice readers. If so, that doesn't bode well. I think that fewer single-sentence paragraphs might help.

Since Keith got to promote his book, I hope you won't mind if I plug mine. I just finished a history of the horror genre due out this fall, and yes I have a section about Supernatural in the chapter on contemporary horror. You can see my blurb about the book here and my publisher's blurb here.

#23

karasu amagoi

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Posted Jun 5, 2007 @ 10:54 AM

I think Demian may need to instruct us on where best to discuss 'suggested reading', Jason, but even so, too late, I see you did a book on Lovecraft and loony theories. Two of my favorite things!

That's good news indeed, FicWriter. My direct contact with this area is from the other end of the industry, and is getting out of date: doing the contracts for the studios with the publishers and/or authors. The contractual restrictions were often quite particular when it came to 'rating' and 'suitability' and other vague terms. I am encouraged to hear that things have become more liberal.

(I was actually offered the chance to write two tie-in novels, many, many moons ago, and I turned the offer down! No time, I said, what a fool I was, who knew that years later I might wanted to have some credits under my belt? Mind you, this offer was based entirely on the company thinking they could go cheap rather than paying a proper author because they saw the genre books I had on my desk. The paths not taken.)

#24

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Posted Jun 5, 2007 @ 12:48 PM

karasu, I wonder if the "rating" and "suitability" restrictions are specific to certain shows, or if they'd pop up more often for tie-ins that are marketed to young adults? (I know Smallville has two series of books, one young adult and the other more general, for a somewhat older audience.)

I would think an author familiar with the marketplace would know that certain things wouldn't fly - really eye-popping language, or the use of any slash relationship. That would go into the "duh" category for me, but maybe some publishers feel the need to spell it out.

What I did think was somewhat restrictive in my own case was being instructed that I couldn't publicize my own books without first clearing things with the publisher. I did a couple of interviews with fan newsletters, but anything like a book signing or publicity with legitimate press had to go through the PR department (and through Legal, if I remember correctly - it's been a while).

As far as the benefits of having done tie-ins goes, I guess it would be helpful if you're in that general career path. It pays very little, really, and I find that non-fans tend to squinch up their faces when I say, "The books are about Quantum Leap. You know, the TV show?" They definitely act like that's a lot less legitimate than having made up my own characters.

#25

karasu amagoi

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Posted Jun 5, 2007 @ 12:59 PM

As you say, it often depended on the property, and as I think back I'm remembering mostly theatrical rather than television. The restrictions also probably came about based on marketing strategy requirements, such as other promotions and product placement, and what certain outlets (e.g., Wal*Mart) will allow on shelves.

I do think it's a shame that tie-in writers have had to fight for their place at the table for so long, and it is interesting to see some parallels (some) in the fan fiction area. It's all part of the rise of participatory fan culture, fascinating to watch. That reminds me, haven't checked Professor Jenkins today.

#26

Rhindon

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Posted Jun 5, 2007 @ 1:00 PM

Keith DeCandido wrote:
For those of you wailing and gnashing your teeth that there is no Supernatural tomorrow night, I have just the thing t/o/ /t/o/r/t/u/r/e/ /y/o/u/ /e/v/e/n/ /m/o/r/e/ for you!

An excerpt from the first-ever Supernatural novel, my own Nevermore. This excerpt is from Chapter 9 of the book.

Hope you like it, and remember, you can preorder the book from the good folks at Amazon.com.


Hi Keith! I was wondering how you managed to get your book published. I've written one Supernatural story (long enough to be a book) and would love the same opportunity!

#27

karasu amagoi

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Posted Jun 5, 2007 @ 1:04 PM

Rather than have that discussion here, Rhindon, you might want to check out here, and the place to really get information is here. (Or ask FicWriter over in the Meet Market, who is just as qualified to answer the question.)

#28

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Posted Jun 5, 2007 @ 1:16 PM

I know Smallville has two series of books, one young adult and the other more general, for a somewhat older audience.


They did the same with the Star Trek novels. The BtVS novels, too. Some of the BtVS novels were written specifically for "young adults," and tended to be shorter and...well, less mature than the "adult" novels.

They didn't do this for the Angel novels, as far as I recall. Understandable since BtVS, which was set in high school for a large part of it's run, is much more easily...teen-ified.

I've read more tie-in novels than I can count. And they are like anything else. Some are good and well-written. Others, not so much. I've read tie-in novels that felt like stepping into the show. I've read others which, aside from being set in the same place, and having characters with the same names, felt nothing like the show.

Basically, it's not being tie-ins that makes some of these novels bad. Some tie-in writers, even with all the restrictions, manage to turn out some great stories.

As for the restrictions, I think it differs by fandom. I think whether the show is still in production or not might also be a factor.

Edited by Bitterswete, Jun 5, 2007 @ 1:17 PM.


#29

McGonz

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Posted Jun 5, 2007 @ 2:42 PM

So, open question to everyone, was anyone planning on buying the book before they read the excerpt, and now decided not to?

Putting down fanfic because it hasn't been "professionally" published just chaps my hide.

I agree. Personally, I'm not a big fanfic fan, but I found it incredibly ballsy for him to explain why tie in novels are vastly superior to fanfic, when practically everyone who will buy the book reads and/or writes fanfic. Interestingly, from that excerpt, I saw him make a mistake I most often characterize with fanfic (or I should probably say bad fanfic) and that's making up rules or contradicting rules to suit the story. Ghosts vanish for a night when you shoot them with rocksalt? Really?

Edited by McGonz, Jun 5, 2007 @ 3:29 PM.


#30

Sister Spooky

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Posted Jun 5, 2007 @ 2:51 PM

I'm still buying it. I have it pre-ordered.