Stunted art scene, the Inland Northwest

It isn’t very often that I do this, provide a paragraph sized transcript from a book in progress. But today I will: Chapter 16 — The Black Unicorn.

“This huge black creature surveyed the on-going battle, being played out in the narrow valley far below. Men well garbed in battle armor on the upper halves of their bodies, lay dead in heaps next to their poorly equipped foes. Lances and spears were being hastily flung into the roiling mass of combatants. Only those spears and lances were being met in equal measure, by bowmen expert in their profession. Men on either side, cut down in their prime of life. Shouts from the leaders on each side, exhorting their followers to greater efforts. In contrast to screams of men laid low with a fatal blow. Flashes of short swords and knives, glinting in the rain and flashes of lightning. A tableau of men hewing and hacking away at one another, a gut wrenching horror that seemed quite destined to never end. The flying creature watched this grim act played out, with a preternaturally canny red eye. It glided through the strong winds, or it sometimes banked and flapped about in a circling pattern, in an effort to fully investigate this frightful act of war. Not yet was the creature seen, by opposing forces struggling to survive, whether victory for either side could be achieved or not. No, in a day made dim by clouds and rain, spectrally lit up by periodic bolts of lightning. A moving shadow amidst all others, would provide no cause for anyone to pay much heed. When the battle-hardened warriors finally did realize what bizarre creature was in their midst, it would be too late for some. Only the men destined to die this day, would not include members the rebel forces. Such a time might arrive when the monster finally preyed on them as well. But not this day, or in this particular era. No, the demonic creature was simply biding its time, until it could select it’s next victim to feast well upon. Not just a victim to be certain. Rather, this ravenous monster would feast upon as many victims as it could claim. Indeed, that would happen after the outnumbered rebels abruptly abandoned the field of battle, and fled for the sheltering hills. The remaining Roman soldiers, would be caught in a new and deadly conflict, with a blood thirty and implacable foe. Thus a new front in this battle would be opened, and very soon. But the creature the Roman legions fought against, could not be cut down by sword, or spear, or lance. Not this flying creature, vaguely resembling a unicorn with wings. By description: an amalgam in all its parts of mist, rain, clouds, and hard driven wind.”

“The Inlander” just came out with its Fall Arts Guide, and I could already see that the only city or state they really planned to showcase, Spokane, Washington. And writers of interest, especially female, also living in Spokane, Washington. Of the latter in particular, women writers who were able to get their books published by traditional means. Congratulations are in order of course. But are they going to be the only female authors “The Inlander” wishes to showcase?

So let me tell you about, the publisher’s marketing strategy to get “magazines excited about debut novels and first time authors of books.” They wish to recoup the advances they give to the authors, and their initial investments toward the book itself. So the publishing companies aggressively market the books to as wide a readership as possible. And “The Inlander” locally helps that along by showcasing the authors in question. Of the majority of the female authors mentioned, sorry, but I don’t know them from Adam and never will. Just as it is not likely, that I will ever make a trip to “Aunties,” downtown Spokane, to ever pick up one of their books. Of the one author in particular, as stated by “The Inlander” — a columnist for the Spokesman-Review — I was never very impressed by her work. That was any time she stepped in to temporarily replace the author of the Huckleberries on line blog, hosted by the Spokesman-Review. To put it bluntly, I don’t care to be entertained by her pet cats and photos of firemen.

Well now, “The Inlander” requires a publisher to tell you all about a book and an author, before they will showcase either one? What if the publisher is an e-reader? Then it would seem to me, that if an author of said e-book notifies said rag like “The Inlander” of a debut novel, by e-mailed book link to be exact. Then it should be possible for the same publication, to interview the author or show case the e-novel. In particular, if the author lives only 30 minutes away from Spokane, Washington. You would think under the circumstances, that Coeur d’Alene, Idaho has no literary groups at all. No authors worth speaking of, if they don’t reside in the city with all of the action: Spokane, Washington.

“Black Unicorn” is my third e-novel in the works. It will debut, when I am done writing it and publishing it to an e-reader format. But I think that I shall not e-mail a book link to “The Inlander” again. I shall do my own marketing, through what networking I am most familiar with. Personally showing people the fruits of my own labor.


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