Requests to check out more of Phreak Show have necessitated a means to that end.
Authonomy is my cure.
With my first two novels, I played the rankings game over there: chat & spam & and claw for 1 of the 5 coveted spots “on the desk”. Translation: work your ass off, burn a ridiculous amount of hours, harass the other members, needlessly obsess over rankings. And all to be listed in the -Top 5- on the last day of the month. The prize: a review from an Editor—apparently only quasi-helpful and arriving 6 months later. Authors who fight for and snag that golden ring end up a little disappointed, it seems.
It’s a shiny carrot which isn’t worth chasing. Thankfully, there is a lot more to the site than that single aspect.
If you get caught up in the rankings and campaigning, you’ll miss the beauty of Authonomy. That beauty flashes in three facets: an amazing writing community, thoughtful feedback, and a public forum to steer interested readers to your work.
Virtual Betas & CP’s are awesome. I have gleaned some of the most useful, insightful feedback from amazing folks I’ve never met face-to-face. But it phreaks me out a little to email my manuscript to someone I don’t know. Not because I fear they’ll hate it or say heart-wrenching things. I’m cool with that. What scares me is that they have ALL MY WORDS. A stranger—one who may or may not be the same in real life as online—can enjoy my words, or gank them. Steal them.
These are the things I worry about: A ‘find-and-replace’ could instantly change out the characters’ names. Phineas becomes Barnum, Tera becomes Rachel. A quick re-titling, and my creation could be self-pubbed, online, in minutes. Phreak Show becomes Sideshow Nightmare. And I would have no idea. It’s akin to a kidnapping, dying the kid’s hair, moving her to a new city, and calling her Juniper Smith instead of Erica.
I believe most people are honest in their cores. Generally, I trust strangers. I’m the weirdo who talks to people in elevators. I pick up hitchhikers. I couchsurf and sleep in strangers’ homes. But there is a part of me that understands that some folks smile while fingering the dagger in their pocket.
As creators, we must protect what is ours.
I’m sure there are conniving, magical ways around it, but [CTRL C] doesn’t work on Authonomy. Also, I only post portions of my novels. NEVER the whole thing. This is my solution for minimizing the risk while engaging in risky behavior. It’s like a condom for your words. Is it failsafe? Of course not. Is it 99.98% effective? I hope so.
Gosh, this post sounds like I’m all paranoid and shit. I’m not really. It’s just that, you see, I invest all of me into my art. And the possibility of having that outpouring abused makes me want to guard the youngling like a tiny child clueless of the dangers all around him. Maybe I’m an overprotective parent. That doesn’t bother me one bit, because I want my kid to play and make friends, but I don’t want his naivety to get him hurt. You know, like a good Daddy.
So, guaranteed ALIVE AND BREATHING, on display for all to see, the first 7 chapters of Phreak Show.
[Update: Due to some overhauling edits, the excerpt is in timeout.]
Please enjoy. Comment. Or don’t. Love it. Hate it. Cringe, cry, smile, wonder, giggle, dream, root, scream, lust, beg for more. Any or all of those things. Just know, a mindful, cautious Daddy’s is sitting over there on that bench making sure you play nice.
Dang it was difficult for me to decide on an accompanying image for this post. Do you know how many AMAZING risque pics I could have selected? Oodles. Ah, but to push things a little without going too far… Welcome to the world of self-editing an online presence, Lucas.