Abendau's Heir discussion

I thought the ending was masterful. I hate cliff-hangers, and it didn't end in one. On the other hand, there were some tantalisingly loose ends to lure me into reading more of the story.

Like Nerds of a Feather, I did initially wonder why the protagonist was male. On reflection, it made sense. I don't see a shortage of female protagonists in space opera, but I can't think of many female antagonists. I think the combination of male protagonist and female antagonist worked better than either female protagonist-female antagonist or female protagonist-male antagonist.

Oooh, good, I'm glad it left some tasters for book two.

Actually, @Bowler1 picked up as a beta that I may have chosen the wrong twin,and I thought long and hard about it. Originally, Kare came into creation when I was 16 and having a tough time and was a bit of a protector, and, being a straight female obsessed with pop stars and crushes and what not, it was probably logical the character should be male.

When challenged by Bowler, though, I went off and had a muse. I wasn't against changing it per se (although would have found it hard to give up a character I was so close to and enjoy writing so much.) also, some of the darker stuff would have had a different timbre on a female, (to do with perceptions of trope and what's okay to happen to each sex*) but since I'm hitting it from the psychological angle that would have been surmountable, I think.

Eventually, though, he stayed a bloke because the premise of the trilogy is to take the chosen one trope and make it real. I'm not sure if what happens to Kare is wildly outre for a chosen one - hard childhood, fighting for their position through many travails, getting hurt in some way, having an antagonist to overcome, and failing along the way etc etc, although I did go to the extreme edge of it. It's very dark because I choose to be inside that chosen one's head and for him to be a fairly likeable, down to Earth (well, as much as he can be) bloke. And, frankly, most chosen ones in sff are men. So, I kept him as a bloke because I felt using Karia would mean that I was no longer trying to ask the questions I wanted to about the trope (should we be so casual in our portrayal) but a different one (should our chosen one always be a bloke.)

I hope that makes sense?

Although, since I had my male character raped, a fate usually portrayed against female characters, I'm not sure it would have changed what happened. What might have made a difference was what the ordeal set out to do, and only research would have made me decide. By that, I mean that research told me if you wanted to remove power from a man and leave the legacy I have with Kare, the poor chap, rape is a widely-applied trauma, as is the sort of torture shown - an insistent, applied, mix of pyschological and physical. I'm not sure whether that same approach holds towards a female - and glad I didn't have to do that research....
Wow, Jo, I see I'm going to have to do some thinking about what I set out to do and what questions I set out to answer, if I ever get mine out the door. Whatever difference it makes to the story in the end, it makes impressive copy.

Otherwise I'm going to end up with this:

"So, Mr HareBrain, what's the primary question your novel poses?"

"How cool would it be to be a freediver with an otter spirit guide?"

"And what answer is reached?"


"That's one word. Did you really need the other hundred and sixty thousand?"

"No, sir. I suppose I didn't."
Ah, here, hijacking my own discussion thread but I had some feedback I wanted to check out before I embark on book two's Big Edit. I'm also asking because I'm hoping to release some shorts and if this is something which could do with clarification I might do one on it.

Was it clear that Eevan has been suborned by the Empress? That he didn't set out to betray everyone at first, but only Kare? Or does that need a wee bit of clarificafion? Would a short showing his interaction with the Empress add something to both character arcs or is if already implicit?
I was planning to read AH just in advance of the sequel coming out, because I'd already read it as a beta ages ago, and after all, how different could it be ...?

Well, rather different, it turned out. (Yes, I've now started it.) I did enjoy the early version, but I haven't seen anything of it since, and am very impressed with the improvement. So congrats to author and editors on that. Though there should be a warning on the cover about making you cry in your favourite coffee shop. (Not enough that anyone noticed, luckily.)

Can I also take this opportunity to stake my (assumed) claim to be the first person to borrow it from a public library?
It's in my local one (well, it's not now, it's in my house), because I ordered it, and they bought it.

That's why I wondered about it as me an Jo need our profit/royalties but there again if they lend it 1000 times, what happens there? Could you tell me which branch and i will email them for clarification :)

Cheerybye :)
That's why I wondered about it as me an Jo need our profit/royalties but there again if they lend it 1000 times, what happens there? Could you tell me which branch and i will email them for clarification :)

Cheerybye :)

@HareBrain - you only sniffled enough no one noticed? Call that an endorsement... ;)

Seriously, thank you. I'm glad it's more polished/finished.

@Gary Compton There is an established system in terms of repayment to the publisher and getting into libraries is a really good thing for a publisher - it enhances their Neilson rating which makes it easier to get stocked in bookshops, in my understanding. Also, they do pay for the copy through normal ordering channels (Gardners, I would have thought) so you will have got paid for it by whatever payment means you have linked to the distributor.

It also allows that all important visibility. I get nearly all my new authors' books at the library - no monetary risk for me. It's not even free publicity, it's paid publicity because if a reader likes it they'll buy other works, the next instalment, or even a copy of the book to own. So a massive thanks to Harebrain for ordering it in!

The link below might help.


Authors and illustrators may be eligible for payments under the Public Lending Right Scheme. To qualify, they must live in the European Economic Area (EC member states plus Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland). Payment is made once a year in February and the amount received is proportionate to the number of times (established from a sample) that their books are borrowed from public libraries. The PLR year runs from 1 July to 30 June each year. The PLR cannot process an application on behalf of a deceased contributor. Publishers can find out more and apply online at www.plr.uk.com or contact
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If a a book proves popular at a library, that library (or that library system) is likely to buy the next book ... possibly multiple copies. I doubt there is a fixed number of times that a book has to be checked out for that to happen. It will vary from library to library according to their budget and how many copies they are buying of the latest blockbuster novels and what they've heard about the book elsewhere. But libraries form a large part of the market for hardcovers and trade paperbacks. So if you get a buzz among librarians that can only be a good thing. Not to mention that it will be available to readers who might not otherwise be aware of Abendau or Jo, and that can be good for boosting word-of-mouth among readers.

In other words, a library sale is a good thing, even in the US where they don't pay out extra money when people check out the book, and if I were you I wouldn't contact them with questions about what is in it for Tickety Boo, because that might put them off ordering the next book, or anything else from TBP.

Cross posted in Jo.
I never meant it wasnt a good thing, just wondered on remuneration and I love the bit that says authors and illustrators get paid :)

Thanks Jo and Teresa :)

And to HB.
No remuneration in the US, beyond buying the book in the first place, and the exposure. I think system, like yours, of paying writers and illustrators a sort of royalty when books are checked out is a great thing for the authors and is the fair thing to do. Obviously, as a writer myself that sounds good to me. But I fear that in this country that would inevitably lead to libraries shutting down or buying fewer books, so I wonder if, in the end, it might not be worse for the authors if we changed things. Someone who knows more about these things than I do might be in a position to answer that question. Of course I know what it would mean to me as a reader since the libraries around here buy an immense number of new books and that makes me very happy indeed.
I wonder if there is any mileage in contacting libraries and offering a free book. In the long run it may be better for everyone (UK). We now have Sue in her local library and Jo in HB's.

I like the idea of it, as it adds stature to the books, the author and the press. I will look into it, starting with my local :)
I wonder if there is any mileage in contacting libraries and offering a free book. In the long run it may be better for everyone (UK). We now have Sue in her local library and Jo in HB's.

I like the idea of it, as it adds stature to the books, the author and the press. I will look into it, starting with my local :)

I have ordered one at my local but haven't heard if they've got it, and my friend ordered one at the library down the road.

I think there is mileage in it. I really wish I could find the blog I read a week or two ago about avenues to boost book sales and free copies featured high in eventual sales - provided it was done through channels to get readers through!
Authors often donate copies of their books to local libraries. I don't know how libraries feel about publishers sending them books for the exposure, but if you phrased it as a "donation" they might be more likely to accept it.

And if it is the local library for one of your authors, it might encourage invitations for that writer to attend library events promoting local authors.
How many UK libraries, does anyone know?
No idea. Plus, as Teresa says offering on a more bespoke version is likely better. I ordered a Bujold in mine and no one else has borrowed it. But if you could offer five libraries close to writers with a local writer platform ie you're supporting the writer, not the publisher (or gave each author five to offer - the personal approach goes a long way) then that could work well as the writer will know which libraries are big, could maybe set up a reading at the same time, and make contacts.

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