EDIT: Well, that was embarrassing. In giving Tom credit for the picture, I gave links to somebody else. Read his comment below for the irony there. Links are corrected now.
EDIT #2: Removed a phrase that several of my peers were misinterpreting to be an attack on them. Maybe they'll be happy now.
When God closes a door, He usually gives you lemons. It's up to you to find tequila and salt.
It's a kick in the gut for me to have to announce that Trestle Press and I are no longer working together. That means several things, some good and some challenging. First, and most practical, the three works that have been available on Amazon.com and BN.com are no longer available for purchase. Second, it means my new release party for Ascension, scheduled for Friday, is canceled. Third, it means that I get to stretch and try my hand at self-publishing, at least for the Return of the Gods series. The prospect scares me a little but excites me a lot more, thanks to the knowledge that I'll have control over the cover, the contents, and the release dates.
A lot has gone into my decision to break away from Trestle. Part of it, certainly, relates to the scandal on the matter of Intellectual Property rights. It took me several days longer to come to my decision than some thought it should, mostly because I refused to make such an important decision based solely on the allegations of relatively anonymous Internet postings. After some research, though, I found there is most likely something to the allegations, and, damningly, in regards to my own works.
I'll not badmouth Trestle Press on the matter; to do so would be, in my opinion, rather unprofessional. There is some debate over whether the alleged violations were due to ignorance or malicious intent; I'll leave that matter to be debated by people with stronger opinions than I. To me, it doesn't matter; ultimately I'm only responsible for my own name and integrity.
I do wish it had come to pass a little differently. The kids who discovered the matter first, in my opinion, could have and should have handled it with much more professionalism and diplomacy than they did. Instead of acting in a manner which allowed those of us involved on the periphery to maintain a degree of dignity, they blasted the Internet with an ounce of righteous indignation and a pound of malicious retribution. Their names deserve no mention here, but I hope for all our sakes that the matter can be put to rest quickly so it doesn't continue to add its weight to the already-held perception of unprofessional buffoonery that currently afflicts Indies and small pubs.
The positives in this matter are twofold. First, I'm looking forward to proceeding on my own as a true Indie author, at least with the RotG series. It's an exciting opportunity, one that I was already strongly considering when the offer to be published through Trestle first came about. I plan on making my books available via both e-book and paperback formats, and I think I have enough training and motivation in entrepreneurial matters to make an honest go of it.
They'll have different covers, though.
Second, I've met a wonderful artist through these dealings. Turns out Tom Gehrke, an IT guy by day (yay!) and artist/photographer otherwise, is responsible for creating the picture of Ares that graced the original cover of Cataclysm. He and I have corresponded a little bit. He's a great guy, and a wonderful artist, and someday soon I hope he grants me an interview for this blog.
Here's a link to Tom's gallery on DeviantArt: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomgehrke/
Here's his blog showing his skills in photography: http://blog.thomasgehrke.com/
Here's Ares in his full original glory: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomgehrke/2683536669/in/set-72157606340202727
He seems quite a reasonable guy. If you're interested in using his art for something, and your name isn't Trestle Press, he'll probably be quite wonderful to work with. Just--get his permission first. You know, 'cause it's the right thing to do. And 'cause it's the legal thing to do. And 'cause you don't want TOSK punting kittens at you in frustration over anybody else's actions.
Well, that's enough news for today. I'll probably come out of my funk in time to write more in a few days. Till then, then.... Unfortunately, I can't update my web site till I get home this evening, but keep an eye out there for new publication information.