The Danish have an expression for it: ‘never dress yourself in another bird’s feathers’. I think I’ve got that right.
Anyway the principle remains true – don’t nick another person’s work or ideas. I like this; particularly because I once (unintentionally) carried out this heinous act, or perhaps it would be best to say that other people thought I had.
I was reminded about this today because it’s BBC’s 6 Music’s ‘Wear Your Old Band T-shirt To Work Day’ and I used to print T-shirts. It was hardly a mega-business, in fact it was just a way for me to pursue my interest in screen printing by flogging a few to classmates. It was hard to get Stackridge T-shirts at that time, especially featuring Marzo Plod! One of the most popular I produced was of ‘The Crimson King’ – he was the character inside King Crimson’s debut album gatefold sleeve (heady days). Everybody loved this guy (painted by one Barry Godber, a computer programmer who died tragically young shortly after the album was produced).
Even my art teacher liked it – very nice lady but a little ‘old school’ which was ironic as I went to a very new school’. What I didn’t know at the time was that she had thought I’d created the image, not simply nicked it to stick on a T-shirt. I mean, everybody knew King Crimson, right?
I didn’t find this out some years later and I was devastated! I still am. I would never have tried to pass off his work as my own (leaving aside the legality of actually selling T-shirts of somebody else’s work!)
It’s worse when you’re writing comedy, because you hear and make up gags all the time and they get stuck in some spare synapses until at some point you want to use them and you think to yourself: ‘is that mine?’ There’s one great line I’m desperate to use, but I’m convinced it’s not mine, although I can find not trace online and nobody I mention it to has ever heard if before.
WARNING: The use of customised mini-figures (produced by a leading Danish construction toy manufacturer) to promote ‘Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf’ is not meant to imply that this is a children’s book.
Are we all clear about this? Good:
‘Dwarf Girls Don’t Dance’ is the title of the new Detective Strongoak novella and it’s available free NOW in advance of the paperback release of ‘Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf’.
Yes, absolutely free! Just like a ‘give-away’ to encourage you to buy the ebook (still only £1.99) or the brand new hard copy. ‘Dwarf Girls Don’t Dance’ gives you the definitive lowdown on dwarf women, as well as another slice of the gritty criminal underworld of the seething multi-racial metropolis that is the Citadel. Plus the coolest, fast-talking, best dressed dwarf Master Detective this side of New Iron Town, that’s Nicely Strongoak to you.
As has been mentioned ‘Detective Strongoak and the Case of Dead Elf’ has wide appeal for anybody who enjoys fantasy, comedy or detective fiction, but is not specially written for younger readers. However…
And of course if there was a Nicely Strongoak minifigure, just imagine what his haunt in The Citadel in Widergard might look like…
‘Detective Strongoak and the Case of Dead Elf’ has wide appeal for anybody who enjoys fantasy, comedy or detective fiction, but is not specially written for younger readers, although just imagine what interest there could lead to…
Delighted to be addressing the BIG QUESTIONS in life for the very talented Teresa Frohock on her blog: Is Fantasy like Coriander? Which is apparently cilantro in the USA! Learn something everyday. Still looks like this:
And IS THE DEVIL’S HERB! SO THERE!
Well, looky* here! Some moving pictures and such like all in honour of Nicely’s paperback appearance. Not long now for all you ebook refuseniks
*an alternative form of the imperative look ye! Similarly, the linguist Andrew L. Sihler indicates that ye, the now-archaic subjective form of the English 2nd pers. plural pronoun, “is fossilized in looky (here)