|Wes Boyd's |
Spearfish Lake Tales
Contemporary Mainstream Books and Serials Online
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Donations are sort of the writer's version of a dude playing a guitar on the street corner. They're what keeps this site going and new stuff coming --
and after all, it's not like you've spent money on a book only to be disappointed in it.
to add to the tip jar!
Where is Spearfish Lake?
I get asked this question a lot. If you really want to know where Spearfish Lake is, it's about three inches behind my eyeballs. It's totally imaginary. It doesn't exist in the real world. Persons, places, and events are totally my creation and should not be assumed to have a basis in fact. That much said, there is a real world Spearfish Lake in Washington State -- I've been there and it's tiny -- but it has nothing to do with these Spearfish Lake stories. The fishing is supposed to be pretty decent, though.
If it were in the real world, where would it be?
You're going to make this difficult, aren't you? That's not an easy question. We know Spearfish Lake is in the midwestern northern forest country, which stretches from northern Lower Michigan up through northern Minnesota, and I've tried to include elements of each. If you absolutely have to imagine it on a map, put it around Iron Mountain or Crystal Falls, Michigan, with Green Bay being Camden. Now, Iron Mountian or Crystal Falls are not Spearfish Lake and never have been; it's just that if Spearfish Lake were real it might be located around there somewhere. Or it might not be.
How about Bradford? Where's that?
Bradford, which has come into play in some stories, is located in Southern Michigan, the first exit off I-67 north of the Indiana border. It's totally fictional, but located a little more firmly than Spearfish Lake (There is no real-life I-67.) It includes elements of a lot of places in the region. Amherst and Wychbold are nearby, but are equally fictional.
Why are you putting this online for free?
Because I want to. I've been writing for many years for my own enjoyment, and I'd like to share that enjoyment with others. It's not totally free; the ads are on here for a purpose, and that's hopefully to cover the server costs. Beyond that, it's kind of like that dude with the guitar -- if you enjoy it, you are welcome to throw something in the gig bag. You don't have to; it's kind of an honor system. If you're too broke or too cheap to make a donation, that's fine -- you might click on a couple of the links in the ad boxes, because that adds to the kitty in a roundabout way. If you don't like what you've read here, fine. It's your choice. It's not like you've spent money on a book only to be disappointed in it.
Yeah, but free? Is it worth your time?
We'll find out, won't we? Actually we writers have it soft compared to cartoonists. We have hundreds of possible places we could sell our stuff. Cartoonists have only a few places, the big syndicates -- and if they can't make a sale there, until recently they just about had to give up. But in recent years we've seen an explosion of ongoing cartoons being done in the web. This is where the cutting edge stuff is being done today, not in your daily paper. In fact, what cartoons in the daily paper aren't bland, politically correct renditions of the same joke over and over? Web cartoonists get along with a combination of donations, ads, and store stuff -- T-shirts, coffee cups, and the like. Some are doing quite well!
The cartoonists are just the cutting edge, though. If you've taken any look at what's happening in the music industry, you'll see that CD sales from the big companies are down and continue to shrink. People download stuff off the net all the time, and it's changing the industry forever. The same thing is happening in the book publishing industry. I'm not sure the donation/ad/store sales model is the best one for books, or is the way the industry is going to go, but at least the internet means that the publishing companies don't have a stranglehold on distribution any longer. What you get here is directly producer to consumer, the writer's and internet version of that busker with the guitar.
So you've got hardcopy or electronic books and stuff for sale?
Yes! When a story starts posting, it's available for download -- for a price. Downloads are available in rtf, epub, mobi and pdf formats -- you can specify the one you want. Epub and mobi formats are bundled together. See the Store Page for details. In addition, all books are available in hardcopy when the story starts posting. Downloads are made by hand and you do not get an immediate response, but you'll get the book by e-mail within 24 hours. You can pre-order a book a week before it begins posting, and I send them out just before I post the first chapter. Hardcopies are available through Lulu.com; there is a link to them on each book's length through the Store Page.
Older books are available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo. My editors and I like to go through each book to clean up typos and such that we missed in the first pass through. Unfortunately, we're way behind in this process, so only about half my books are available there.
Why a serial? Couldn't you just put the whole book up at once?
I suppose I could, but that would mean there would be little market for the downloads mentioned above. If you can't wait to find out how a story comes out, purchase a download at the Store Page. I post updates every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. That means I usually make the updates by hand late the night before, Eastern Standard Time. I may occasionally have to miss due to vacations or other commitments, but if so I'll make mention of it in the Newsbox on the main page ahead of time. Although I've sometimes been a little late, I haven't actually missed an update in nearly nine years, and that included a couple that I had to make from a hospital bed.
By any chance are you the Wes Boyd of MoveOn.org?
No, although I still get some of his e-mail directed my way. I never was a fan of After Dark, the screen saver that made him his money, either; the one computer I tried it on locked up so bad I thought I was going to have to reformat the hard drive. And besides, flying toasters? What were they smoking?