"Adventure wanted, will go anywhere, do anything -- write Box 13, Star-Times."
That's right. Original commissions. From a writer. For you to purchase.
The idea has been percolating for some time. It's been suggested to me that I should start writing quick, personalized pieces of fiction at conventions. As a writer, I sit there all day watching my artist friends draw and make cash, while I try to get by on hustling books. Such is the life of a comics scribe. (Not intended as a "boo-hoo, woe is me," just stating the facts.)
Same goes for when we're at home. Joëlle has a six-month wait on her drawings. I have a six-minute wait while this Hot Pocket cools down. How can I use this time better?
The answer is simple: write a commission for you.
How so? you ask
Well, remember these: "Romantica" series by Jamie S. Rich & Christine Norrie
These are basically what I am proposing. I wrote these short pieces by taking Christine's drawings and writing what came to mind while looking at them.
I can do the same for you. Short fiction pieces, slices of life, captured moments.
And here's how I propose to do it:
* You send me a prompt. This can be a word or a sentence; it can be a drawing or a photo you like; it can be your own sketch. Anything goes. It doesn't have to be romantic. It can have a genre element, it can be free form.
* I take the prompt and I write the piece. It might be really short, it might be longer, but it will be yours and yours only.
* I print the story on nice paper. Not flimsy copy paper. Nice paper with a little tooth. I mail it to you flat. Signed. Personalized if you like. Ideally, each piece will fit on one sheet so you can frame it.
* Cost is $25 + $6 postage. Payment due upon my accepting the job. [International customers will have to adjust for shipping; $13 to Canada and $17 to the rest of the world.]
* The only added fee is an extra $15 if you have a specific need, like a gift with a purpose or something personal. Something that we might have to do some refining on to get it right for you. (Reasonable refining.) This is negotiable. [Note, too: I can't guarantee success if you want to, say, have me write a story that will have an actual purpose or be intended for a desire result, like one that will lead to a marriage proposal. If he or she says "no," not my fault.]
* E-mail me. Let's set this up. golightly[a]gmail[dot]com
* Commissions will be delivered within four weeks.
* Note: You can also ordered any of my books signed at this time, provided I have them in stock. Comics I did with Joëlle can be signed by both us, and we split the cash.
There are also a few ground rules, for you and for me:
* You are not purchasing print rights for the material. I can put it on my blog, you can put it on your blog, but you can't do anything else with it. Much in the same way you can't make a print if you get a drawing at a convention or run a commissioned piece as a pin-up in your comic; that costs considerably more. I retain intellectual copyright on the material.
* I will never sell another version to anyone else. You get the only printed copy. (You can sell that sheet to someone else, just like artwork, but not a reproduction.)
* Due to intellectual copyright issues, we must be wary of you asking me to work with your characters or an idea you have for a story if you don't have a pretty solid foundation for that character. That ends up being development work and a slippery slope.
* If you send me someone else's drawing or photo, obviously they still own that and my work will be what it is: "inspired by."
And I think that's it. I may update this as more issues come up. Sorry for the boilerplate, but this is new territory. I don't know if Anaïs Nin had similar caveats for the erotica she wrote for private collectors, but that was before the internet and a lot of her stuff was probably illegal. (I'm not dirty enough to compete, so don't get any funny ideas.)
All questions obviously welcome. There's a good chance you're as confused by all this as I am.