Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Perks of the Job

Unless you're new here, you know I have writing job at The Phantom Zone. It's what I sum up as being a geek website. That doesn't quite do it justice; essentially, it's site for articles and reviews relating to science fiction, fantasy and horror across film, comics, books and games. This covers quite a lot of what actually makes it into the mainstream media.

The job, for which I merely have to contribute somewhat regularly - recent delays are about to be explained - enables me to write about the films I go to see every weekend (well, almost every) because mostly they fall into one of the three above-named categories. The job also allows me to review books I love, because there's no exclusivity to "adult" market books, given the fact that kids and YA books are now being read by adults more freely. They're simpler and easier to get through, and that can make them more fun for a busy reader.

But the perks of the job get better, and this is what has delayed recent posts: I get to interview some of my favourite authors. I don't think The Phantom Zone has had too many interviews in the past, but General Zod, my editor, gave me permission to seek and publish interviews on the site. Following my review of The Warlock, I was able to then interview the author, Michael Scott, via Skype.

Now, that's why I've been so inactive on the site. The Skype call went on for a while. I recorded it, but I had to get the actual words of the call written down. I still have to put together an article around the quotes I'll be taking from the interview. But overall, it was a fun experience. Michael's very charismatic and he had a lot to say about his books and about writing. I have two more interviews lined up so far - one via email, the other unconfirmed. I've received a free copy of the first author's book, and I will be receiving a copy of the other author's. The fun part? The latter is one of my favourite authors. I can't wait to get to interview him for The Phantom Zone!

So, two free books so far. That's a plus. So far I haven't been paid - payment is, as advertised, based on ad-revenue - but that's okay for me, for now. I know I won't be cheated out of money from the editor. In the meantime, I can review books for the site and I've been given permission to do a number of different articles for the site, so it's simply a matter of picking and choosing when it appeals to me/when the time is right.

Even better, still, I get to call myself a professional writer. Yes, I'm still working at a slow rate - too slow to make a living if I was writing for print magazines or papers - but I will be getting paid for the job. I'm an actual (going-to-be) paid writer. That feels pretty damn amazing to say!

By the by, just so we're clear: unless Zod disapproves a book to be reviewed on The Phantom Zone, all my sci-fi, fantasy and horror reviews (including YA in those genres) will be posted there. I'll still have other book reviews of my own, here, just not in those genres. So... keep that in mind. My tastes haven't changed, I just have a job that I can use those reviews for. Also, because I'm now doing reading for two places, my reviews may not be as regular as usual (i.e. once a week on a Wednesday) but I will always attempt to write a couple of posts a week, unless I'm away from the blog entirely (for personal reasons, a holiday or an overload of college work, including teaching practice).

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to collapse from exhaustion after having watched several hours of the riots last night and being woken up early this morning. Until next time...

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