This Came Up Recently – Using Brand Names in Stories

I had a short story I sent to an editor recently. In that story, I had people from the future go back in time and one of the things they did was buy the IPO of a certain brand name technology stock. I’m not currently using the products of that company, I use a PC. The implication from the way it was used was that the company in question would still be a thriving company a hundred years in the future. My editor, rightfully, discussed a concern about using the exact name of the company in the story. I was of a mind to use the name anyway, especially since I didn’t say anything bad about it.

Still, I felt better when I read this blog post.

Can I Mention Brand Name Products in My Fiction?

While it was written in 2010, I would imagine that the principles still hold true. I’m going to quote a bit from that post.

Writers frequently ask whether they can mention brand name products and services in their fiction.  The answer is “yes,” provided that you take some common sense precautions.  Indeed, if it were unlawful to include brand names in fiction, countless product references in Bret Easton Ellis’s novel Glamorama would have been expurgated, and David Foster Wallace could never have described in Infinite Jest an alternative present where large corporations purchase naming rights to the calendar years (e.g., “Year of the Whopper,” “Year of the Trial-Size Dove Bar,” “Year of the Perdue Wonderchicken,” “Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment,” and “Year of Glad”).

The four areas of law to consider in connection with brand names are “trademark infringement,” “trademark dilution,” “trademark tarnishment,”and “defamation.”

If you were wondering about this question, I hope this article helps you as much as it helped me.

Top Ten Graves Moments – Reblog

Leslie Conzatti over at Upstream Writer put together a top 10 list of moments from the Grave Report Series (the first two books). I’m sharing her first two, and then giving you a link to the rest. If you’ve read the series, do you agree with her? What other moments would you consider. If you haven’t read the series, maybe this will give you a good introduction and spike your interest.


Hit List: Top 10 Vincent Graves Moments from “The Grave Reports” by R. R. Virdi

Vincent Graves. Those who know him, love him. Those who don’t know him–have no idea what they’re missing. A man reduced to literally a soul and begrudgingly whisked through time and space at the behest of a higher power, if there’s anything Vince consistently carries with him, it’s the sarcasm, the nerdy references, the brash impulsiveness–and at the bottom of it all, the unshakable belief that he can use his constantly-repeating life to make all the difference in the world, even if he has to break a few supernatural rules to do it. It’s that heart that drives us back to him and keeps us thirsty for more–and it’s moments like these ten (in no particular ranked order) that live in our imaginations and keep us giggling even when the peril is at its greatest!
1. Scaring The Bejeezus Out Of The Old Groundskeeper
We first meet Vince Graves in Grave Beginnings… literally bashing his way out of a grave. If that’s not a totally fitting introduction for a character, I don’t know what is!
It’s not just the fact that he knows all the statistics and “insider information” about being buried in a coffin, though… It’s when he gets out, and there’s this old man standing there–Vince has the gall to greet him with the well-timed phrase, “Well whaddya know? You really can dig your way here from China!” Whereupon the groundskeeper clutches his chest and keels over… and so the fun and games begin!
2. “Supernatural Douche Kitty.”
Hands-down my favorite line from the first book, Grave Beginnings. And absolutely a fitting insight into his character. See, the supernatural don’t fight by what we mortals consider “fair.” Things like inanimate objects, gravity, empirical senses–everything is fair game when you’re tracking a supernatural entity! This was the moment, though, where things began to really take a turn for the “holy altered state of reality, Batman!” Vince is on the trail of discovering the monster who killed the person whose body he currently inhabits (yeah… it takes some getting used to…) when said entity decides to throw him off–by animating a bronze tiger statue in front of a nearby Asian restaurant! Vince responds with his customary dry wit, understating the visual of a full-size tiger made of metal chasing him down the streets of Manhattan by referring to it as a “kitty.” And from that moment on, I knew I was going to love this series forever.
To read the rest of the Top Ten, go to Upstream Writer

Author Interview with E. A. Copen

Leah Chiasson shares an interview with E. A. Copen. It’s an interesting read.

In December of 2016, I released my first book into the world. Little did I know that there was a lot more work involved in self-publishing than just good writing and a pretty cover. One of the first things I did was join a Facebook group for urban fantasy authors. It was such a warm and welcoming place to visit and I discovered not only a great support network, but some amazing authors.

One of the first authors to stand out for me was E. A. Copen. She currently writes for several series, including the Judah Black series and her latest weird west book, Beasts of Babylon, while keeping us urban fantasy authors in line on her Facebook group.

She likes cats, coffee, snowy mornings, accents and Tarantino movies.

As we all should.


What drove you to write your first book?

I write the stories I want to read…

View original post 963 more words

Indie Author E. A. Copen

One of the independent authors I really like is E. A. Copen. Her main series is an Urban Fantasy  look at a world where Supernatural Beings are herded onto a reservation in West Texas. The Judah Black novels are a lot of fun. Ann Shannon had a great interview with Copen on her blog. Rather than trying to recreate the interview, I’m going to share a little bit of the beginning and then send you over to Ann’s blog. Get to know E. A. and look into her writings! (You even have a chance to win a free Kindle version of one of her books!)

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EA Copen is a time traveler who’s been writing since she was three. She exists, not only on our timeline, but also in Ancient Rome where she’s called Pompeia Furia.

Hi and welcome to the launch of the Indie Author BLT Spotlight. If you are here, you are helping to launch a brand new way to appreciate Indie Authors for all their hard work. I will be spotlighting a new author each month, they will always be Indie or small press authors, though my focus is on Indies. Each month you’ll get to know my featured author, how they came to be an author, how they approach their craft and many other exciting facts. You’ll also be eligible for a sweepstakes in which I’ll give away one or more of their books so you can sample their work! What could be more exciting than that?

Read all the way to the bottom to enter the Sweepstakes!

This month the sweepstakes winner will receive a Kindle version of Guilty by Association. Be sure your subscribed to take part in the sweepstakes and find out if you won!

EA Copen is a breakout Indie author of 2016.

She’s the author of four books with a fifth and sixth set for release later this year. In 2016 she published her first book on April 1, her second book on July 8 and her third on November 4. Let me reassure you, they are all powerhouses that will keep your eyes glued to the pages as you stay up long past your bedtime. I got a chance to chat with her for a bit and this is what I learned about her. Sit down, pour yourself a drink, wine if you want to join her in ancient Rome while you visit, and enjoy getting to know an Indie author that is well worth your time.

Head over to Ann’s blog to read the full story. 

April Writing Challenge

400 words a day – can you do it? If so, this is the writing challenge for you. I did this in January, had to skip February, and did it again in March. It’s a fun challenge and you get to meet some nice people on-line. Check it out!

 

https://anygoodthing.com/2017/03/27/any-good-thing-april-writing-challenge-starts-soon/

 

For the past few weeks, writers participating in the Any Good Thing Writing Challenge have been pumping out words–400 x 5 days per week per person. While the March results aren’t in yet, here are the results of February’s Writing Challenge:

Folks who wrote 5 out of 7 days produced, on average, 13,698 words.

Our “highest volume” writer generated 16,432 words.

Our “most consistent” writer wrote for 25 days out of the month–blowing past the expectation of 20 days. This writer basically squeezed an extra week of writing into the month.

Our “highest daily average” was 1040 words.

Our group daily mean was 627 words per day of writing.

Yes, I Really Want You to Support Your Author Friend

I posted another author’s blog on the idea of helping your friends who are authors. Here is the blog from E. A. Copen, author of the Judah Black novels and Fairchild Chronicles. She makes some great suggestions for people who have friends who are authors. Check it out.

How to Support an Author Friend

Let’s say you have this author friend and you’d really like to help her out, but you’re not sure what you can do or where to start. Well then, my friend, this post is for you. Yes, even if you have absolutely zero dollars to your name, no free time, and don’t read in the genre they write, YOU CAN HELP. Here’s how.

The first thing you should do is buy their books. That’s the #1 thing all authors want you to do. When you buy our books, feel free to post selfies with them all over social media. This spreads the word and tells potential new readers that you are friends with an author. How cool is that?

Click on the link in the Title to read the rest. It’s good stuff!