Tag Archives: Daven Anderson

Dinosaurs, Meteors and Mammals – How History Republishes Itself by Daven Anderson

History is a cycle of recycles. Never-ending births and rebirths. Time and time again, the new phoenixes arise from the ashes of the old ways, born from a “death” that never dies.

The original subtitle for this piece was “Every Lesson The Publishing Industry Needs To Learn Was Taught 65 Million Years Ago.” And in that case, the master teacher was a giant rock from outer space. No artful soliloquies were waxed rhapsodic by this six-mile-wide asteriod when it visited our planet and “surfed” the Yucatan peninsula. Yet our astral guest and its master lesson have remained with our dear Earth ever since, teaching all those who can open their minds to see the inevitablity of the inevitable.

In the last decade, not one but two meteors have struck, this time at the heart of the publishing world. First, do-it-yourself publishing, upending a century of print-centric contracts and distribution methods. Second, the digital e-book reader, which bypasses print distribution entirely.

The key question: How have the “Big Five” publishers reacted to the entire publishing world changing around them? They signed Amanda Hocking and E.L. James, after these two women proved they did not need a major publisher to sell large numbers. The D.I.Y “tail” is now wagging their dog, to the point where the newest print deals with Hugh Howey and John Locke allowed them to keep their e-book rights. The New York publishing houses, by their own admission, are no longer dictating the terms for every authors’ success, and in the cases above they are simply hitching a ride on the authors’ own coat tails.

The Big Five’s contract language and terms have changed very little; even as the advances, promotions and shelf space allocations that “justified” such terms are now dying on the vine. Is it any wonder why many authors who could play the New York game now orbit around the “meteor” of do-it-yourself publishing?

One big question remains. Is do-it-yourself publishing a meteor, or an infant dinosaur?

Will do-it-yourself publishing burn bright in the sky, then come crashing to Earth from major online retailers suddenly pulling the plug on direct do-it-yourself publishing? The voices suggesting this “insane” possiblility; are they mad rants from the farthest fringes of the Internet, or are they the earliest harbingers of an inevitable outcome the great majority cannot even visualize as yet?

Do-it-yourself publishing may be the new dinosaur, disguised as a meteor. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. New strengths, and new weaknesses to match. The odds of a single author rising from the DIY jungle worsening daily, as potential readers have to sift through a mass of e-books growing at a geometric rate. Readers left sifting for tiny grains of diamonds in the near-infinite sand dunes. Already no end is in sight for this paradigm, and more importantly no fundamental change is in sight. And, as the events 65 million years ago taught us, we know what happens when an established “institution” cannot adapt to changin conditions.

As “impossible” as it may seem right now that a major online retailer could “pull the plug” on direct do-it-yourself publishing, the wise will take the time to consider what would happen if they did. Millions of authors’ dreams would “die” all at once, enough of a “disturbance in the Force” to turn us all into Obi-Wan Kenobis for a day. The new dinosaur, dying a meteor’s death.

The master lesson: Those who cannot adapt to a major paradigm shift will be buried by the winds of change, the bones of what they used to be fossilizing under layers of “ashes to ashes, and dust to dust.”

You are reading this because your mammal ancestors could adapt. They survived in a world full of dinosaurs, but what mattered is that they could also thrive in a harsh world that drove the dinosaurs to extinction. Adaptablility meant being able to work around the dinosaurs while they were still alive, and work around their carcasses after the meteor had its last laugh. And 65 million years later, adaptability means being able to recognize dinosaurs and meteors when you see them, and being able to work with every possible outcome.

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What Started Me Writing with Daven Anderson

In 1983, a young auto-shop student named Daven Anderson was reading Stephen King’s new novel “Christine.” Daven loved the story, but he found the factual errors King made describing its 1958 Plymouth “protagonist” to be as distracting as they were amusing. Daven swore then that if he ever wrote a novel, it would have no errors in its car descriptions.

 Twenty-six years later, Daven borrowed the four Twilight saga novels. Upon reading the ending of “Breaking Dawn,” he thought “I could write something better.” That same day, he laid the foundations for the Vampire Syndrome saga.

Daven started with a brainstorming exercise: “Imagine all your co-workers as vampires.” Daven’s twenty years of working retail offered him a cornucopia of choices, but the most intriguing possibilities for characters were his co-workers with special needs.

Thus was born Jack Wendell, a Special Olympics champion sprinter who becomes a vampire. Since Daven would not settle for writing just a vampire version of Forrest Gump, he needed an antagonistic vampire world that would challenge Jack’s life right from the moment of his transformation.

 Enter Lilith, the President of the Vampires; and her husband Damien, the Chief Venator (law enforcer). A couple that challenge each other’s existence, not just Jack’s. Trapped in a 253-year train-wreck of a marriage, which was inspired by the gleeful nihilism of “The War Of The Roses” and “Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry.”

 Jack also needed a friend to guide him through the first steps of his new life. Enter Zetania Vinescu, Chief Venator of Romania. Damien orders Zetania to kill Jack. Lilith over-rides her husband and orders Zetania to protect Jack. Zetania forced to play a cat-and-mouse game to save Jack from her fellow Venators.

By the time Daven went to bed that fateful night, he had created the four main characters and several key story elements, all of which are present in the published novels.

 The next day, Daven accepted the challenge of reconciling science with the world’s vampire folklore. This ultimately led him to add a race of alien vampires, the Pures, and ascribe certain folkloric attributes (ie: harmed by sunlight and garlic) exclusively to this species.

 The Vampire Syndrome saga is the culmination of years of Daven’s meticulous research and story crafting, expertly weaving truth and fiction into a seamless whole as never before. At last, a vampire saga where everything makes sense. And yes, even the cars are accurate, fulfilling the decades-old promise Daven made to himself.

A million people said they could write something “better.” Daven Anderson bought his version of “better” to life, and thanks to PDMI Publishing LLC, you too can read the “better” vampire saga.