Saturday, August 22, 2020

The thin line between emulation and plagiarism


I have to admit having thinking about this topic for the whole last week and wondered how often this thin line has been crossed, even if involuntarily.

Everything happened when I decided to rebrand my trilogy series completely, starting with new covers, and update the content. Like many indie authors do, I asked for feedback about the new covers in several authors groups.

Someone asked me the genre, and whether there was a particular author's series my trilogy could be connected with, something that had a similar story or theme. This is a question I've always dreaded because I have absolutely no idea. I do write thrillers, but the point of view is quite rarely one of a particular agent who saves the day in the end. To be honest, in some of my novels, nobody can save the day entirely, and the characters, like in real life, have to find a way to stand up on their feet and try to cope with the unexpected situation. There's always a bittersweet component in my ending. That is the kind of outcome that gives the reader the final bit to chew on.

At that point, he replied: "when authors come to me asking for suggestions, I always tell them to find the best selling authors and emulate the hell out of them."

That answer unleashed my considerations, and a question started to twirl on my mind, if I emulate the hell out of a particular author, what will happen to my unique and personal voice? Where is my creativity going? Is there any meaning in being creative?

The answer, at least from my point of view, is 'no.'

I am not going to take another author's idea and use it as a mold, where to confine my creativity just because it's something that people are used to. I believe that readers can get passionate about many different takes on a single genre if the author can draw them into the story, and that has nothing to do with a particular format. Creativity should never have boundaries, and experimenting something new, will give readers the chance to have something original and genuine coming from the soul of an author, instead of that coming from copying a particular format because it sells for sure.

To be honest, there have been a couple of "sales gurus," suggesting me to do precisely what the others do without listening to my creative voice. They all went to the ignoring trashbin. I am not going to listen to any suggestion on how to sell more if this means giving up my own personality and creativity.

Following this optic, I'm asking you, can we consider this sort of wild emulation as a hidden form of plagiarism?

With this weekly thought, I leave you to draw your own conclusion, and if you want to read something genuinely coming straight from the heart of an author, you might want to check out my novels here:

US marketplace: www.amazon.com/author/pjmann

UK marketplace: www.amazon.co.uk/author/pjmann

Canada marketplace: www.amazon.ca/author/pjmann

Australia marketplace: www.amazon.com.au/author/pjmann

India marketplace: www.amazon.in/author/pjmann

You can also check out my website for something more here:

https://www.pjmannauthor.com


Saturday, August 8, 2020

Lee Child meets James M. Cain: The Man from the Mist

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned my new release, promising something about it. 

Well, Sunday 26th of July at 01:25 in the morning, after a whole day spent re-reading, rechecking, perfecting the novel, I was able to click the 'PUBLISH' button on Amazon. 

As first, it was released as a Kindle, knowing that it would have taken more time to release the paperback. To be honest, both the versions were published in the exact same moment. Still, if you are familiar with the times required by Amazon to check and make a paperback available for order, you know this can really be a time-consuming process.

Despite it all, the Kindle version was approved and live within a few hours, and the first thing I did was to send the link to my ARC readers' group, who, in the meanwhile, had the time to read it. 

Like it happens in many cases, you send a certain amount of free copies, but it's not really said that you will get the same amount of reviews in Amazon or Goodreads. This is because most of the people find out only at the end that they haven't spent the 50 USD requirement to be allowed to review anything on the site.


So, now here we have a new tale to show to the world:


However, one particular review brought tears in my eyes, and I decided to share it with you:

"I was intrigued by the cover and the title. I've always loved foggy days, particularly mornings; and the story held me captivated. Dave Stanford, editor at a local newspaper, is one of life's "invisible" people. They go about their daily lives, leaving behind barely a trace. We may see some of them, but we pay no attention to them - never ask him or her their name, spend sometimes years around them, and then are shocked when they finally get our attention.

Dave is drawn out of his anonymity, seemingly by chance when someone actually acknowledged him as a person. Soon, he is forced, quite unwillingly to deal with others - his neighbors, his co-workers, and even the police.

I don't do spoilers, so I strongly recommend you get your copy of The Man From the Mist. P. J. Mann has woven an essence of noir, reflecting the styles of authors such as Raymond Chandler - The Big Sleep, James M. Cain - The Postman Always Rings Twice, and one of my favorites, Led Child's first Jack Reacher novel - Killing Floor.

I have a collection of novels I've read more than once. The Man From the Mist is joining The Stand, The Lord of the Rings, Interview with a Vampire: there are about 20 of the hundreds of books I have read.

This will not be the last of Mann's novels for me, you may very well agree after you have navigated the twists and turns in search of the mysterious man from the mist."

This novel came to my mind, inspired by a foggy day. It's quite rare for Finland to have days of thick fog, but that day was an exception under many aspects.

Walking the streets, I stopped for a moment to look at the people walking by and how difficult it was to even recognize one from the other. Strangely enough, I considered that it would have been relatively easy for a serial killer to hide on a foggy day. So the story began...

If you want to know more, here is the link to Amazon:

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

AMAZON CANADA

AMAZON AUSTRALIA

AMAZON INDIA

I really hope you will give a chance to this novel and I hope you will enjoy it, like many of those who read it did.

One more thing, if you go and choose to get the book, I would really be grateful if you would leave a review If you can't maybe you can recommend it.

Keep yourself safe!

Saturday, August 1, 2020

It's all running into a circle

When you think about a city, the last thing that comes to your mind is to wonder about its planimetry. This, unless you stumble into something utterly bizarre.
Now think about having built something you are entirely proud of.
Think you want the whole world to admire it.
What would be the best way to do so?
Easy answered you make sure that every road leads there. The best way to make sure this is so is to build the whole city to circle your creation.
This; Ladies and Gentlemen, is Hamina:

A city that has been built around its Town Hall. The reason for this circular/ octagonal plan isn't clear. Personally, I love to think that when they finished the Town Hall, besides being considered the center of the social/political life, it was also considered something g to be proud of. In this optic, they built the rest of the city in a way that every single road would have led to it.
Located South-East Finland, this lovely town is sure to attract your attention and to make sure you will fall in love with its unique planimetry. But this is just one small reason to fall in love with it. The quiet, the beauty and the serenity feeling you get as soon as you exit your car, and start walking the streets, is something that makes you run to the first real estate agency to check for any availability in the city.





If it weren't for the fact that my job is in Helsinki, I would have considered remaining there and get one of those lovely wooden houses for myself.
The restrictions caused by this pandemic start to bring some good sides, and I wouldn't have otherwise discovered those jewels around me.

Keep yourself safe and healthy!


Are we really happy?

This is a post about the myth behind the happiest country in the world: Finland. Once again, Finland has been declared the happiest country ...