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Atlanta Nights has been mentioned on PRWeb! Atlanta Nights - trade paperback cover
  Over a holiday
  weekend last year,
  some thirty-odd
  science fiction
  writers banged out a chapter or two apiece... [more]

Please publish this dud
To test a publisher's selectivity, a group of writers collaborated on a book. Their goal: Make it stink.
Atlanta Nights - e-book cover By Scott Martelle
LA Times Staff Writer
Feb 5 2005
The moral of this story is: Never tick off a science fiction writer...

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Travis Tea often receives reader questions about his profound authorial insight, the nature of his literary inspiration, his humble beginnings, and the various aspects of his work. The responses are collected here.

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QUESTION: "The world is full of bad books written by amateurs. But why settle for the merely regrettable?"

ANSWER: "Atlanta Nights is a bad book written by experts."

Q: "Where you do you get your ideas?"

A: "In Alabama, or course. It is Travis's home and where his heart reposes, a rock in the sand."

Q: "How many pages should a novel be?"

A: "As many as can be filled with black text. But you'd better check your publisher's guidelines, because they will be very specific. As a general rule (there is none, but I am humoring you), novels can range from 40K words for a slim YA, upwards to 250K words for a real doorstopper, but the sky's the limit. Still unsure? Take a peek here."

Q: "How do I get feedback without people stealing my good ideas?"

A: "Dunno. Ideas are about a dime a dozen, so who'd wanna steal them? It's the execution that counts. But if you want good (and absolutely free!) feedback, how about joining an online writers workshop such as Critters?"

Q: "Should I put my manuscript in a fancy box with art and ribbons and maybe some glitter on it?"

A: "You can do that if you never want to see it again. Things will fare much better for your manuscript if you follow the proper manuscript and submission format, foo'."

Q: "How much money can I expect to make when I'm famous?"

A: "Ask J. K. Rowling."

Q: "How much did you pay to publish your book?"

A: "Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Zippo. Nada. Squat. Need I go on? And seeing as you even ask this question and you are about to possibly throw away your hard-earned money — halt! Do nothing! It is clear you need an urgent education, foo'!"

Q: "What's the plural of "Travis"?"

A: "Traves."

Q: "Can I have your autograph?"

A: "Sure! You can find Travis Tea in person at various conventions or check his appearance schedule. If you are a convention committee interested in booking Travis for an appearance or would like to include Travis Tea-related programming, be sure to inquire here. Travis of Honor (TOH) is guaranteed to make your convention shine."

Q: "Can I have your baby?"

A: "That depends entirely on you."

Q: "Is there any relationship between Mr. Tea and Mr. T.?"

A: "None whatsoever, you foo'. 'Xcept maybe da 'tude. Pity da foo' publisha 'at messes wi' Mista Tea."

Q: "How did Travis come up with the "special" Chapter 34?"

A: "Common thought has it that just as S. T. Coleridge conceived his classic poem "Kubla Khan" in a dream, so did our Travis Tea receive the Muse's gift of Chapter 34. However the real answer lies in the Bonsai Story Generator."

Q: "How many print editions of Atlanta Nights have there been?"

A: "The masterpiece in question underwent several "edition revisions" in trade paperback. There were 23 copies sold with the original generic back cover (no blurbs). Then came the first revision and 29 copies sold with the first lot of blurbs filling the back cover completely (no ISBN). Next, a very rare 7 copies were sold with the ISBN overwriting some of the blurbs. Then, came a run of 54 copies with back cover blurbs and non-overlaid ISBN, but no interior blurbs. Finally, the current edition contains the ISBN, blurbs in the back that stop short of the ISBN, and an expanded section of internal blurbs plus an afterword. Be sure to check your own copy to see if you have one of the original rare collectors editions (sure to bring in a fortune in the rare editions collectors market very soon)."

Q: "Where should the money flow?"

A: "Into your pocket, of course. The money always flows toward the writer. Even if he is standing uphill. Repeat this like a mantra."

Q: "Where should a writer sign a check?"

A: "The only place a writer should sign a check is on the back, when cashing it."

Q: "Do I need an agent? How do I get one?"

A: "Here's everything you ever wanted to know about agents, but didn't know where or how to ask. Read this first. Then read this and this. Now, go away or I shall taunt you a second time."

Q: "Should I mail a copy of my manuscript to myself to prevent theft?"

A: "By all means. Or mail copies to all your friends so they can testify in your behalf. Copies to local police will also be as useful. Sacrifice a small stuffed animal (a goat is preferred, but, in a pinch, a white rat provides sufficient protection). And be sure to wear your tinfoil hat at all times to prevent mind readers from stealing your story before you write it. These are all equally effective methods of getting copyright protection for your manuscript."

Q: "How much should I ask for a movie deal?"

A: "Funny you should ask. I just got off the phone with Spielberg. He's willing to pay me in the low three figures if I never mention his name in connection with this again."

Q: "Did you hire an editor for your work?"

A: "Yes, and she worked wonders. You should have seen the original version. Filled with errors of all sorts, bad dialogue, inconsistencies, and with no plot to speak of. Thanks to her, that is no longer a problem and everything is perfect."

Q: "I sent my book in to the publisher last week, and I haven't heard anything yet. How long should I wait before I call them and complain?"

A: "That depends on just how badly you want to get published, though I don't exactly recommend calling and complaining since editors tend to take that sorta stuff personally. Better you send a polite query asking about the status of your book, but I'd wait three months or more before you do. If that don't work, threaten to take it elsewhere. Of course, then they'll get it back to you, complete with a rejection, faster than a zit grows on a teenager's forehead."

Q: "How does Atlanta Nights stand up to The Eye of Argon?"

A: "Very well, thank you. Some people believe that Atlanta Nights can put out The Eye of Argon any day..."

Q: "How do you keep it all organized for the length of a novel?"

A: "You simply have to have an outline. I couldn't have written this book without it. It was a little challenging once that sheaf of notes fell out on the street that day and I hadn't numbered them and a bus went by and it was just a mess getting everything back in order. But it was worth the effort, you can see the result in the success of AN!"

Q: "Please explain the Christologic imagery in Bruce Lucent's story. I don't think I got it."

A: "Neither did I."

Q: "What are you working on now? Any new works in progress?"

A: "Travis is still recovering from the emotional tsunami that has passed through him, clensing his innards and out beyond after having produced the powerhouse that is Atlanta Nights, but has several other imminent and eminent works in progress, including an indirect sequel tentatively called Bakersfield Evenings (or possibly Chino Evenings, but Travis is still undecided on the pastoral location), and a prequel, Lubbock Mornings. He is also contemplating an altogether unrelated piece to be called Colebrook Twilight.

Q: "Is this the official Travis Tea Website?"

A: "Yes. And there is also which is the official domain of Travis Tea."

Q: "Does Travis Tea have a tea room?"

A: "There is indeed a Travis Tea Room. Cameron has many Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks, including the Magnolia House located on Travis Street. The restored home is currently used for meetings and a bed and breakfast. Follow the street south to the Travis Tea Room a restored residence serving delicious meals Tuesday through Thursday 11 a.m to 2 p.m."

Cameron Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 432
Cameron, TX 76520
and here.

Q: "Should I do my own art for the cover of my book? My mother says I am very talented."

A: "By all means — if your mother is going to publish your book."

Q: "Do you know Stephen King?"

A: "Who? Sure I know Stephen King. Him and his brother Lenny, they own the deli ... what? Oh! Nevermind...."

Q: "When did you first know you were going to be a writer?"

A: "I'll let you know when it happens."

Q: "Who were your literary influences?"

A: "Nobody. I'm sooey generous."

Q: "It has been mentioned by critics that Atlanta Nights handles racial issues with amazing grace and sensitivity. Care to elaborate?"

A: "Uh, well, I made Bruce Lucent an Asian-American. But I gather than in the rest of the chapters he's a white boy, so perhaps that will be all right. He's black in at least one chapter."

Q: "If Hollywood approached you, what would be your preferences as to actor selections and other details for a movie version?"

A: "Let's see ... Jerry Bruckheimer would produce, of course. Joel Schumacher would direct. Screenplay by Stirling Silliphant, based on the novel by Travis Tea. Filmed on location in Vancouver. And the role of Bruce Lucent simply cries out for the thespian talents of Ben Affleck. John Lone? Pia Zadora for Callie Archer? We have to have Tom Hanks in there somewhere. He can play three people."

Q: "There's a rumor that Travis Tea has a special love of aviator sunglasses. Does this have any basis in reality?"

A: "Aviator sunglasses have indeed a basis in reality. They can be found in stores. And they are extremely sensual to Travis. A super turn-on. Especially when worn in combination with a baseball cap and t-shirt or any other Atlanta Nights-themed merchandize. (This hint is going out in particular to the person who wanted to know if they could have Travis's baby.)"

Q: "How can I get good reviews?"

A: "Tuck a fifty-dollar bill into the book before you send it to the reviewer."

Q: "What if he doesn't review my book?"

A: "Call your bank and stop payment on the check."

Q: "Did your family contribute anything to the writing of Atlanta Nights?"

A: "Without the entire Tea family I doubt I could have done it at all. My wife Vanna was the one who told me in the first place that I was as good as any writer out there; my paternal grandmother Insanna would whisper to me at night, and that kept me going; my sister Vapidda helped me a great deal in fashioning the words on the page; older brother Punctuali made sure I was always on time, and lawyer cousin Reciproci always looked out after my best interest. Last but not least, my cousins Atrossa, Senilla, and Banalla helped me drive the plot. I wouldn't be surprised, given my own smashing success, to see one or more of my many kindred write their own magnificent books. . . . Oh, wait! Are these people my family? As I know, Bob, I must make sure by checking my own official author bio."

Q: "To what extent is it true that mainstream publishers 'have a thousand authors who have not had one book printed?'"

A: "To the same extent that the moon is made of blue cheese and gorgonzola."

Q: "Would you say that 'many mainstream publishers similarly do not read the entire manuscript before making an offer of publication' to new, previously unpublished writers, or accept contracted work from established writers without reading through and vetting the final draft?"

A: "I would say that I never try my clothes on when I buy them. I also never try on shoes either, or underwear. For that matter, I never check flight details when I make a plane reservation. And hey, I bought my house sight unseen from a nice email I got from the honourable widow of general Ali-Bahmubaah of Nigeria. They tell me it's nice. I also bought a bridge over the river Kwai the other day. . . ."

Q: "Is there a difference between self-publishing and vanity publishing?"

A: "You can bet your sweet patootie there is a huge difference. Check out these great Writer Beware's term definitions of commercial, subsidy, vanity, and self publishing to find out more."

Q: "Does Travis Tea ever post reviews of other people's books on Amazon or elsewhere online?"

A: "No, never. Travis Tea does not ever under any circumstances post reviews of other writers' works, because he is not a reviewer or critic -- frankly it is not his business. If you ever see a review (good or bad) posted on Amazon or anywhere else that is signed by "Travis Tea," please be advised that it is not the real Travis and never will be. The real Travis Tea does not do that kind of thing."

Q: "?"

A: ""

Q: "?"

A: ""

Q: "?"

A: ""

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Atlanta Nights - trade paperback cover
ISBN: 1-4116-2298-7
Trade Paperback edition
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