Armand Rosamilia Dying Days 2 Blog Tour – You Can’t Use Our Business
Scary heavy metal horror author, Armand Rosamilia has dropped by as part of the promotional blog tour for his new book, Dying Days 2, and gives his thoughts on using real world locations in your novels.
You Can’t Use Our Business
This past week I released the third book in the Dying Days series, Dying Days 2… yeah, that might be a bit odd, but Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer is the first one, and… well.. just read them.
A strange thing happened while I was writing the latest book, something that might be normal to some writers but not for me. In yesterday’s guest blog I talked about product placement, and the legalities involved. Basically, you can add Coke or Absolut or Publix in but it’s frowned upon to say Starbucks coffee is killing everyone… even if it might be true.
Let me backtrack a bit. I tend to write a story without a solid outline, preferring a few notes on an index card or two, some basic plot-points to get a flow. The story (if it’s any good) tends to write itself. Usually the index card becomes pointless by the last part of the story, when the characters have done something unexpected and sent the story in another direction.
Case in point: Dying Days 2, where I got to a spot in the beginning chapters and needed to simply add in a name of a bar. The story is set in St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest city in America. There’s a bar there that is in a perfect spot in the center of town, and I figured it would make perfect sense to have one of the characters owning it and maybe another character or two go visit and get a drink, using the barter system. That could be fun.
As the story progressed I realized, in all reality, this would easily be the focus of the survivors. And why not? It was a friendly bar, it had alcohol for trade, and sat in the middle of the safe part of town.
So I let the story write itself, and suddenly the bar became its own character, with a climactic scene and a gathering for the main characters.
There was nothing negative about the bar. In fact, it talked about what a mainstay it’s been for St. Augustine and how nice of a place it was, rich in its history.
Me being me, I decided to contact the actual place before publication. My goal was to do a book-signing on one of their slow nights, drive a few extra people into the bar, publicize it in the paper, and spread some good will.
The general manager immediately got on the defensive and told me I couldn’t use the name, it was a registered trademark, and the owner (who is a billionaire – her words) would sue me and stop publication of the book.
So much for good will.
I hadn’t even told her what the book was about, how the bar was being used in the story, or anything. Of course, too, my bitchy Jersey attitude almost kicked in and I wanted to tell her she legally couldn’t stop me from using the name in that context anymore than McDonald’s could stop me from mentioning a character eating a McDouble.
But I refrained, decided to simply change the name of the bar, and never spend another dime in her establishment. There are much better places in St. Augustine, anyway.
The old adage ‘all publicity is good publicity’ doesn’t appeal to everyone, and I know my little book wouldn’t make or break their bar, and maybe having a book-signing there on a slow Tuesday night might not draw a hundred extra patrons, but I don’t see it hurting them. I also don’t see getting sued over it, either.
A part of me wonders where it would’ve gone if I’d simply said ‘too bad, it stays in the book, get your lawyer’ and then made a big production in the media about it… David vs. Goliath and all that drama.
I’d probably be selling more copies of Dying Days 2 than I could print… darn, why’d I change it?
I’m hoping a sex tape for my next book release will get some sales in as well… until then…
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Want to know more about the “Dying Days” series? Want to win free eBooks and maybe print books of them? My contest is simple: e-mail me at armandrosamilia (at) gmail (dot) com with DYING DAYS in the subject line and I’ll enter you into the daily giveaway… also, post a comment here and you get another chance… follow my blog at http://armandrosamilia.com for yet another chance, and friend me on Twitter (@ArmandAuthor) and simply post DYING DAYS to me, and you’ll get another shot… nice and easy, right? If I get enough people joining in the giveaway there will be a print book given away that day!
“Dying Days” series information can be found here: http://armandrosamilia.com/dying-days-series/
~ by graemereynolds on March 19, 2012.