Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Saturday, January 16, 2010

How I Know I'm a Real Writer

I am not ashamed to say I have a "Google Alert" set for my name. Not only does that allow me to keep up with the activities of Katherine Tomlinson of Manchester, England (pediatric nurse and music lover) and the Katherine Tomlinson who works in Vermont politics, but it also lets me know when I am mentioned somewhere.

The nature of the Internet being what it is, these mentions are sometimes very far away from their original source and like messages in the kids' game of telephone, sometimes you're surprised at what the final result is.

Tonight an alert showed up that sent me to a site that was offering a free e-book download of my story "Proof of Life," originally published on ThugLit. The story link was in with a bunch of links to articles about bathroom drains. My story had somehow come to their attention because of the phrase "bathroom drain" in my narrative.

Two years after the story appeared in ThugLit and a month after it was reprinted on A Twist of Noir, some unknown entity liked it enough to scoop it up and ... pass it around. They're not charging a fee for the download, so I'm inclined to view it as free publicity.

You're no one 'til somebody steals your work.


  1. It's a shame people don't see the need to credit someone when they obviosly appreciated said work. I had a slightly different situation this week. Someone linked to my story titled "The Tree Stand." It was a hunter who wanted to exchnage links, which was nice, but we have very little else in common. Still, the power of the free publicity can't be underestimated.

  2. I had a Cleveland painting company swipe a piece of flash fiction that I wrote, some two years ago, and the whole thing struck me as surreal. It was either a crime or a horror story, and it certainly wasn't going to help sell any paint, unless monsters or mobsters were looking for an interior touch-up.

    Free publicity or not, it certainly would've been nice if they asked for permission first.