The new website is intended to be both a tribute to creators as well as a reminder to anyone who visits the site that individual creators are the true beneficiaries of copyright.
This week we start a series of blogs highlighting our individual creator members. We asked our members to answer five questions about the importance of the creative community and copyright.
Please meet Dana Davis.
1. What was the inspiration behind becoming a novelist? What do you enjoy most about the creative process?
I have always been a creative person and began writing stories as a kid. I remember getting an A+ in an English class for a short story I wrote because the teacher thought it was different and imaginative. When I decided to leave a stressful Hollywood career for something else, writing books just seemed a natural transition for me. I had written and adapted several children’s stage plays but I really wanted to write novels, so I went back to school to focus on that format. After I got my creative writing degree, I began writing full-time.
I absolutely love creating worlds. I also love archaeology and astronomy, which is why I write fantasy and science fiction. Some people need the hustle and bustle of an office and coworkers, but I enjoy working by myself. My head is full of ideas so getting all that brain junk out of my head and into the computer is cathartic. And after driving all over Los Angeles with my previous career, I adore working from home. I have the best commute in L.A.!
2. Can you take us through your process? How long does it take? Does everything you produce make money?
I spend about a year on each book, researching, writing, editing, etc…This does not include the notes I make while still working on other projects. I have beta readers who read each book before my editor sees it and they are the best. They help make me a better writer. As for making money, my books sell, some more than others, but I won’t be buying a private island any time soon.
3. What do you think is the biggest misconception about your line of work?
I think the biggest misconception is that authors are wealthy. In fact, only a very small percentage of authors even make enough money that they don’t have to work other jobs to pay the bills. Another misconception is that writing books is easy and does not take any work at all. It takes a lot of discipline and patience to sit at the computer and write day after day, then rewrite and edit what you have written until you get it polished and ready for publication. You have to love this business, which I do very much.
4. What do you do when you encounter someone stealing something you’ve invested your intellect, time and money into?
It’s frustrating that we even have to deal with this kind of theft. When I find a pirate site selling or giving away my hard work, I send a takedown letter and/or alert my publisher about it. I also alert other authors and publishers whose work I see listed. Together, we have managed to get several sites shut down but it is an ongoing struggle to keep up with new ones that pop up every few weeks or months.
5. What is your best piece of advice that you would give other creators in your field about copyright and how to protect themselves?
If your publisher doesn’t file a copyright for your work, do it yourself. Google your name and your work often to make sure no one is selling pirated copies. Set up Google alerts and monitor websites for your stolen property. Keep copies of your works-in-progress to help prove you are the author/artist. You can email or snail mail copies to yourself. Always keep backups. Have a copyright lawyer’s info handy in case you ever need him/her.
Award-winning and Bestselling Author
To participate in our Five Questions series, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you aren’t already a member of the Alliance, you can join today – at no cost – by completing our membership form!