Saturday, January 24, 2015

Is James Patterson the KISS of the Publishing World?

Scott D. Parker

I discovered some new friends this week. I'm a big fan of the rock band KISS and there are a good number of podcasts out there. Up until now, my two favorites have been PodKISSt and Kisstory Science Theater. To quote Yoda, there is another.

Pods and Sods is technically a music podcast (a podcast for the musically obsessed...) but Craig Smith and Eric Miller are avid KISS fans. As such, a good chunk of the 82 episodes involve KISS. A fun thing they did last month during the “12 Days of KISSmas,” was cover, in detail, the first 12 KISS LPs, one a day and one an episode. They know their stuff and I found myself nodding to points they made and disagreeing with others.

But what utterly surprised me was how funny they are. The key to their humor comes with the intimate knowledge of the subject matter. With that knowledge comes the ability to look at the absurd nature of some of the antics the members of KISS have foisted on the public in their forty years. Craig's impersonations of Gene Simmons is hilarious! Some fans, you can imagine, take lots of umbrage with any humor at the expense of their rock heroes. Not so Smith and Miller. They see the absurdity for what it is and laugh at it *while still being fans.*

Now, I understand that being fans of a rock band like KISS and being fans of authors are different realms but I couldn’t help think about the similarities of the two this week while devouring 21 of the 22 KISS-centric episodes (that’s about 20 hours of listening, by the way) and reading about the latest news from James Patterson. Evidently, he’s trying to garner interest in his new book with his so-called “self-destructing book.” According to his website, 1,000 fans get a code to download an advance copy of his latest PRIVATE book and have 24 hours to read the story before “the book self-destructs in a spectacular fashion.” You can follow readers’ progress. Three readers here in Houston got the novel. The website claims it’s a revolutionary reading experience.

Yup, it is. And I’m totally cool with it. Why the heck not? Is it a stunt? Absolutely. It is unique? Unquestionably. It is fun? Yessiree bob. It it for everyone? Nope.

Neither is KISS. I know many who discount KISS because of their make-up, over-the-top shows (“They only do that because their music isn’t good”--to which I say just listen to some of their songs), and their unabashed salesmanship. That’s all true, but I’m one who learned about rock and roll through their antics. They are my first favorite rock band. Sure, I’ve come to love Chicago, Bowie, Springsteen, Genesis, Sting, and others, but KISS will forever have a special place in my heart. And they have a particular outlook on music and their role in it. They are entertainers, pure and simple. As the guys from Pods and Sods point out, there’s a whole lot of positive messages laced in KISS songs...if you can get past the clunky lyrics and debauchery.

Might Patterson be the KISS of the publishing industry? He’s unapologetically commercial. So what? It helps him get product out that the public enjoys. He's not the #1 best-selling author for nothing. He uses co-writers. So what? As the December issue of Vanity Fair points out, he has such a heavy hand in the writing that’s it’s basically his work by the time the books are published. As I’ve piled up manuscripts, I’ve often thought it would be nice for someone to take my first draft and clean it up -- while I write a first draft of a new novel and then come back around to revise the cleaned-up draft later. But that’s just me.

Anyway, those are some of my thoughts for this week. I’ve also been working on my new website and I’m close to being done with it. News will be coming soon on that front.

What are y’all’s thoughts on Patterson’s stunt? And if y’all like KISS or just in-depth music talk, I wholeheartedly recommend Pods and Sods 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Hints through music

By Russel D McLean

As I write this, I am currently at work on something I hope will be the next novel. It is not a McNee. For now, at least, the series is on hiatus (because you don't know what happened at the end of CRY UNCLE, do you?). But I am working on something very different set on the means streets of... Glasgow. As usual, I've been listening to a lot of music writing it. With the McNee series, there was a lot of Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Alabama 3, Dylan... with this book, the soundtrack has been a little more offbeat in terms of the way it connects to the material. Despite being set in Glasgow estates and schemes, I've turned to Blaxploitation funk and soul tracks for inspiration. So the inside of my head sounds a little like this:

(each track relates to a different section of the novel)

Prologue: The Other Side of Town (Curtis Mayfield) - all this might tell you is that the prologue takes place on the Other Side of Town (and if its not Curtis, its not Music)

Part One: Pay to the Piper (Chairmen of the Board)  - I mean, in every book, sooner or later, someone's going to Pay to the Piper (if they dance to the music).

 Part Two: Home is Where the Hatred Is (Gil Scott Heron) - the track that actually influenced the book. And Gil's father, of course, had a perhaps unexpected Glasgow connection.

Part Three: When I Die (Esther Marrow) - the version I knew first was by Blood Sweat and Tears, but this one fits the book better.

Part Four: Backstabbers (The O'Jays) - Why wouldn't you use this song in a soundtrack?

Part Five: By All Means (Alphonse Mouzon) - the track itself isn't quite representative in sound of the climax, but the title, oh yes, it most certainly is.

So there you are, some veiled musical hints of what the next book might be like. Or at least the tracks that influenced me when it came to writing it. I still don't know when, where, how the book might be around, but I'm quite exciting for it - much as I love McNee, its nice to leave his world even if just for a little while, and go to a place that surprises me on every page.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Conversation with Jess Lourey

This is the first in a new series of interviews I'll be doing here at DSD. Hope you enjoy the ride.

I don't think I formally announced this on the site, but a few weeks ago via Twitter I put the call out to authors who might be interested in chatting about their work here in my little piece of Do Some Damage real estate. My author friend Jess Lourey didn't ask, actually, but I was chatting with her about something else and I mentioned this was happening. She was keen to do it and here we are. I had the pleasure of meeting Jess in person at last year's great Murder and Mayhem in Milwaukee event, and she was very welcoming to a newbie novelist (that's me!). She's a great writer, with a lot of invaluable information and advice to pass along. Probably best known for her acclaimed Murder-By-Month series of mysteries, Jess has also written YA, launched a successful Kickstarter campaign for one of her latest projects and also manages to teach creative writing (among other things) at a college in Minnesota. So, yeah. Lots of stuff going on. 

I was most curious to talk to Jess about The Catalain Book of Secrets - a genre-blending novel that Jess funded via Kickstarter and self-published. I wanted to find out more about the challenges of self-publishing and balancing those efforts with a pre-existing audience/fandom in another genre. It also seemed like a lot of work, to be honest. Without the benefit of a traditional publishing setup, you have to do everything as an indie author -or outsource it to someone you supervise. Designing a cover, editing the manuscript, getting distribution...everything. It's daunting. Yet somehow, Jess makes it seem easy. She shares some pages from her own book of secrets below. 

Jess, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. What can you tell readers about your book, The Catalain Book of Secrets?

Thank you for having me! Let's see. The Catalain Book of Secrets is the best thing I've ever written, a book with magic in it. In the words of a recent St. Paul Pioneer Press review, it's "part thriller, part mystery, part magical realism." Because it doesn't fit neatly in a genre, I wasn't able to find a traditional publisher for it, though I got close enough to have phone calls with three different editors at Random House and Simon & Schuster. When I wasn't able to land a contract, against all social conditioning and self-preservation urges, I launched a Kickstarter campaign. It was successful, and allowed me to self-publish the book on12/12/2015. I just couldn't let the book die without seeing the world, you know? I'd started writing it in 2002, a reaction to the unexpected death of my husband, and in many ways, it's the idea that launched my vision of myself as a writer. Here is the very first line of The Catalain Book of Secrets:

Ursula was twelve years old when her mother asked her to murder a man.

That'd keep me reading, definitely. Now, you've gone outside the mystery genre a few times over your career, right? What is it about books like The Catalain Book of Secrets that hooked you as a reader and, in turn, motivated you to write one?

I self-published a YA novel, The Toadhouse Trilogy: Book One (super-original title at the end, right?), in 2012. That book is about a brother and sister who realize they're living inside of the novel Tom Sawyer. They have to escape the book, and the ankle-eating evil of Biblos, to recover three items that will reunite them with their parents. I have yet to write the second and the third, though I can't wait to get back to them. I am attracted to that story for the same reason I am attracted to The Catalain Book of Secrets--they're both great stories that came to me from the ether, and they both look sideways so they can see the magic in our lives, whether it's the transporting magic of a story or the powerful magic of family.

What's the self-publishing process been like? Was this a novel you'd shopped around for a while?

Hmm. The self-publishing process. It has been an adventure--in humility, in highs and lows, in self-awareness. Once I had The Catalain Book of Secrets Kickstarter funding, I hired a cover designer, an interior designer, a proofreader, and a website developer. I also set up an account with IngramSpark, as I knew I wanted to make the book available to indie bookstores. In addition, I updated my Createspace account, because realistically, the majority of self-pub sales come through Amazon (though I've had wonderful support from indies on this book, and so my sales have been 50% indie, 50% Amazon, which I love). Then, I began to send out review copies: Kirkus and IndieReader (paid for reviews from both), Midwest Book Review, Publishers Weekly, Booklist (I waited too long on them--note to self: send review copy there first when self-publishing), Library Journal, and newspapers all over the country. I also made a review copy available through NetGalley, which seems to mostly cater to bloggers and librarians, a powerful bunch in the book world.

The Catalain Book of Secrets has sold approximately 500 copies in the month or so it's been out. That's good by self-pub standards, terrible if you need to make a living at it (which I do). My tenth Murder-by-Month Mystery, February Fever, comes out in two weeks, and I'm hoping that will bump my self-pub sales.

So all told, here's my perspective on self-publishing: always try the traditional route first. If you don't get a contract, you can self-publish, whereas it's nearly impossible to do it the other way around. I like the freedom of self-publishing. I do not like the tremendous cost of doing it right (several thousand dollars for the cover, rounds of editing, marketing, interior layout; my Kickstarter campaign paid for half of it, for which I'm eternally grateful). I'm also not a fan of the fact that, with hundreds of thousands of books being self-published each year, it's difficult to be heard in the noise. That said, I have many friends who have wonderful self-publishing experiences, and I think it's good business to be a hybrid author.

Were there any challenges you came across that you hadn't anticipated? In terms of being a one-stop shop for your book, what skills did you feel you had to hone - publicity, marketing, etc?

My tenth traditionally-published book comes out in February, and that previous publishing experience was invaluable. I had connections with authors, reviewers, and bookstores. I had an idea of how the model worked. I'm pretty good at keeping records, I'd already formed an LLC, and I had an audience already. I wish I had a distributor, but it's just me, which makes it hard to get the book in bookstores (though B & N has a review process for stocking self-pubbed books, and organizations like IndieBound and MIBA want to work with professional self-pubbers, in my experience). Besides not being great at distribution, I'm a terrible salesperson--I'd ALWAYS rather hear the person I'm with talk than hear myself talk--and that's not going to change. Or maybe it can? Do you offer classes, Alex? :)

Hey, I'm happy to help whenever! We know each other via the warm and welcoming crime and mystery writing world and you have a long and successful career writing mysteries - why would this book appeal to that readership? Can you tell us anything about your upcoming mystery work?

Isn't the mystery community the best in the world? It's a real gift that I found my tribe. As far as The Catalain Book of Secrets appealing to mystery writers, I think that's an easy sell (but what do I know?). The story is centered around a murder, with a whole lot of magic, relationships, sadness, hope, and love to support it. As far as my upcoming work, I can say with confidence that February Fever (release date: 2/8/15) is the best yet in my Murder-by-Month mysteries (and Kirkus and Booklist agree, with a starred review from the latter), and that if you like funny mysteries, you'll enjoy February Fever.

But what I'm working on now is the most exciting project I've ever undertaken. It's a thriller, which I'm surprised to find is a perfect fit with the way I like to write and the things I like to write about (justice, strong women, the dirt and beauty of life). It's tentatively called Salem. Here's the working synopsis:

Salem and Izzy must uncover the connection between the Witch Hunt of the 1600s and the modern disappearance of single mothers all over the globe to stop the assassination of Senator Gina Kennedy, the first viable female Presidential candidate in the history of the United States.

That sounds intense. I'm in. As you may know, Do Some Damage is a blog where crime writers get to talk about their experiences at various stages of their careers. Can you share a few nuggets of advice to our readers (and fellow bloggers)?

Oh man, it's hard not to sound trite here, but here's the only truth I've found in the writing business: if, when you write, you feel like you're in the right time and place, never stop. I don't mean that writing ever gets easy. The opposite seems to be true--the more I learn, the more I'm confident I don't know anything. I write five days a week. Every single day, Each day, I play this "would you rather" game with myself, where I mess around on social media, clean my bathroom with a Q-tip, anything to not have to write. I pretend that that fear? crisis of confidence? hummingbird-attention span? will go away some day and I'll find myself racing to the computer on a regular basis, stories flowing from my fingertips. I know that's not true, though. Writing will always be the hardest thing I ever do. I will always give bad reviews 99% of my attention and treat good reviews as flukes. I will always feel like the redheaded stepchild when I'm on panels with the superstars. And still, I write. Because when I do, when I finally shut off the monkey brain and get to the work, I feel like I'm in the right time and in the right place. Every time. Without fail.

What have you been reading/watching/listening to that's got you jazzed or inspired?

I wish I watched more TV. I hear my friends talk, and it sounds like the best writing out there is coming from that sector. I love movies, but I have pedestrian tastes (Galaxy Quest is one of my top ten favorites of all time). And when I write, I prefer silence, so I rarely listen to music during the process. But I do immerse myself in books, their content always specific to what I'm writing. So, I'm writing a thriller now. I have a stack of 23 books (just left my computer to count) that are either on symbology/computer forensics, the European and American with hunt and the history of women in religion, or are thrillers themselves so I can internalize the pacing. I LOVE THE RESEARCH!!!!

And thank you for having me. :)

My pleasure! Thanks for visiting, Jess. You can find out more about Jess Lourey and her work at her website, including details on how you can get your hands on The Catalain Book of Secrets and February Fever.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What Can Writers Learn From the Serial Podcast?

by Holly West


This post contains spoilers about the Serial podcast so quit reading now if you don't want to see them.

Now then:

Can we, as crime fiction writers, learn anything from the tremendously popular Serial podcast about the murder of Hae Min Lee? I think that yes, we can.

Before I go into that, however, I want to discuss my overall feelings about the podcast. My husband and I listened to most of it as we made our drive from Los Angeles to our new home in Northern California. We'd had an exhausting day finishing up packing and directing the movers, and we left LA that final time knowing we wouldn't arrive at our destination until after 11pm, our only welcome being a cold, empty house. As it turned out, our realtor and his wife not only met us at the house that night to give us our keys, but they'd kindly turned on the heat and left us with a gift basket that included two bottles of Veuve Clicquot Champagne. Realtors, take note--it was a nice touch.

Grim as some of its details were, the Serial podcast was the perfect travel companion. It was compelling and interesting, but didn't require more intellectual capacity than our fatigued brains could handle. We swallowed it up hungrily like the Doritos and Red Bulls I'd purchased to get us through the trip, and like its producers (and probably every other listener), we went back and forth on Adnan Syed's guilt. Was Jay a reliable witness? Was Adnan's attorney incompetent? Did the prosecutors fudge the timeline? Yes, no, maybe. Yes, no, maybe.

We weren't able to finish the podcast until a week later, when we drove up to Oregon after Christmas. By then I was hooked--it didn't matter that by episode eight I couldn't see how Sarah Koenig could possibly reveal anything new that would prove Syed's innocence. All that mattered is that it made the driving time fly by and if I dozed a little bit here and there, well, maybe I wasn't missing much.

In the months preceding our trips up north, many friends had posted links to articles about the podcast, all of which I'd painstakingly avoided because I knew I wouldn't get a chance to listen to it until the move. But there was one post title that stayed in my mind (even though I didn't read the entire post at the time):

Serial Sucked and Wasted Everyone's Time

As we sped up I-5 to our new life, listening to the troubling account Hae Min Lee's murder and Adnan Syed's trial, I thought about this post title and wondered all the while if, in the end, I'd deem Serial to be a waste of time.

Let's face it. Serial ended where it began and took 12 episodes to get there. The problem for everyone, even the shows producers, was that nobody knew that nothing new would be revealed or proven until maybe the last few episodes, and by then we'd all invested too much time in it to quit. We had to see it through.

So, was it a waste of time? No, not at all. It made twelve hours of driving seem like a whole lot less. I've got no complaints. After all of it, however, I feel fairly confident that Adnan Syed did indeed murder Hae Min Lee. There are some good questions raised about the prosecutor's case and whether Syed received a fair trial, but those (oddly enough) are separate from the issue of Syed's actual guilt. Despite his repeated claims of innocence and no crystal clear motive, I think he strangled Hae Min Lee and, with the help of his friend, Jay, buried her in Baltimore's Leakin Park.

We got to know Syed through the Serial podcast and he seems like he's more or less a nice guy. He's intelligent and insightful. He's a productive and well-liked member of prison society. I don't want it to be true that he killed Hae Min Lee, but the fact is, someone did, and it was most likely him. Serial challenges us to see him as a person, not simply a murderer. It makes us question, at least to an extent, the true nature of evil and whether a good person can do something terrible and still remain good.

And now, finally, is when I reveal what writers can learn from the Serial podcast. For our purposes, we'll call the tale fiction and assume that Syed is our murderer. Our job is to make readers see him, as much as possible, as a whole person, and not just the villain. We do this by giving him real emotions, by making him scramble, struggle, and come to terms with what he's done. He might still lie, steal, and cheat to make sure he's not apprehended; he might kill again and again for reasons we can't possibly understand. But let him come fully to life--nearly as fully as we allow our protagonists to come to life. Real life is rarely black and white, it's mostly colored in shades of gray. Let us do that with our fiction, as well.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Replacements Anthology - We're Comin' Out

By Jay Stringer

You've all seen the Bruce Springsteen anthology from last year, right? "Trouble in the Heartland: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Bruce Springsteen."

I should hope so, because some of our very own DSD'ers were involved in the collection and, well, you pay attention, right?

I'm teaming up with the guys over at  Gutter Books to put another anthology together, and really fucking pleased to announce we're doing it based around the best band in the universe for all time ever; The Replacements.

It's going to be the same basic idea. Each writer picks a song title and runs with it. There are a few details we're still to work out. We've not got a release date yet, or a finished title. The list of contributors is still be be ironed out (Is there a hint there? Maybe.)

What's really exciting about this, for me, is the difference between Bruce Springsteen and The Replacements. Springsteen's songs perhaps more instantly evoke crime fiction. Some of them are out-and-out crime stories. There's always a slight edge of romance beneath his words, whether it be the overt playful chemistry of two people, the hope that keeps the working-classes going until the weekend, or the doomed promises of a guy about to drive across the river for the one killer meeting. Bruce Springsteen, both with and without The E Street Band, has spent forty years touring the world sharing tales of hope, loss, darkness and redemption. There's plenty to play with there, and the anthology shows writers at the top of their games, running with the promise of the material.

But what about The Replacements? What about a dyslexic janitor, a shy painter, a depressive alcoholic and a thirteen year old boy who, somehow, combined to create brilliant primal rock and roll? They almost had no right to make music that good, and yet they did. And that is the point of bands like this. The pulse and energy of Raised In The City. The unrequited love of the lonely kid in Skyway. The progressive 'let 'em do what they want' plea of Androgynous. The out-of-nowhere Jazz in the middle of We're Comin' Out. The kid in If Only You Were Lonely, who thinks the only way he would stand a chance with the object of his affection is if she feels exactly as lonely as he does. The simple alchemy behind the guitar sound of Answering Machine, and the question, "how do you say 'I Miss You' to an answering machine?

It's permission to hope at the same time as permission to fail. An invitation to be yourself, and that whatever that leads to is okay.

The attitude that said, yes, a bunch of kids from Minneapolis can call an album Let It Be and it can be brilliant. They were a band who were briefly handed the keys to the kingdom at a major label, a company who wanted to turn them into an MTV sensation. What did the band do with this backing? They recorded two black & white music videos; one where they all sat on a sofa and did nothing, and one where we watch the song play through the speaker of a record player, with someone's foot tapping away in the foreground.

In industry terms, The Replacements failed. They didn't get the big hit. They didn't sell a bajillion records. They didn't care if the door opened when they threw themselves at it, as long as it rattled. They sang about the disaffected and the lonely. About losers and rebels. They failed by insisting on being themselves to the bitter end, and is there anything better than that? They just played, drank, laughed, toured and set about waiting to be forgotten.

The same year that The Replacements split, a trio from the Pacific Northwest conquered the world with a song for the disaffected, with Bobby Stinson's guitar tone, and an album title lifted off the 'Mats. What do we say to that? Never mind.

But that's what the band means to me. The fun of this anthology is going to be finding out what the music means to a whole bunch of people, and what stories the songs will inspire. So, watch this space. An anthology of crime fiction tales inspired by The Replacements? it's going to be great.

Monday, January 19, 2015

"re", favorites, and books

What a weird title.

I was thinking about the prefix "re" as an idea that creates favorites.

My favorite songs and albums are ones that I can, will, and do listen to over and over again. They are re-listenable.  In some cases there are albums and songs that I have listened to countless times for decades.

There are variations. I can hear a song on the radio, really like it, buy a copy and it doesn't hold up to repeated listens. The opposite is true also, I can hear a song, feel pretty meh about it, and upon repeated exposure it will grow on me. All I know is that I've stayed in the car, sitting in the parking lot, until "Lola" finishes. Hell, I've played the same album over and over again for hours, if not days, on end.

Think about movies. My favorite movies are the ones that hold up to repeated viewings. Not only do they hold up, but in some cases something new can be gleaned from repeated viewings.

I've watched movies, liked them, and have felt no desire to ever see them again. I've also liked movies then have them fall apart upon a re-watch.I've also had unexpected movies grow into favorites.

With movies you also get the "stop everything" movie. You know, you are flipping around the channels and you come across a movie, stop what you are doing, and watch the rest of it, regardless of where it is at in the movie.

TV shows from the last decade or so are even starting to develop a "re" factor.

But, does this apply to books in the same way?

For me the answer is surprisingly no. I can count the number of books I've re-read on, maybe, two hands.  A number of the books that I gave re-read I count as my favorites partially because I feel like they have earned their keep by passing the "re" test. But I do not regularly re-read books.


Is it as simple as getting caught up in the cycle of new-ish release reading that the internet and social media seems to engender. Is it because of the sheer volume of new books getting released? Is it something else?

Do you re-read books? if so, why? If not, why? Does "re" apply to books? Should it?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Journalism is not a crime

By Kristi Belcamino

Holly West's important post on the Charlie Hebdo attack inspired this one.

Like Holly, I worry I have nothing new to add to the discussion, but feel compelled, as a journalist to point out that sadly, the death of journalists for expressing freedom of speech is nothing new.

Yes, the Charlie Hebdo deaths were particularly heinous and shocking. And the outrage and protests are loud and powerful and heartwarming, and yet, I worry that nothing will change and that it is only getting worse.

The Committee to Protect Journalists says that 1,110 journalists have been killed across the world since 1992.

Journalists are going head-to-head with terrorists, corrupt governments and warlords to shed a light on atrocities every single day. We need them out there risking their lives so we can do our part in protecting the weak and helping the innocent. We need them to risk their lives to tell us the true story of events around the world in the hopes that by revealing these inhumane acts, someone will be motivated to do something to stop them or change them or send help to those who need it.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 70 journalists died in 2013.

Deaths were broken down by the "beat" the journalist covered.

I cover crime for my newspaper. A lot of people have told me I'm brave to do that, going out talking to serial killers and gang bangers, but guess what? Covering the crime beat wasn't even one of the top three most dangerous beats to cover.

If you covered war, you were most likely to die on the job. After that, journalists who covered politics and then those who covered human rights.

To me, that is the most depressing statistic — that so many journalists covering human rights were risking their lives to help others obtain the basic rights that any person on this earth deserves.

Last year in Tunisia a "death list" circulated naming writers and journalists who supposedly were antagonistic toward Islam. It's surely not the only place where this has happened.

In addition to journalists being killed around the world, it is worth noting that they are also being imprisoned to squash freedom of expression.

In a January 9th post on CPJ's website, the organizations's Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, Sherif Mansour, said this: "Iran has started the new year as it ended the old: by arresting journalists."

While I find the Charlie Hebdo massacre terrifying, what I also find horrific is the idea that journalists will be too afraid to get out there and tell the truth for fear of death.

And what, you might ask, does this have to do with crime fiction writers?

It has everything to do with us.

Can you say Salman Rushdie?

We are no different. We are a different medium, but I believe many of us write crime fiction to expose atrocities that take place in our world. Are we going to be silenced, as well? Are we going to censor ourselves when the day comes that a fiction writer is not only the subject of a fatwa, but is slain for his or her writing?

Rushdie spoke out this week while giving a speech at the University of Vermont in Burlington.

"Both John F. Kennedy and Nelson Mandela use the same three-word phrase which in my mind says it all, which is 'Freedom is indivisible,'" he said. "You can't slice it up, otherwise it ceases to be freedom. You can dislike Charlie Hedbo. ... But the fact that you dislike them has nothing to do with their right to speak."