Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Interest on LD

One of the publishers I sent "The Lyons' Den" off to has expressed interest in it.  They want verification that the book and play are in public domain, so I need to find the information I got from an attorney about that.  That'll be fun...digging through all my boxes of paperwork since I can't figure out where that info is on LD.  I need to get organized.

Can't do anything about it, tho', till I'm back from SLC a week from today.

While I'm traveling, I'm going to do another polish on LD and incorporate the ideas I got from my latest feedback guy.  Mainly I'm focusing on making sure Tad's use of English is better than Ace's and clarifying a couple of points in the beginning chapters.  Nothing major; just anal work.

I halfway think that's why I've been so reticent about jumping into POS completely; I sort of sensed I'd be coming back to LD to finish it...and I couldn't let go till it was done.  I'm like that with all my work -- it stays in me till I no longer have a way to adjust it.  I mean, once it's published, that's it, matter how much you want to rework things.

Doesn't stop writers from doing that, though.  John Fowles did it with a book -- "The Magus"? -- and Steven King did it with "The Stand".  I can understand the temptation, but I'm not going down that road, ever.  The story is what it is once it's out there and to change it would just confuse things.

Then again...I'm all for confusion.  Just ask my family.


Writer said...

What do you mean the book and play have to be in the public domain?

JamTheCat said...

If the book and play are still under copyright, I have to get the rights to use the story for LD. But since the book was published in 1913 and the play in 1914, I'm safe. I just need to find the lawyer's response that verifies that.

I knew before I started work on this that it was safe, but then some weird woman got her panties in a bunch because Robert Downey, Jr. said his take on Sherlock and Dr. Watson was they were lovers, and she threatened to withhold the rights if he didn't stop saying that. Which confused me because I thought I knew copyright law and non of Doyle's books and characters should have still been under copyright.

It seems what matters is not when the book and play were written or mounted but when they were actually published. The book -- no question. But the play could easily never have actually been published, so I had to verify that. Thank you, Samuel French.

What I DO need to be careful about is not using what could count as original material from a film version of the book or play. The last version was made in 1983 and starred Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and John Carradine...and Desi Arnez, Jr. -- and they only used the basic outline of the book, like I did, but set it in England and made it more about ghosts. Safe there, too.

It's ridiculous, but considering how easily people will sue for plagiarism, better to be safe than sorry.