Una Tiers, author of the soon-to-be-released Judge vs. Nuts is my guest this week.
I sue by day and solve crimes at night (lawyer and author) and there is much similarity in my two roles. In both I create documents and edit, revise and hone until I am satisfied that my point is clear.
To improve my writing, I read and study other works, even old wills. That nasty habit led me to the will of Mark Twain (aka Samuel Clemens). Some report that it was a typewritten document and other reports say that Mark Twain wrote it by hand. The legal language in it suggests that he at least had a co-author lawyer. His expressed sentiments about the typewriter suggest he wrote it out by hand.
In his will, Twain talks about the management of his writings, and who should have input on decisions. The specifics were, according to the document, discussed with his daughter and close friend and are not spelled out. The royalties for his works were paid into a trust for the benefit of his daughter and later to grandchildren and heirs.
Shortly after Robert Parker died, an announcement was made that his series books would continue, written by another author. I don’t know if he made these arrangements.
It leads me to think of my writing as an asset. Of course I may not generate enough royalties to buy lunch just yet, but they are assets with great sentimental value for me. Royalties may not measure the value, unless of course I sell millions of copies of Judge vs Nuts.
How do you place a value on your writing after you die? Is there a clause in your will or trust directing the royalties? Will it fall into the residual clause (everything left) of your estate? Will any unpublished works simply make you more interesting posthumously? Pet trusts are very popular, why not a plan for your books?
At the cemetery, the funeral guy directed the cars to park two across on the narrow (but plowed) roads.
We waited while the pallbearers struggled to maintain their footing, slipping and sliding a little while they carried the coffin from the hearse to the grave.
"What would happen if they dropped him?" I whispered.
In Una's words . . .
My mystery writing didn’t start out as a surreptitious teaching tool; it started with a need to reduce stress after a particularly awful day in court. From time to time I added a victim and did more editing than writing. The process was slow.
After meeting a slew of mystery writers, I noticed that I was introduced to the day to day life of a librarian, a food critic, a minister’s family, a several detectives and more.
Given the opportunity, I invite you to meet one attorney on a day to day basis. We’ll untangle a murder along the way and slip in a great deal of information about the legal system. Judge vs Nuts will be available in February of 2012. Join my mailing list for an email for the big release on my birthday. http://unatiers.com
Thank you to Ellis Vidler, for inviting me to her magnificent blog.