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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April Update

Hi Tennis Shoes Readers!

Been a long month of editing and rewriting and prepping Tennis Shoes 12: Drums of Desolation for release this fall. My publisher is still deciding all those specifics. When I know, I'll let readers know. A single edit involves thousands of changes, sometimes small, sometimes large. I've posted rough drafts of certain chapters here on FrostCave. Fans may enjoy comparing the published version with the rough-draft version when the time comes. I read these pages so often, I can sometimes lose sight of which version is actually the best.

I wanted to share a disturbing message I received from a fan a couple days ago. Here it is:

Thanks Chris! Deseret Book had a couple of your items on MP3 for download. I ended up having a family member purchase all the books - upload them to his computer and send them to me through Drop Box so I could copy them to pass the copy around to other family and friends. Those who have had the chance to start listening are loving your series. It looks like you will have another one out soon. I look forward to hearing it as well!

This was a difficult message to receive. Supporting my family with LDS-themed books gets harder every year. What struck me was how casually this fan admitted they were doing something illegal...and had no concept that they were doing something wrong. Oh, I know. It's a rampant problem--illegal downloading and sharing. It's almost becoming pointless to complain about it or fight it. I've seen many talented artists give up on, or lose out on, their dreams because of they can't get their careers off the ground. It hits me deeply. I've had kids come up to me at autograph parties or elsewhere and comment that because I'm "so famous" (in their minds--perhaps because my name is on a book), I must also be "rich."  I can assure you, if your work is directed toward LDS audiences, this is never true. We're constantly trying to figure out how to make up for income streams that have dried up in the last ten years. Illegal downloading isn't the only problem. But it's still one of the biggest. 

How should I even respond to a message like this? (It was on Facebook, which admittedly I don't get to as often as I should.)

I love what I do. I hope as time goes on I can continue to do it.

Those who like scholarly stuff may enjoy an article I had posted on mormoninterpreter.com. This is actually a chapter note from the latest Tennis Shoes book. I reworked it for this website, which is probably the best website for LDS scholarship out there these days. Here's the link: http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/the-book-of-mormon-a-brilliant-mess/#more-4904


Chris Heimerdinger


  1. I think that one reason that people have "no concept that they [are] doing something wrong" is because they do not understand the ways in which this impacts real authors. Also, the issues have been complicated by musicians who publicly encourage pirating, because they feel as if big corporations (music label companies) are enriching themselves on the artists' work, while giving artists pennies on a dollar. So pirating becomes a way to "stick it to the man" and protest the exploitation of artists by the gatekeepers of the market.

    Even if all that is valid for those spheres (it isn't entirely so), it is not at all applicable in a niche market like LDS literature or fiction. I would gently but firmly bring your plight to the fan's attention. He/she clearly admires you and your work — if you can firmly but gently say, "This sort of behavior is actually hurting me where it matters, and making it less likely that I can continue creating the stories that you love to read/listen to," he or she might actually change his or her perspective, not just on pirating your works, but on pirating in general.

  2. I was excited to visit you in your home when you invited me to pick up my books. I found that you are super normal with kids doing homework after school before they can play, and doing chores to get time on the computer, dance practice and probably other after school activities. In my 15 min or so you had to search for a workable pen which I have to do any time I need to write something down. It was an amazing experience that made me admire you and your family.
    Since that time I have given your books CDs to my family who are new to the Gospel. After heating the premise of the first book they have bought the first cd and more and though I offered to borrow them my copies to read they insisted on supporting you as an author so I figured you should know that there are many on your side that know that you are just like us trying to make do and live a very regular life.
    Many regards can't wait to buy the new book.

  3. My heart sunk when I read what your reader wrote. I'm so sorry. If it helps any, I've BOUGHT several copies of every book to give as gifts. I even bought new digital copies of some to listen to on my iPhone because I have most of your books on cassette with no way to transfer them. :) I'll continue to buy more as gifts, too, because everyone does indeed love your stuff!

  4. Wow. That was pretty bold of them to admit that. As a programmer, ideas go through my mind on what other companies have done to prevent this. Streaming is the best. But mp3's make this more difficult. I have ideas & maybe I'll have to research.

    Thank you for all the awesome books. I have every one in print. A couple are signed & should have gotten them all signed before you moved since I was only a couple miles away before. Keep up the great work!

  5. I have got to tell you how extremely excited I am that your next book will be coming out soon! Your series is my absolute FAVORITE series to read from! When my husband and I have our spiritual discussions, I look to your book notes for references. The scriptures have come alive through the reading of your series, and my testimony has grown. Just wanted to say Thank You!

  6. Oh my goodness gracious great balls of fire! When I heard that book 12 was coming out this fall my friend and I went out into my back yard and screamed as loud as we could and cried! Oh, I can't wait. My friend, Clarissa and I have read them all together, laughing, crying and everything in between. I am sure you get this a lot, but I honestly think we are your biggest fans, or at least your biggest Southern Utah-teenage girl fans. Thank you so much Chris for your books, I love them!

  7. Chris,
    First, I am so sorry about what happened with the fan. I hope nobody else will do anything like that again!
    Second, I am SOOOO excited for the next book to come out! I read this announcement, that Drums of Desolation would come in the fall, at my friends house. Once I told her the good news, I started shaking. I ran outside and started screaming! I AM SOOO HAPPY! She followed and soon we were running around and crying! We love your books so much! You have a way of writing that just catches people's attention! You have helped me become a stronger member in the church and I have a bigger testimony!
    Lastly, I just want you to know that your books truly do change people's lives! After I read all of your books, I couldn't read anything else! (besides The Book of Mormon). I guess i'm addicted.... in a good way! You are a hero and I hope someday I will be able to meet you in person! If not in this life.. then the next!
    Thanks again for all that you do!

  8. I am so excited! When I heard that book 12 was coming out this fall, my friend, Clarissa, and I went outside to my back yard, screaming and crying. We love your books so much. Chris (or Brother Heimerdinger, whichever you prefer) you are a wonderful example to me and have changed my life forever. I'm kind of obsessed with your books...My friend and I have read them all together, laughing and crying and everything in between. I am sure you get this a lot, but I think we are your biggest fans, or at least your biggest Southern Utah-Teenage girl fans. Thank you for all you do for me and don't stop writing!

  9. I've had the same thing happen with my books. I'm making so very little money as it is. Now I find that there is world-wide distribution of my books-- for free! Well that explains all the foreigners on my page, bless their hearts.

    -Liesa Swejkoski

  10. Chris, I am very saddened by the fact that someone would admit to an illegal act and that that act has affected you. As a programmer, I want my intellectual right to be protected as well. It bothers me a lot when others don't respect others rights. It is really hard for me not to get angry about this, however I have to think about the Savior and how he would want me to handle it. I just pray for those who do these things that there hearts will be softened and they will see the error in their ways and hopefully make amends. Now on a HAPPY note, so excited for the next installment of the Tennis Shoes Series. Please, Please make it and all your books in digital form for download.