Remember back during the Cold War when the USA (known as the “Good Guys”), and Russia (known as the Commies, or REDS), faced off for over three decades following our split as allies post-World War Two? No? Okay, so I’m showing my age here. But I remember it well. In grammar school and junior high (or, middle) school, we would have regular drills during school hours where we dropped to the floor and cowered under our desks with our hands clasped tightly behind our necks in the event of a nearby nuclear attack launched by our mortal enemy, Communist Russia. Never mind that we would’ve all been incinerated had we been within range of the blast (or blasts) delivered by those dastardly RED Commies. Believe me, I’m not making light of the aforementioned scenario—in fact, it almost came to fruition during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. And I was living in nearby Florida at the time.
What does the above have to do with writing? Well, after reading the above again, I’m not sure. Which is probably indicative of how screwy my brain has been of late. I recently came to the decision to STOP all personal promotion and marketing of Deadly Dunes: A Mac McClellan Mystery (#3). There comes a point in time when an author must let his baby go to venture into the cruel world of readership, relying on all you’ve done for him since his birth. Thus, with Deadly Dunes having reached its 3rd (month) birthday, I decided to force my latest fledgling out of the nest to fly and fare on its own. In this day and age where writers are forced to do most of the publicity, promoting, and marketing on our own, it’s never an easy decision to boot our loved ones out of the nest. But, at some point, it must be done. Our babies must learn to fly and feed on their own, and we can only wish them well and hope they not only survive, but flourish.
To backtrack a bit: I had been spending (most, if not all) of my valuable writing time with pre-publication promotion and hoopla (i.e., gathering endorsements, pre-pub reviews, and generally spreading the word about my upcoming release in every way possible) for three or four months prior to the birth of my latest offspring. Alas, that effort ALSO resulted in the loss of valuable writing time. (We are, first and foremost, supposed to be writers, correct?) So, in effect, I’ve devoted at least six months of my invaluable (I just upped its value) writing time to the pre-pub and post-pub promotion and marketing of Deadly Dunes! Loosen your fingers and add it up. That’s SIX (6) MONTHS MINIMUM of my (add you most precious jewel here) writing time to my latest novel which I turned in to the publisher well over a year ago. And GUESS WHAT???
Okay, I’ll answer that question! I’m now under a deadline to get the NEXT Mac McClellan Mystery written and delivered to the publisher. Want to know a secret? Okay, I’ll tell you. I had nearly half of the next manuscript completed when I was forced to stop and begin pre-pub marketing for Deadly Dunes (Mac #3). And just as I’m finally finding time to resume work on that manuscript (Deadly Verse, Mac # 5), here come the initial edits from the publisher for Mac #4, Deadly Spirits!
Are you following me here? Deadly Verse (#5) is half-finished and on hold, while I spent pre and post time promoting Deadly Dunes(#3), and NOW Deadly Verse (#5) is once again on hold while I edit Deadly Spirits (#4)! ARRRGGHHH!!! And I’m still under contract for Mac #6, Deadly Rights!
No wonder so many writers turn to the “spirits” to find strength and consolation. If anyone has any idea about what I’ve just written, or has any advice, or can make heads or tails out of it, PLEASE contact me and lead me out of this fog-filled maze I’ve stumbled into! I will be forever grateful. Really! Honestly! Hey, I’m a writer, you can trust what I say. After all, I have it all outlined and ready to go!
Sane ego sum! (I think!)