Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Gettin' Philosophical on Release Day (& Win Elysian Fields!)
Elysian is my seventh novel to release in the last sixteen months, and I've spent some time this past couple of weeks reflecting on how my life has--and hasn't--changed in this roller coaster of a ride. Admittedly, much of this reflection was done under the influence of vicodin (more on that later), but a few stray observations on release day.
* I feel incredibly blessed to have found a new career at this point in my life, and one totally unexpected. I never planned to write novels. Had Hurricane Katrina not blown my life upside down in 2005 while I was living in New Orleans, I doubt I ever would have written a word that wasn't part of a news or feature article. I like to say it's a God thing, because I sure don't know how it happened. It's ironic, in a way. I've moved all over the country pursuing my career in educational publishing and three years after Katrina, I ended up back in my home state counting the days (approximately four years and seven days and...six hours) until I'm able to retire and write full-time. *Makes note to find calendar so I can start x'ing off days in red.*
* The publishing world has changed radically between November 2009, when I signed my first
publishing contract, and yesterday, when I reached terms on a new secret project (oh, I want to talk about it so badly but I can't). In 2009, self-publishing hadn't gotten big, and it still carried a stigma. I still don't think it's a particularly good idea for a new author to self-publish--it's too darn hard to get "discovered"--but now I think the career of the successful author is like a three-legged stool, with a leg in traditional publishing, a leg in small-press publishing, and--once a backlist and a following are in place--self-publishing. That's today. In four more years, who knows what it will look like?
* I laughed yesterday at what I imagined an author's life to be like as recently as five years ago. Travel! Money! Glamour! Of course, my laughter was fueled by painkillers after spending two hours being tortured by my dentist (the ironically named Dr. Bolt) that sent me home with two fewer teeth, three new temporary crowns, an abraded tongue, and a helluva toothache. Or would that be a toothless ache? Today, perhaps as you're reading this, glamour-puss author is sitting in a staff meeting, hearing about the way our annual operational plans should be formatted to put in binders for our upcoming board meeting. Tonight, I'm talking to a guy about repairing my rotten backyard fence. (To be fair, however, I'm getting to head out for New Orleans next month to do a panel and book-signing at the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance annual trade show. Travel! Glamour!)
All in all, I love this new, unexpected twist in life and wouldn't trade it for anything. So as I bask in the glow of a new release, I wonder--will it ever get old, this feeling of excitement? I think probably not. Thanks for sharing it with me!
Have a publishing question or a question about the series? Leave it here and be entered for a signed copy of Elysian Fields (or an earlier book in the series), or if you've been a really cool cat and already have them, a $10 Amazon or Book Depo gift card (or your etailer of choice). I'll announce the winner as a comment on this blog on Sunday, August 18.