Thursday, July 29, 2010

From Dream to Reality

I was walking on air the day I received my author copies. The next day I was brought forcibly back to reality as I considered the next step -- promotion. How many books should I order to have on hand when someone asks me if I have a book right there and then so they don't have to order one? Should I invest in promo materials? What ones work best? How could I make mine different and eye-catching?

Then there is the need to set up book signings. I called our local arts council and got on their highlighted artists program for September. I am looking at some other venues such as our library's monthly Brown Bag Book Club where they feature local authors; the writers club I have belonged to for over 20 years; even our cancer support group. I put a notice in the two local newspapers and on our church's Web site. I e-mailed every one I have an address for (for whom I have an address?). I need to find people who will write (hopefully good) reviews.

Frankly, I feel a little silly tooting my own horn like this. but I have learned that if you don't promote your own work, no one else will.

Maybe after I get all this done, I can start dreaming about my next book.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day Dreaming

Day dreaming, or more accurately, morning dreaming, is what I do when I walk. Our town just opened a new park with a walking trail. Since I can drive there in under five minutes, I no longer have an excuse not to walk every day.

The weather has been unbearably hot, so I walk as early as I can, usually between 6 and 7 a.m. If I'm early, I can watch the lampposts turn off, one by one. Some mornings the sunrise is breathtaking. And always, there is the birdsong.

As I walk, I think about what I'm going to write that day. Mostly now it is revision, so I go over that day's chapter in my mind. If I had a problem the day before, the answer often comes during my walk.

I also daydream about actually finishing the novel, sending it off and acquiring an agent and/or publisher. I firmly believe visualizing something makes it happen.

And, daydreams sometimes do come true. Today I received my author's copies of "Angels Unaware." As I held the book in my hands, I wondered if authors who have published countless books experience the same thrill every time or if they get jaded and toss the books aside with a "Ho-hum, another book."

Yes, I daydream about finding that out for myself.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Column or Blog, the Content's the Same

A few years ago I was working for a local newspaper. One of my assignments -- even before working full time-- was a column called "Confessions of a Yankee Housewife." People still come up to me and say, "You're the woman who wrote that thing about the housewife." Yep, that was me.

Little did I dream that later on the discipline of writing a weekly column (and trying to make it interesting) would turn into the discipline of writing a weekly blog -- and trying to make it interesting. I never thought I had an interesting life. As a child, my adventures were all in my head or between the covers of a book. And yes, I did read books under the bedcovers with a flashlight, innocently thinking Mom didn't know.

Still reading, still daydreaming ... but now I write the daydreams down and call them stories. Having them published is a dream come true.