Down on my Luck (pun!)

Red letter day – February 17, 2020. I just finished the galleys for The Luck last night, and sent them off to the publisher.

February 10, 2020 – Cover Art theme got sorted out and agreed.

January 18, 2020 – Blurb. Which is just a peculiar word. But actually might be genuinely important to help sell the novel.

January 16, 2020 – I did the official updated bio. I managed to include this web site. Honesstly though, I’m not really interesting, so I’m not sure why I need a bio at all.

January 10, 2020 – I sent a couple of excerpts from ‘The War,’ the third novel in the trilogy to my publisher, Lorina, at Five Rivers. That struck me as a bit optimistic, I’m not really sure The Luck will end up justifying a third novel.  I’m not sure that the sales of The Mermaid’s Tale justified The Luck. This is a business, the book has to sell after all, and if it doesn’t…. But I appreciate the faith in me.

January 9, 2020 – Wrote the dedication and forward.

December 1, 2019 – Delivered the final edits and revisions.

I’m not sure what else is left to do on my end, as far as the technical requirements go. I do have to say that it’s been lovely working with Five Rivers Publications, and with Lorina. I’ve been invited to have a lot more input and involvement in the the technical issues than a lot of major publishers will give, or so I understand.

I don’t think, for instance, that major publishers really allow for the author to engage with and collaborate with the artist in terms of working out the ideas and themes of the cover – from what I’ve read and been told it’s more a ‘you take what we give you, and you’ll like it.’ Same with the blurbs. So that’s really nice.

Oh! Also, I have a release date!

August 1, 2020

That’s about six months away, but somehow, it feels like it’s barrelling down rapidly. The light at the end of the tunnel is the approaching freight train.

Which means I’m going to have to figure out a promotional and marketing strategy over the next few months, and try and come up with a plan to get some attention and sell some books. This web site and the blog is part of that. Sure, no one is looking at the web site right now, but that’s cool. I’ve got a window to build up compelling content.

Used to be that the job was just to write, and let the promotion and marketing people do their stuff. You were actually unwelcome if you tried to get in on that. You were seen as pushy and getting too big for your britches. Nowadays, it’s become so standard that publishers almost expect you to submit your marketing plan with your manuscript.

So I’m not sure how to go at it. Blog Tours? Anyone got a blog they’d like me to guest on? I’m up for public readings, conventions, interviews, I sing, I dance, I do a bit of ventriloquism, I’m multifaceted! I have time to figure something out.

I’m really committed this time out. I mean, I did promotions for The Mermaid’s Tale, I did several readings in the neighborhood, local conventions, went to Can Con, set up a facebook page, submitted to Awards. I was a bit conflicted though, there were some issues there. This time, I’m going to try and go all out.

Doing the galleys was more work than I expected. I had to go through the novel three times, the last time was a reverse read, literally starting on the last page and working my way forward. And you can’t just read, you’ve got to do it carefully, this is the last kick at the khatte. It took me about two weeks. The trouble is that when you proofread, you tend to get caught up in your narrative flow, and everything looks fine.

It’s murder to try and proof your own work. I’ve spelled ‘cat’ with a ‘k’, an ‘h’, two ‘t’s and an ‘e’ and didn’t notice. And then proofread it a couple of times and didn’t notice. It’s insidious.

I’m not sure what that’s about. Does the brain have an autocorrect function for its own work, so that when you read something you’ve written, it fixes the errors automatically – matching everything up with the lines in your head, so you just don’t notice? Or do you get so hypnotised by the flow of your own words?

I guess there’s a lot to be said for having outside people editing and proofreading your baby.

One thing that surprised me, as I was proofing for the galleys, was how affected I was. There were scenes that I actually had tears in my eyes.

There was a throwaway bit, not even a full scene, just some lines, where the protagonist picks through garbage, and likes to pretend to herself that these scraps of garbage are presents and gifts left especially for her. I wrote that, and it was just stuff on the way to stuff. But coming back to that out of the blue, it just radiated such pain, such desperate crushing loneliness that it actually choked me up. I had to stop for a bit.

There was pain and loneliness, shock and suffering. There was also towering fury and rage that had me up and pacing across the room. Giddy joy and enthusiasm that had me grinning. I was surprised by the intensity of emotion I felt. I mean, I wrote it, it should be old hat to me. I was intrigued by how disconnected the central character was from her own live emotions, feeling them but not quite understanding them, perpetually in survival mode.

Maybe I’m just self absorbed and narcissistic, disappearing into my own novel. I don’t know.

But I hope, though, that if it can affect me like this, that if it can make me laugh and bring tears to my eyes, that maybe it will have the same effect on the readers.

I think that good writing, the really powerful stuff, is about conveying genuine emotion. So I think that maybe this is a good novel.

I feel that maybe this is the best thing I’ve ever written. Maybe it’ll be the best thing I’ll ever do.

Who knows?

Maybe you’ll have to buy the thing to decide for yourself.

1 thought on “Down on my Luck (pun!)”

  1. I understand getting choked up over something you’ve written yourself–though I can’t recall that ever happening to me. In my case, I end up laughing at the funny bits I’ve written. Every time. And then I hear my 16-year-old’s voice saying, “You think you’re funny” with the disdain only a 16-year-old can marshal…

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