Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Cool Breeze

Ah, blessed relief! It's cool this morning. I slept with my bedroom window open last night, and at some point during the night I had to pull the comforter up. That must have been when the front finally came through. Maybe my brain will wake up a little more now.

If I'm very, very good today, I may finish this draft of the book today (skipping choir practice may be required). Then I'll have to do another pass because I already know of some things I need to fix. I'll also have to start cutting any non-vital scene (there may be a lot of "deleted scenes" for the web site from this book). Although I now have more than 50 pages of material I've cut, the book is now three pages longer than it was when I started revisions.

In the future I will avoid being in the situation where I'm frantically trying to finish a book while another book is on the verge of release. I get very nervous, insecure and paranoid while leading up to release day, and that's not a good state of mind when I'm trying to write. On the other hand, being focused on the writing may have dampened some of the pre-release jitters.

My latest example of author insecurity: I was watching Good Morning America yesterday, and they had author Plum Sykes on to talk about her new novel. I was struck by a surge of jealousy and went into a bit of a snit about how unfair it was that she got on Good Morning America with yet another "rich people behaving badly" book and I can barely get any publicity. And then I realized a couple of things:
1) Her being on Good Morning America didn't take anything away from me. It's not as though they were planning to have me on the show, and then changed their minds when they realized she was available. At least they had an author on instead of some idiot from a reality show, some pre-fab pop star (who probably has a reality show), or any of their other usual kinds of guests. They were also doing something rare in talking about a comic novel that wasn't about death or injustice, which is the usual morning show fare.
2) Her new book may actually help me. Thanks to the providence of alphabetical order, my books are shelved very close to hers, and with her having a new book out and getting all the publicity she's getting, it increases the chances that people will see my book on the shelf. When you think about it that way, it was almost as good as me being on Good Morning America, and I didn't even have to travel, get dressed and put on makeup or get up at an ungodly hour. Score!

Next time I'm at the bookstore, I'll have to check to see what other authors I want to get major national coverage.

Speaking of bookstores, I had an idea yesterday from a comment. I don't have anything planned on release day itself, other than going around to bookstores to admire my book and sign copies, but maybe I ought to do something more momentous. Would anyone in the Dallas/Fort Worth area be interested in meeting up at a bookstore that day for an informal gathering? You could get your copies and get them signed, and then we could hang out in the cafe for a while, drinking overpriced caffeinated beverages and chatting about books.

I was going to try to get a sense of where everyone was and then pick a convenient bookstore, but I'm going to have a diva moment and just designate a store and expect people to go there if they want to see me. :-) I'm picking the Barnes & Noble in Las Colinas (on MacArthur just south of LBJ), in part because it's convenient to me, and in part because that was the birthplace of this book. When my agent told me to write an outline for book two in the series so we could go for a two-book contract in case the first book sold, I took a notebook to that store's cafe and brainstormed, then outlined the plot of the book. It seems appropriate to celebrate the release of the book in the store where it was born.

I will, however, be accommodating as to time. If doing something like this interests you, let me know in comments or e-mail me at and let me know what time you might be able to go next Tuesday. I'll pick a time that seems most convenient to everyone.

The one catch is that there's no guarantee that the book will be in that store on that day. Last year, it took a few days to show up everywhere. But if I know people might be coming, I can try to give them a heads up (or is anyone from that store reading? I know y'all pop in occasionally).

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