Friday, May 01, 2009

The Ballet Nazi Strikes Back

The Ballet Nazi was back last night, and boy, am I feeling it. I did learn that in his dancer days, he danced with Baryshnikov, so I guess he knows what he's doing. I just feel like a total oaf when he's teaching because everything I do seems to be wrong, and he seems to single me out a lot. I don't know if I'm really that bad or if he sees some kind of potential in me, since he acts like he's trying to mold me into a prima ballerina. If that's the case, then dude, most dancers are retired by the time they're my age, and I'm in a beginning class. It's not gonna happen. I'm not trying to be a dancer. I'm just trying to trick my lazy self into exercising. He did point out a tendency I have that I hadn't realized I even carry over into normal life. I go around looking at my feet or at the ground right in front of my feet. After he got me in front of the mirror and pulled my head up by grabbing my bun, I saw what a huge difference it made in how I looked and how I felt. I felt like my head was tilted back, but could see in the mirror that it was just upright. Now I've been trying to make a conscious effort to hold my head up, but do you know how hard it is to change something you do automatically, like walking? I feel very unsteady when I'm not looking right at the ground. But with my head up I look a lot taller, and it even changes the lines of my face.

It's just occurred to me that this has been my usual book release week. My books usually came out on the last Tuesday in April or the first Tuesday of May. This should have been a crazy week for me as I had booksignings and went around to stores signing stock while also doing a lot of web-based promo. This could explain the spate of e-mail I've had lately, as I guess people are thinking there should be another book about now. Sorry, the best I've got is the reissue of Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl, I Learned from Judy Blume and the Supernatural book, In the Hunt, both of which I have essays in.

In other book news update, the publisher is still being stubborn about book 5. The best thing readers can do to help is keep spreading the word and getting people to buy books. I've said in the past that it doesn't matter where you buy them, but it turns out that sales from the big B chains count more (B&N and Borders) because that's how they determine their initial print run, as those are the big, up-front orders. My sales tend to be stronger at Amazon and at independent stores (especially fantasy/science fiction specialty stores), but these don't order a lot up front, which makes the initial print run smaller, and if they look at just the big B initial orders, it looks like the initial print run wouldn't be profitable. Never mind that they keep having to go back to print and that the overall sales numbers are quite nice, this is what they told my agent. If you want to write to somebody, maybe it would have more impact through the big chains -- complain that they aren't carrying the whole series (if they aren't), that you can't find the books there, that they should be shelved in fantasy, whatever. If you're friendly with people who work at a big chain, talk to them about these books so that maybe they'll order in extra and hand-sell to customers. It may take bookstores putting pressure on the publisher. And if you run an independent bookstore and would like another book to sell, then let your Random House sales rep know.

I haven't heard anything more on the movie other than the hiring of the screenwriter and the fact that there is an actual IMDB entry (which doesn't necessarily mean anything).

I have several things in various stages of progress, but the industry is kind of tight right now. You'll know something when I know something. In fact, when I get another book out there, you'll have to hide to avoid hearing about it.

And finally, for the North Texans out there, don't forget the Mozart Mania concert Sunday at 6:30 at First United Methodist Church of Coppell (420 South Heartz in Coppell, for Google Maps search purposes). I'm in the front row of the choir, and I would like there to be more people in the audience than there are in the choir.

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