(Here I am rocking my new glasses)
I didn’t spend a lot of time blogging in 2015.
I’m of mixed feelings on it because I’d rather be writing something new that might possibly manage to get published and frankly, I’ve been a very cranky person for about a year and a half now – not sure why. I’m trying to change that.
I did, however, complete a new book which is now with my agent. I think it’s very good. Possibly the best thing I’ve written so far. We’ve got one project we’ve been trying to sell but it’s urban fantasy and that’s a tough one these days. That said, I’m thankful to the good folks at Rebelight Publishing for making my first foray into middle grade by publishing my little story about a girl, her hippie granny and missing cats in the fall, so that was good news. It’s been hard as hell to get reviews for TO CATCH A CAT THIEF. I’m not entirely sure why. I’ve sent physical copies to traditional media here in Canada but there hasn’t been a nibble of interest which is a bit of a puzzle to me. The whole issue of discoverability for an author has been on my mind a lot lately and I honestly can’t figure out what makes people take notice of a new book. I could write a book filled with hints and tips from so many different writers both traditionally published and self-published about how they made their books a success, and I’ve tried a few of them but it’s been a hard slog.
I don’t believe blog tours work one bit and a number of author friends of mine are of the same opinion. Hiring a publicist might be a good option for some but we authors aren’t exactly swimming in cash these days. I think I would have hired a publicist for my latest book but I just can’t afford to do it. So you try to get the word out the best way you can in between writing and working your day job. Six of my seven books have been traditionally published. I have rights back to SHADE FRIGHT, FUNERAL PALLOR, UNSEEN WORLD and I’ve self published them. I also have the rights back to POLTERGEEKS and STUDENT BODIES and I hope to get them out there as reprints. There was to be a third book – END GAMES. I’d like to finish it but I’m not going to until I know where the first two books stand.
To date, my best selling books are MARSHALL CONRAD – A SUPERHERO TALE & THE NORTH. Both are self-published, the first being a reprint and the second being an original work. I actually sell enough of both books that I get real money in the form of a cheque from Amazon every month. Like, more than enough to buy a few tanks of gas and fill the fridge with groceries. The irony is that I don’t do any book promotion for these titles. Nothing. Zip. Nada.
So – stuff that I promote doesn’t sell. Stuff that I self-publish and don’t promote does sell. I truly must be living in Bizarro World.
I started a writer’s group here in Saskatoon about two years ago. There’s a core group of about 8-10 of us and they’re a great bunch of people. This year we self-published an anthology. The goal was to get everyone writing outside of their comfort zone and for those participants who submitted stories, I have to say Well Done! Well Done Indeed! You worked hard at something. You committed to a project and deadlines and editing and everything that goes with getting published. Some even discovered they were better writers than they gave themselves credit for. Go buy our little anthology, won’t you?
So, not the most inspiring end of the year blog posting. I keep hoping to write that elusive breakthrough novel. Maybe we will with the new one. It’s dark fantasy – sort of Kill Bill’s The Bride meets The Sixth Sense meets Sons of Anarchy. A train wreck of a protagonist and a shock ending. I’m quite proud of it. I’m very blessed to have the world’s most supportive wife. She puts up with my weird writing hours and my bouts of melancholy that I do battle with whenever I feel like I’m slipping.
What am I working on right now? I’m experimenting with a detective novel but it’s not really lighting my world on fire. Just doesn’t feel right. I might shelve it for a while. I have another project I”m about 20K words into now – a YA detective story featuring a brother-sister sleuth team. They hunt serial killers.
Anyway, that’s it for 2015. If you’ve been following my sporadic blog posts, thanks you. I’ll try to write more in 2016. If you bought one of my books this year, thank you, thank you, thank you!
My best to you and yours in the new year.