Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Launch Day

There’s nothing like Launch Day to get the blood moving. A good thing because I’m in Los Angeles doing some readings at bookstores, and it’s freezing! (And who said, “I’m not taking a coat to LA—it’s never cold there!”?)

Yesterday was my fifth launch day and I still feel like a beginner. I wonder what it’s like to be somebody like Rhys Bowen who has written at least 100 books and who brought out three last year alone. Ho hum, another launch day.

Here are some things I wonder about old hands:

Do they ever really learn Mailchimp? Or, like me, do they face the Mailchimp template knowing they’ve done it before, but not remembering how? Or do they do what I keep promising myself to do and hire a tech-savvy assistant?

Do they have a promo routine down pat? Or, like me, do they frantically search for the “to do” list that they made the last time…and the time before that?

Do they ever refuse bookstore or library talks for any other reason than time conflict? Or do they say, “sure, I can do that,” knowing that it means racing to the airport at some ungodly hour and taking a flight that has a five-hour layover because that’s the only flight all day?

Do they eventually not care if they are on panels at conferences, or do they jealously guard every opportunity to show their faces?

Do people ever stop asking them how their “little writing hobby” is going?

Do they ever stop being terrified that the next book will prove that their good books were a fluke? And that their editor will tell them not to let the door hit them on the way out?

But for one week all that gets pushed away. Reviews have been good, lots of congratulations, and I’m actually 10,000 words into #6. Not bad.

On another note, I thought I would never put an animal in a prominent position in one of my books. But when I was writing The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake, a dog named Frazier bullied his way in. I hope my readers like the result.

Which brings me to the book recommendation of the week.

A little background: When I was a debut author, I was invited to the Tucson Festival of Books. It was my lot to be paired in my first signing with Spencer Quinn. He was really nice—or, rather, as nice as he could be while being swamped by readers wanting him to sign books. “He writes books about a dog!” I thought bitterly, as his happy readers eyed my non-existent line of fans.

Fast forward to a few months ago when someone gave me a copy of “Dog On It,” by Spencer Quinn. The friend said she loved it. I just got around to reading it and now I know why all those people stand in line for Mr. Quinn’s books. It’s a great read!

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