This is the third year in a row, and I want to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful team that we have in place here. Lisa Gail Green, Jocelyn Rish, Susan Sipal, Shelly Zevlever, Erin Cashman, and Jan Lewis, thank you all so much for the amazing work you do day in and day out. Thank you also to Alyssa Hamilton, who has unfortunately recently left us to concentrate on her studies, and to all the authors and publicists who provide the wonderful interviews, guest posts, and giveaways, and thank you to all of YOU--the readers. This is the best kind of team effort!
Fearing What You Love -- The Scary Side of the Writing Life
I've wanted to be a writer most of my life, but the word "author" really didn't enter into that equation. Not because I didn't want to be one, but because I had no perspective of what it meant. All I wanted was to get put words on a page and bring characters and ideas to life. Raise a few questions, connect a few thoughts.
Beyond publication, there is a whole world of things that go into being an author. I'm goodish at some of them. The things that are similar to the business world, those I can handle, and I love, love, love talking books and writing, anytime, anywhere. I love helping people. But the rest?
- Pre-publication publicity and marketing
- Interviews and guest posts
- Getting and navigating reviews
- Pre-order giveaways
- Blog tours
- Launch parties
- Book tours and events
- Engaging with publicists
- Ongoing post-publication publicity and marketing
- Subbing to book festivals or responding to invitation
And that doesn't include writing the next book or editing the current one. Learning to write better books. All at the same time.
It's a lot.
It's also a mind-blowing honor and a wonderful opportunity, but there is no guidebook for this portion of the journey.
I'm going to the RT Convention in Dallas in a few weeks. And the more I think about it, the more I get hot flutters of panic. It's such a HUGE event. People dress up, and I don't really know anyone well. The social and the event side of publishing always make me feel completely inadequate.
Don't get me wrong, everyone I've met in the book world is truly nice. Really nice. But I'm a little shy, and when I'm nervous, I tend to babble, or fall back on things I know. What I know is business, and organization, and timetables, and how to get things packaged and put together. Which means that most of the time, working with other authors, I feel like an idiot.
Being an author is scary. It's a whole new career, and I'm on the bottommost rung, and the rest of the rungs are shrouded in mist.
Thinking about going to the RT Convention, it occurred to me that I haven't felt this way since I was a teen. Lost and confused and inadequate. Afraid. Convinced I would never be good enough. Afraid that people would laugh at me, or no one would talk to me. Afraid that I would fall on my face or make an idiot of myself.
Back when I was a teenager, I wouldn't have admitted those fears. Maybe that's the difference. I would have buttoned them inside myself.
Today, I know that everyone falls on their faces. I know that it's pulling myself up after I fall that makes me stronger.
Maybe this fear will be a good reminder for when I write. I'm writing some scary scenes for Barrie, and this third book has made me nervous. Stepping into the climax, it's important to connect back to being afraid. Hopefully, it will make me a better writer.
Thinking about going to the RT Convention, it has been tempting to cancel. I've considered it several times.
But I won't.
Because fear is good. Fear pushes us. New things stretch us.
So tell me. What are you afraid of?
THIS WEEK'S GIVEAWAY
SThe #1 New York Times bestselling author Carl Hiaasen serves up his unique brand of swamp-justice in Skink—No Surrender.
Classic Malley—to avoid being shipped off to boarding school, she takes off with some guy she met online. Poor Richard—he knows his cousin’s in trouble before she does. Wild Skink—he’s a ragged, one-eyed ex-governor of Florida, and enough of a renegade to think he can track Malley down. With Richard riding shotgun, the unlikely pair scour the state, undaunted by blinding storms, crazed pigs, flying bullets, and giant gators.
Carl Hiaasen first introduced readers to Skink more than twenty-five years ago in Double Whammy, and he quickly became Hiaasen’s most iconic and beloved character, appearing in six novels to date. Both teens and adults will be thrilled to catch sight of the elusive “captain” as he finds hilariously satisfying ways to stop internet predators, turtle-egg poachers, and lowlife litterbugs in their tracks. With Skink at the wheel, the search for a missing girl is both nail-bitingly tense and laugh-out-loud funny.
Purchase Skink - No Surrender at Amazon
Purchase Skink - No Surrender at IndieBound
View Skink - No Surrender on Goodreads