But Wait--There's More!
But Wait—There’s More!
I know that I’m supposed to post sober, profound revelations at the turning of the year, but in fact I’m jumping up and down like a sugared-up toddler, crying out “HOLY MOLY!! LOOKIT THAT!!”
Here’s what dazzles me: Last year-ish I actually put my shoulder to the wheel about writing romance novels.
Sure, I’d toyed with the idea on and off. I have (counting on my fingers…) four novels in a box. Two novellas, both unfinished. And three novels that I wrote after wonderful Mindy Klasky explained to me what a romance novel IS and what it ISN’T. In 2019, Mindy hooked me up with Angela James, an amazing editor. I mean, I’d been wandering around assuming I was a VTA. (Very Talented Amateur.)
But Angela is BTIP—Big Time in Publishing. This woman knows her stuff. And I sent her the first 50 pages of one of the unfinished novellas. The reason that one is unfinished is because she wrote me back with about six (very accurate) reasons why I was shooting myself in the foot. “But,” she said, “you’ve got a nice comedic tone. Why aren’t you writing romantic comedies?”
Ah, I said to myself. Romantic comedies. Books devoted entirely to FUN and AMUSEMENT and SILLINESS. Sha—sign me up for that right now! I’m gonna write rom-coms!
So roughly as 2020 started, I started writing “Cyn & the Peanut Butter Cup.” I looked over the vast, still ocean of my brain and said “Hey! There’s an iceberg called “write a rom-com!” Lookit that!” And it was big and glowing in the sun and I thought “you wiped out the Titanic, ha ha, how silly!”
Writing a novel. That’s big.
But GLORIOSKI, ANDY! Turns out there was SO MUCH MORE below the waterline that I wasn’t seeing!
Editing. Copyediting. Beta Readers. Proofing.
Marketing. Websites. Newsletter lists. Social media presence. Facebook ads.
Formatting. Amazon algorithms. Other selling platforms. (Many other selling platforms, including one that will get me into the (seriously??) lucrative English-speakers-in-China market.)
Reviews. Advance Reader Copies. Blogs.
Begging Mindy for help. Begging Merry for help. Begging Meg for help. Begging any passing benevolent god for help. Begging Angela James for help. Begging the cat to GET OFF THE KEYBOARD YOU’RE NOT HELPING.
The amount I thought I knew about writing a novel has been dwarfed by what I needed to know. As Nick Fury says, I was laughably—hilariously—outmatched.
But now it’s 2021. My book will be live on January 12. And thanks to the combined efforts of a staggering number of people, I’m proud of it. It’s good, and I wouldn’t be ashamed of anyone reading it. (Except my son; he’s forbidden. There are sex scenes in that book, and there is virtually NO REASON why he would ever need to rummage around in my brain on that topic, nor would he want to, so don’t be quizzing him on it. He is NOT going to read it!)
And the iceberg is just about in my rear view mirror. I’m paddling safely past toward the second iceberg in the distance, and I can see iceberg number three on the horizon. Plus I have intimations of the next cluster, too…so really, I’m buoyed. As unsinkable as an iceberg!
Ready for 2021, man! I’m ready to take out a few Titanics as I float innocently around the North Sea!