Hello, it’s Me, Fire Enthusiasts. How in the world are you? Does everyone over 35 have Todd Rundgren in their head now? *evil grins* Sorry. With me I need music to live on and I had that song in my head as I penned this greeting. #notsorry
Well, what can I tell you? I could bore you with work details. It certainly explains why you rarely “see” me. As I pen this draft (Saturday 4-26) I am nearing a 70 hour work week. How does that new commercial with Gary Oldman go: “Blah, blah, blah…”
Alright, I’ve been working too hard and not spending near as much time on my trusty laptop. That about sums it up, doesn’t it? I’ve been averaging an hour a day during the workweek. During this time I basically clear e-mail, address a select few items of interest and check in on social networks. The only thing I have been doing is selling some paperbacks…
Okay, but before I explain, I should probably remind you about something first. Although I initially set my debut novel Dance on Fire in a fictional town called Madison Heights (way back in the day, as they say), I decided I was spending way too much energy world-building that town. Since it was a mirror image of my own town I eventually decided to simply set my crossover vampire tale in Kingsburg, California. If Uncle Stevie could set his tales in and around Bangor, Maine, why couldn’t I do the same? So, I did, and I didn’t stop there. My sequel Flash Point begins in the real central California coastal town of Morro Bay before moving back to Kingsburg. With my latest novel Seeing Ghosts, I very briefly begin the tale here and then quickly transport the action to Salinas. All you Steinbeck fans will recall the Monterey and Salinas areas. It’s a frequent weekend getaway spot for my family. If in the neighborhood you should really check it out. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is world famous.
So, now that you know all of that, you might be able to see how I could have a built-in demographic for my novels. Last month I finished work on getting all three of my novels produced in paperback with Amazon’s CreateSpace. They sit on a shelf in a store in Kingsburg called Trinkets & Treasures that is aimed mostly at the female demographic, although there is a man-cave section. It is a Co-op store. I obviously don’t have time to work in it, but I do help with promotion and man a table during any events. We had a grand Re-Opening several weeks back and I sold 12 copies of Seeing Ghosts (at the time the only paperback available). Recently for Kingsburg’s annual car show (with all novels available) I sold 23 books. During the third weekend in May, Kingsburg will celebrate its annual Swedish Festival. That event is huge and we should get a thousand visitors or more. If you have read my debut Dance on Fire you will recall that I set that story just before this event takes place one year.
Having said all of this, you can see that there are many reasons why people in the California central valley might be swayed into picking up copies of my novels. Since I have limited time it is where I have been focusing all of my available energies. I have also been in contact with two local libraries in one manner or another, as well as a local book club.
It is still just the beginning of what I can possibly do with my writing. I don’t know if this information can help any of you with getting the word out with any of your novels, my friends, but I thought I would share it in hopes that it might. Have some of you been working the same local channels in your part of the world? How’s that going? Any advice for me? I have been selling on the world wide web, but very few and far between, I’m afraid. I guess part of me thinks if I can’t sell here then chances are slim to none that I will sell anywhere. It’s not negativity speaking, but just reality talking. After all there is a literal sea of books out there. I’ll let you know over the course of this year how it goes.
Very soon I will begin the second draft of book 4. It is the third chapter in my vampire series and will once again find itself in and around Kingsburg. I can tell you that readers will find themselves in the tranquil mountains of Oregon and then the beautiful city of San Francisco. Of course when there is an army of angry vampires that number one hundred, nothing can remain tranquil or beautiful forever…
Why, yes, I am a tease.
I hope the month of May treats you and yours well, my friends. If you drop me a line I’ll drop by one of the social networks and say hello. It’s the least I could do.