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Monday, July 23, 2012

Twenty Years to Write a Book - A Cautionary Tale

Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. I'm exhausted, how about you? Saturday morning, my wife, my dad and my two boys hopped into the car and drove down to Anaheim, California for an Angels game. They were playing the Texas Rangers and got pounded for their troubles. This didn't please my 14 year old who has suddenly become an Angels fan, but we had a good time, despite the heat. It was 100 degrees, I believe. It could have been much worse. There was a breeze that whipped through periodically. We finished the day by hanging out at Downtown Disney which, if you are unfamiliar, is an area of shops and restaurants between the three Disney hotels and the entrances to Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure.

We didn't go into either of the parks. *sad face* This is the second time that this has happened this year, as I whined to some of you on Twitter that day. I love hanging out at Disneyland and promise that I will be jumping the fence next time. *laughs* My dad hasn't been there since I was in a stroller, which most of you can well imagine was a terribly long time ago. He had a good time at the game, eating at the ESPN Zone restaurant and checking out the shops. Hopefully we can talk him into returning soon and going into the parks. We'll see. We got back late that night. I won't describe our condition (God, that shower felt great!), but assure you that we look much better now.

But that wasn't why I'm exhausted.

I have been playing with my book again. Not the new one, but the first one, Dance on Fire. What am I doing still working with something which was published as an ebook and a softcover in 2010? That's a damn good question, my friends. I don't know either!

That's not true. I do know. There were corrections that I wanted to make to the book. My former publisher had promised to make these correction before she suddenly closed up shop. Now I'm doing them. I'm doing a line edit, painstakingly studying each and every sentence. I have made relatively minor changes and the book will be much stronger for it; however, I'm sick of doing it. It seems that I have been working with this story and these characters for twenty years. That's too frigging long.

For those of you unfamiliar with my story, allow me a moment to sum up: Started writing, got married, changed careers, started a family, re-started the book, got it published everywhere but Amazon, lost publisher and now the book is being sold nowhere.

I have made decisions - most of which I have left untold here. Although I have yet to reveal everything, I will tell you that I plan to go fully Independent and to go "all-in" with Amazon...just as soon as I finish going through the book one (Oh, please, God, let this be the) last time.

I will have to turn my attention over to Dance on Fire: Flash Point once I get my book back up on-line. However, at least then we won't be talking about a twenty year old story. This one's only about three years old. *weeps*

Please, my dear friends. Finish one novel completely before moving onto another. I beg you! Save yourself a lot of head and heartache. Sunday morning I didn't eat any breakfast, although I did have three cups of coffee. I was on my trusty laptop before 9:00 am. At noon, I was light-headed, confused and thought for sure that I had wasted two weeks working on the wrong file of my manuscript. I had double-checked my softcover and got myself all turned around on details. Panic attack! Once I ate something, I began to realize that I was fine, but I was ready to leap off of something very tall there for about an hour.

I push too hard. I know this. And I love all of you for reminding me to slow down. You see, I sat and waited in 2011 for my second book to be edited and released. For reasons unknown to me, it never happened. I spent the year building that network, doing a few events, selling books, writing articles for a magazine and working that eleven hour day job. In 2012, I continued to wait until Vamplit closed a few weeks ago and my book was pulled. Now, I'm working my tail off, attempting to get my books up all by myself. It's going to happen - I just need to put in the work.

So, if you haven't heard from me in a while, that's why. I hope to be finished with this part of the new journey in the next two weeks. I will be on vacation after this week and I am so looking forward to it. I hope to do some fun things with the family, perhaps take more than a day to do it next time, but we'll see. I really need the time to get things where I want them to be. I think I can hear you saying that I need to stop and catch a breath, and I know you're right. You may even want to stage an intervention. I probably need one of those, too. *sigh*

Alright. That's enough for now.

We'll talk soon.  


  1. I know it's tough Jimmy (believe, me I've been there!) but it will all be worth it. Focus on the end of the year and having your books out, sales adding up, and royalty cheques coming in.
    I don't know when you plan on having book two out, but make sure you save a good chunk of your KDP free days for its release. You want all those readers to be able to hop right from one to the next!

  2. I don't know about the finishing one book completely before attempting another. I believe you should finish the first draft before attempting another, though. I always like to let the first draft sit awhile (a month, maybe?), but I cannot NOT write and I start another. When it comes time to edit, my mind is clear of the story and I'm ready to fix it up!

    I can understand you wanting to fix the small errors in your first. But limit it to just that, because you will NEVER be satisified. I took a workshop and was told if you go through the edits and made less than 10% changes, then you are FINISHED! I try to stick to that rule.

    Glad you had fun at the Angels game. And I never realized all that is now at Disney. I knew there is another park across the street (we were there last in 2006), but growing up, I just remember a huge parking lot with Disneyland at the end. I loved going there as a kid (and it beats the heck out of Walt Disney World, let me tell you!).

  3. Glad to hear you're moving forward with a publishing plan! You'll get to where you want to go if you just take it one step at a time (which can be frustrating, I know). Hope you have a great vacation. :)

  4. Blogger needs to add a LIKE button. I don't really have a comment other than to say I'm following your journey and wishing you well. It will all turn out fine.

    And force your writer's brain to switch off, so you can enjoy that vacation!

  5. Keep with it, James. It'll all be worth it in the end. Just remember to enjoy yourself in a while too - and get down to Disney;)

  6. Stick with it Jimmy. Glad you had a good time.

    Me and my husband will be traveling up to Montana in about 2 weeks and we can't wait to get into the mountains where it's cool, and maybe the grass IS GREENER!

  7. You should cancel your vacation time and work more on your book! Just kidding--you deserve the break. Enjoy.

  8. I cannot wait to read your book. Now get on with it ;) x

  9. Wow, that's tough, Jimmy. But you gotta keep on pushing through. You wouldn't have come this far if you didn't believe in what you're doing. Best of luck, mate, and keep fighting the good fight :)


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