Just a quick update--not because I have anything earthshaking to share, but I was getting tired of seeing the cover for The Long Way Home on the last two posts and I wanted to push them down on the page. The Goodreads giveaway is still on through the end of the month, but after that, I'll probably take the post down because it will be confusing.
Like a lot of writers, if I'm notably absent from blogging and Twitter and Facebook etc. it's because I'm engrossed in working on a book. And that's been the case recently. I've also been doing some pre-book release stuff for The Long Way Home--things like sending out books to book bloggers and letting some local media outlets know the release date (May 1st!) is coming up. The marketing department could have handled this, but I offered to do it since I've found that people are more receptive to personal emails. The marketing department does plenty on their end, so I'm glad to do my share.
This is the first novel of mine that wasn't originally self-published, which is a little nerve wracking. Before, when a book went out in the world, I always figured that if it got bad reviews and was universally panned, I'd just take it down. No harm, no foul. Now that I have all these other people involved, I don't have that option. Of course, having the other people involved has a million benefits to it, so I'm not complaining. I'll just feel better when the readers have spoken (and hopefully like the book).
The book I'm writing now is a complete departure for me. This goes against conventional publishing wisdom. Usually they tell authors to find a niche and stick with the niche. It makes it easier to market the books, readers know what to expect etc. And that makes sense, to a degree. Except we're not making widgets here. I love to read different types of books and I love to write different types of books.
And you know what? I think publishers don't give readers enough credit. I didn't read Stephen King's latest book and get confused because it wasn't a horror novel. I read the description ahead of time and looked at the cover and figured it out--it was a time travel story. Not that hard.
I once read an interview with a literary agent who said, (and I'm paraphrasing), "I tell my clients that they must write at least two books in a given category first, before they switch to something else." Good advice? Yes, overall. But what's with the word "must"? What if a client has the greatest idea in the world and is on fire with wanting to write it--should they set it aside to work on something they're less enthused about just to fulfill this dictum? I don't think so.
Have you ever read a book by an author and thought something like, hmmm... I loved her first six novels, but this new one seems tired? I always wonder if the author herself/himself feels tired of doing the same thing, but is required to stay on track to fulfill publisher requirements. The ho-hum writing reflecting the author's state of mind.
A PR person (not from my publisher, thank God) once said to me, "You're all over the place." And I don't think she meant it in a good way.
Now that self-publishing is becoming more accepted, I think we're going to see a lot of authors writing all over the place. It's already been done by big names like Stephen King, Nora Roberts, and Neil Gaiman, because no one was about to tell them no. And now the rest of us have the same option.
Personally, I'm loving the freedom to write whatever I want. My current WIP (that's writer speak for "work-in-progress") is a young adult novel with paranormal elements. I envision it as the first in a series. Is it any good? I hope so. All I know right now is that I'm having big fun writing it.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: this is a great time to be a writer. Probably the best time in the history of the world.