The initial stages for Walk the Red Road have come to a close, a bittersweet moment for me. I can finally take a breather and enjoy the fact that Book 2 in The Whisper Legacy is officially out of my hands and into those of my readers and fans. I’m a little sad that this road in the Whisper journey has ended, though I’m eager to see what new paths the third book in the series takes me.
Now, I have to focus on what I consider to be the harder part of the job. Writing is hard enough (and oddly, many seem to think it’s a rather simple process for some strange reason. It’s more than just sitting in front of the computer putting words to screen; it takes time and energy, constant focus, daily challenges and frustrations and stress in trying to put all the pieces together), but even more difficult is marketing.
I am a terrible bragger and self-promoter. I’m uncomfortable with compliments and don’t like putting myself the spotlight. Unfortunately, I have to be and do just that to sell books. Over the years, I’ve become a pro at faking confidence, allowing me to give talks in front of students, speak in front of literally thousands of people about writing, be on live TV for interviews, and even crack a joke to best-selling author Carl Hiaasen that one day, I’ll be taking his place at the podium of my school’s presidential lecture. On the outside, I attempt to appear calm and cool and collected. On the inside, my heart’s beating like a rabbit on acid and my mind is attempting to confuse me by spouting off random quotes and character ideas and distractions that make it a thousand times harder to concentrate on the topic at hand. Hopefully one day I’ll be better at all this.
There’s no real point to me saying all this other than to talk myself into doing what I already know I have to do. Reach out to my promo contacts, tell everyone how awesome my new book is, figure out how to make Facebook, Twitter, this blog, and other marketing materials work for me. It’s a long and frustrating process, filled with rejection, or being flat-out ignored altogether, while searching for the one person to say “yes, I’ll give you a shot.”
On that note, I’m also going to be sending a couple books to Ellen to kick-start Operation: Ellen. I’m determined to be on her show in 2012. In fact, I’ve just decided that this will be my New Year’s resolution. I’ve also been convinced to send a book to Plan B Entertainment, which is none other than Brad Pitt’s production company. Total long shot, but hell, it can’t hurt, right?
While doing all this marketing, I also have a full-time job, am teaching my very first college course starting in three days, am starting Book 3 in The Whisper Legacy, and am putting the finishing touches on The Sour Orange Derby (a novel I plan to release in a few months – details to follow soon). Hopefully my mind can keep up with everything, without driving me crazier than I already am.
The Red road is truly a busy and exciting adventure!