A New Year

So, it’s Happy New Year and all that jazz. New resolutions to eat better, exercise more, live with more gratitude, hug those I love. The usual stuff. But for me, 2018 is also the first New Year I can call myself a published author. I still have to pinch myself to really believe that it’s true. But yes, my debut novel When It’s Over was published last September, and I’ve been caught up in a whirlwind of activity, doing readings and book signings, and trying to get the hang of Facebook ads and all the on-line marketing and pitching that I am supposed to be doing.

It’s been a great ride. I’m so grateful to all the folks who have come out for my events. I’ve had wonderful feedback from readers telling me how much they enjoyed the novel, emails from friends and strangers, both in the U.S. and in the U.K., people telling me how much they were moved by it, how they couldn’t put it down, or didn’t want it to end, how much they enjoyed learning about little-known aspects of life during WWII. People telling me they bought copies as gifts and to pass around.  

And I guess they did: I heard just before the holidays that the first print run of When It’s Over has sold out!! So we are going to re-print. If you’ve already bought it, you are the proud owner of the First Edition. The Second Edition will be coming soon, and then I’m off again doing the (mini) “book tour” thing, with a reading in Chicago at the end of January, then back to the Bay Area for a couple of North Bay events next month.  Busy, busy, busy….

Over the past few weeks I have received two requests from fellow authors asking me to provide a ‘blurb’ for their novels. Who me? Ah yes, I am a published author now, so I guess this goes with the territory. I vividly recall the process I went through last year, sending query letters again, not to potential agents or publishers, but to writers I admired asking as politely as I could if they would be willing to give me a blurb: one of those little pull-quotes that go on the book’s back cover or on the first inside pages, singing its praises. I understand how hard it is to ask, and how hard it is to get a “yes”. So of course, I said yes.

But now I understand why so many authors say no. It’s time-consuming! I have one manuscript down, another to go. Don’t get me wrong; I love to read and want to support other writers. But I have so many books on my to-read list, and I’m supposed to be getting on with writing novel #2. It’s been so hard to focus on that while being absorbed in book promotion activities for #1. I was hoping to do more writing over the holidays. I did a little, made a few revisions, got some new ideas, but not enough.

So here’s my New Year’s Resolution: write more, and understand that sometimes I will have to say: “sorry, no.”