Since the interview on Mad Max Perkins’s blog way back at the start of January I’ve been dropping past ‘Paperback Writer’ on a regular basis. Now for those of you who haven’t visited this one, let me say that the blogger in question is incredibly prolific: thinks nothing of churning out 14,000 words a day, has had 25 different novels published in 5 different genres, under 5 different names… you get the picture.
The reason I mention this is that today’s offering strikes something of a cord: talking as it does of an unnamed writer’s blog repeatedly centring on their latest book, how they work references to how great it is into the text the whole time, how – horrible though it is to contemplate – the book jacket is actually part of the blog template… Oh… Wait a minute… ;}#
Now I am nowhere near egotistical enough to suggest that I am the unnamed writer bloggist in question (I think there’s only about half a dozen people who actually read this thing, and most of you are very, very strange), but I am clearly guilty of a LOT of the same crimes. And you know what: I’m not too bothered about that.
Jim was talking a while back about how he hates promoting his stuff, and I understand where he’s coming from. But – and here’s my lame excuse for all this reprehensible pimping behaviour – unlike them Big-Name authors (or even Medium-Sized-Named ones who have loads and loads of published books) for us newbies: this is it! We ether make our very first book work and sell, or we’re fucked. And not in a nice, snugly, wine-and-flowers kind of way either. This is your basic pinned-down-in-an-alleyway-by-troupe-of-drunken-sailors kind of fucked. We’re repeatedly told that if you don’t make them sales, straight out of the trap, your chances of continuing in this industry are severely damaged.
Another thing that strikes me, and this is just me talkin’ here, right now I’m pretty heavily focussed on the whole book thing. There are other things in my life, but a lot of the old grey matter is currently devoted to worrying about whether or not Book 2 is OK or a pile of cat sick, and how everything is going to change as soon as the CG hits the shelves. Am I obsessing? Yup, guilty as charged. Damn straight.This is a very exciting time for me, how often do you get to go from project management / ‘insert crappy job here’ to published writer?
So: apologies if I pimp too hard, gentle browser, but this is what it’s like right now. Maybe in two or three books time, when I’ve got tired of dusting all those CWA Daggers and Edgars (chance would be a fine thing), I’ll relax a bit. Till then: you’re stuck with it. Only you’re not, there’s always the lure of that big, shiny ‘Next Blog’ button. Just don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out ;}# And if there's anyone left after that I'll tell you all about my cat's ears!*
*Christ, there's an incentive to bugger off if ever I've heard one!