Thursday, April 15, 2010

Word count

37,000 on one and over 30,000 on the other. It is weird writing two books at once. They are very different too. One is first person, the other is third. One is a period piece, the other contemporary. One is much more violent and action oriented.
Once these are done I will have the material to make a real push for the fabled "next step". An agent? Selling a solo book? I've even seen a lot of evidence that doing a self publish to Kindle and keeping it at a low price, .99 or $1.99, can be a workable model. Every situation is different I guess.
My short stories are suffering. Oh well. Casualty of the bigger goal.
Then, I am really excited and really frustrated. Excited for the upcoming LA Times Festival of books. In truth I'm really excited for the pre-festival party next Friday night where I can schmooze a ton of other writers, see some friends and get some signed books.
I'm frustrated with the lack of response I've gotten from some indie booksellers. Jennifer and I are solely in charge of PR and promo of One Too Many Blows To The Head and I've been trying to set up signings at several mystery specific bookstores that I'd be willing to travel to but I just can't get anyone to respond to my reaching out. I've sent books so they can see it is a real deal published book but still it is radio silence. We didn't have the luxury of ARCs sent out months before release so we are rapidly becoming old news in the publishing time table. Still, any book you've never heard of is new to you, right?
Not sure what else I can do. I don't want to be annoying or harassing. All I want to do is help these stores sell books. It really makes me appreciate Linda and Bobby at the Mystery Bookstore. Nothing beats face time and I'm sure if I was close enough to do the drop-in like I can at TMB it would be very different.
Not like I'm a big draw, I know that. No one is storming the gates asking when I'm coming to sign but I just hate to let it die on the vine without giving it my all, y'know?
I certainly give any indie bookseller the benefit of the doubt. I know it is hard work, a lot to coordinate and a lot of us indie authors contacting them daily so I can't be too offended.
Oh well. Bloodied but unbowed I soldier on.
I leave you on a positive note after reading blogger/writer Holly O'Neill's (hope that leg feels better) recent post about opening lines. I really love the opener to the new solo work. I have been working to make the opener of each chapter a real juicy grabber. When it is finished I want to do a "Novel in a Minute" and post the first lines of each chapter as a little tease. In the meantime, here is the first line:

"Rain hit the roof of the van with the force of someone locked in a coffin, alive."

Now, as much as I love it I have revised it about a dozen times. There are so many ways to write this sentence. Do I need "alive"? Is it better to say "locked alive in a coffin"? Comma? No comma? This is back to the original and I'm sure it will change and change back many times yet. I'm so torn. there doesn't seem to be one definitive answer. This is very unlike me too. I am very decisive in my writing. I just want to get this exactly right. Any thoughts?


Paul D. Brazill said...

coffin. full stop. alive.

Jeffrey said...

I don't think you need alive. I like "locked in a coffin."

Alan Griffiths said...

Hi Eric,

Good luck with all you are doing for “One Too Many Blows” – I’ve not yet picked up a copy but it is definitely on my list.

I think the “Novel in a Minute” teaser is a cracking idea and the first line is super but how about:

"Rain hit the roof of the van with the force of someone hammering coffin nails home."

Kind regards.


pattinase (abbott) said...

Wish I had some helpful words on almost any subject. I am with you on the short stories suffering as I also attempt to finish two novels. But I don't feel I have the energy to even look for an agent. It's all very depressing.

Eric Beetner said...

Patti - don't get depressed. I only get upset that there aren't more hours in the day. It's why I have to force myself to bed at 1:30 am. Oddly the girls seem to have no respect for that and they keep waking up with the sun. But keep plugging away Patti. You have such good will out there that when you publish a novel it is sure to do well.

Alan - thanks for that. I'm right, huh? There are a million ways to write that sentiment. I do love Paul's solution though. And One Too many Blows is just sitting by and waiting for you to order it. It's lonely sitting in the Amazon warehouse or better yet, the shelves of the Mystery Bookstore. (they do online orders and it will be signed!)

And thanks Jeffrey. I go back and forth on if alive is just implied. At least I have a loooong time before it would ever be published (if at all) so I can waffle for a while longer.