I’ve often said that marketing a book is like running for office—mostly grass roots appearances (sometimes in readers’ homes), rubber chicken lunches and book store signings where patrons generally ask for directions to the bathroom. However, unlike running for office, book marketing never ends.
And so I find myself planning to go back on the stump again when my new Las Vegas ghost novel, The House Always Wins, launches in October. And I’m reminded that almost any time I find myself out in public hustling my wares, some well-intentioned soul will comment, “I’m going to write a book someday when I have the time.”
My first impulse is to say something unkind. Instead, I smile and say, “Good for you.” But what I’m really thinking is, Yeah, that’s all it takes. Time. No talent, no classes, no prodigious reading list, no 10,000 hours. Just time. And then I sigh.
I get doubly annoyed because real writers make time. I get up earlier than a Navy Seal because I do my best writing in the wee hours. Not because I want to, but because I have to. The words wake me up. My author friends understand what I’m talking about. Of course, something’s got to give. Little things like health, relationships, going to the bathroom (I use it as a reward, but that’s a topic for another day). I guess it’s a form of insanity.
I feel the same way about the fairy-tale “Cabin in the Woods.” Can’t you just visualize it? There in the clearing, peeking through the morning mist? Folks who dream of writing but never put an actual word to paper believe if they could just sequester themselves for three or four months, they’d emerge triumphant, big time publishing deal in hand, with the 21st Century’s first Great American Novel. Instead, I’ll give you 10 to one odds they emerge with sunburn, poison ivy and mosquito bites, but nary a chapter.
Wanna know where I do a lot of my writing? Airplanes and airports. Otherwise it’s totally wasted time. And people tend to leave you alone. Especially if you mutter to yourself and occasionally laugh out loud.
My mind always goes back to “The Lovely Bones,” where each person gets to create his or her own heaven. My heaven will have that cabin. And a beach house. And an infinite amount of time.
And ice cream.