If there is one thing that can be said about life that is truer than anything else, it’s that we are all pretty much just winging it. Life is nothing more than one big experiment, from birth to death, and we are each our own guinea pig.
Our first forays into experiencing those first bites of food, discovering new tastes and textures. From stumbling to walking to running. Learning how to make and break friendships in grade school, surviving through childhood and the jungle of puberty. Then you have finally made it, adulthood, and you learn, probably ten to twenty years into it and too late, that on the threshold of adulthood you were starting all over. Crap. If someone told me this then, I would have been smug and disbelieving.
Now, I have an eleven year old complaining, “I wouldn’t mind if the dog woke me up giving me kisses, but she gives me wet willies!” She also has a defiant need to rub in my face her failed belief in the lies I have told her all her life; the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and the troll I convinced her lives in the old abandoned wood stove at the back of our yard. I have a going-on thirteen-going on thirty year old who thinks she is much more worldly than I ever did at thirteen.
This year is proving to be a year of a new set of experiments. With getting older comes a whole new world of experiments to experience. Where once shyness and timidity would have held me back, there is now a more experienced, “I don’t care.” It’s not a lack of caring, but more of a knowing that others don’t care as much as the younger me thought they did. Mostly, the big secret of life is that whatever you are so stressed out about, no one else probably even notices.
My biggest ongoing experiment is being an author. Every story is an exploration into a new world. If you want to get anywhere as a writer, it’s all on you. You need to push yourself and your books. Those ever-elusive readers will know you exist only through your efforts.
That career itself is the biggest challenge in my life. Very few authors have the luxury of not needing a full-time pay the bills job. Life as a working parent means time is at a premium, and everything is on hold while the kids are younger. With the kids getting older, comes a new freedom.
This year, I plan to take that newfound freedom and try to get more involved in the local author scene.
I attended the first annual local (and my first) Horror Con. I watched an author panel and met a few authors.
In that end, I come to a new experiment. Today I am attending my first gala. I can’t say I entirely know what a gala is. It sounds more festive than it probably will be. It’s a literary awards event. No dinner included, and attendance for a relatively low ticket price. I’m not lucky enough to be nominated for anything. Heck, I don’t even know how to get nominated for anything and I probably don’t know the right people to make that happen. It’s more of a go and see what I learn and maybe I can schmooze and meet someone that might help my hopes of a literary career.
I have one published book in my publisher’s catalogue. That will be plural some day. The next book in the McAllister series is waiting in the publisher’s queue to make its debut in print. Another lesson in life; nothing happens fast in publishing. Publishers are inescapably busy people.
I have other books too, some finished and in various stages of editing, and too many to count in progress to some degree.
Being an author has been a learning experience without end. One of the most difficult lessons is how to self-promote with success. Hint: it’s all a crap shoot. Pure luck and determination.
There are other self-promotion efforts to explore too. I am searching for a well-priced printing service to have bookmarks and possibly other products made that I can give away. With few books to plug, I’m not in a hurry for that. Self-promotion is an investment that you may or may not see a return on.
I’m hoping to find ways and places I can offer my book. Again, there’s no rush there until I have the product in hand to push, otherwise it’s empty talk. Book signings are supposed to be a good way to promote yourself if you have books in stock.
I have also started a new blog, following on the advice of one of the authors on the author panel at Horror Con. The original blog is still there, geared to followers and authors. The new blog is geared to a different kind of follower, focusing only on readers and what I think might interest lovers of dark fiction.
This new blog can be found here:
On another side, there are always new experiments to start in all parts of life. As the body ages, it rebels. If you are like me, stuck spending endless hours confined to a little grey cubicle at your pay-the-bills job while your body ferments and atrophies from lack of movement and exercise, the aging body more prone to pack on pounds than burn them, life brings on new challenges. You can sit back and let it suck the life, energy and health out of you, or you can say, “I want to play.”
What do you do when the body is getting older and feeling worn down? You kick butt. It’s totally crazy at my age, but in the name of getting in shape I’ve started exercising more, including lifting weights and doing taekwondo with the kids. Yes, I did say taekwondo.
Happy reading and writing my friends.
What kind of dark secret pushes a man to commit the unimaginable, even as he is sickened by his own actions?
Watch for book 2 of the McAllister series coming soon at Indigo Sea Press: The McAllister Farm. The secret behind the bodies is revealed.
Book 3 is in progress, title to be determined. The third book will bring the characters of Where the Bodies Are and The McAllister Farm together for an intense climax. You are pulled deeper into the mind of the killer as he spirals further into madness, and will find yourself rooting for him as he faces a bigger challenge; he has competition. A new killer comes on scene, bringing a new level of evil and cruelty. You will learn the fates of the McAllister Family, and maybe the secret pasts of Detective Jim McNelly and everyone’s favorite unscrupulous reporter, Lawrence Hawkworth, will be revealed.
Link to reviews of Where the Bodies Are on Angie’s Diary
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