Saturday, December 6, 2014

Reviews and more Hard Work

SAFE WORDS has it's first REVIEW on Amazon. It is positive. 5 Stars! It is not a reviewers post. It comes from a regular reader. I'm grateful. I'm very grateful and proud. When someone says to you that they like your work enough tell other people about it, you have to be proud. BTW, she said she loves, loves, loves my book. In the review she (the reviewer) said that she had also posted the review on Goodreads. I kind of want to find her on there and ask her to be a friend but I'm afraid it might seem a little creepy, stalker.

Honestly I saw the review because I was looking for and hoping for one. There is another aspect of Amazon I'm not sure I get... The Amazon Best Sellers Rank. When SAFE WORDS first went up it was listed at 400,000 something. It dropped down, then down again to 90,000 something. Then up again to almost 400,000 then down. today it sits at 160,000+. I guess that is good but I can't imagine that it is selling more than a book or two. Is that enough to make those kinds of moves? I don't know but it is kind of fun to see. It's like my personal stock market.

I was asked recently what I liked about writing and I started to say the things I always do- The pride of making something, the love of creating stories... But I was answering the wrong question. They were asking about the process. They thought it would be boring to sit and type so much.

The honest answer to what I like about the writing process is to say, I like having written. I don't like writing. It's not the typing. It is the pace. I can see and revise and expand a story in my head. I make connections and have new ideas about the characters, in my head. You just can't get anything typed onto the page quick enough. It is frustrating. The worst thing is having an idea for another book or reading something that inspires you to a different kind of story.

The question reminded me again that writing a novel is hard work. As hard as any physical job I have ever had. It requires commitment to push past those moments when you're sure you can never finish this one. It requires a thick skin to be rejected time and again. I always say, it's not just an adventure, it's a job.

So why do it? The easy answer is that everyone does something. The harder answer is to say that I need to do it. Both because I have stories that I want out in the world and because I am trying to build a career to be proud of. The hardest answer is that I am making my joy. I don't believe hapiness comes to us. It never shows up on dragonfly wings carried in moonlight. You go get it. You take the raw elements and stick them into fire then pound them into the shape that fits you. I think we make our lives and Life, returns the favor. Even if we don't like what she throws our way, the joy is not her responsibility.

Yeah I ramble on but I guess that's a nickles worth.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Music and Strong Women

I listen to a lot of classical when I'm writing. Lyrics can get distracting. Sometimes though mood demands something different so old Alan Parsons or something like Enya where the lyrics blend into the music. Somedays I need a beat though and will put on Springsteen or you'll laugh, Meatloaf or Jethro Tull. What can I say, I'm a product of my times.

SAFE WORDS and the current title, END OF SUMMER are both books centered on strong women. It has been suggested to me that mysteries and suspense novels that are male centered have a better chance in the market. It may be so, everyone wants to create the next Jack Reacher or Quinn Colson. I would love that kind of success but it is heavilly mined territory. Not only that, those writers have done it so well already. More talented writers than I will have to take them on. While female characters in action are not exactly virgin territory it is still full of gems and deep veins of gold. There are new things to be said and fresher eyes through which to see life and death situations. That is how I see it anyway.

The main character in END OF SUMMER is Katrina Williams. She has picked up the nickname Hurricane both because it is obvious and because it fits her so well. She is damaged and damaging, dangerous and uncontrolled but at the same time her fury has roots and the storm inside her heart has depth. The flawed and damaged, angry protagonist is a common theme in male centered writing. It is common in female centered writing as well but there she is usually somehow incomplete without the man that comes into her life to make it all right. What happens when she has to save herself? Or better, when she has to save the man in her life?


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Busy and Odd

Tonight I attended a FB release party for my friend Sierra Cartwright and her new novel, CLAIM. A good time was had by all.

The last few days have been busy and strange. Strange not that they were busy but strange in that way only ordinary lives can be when they take that turn. You know the one, not the quck jerk to the left but a slow canting that has gone wild before you even know your vector is off. Odd, like a man walking up to you in McDonald's and with no introduction telling you he just came from another state where we went to hook up with a woman from a dating site. Then he shows you pictures on his phone of all the lovely women he is corresponding with. I attract odd like a bare bulb attracts moths.

At least the odd in my life does little to affect the run of my work. The same cannot be said for my busy. The changes I recently made in my personal goals have helped though. Instead of shooting for a daily goal that sometimes just cannot be accomodated I work toward an average. I even created a spread sheet to track things.

SAFE WORDS is out and just kind of hanging there. I committed to not asking friends and family to jump in and buy. I wanted an honest reaction to the book and the reaction so far is ignorance. That is ignorance of its existance. Understandable I guess so I am workind the social media to put the word out. I am confident enough in the content to offer it up to reviewers but so far no takers.

The new book is END OF SUMMER. It is, like SAFE WORDS, a mystery/suspense novel with a strong female lead. The difference is that it is, at this point, not nearly as erotic. The similarity is that it almost begs for more heat. At this point it is a straight mystery. I wanted to write something like an Ace Atkins, Quinn Colson novel only with a woman. Changing the gender changes everything. Not everything is a shoot out and, I think, you think about motivation more. A guy in an action book tends to deal with the situation. A woman must deal with the people. It makes things both different and more interesting. I hope anyway.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hard Work

The hard work of writing a book is selling it. I'm not sure if I've sold any copies of SAFE WORDS yet. With this one I haven't asked friends or family to buy. Most of them have been told, and they may buy, but I'm not asking them to.

In the last couple of days I've added a Twitter account, @DruryJamison and created a Goodreads profile. On Goodreads, find me here, I have to admit I gave my own book a rating of five stars. But I wrote a review that said it was my book and the rating is just me voting for myself.

On Amazon, I created my Author's Page with my bio and twitter feed. It's all just putting in the work to get people to notice another voice in the noise. You can only hope that some people like the voice and want to share it.

Because of Thanksgiving and doing all the social media I have fallen behind in my word count for the current book, END OF SUMMER. Time to get back to that work.