Open Wounds


You’d think that after the book was in the can, the final proof completed and the manuscript off to the printer, I’d have nothing to do but sit back, put my feet up (if I had something to put them up on)  and wait for publication day.


I knew there’d be a lot of work. I’d been warned. Marketing is work. It’s work to do marketing. But, man, there’s a lot of work to do to get things moving publicity wise, outside the arc of actual book production. If I was a full-time writer (not there yet – I have a full-time day job, a part-time job, and a son and relationship with my wife to keep going in addition to writing) maybe it wouldn’t be such a big deal. But I’m sweating it out today. Okay. Okay. I’ve got a book coming out in 16 days. That’s a great thing. But the work is far from over.

Hunger Mountain wants my revised essay on historical fiction writing by Wednesday and my MAGPI presentation in Phili is on Wednesday.  Then, because my hardworking publicists have been setting me up for interviews and events – stacking them like lincoln logs – I’ll be doing multiple gigs each week for the next three weeks. Did I mention Book Expo? I also still have to get the launch party set up. Just what do you do at a launch part? I have to have one. Everyone has one. Don’t they? These are all good problems to have. There are good problems and there are bad problems. These are in the good problem camp.

Time is ticking.

It’s funny about the essay for Hunger Mountain. The editor, who is wonderful, told me gently to rewrite it. She found a few good thoughts in my first draft but needs more, deeper, better. I know what she means, I think. But it’s a paradigm I’m not used to writing in – a bit academic, a bit writer-ly. Last night I cut out a third of it and tonight will have to rearrange the order and… dig deeper. I need to hit my deadline. Perhaps, while I’m driving at 5 o’clock in the morning towards Phili on the Jersey Turnpike inspiration will come to me. My son, who is 9, has trouble with non-fiction paradigms also. We have that in common. I’ll take my advice to him and use it. I’ll sit down this evening, while the laundry is the building’s laundry room doing cartwheels back and forth inside the machine, and write it down. Or… in my case, revise, revise, revise.

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