Saturday, February 9, 2008

"I didn't know what day it was...."

Alright, it's not Friday, it's Saturday. And Saturday night to boot, but I'm begging my blog sisters indulgence. (I feel a little like Bob Cratchit explaining to Ebenzer Scrooge
why he was late to work the day after Christmas. "I was making rather merry...")

This week has flown...six cities since Sunday..including layovers. My Friday/Saturday surprise is an entry from Joanna Slan who writes a scrapbooking series and blogs regularly on Killer Hobbies.

My Magnificent Obsession

Lately, I’ve been dreaming about marketing my book. Yesterday, I woke up and realized I was in my bed, not folding colorful brochures. I could have sworn I was putting creases in those tri-folds! After I rubbed my eyes I noticed the sheets were bunched in an odd fashion, the edges perfectly lined up in three sections.

When my non-author friends ask, “How’s the book coming?” I tell them Paper, Scissors, Death is in the hands of editors, and my “baby” will be born on September 13, 2008. They smile. “Aren’t you excited?”


I’m terrified.

Here’s what it’s like: I’m a horse, and all my fellow authors are horses, too. We’re lined up at the track. The gun will go off. Only a few of us will make it to the finish line. A couple might stumble, break a leg and have to be shot. Those of us who finish “in the money” will win the opportunity to race again another day.

But we live to run. We live for this. Well, I do at least.

I’ve been writing my whole life. I grew up in an itsy-bitsy town in Indiana, a place that looks its best in your rearview mirror. We only got three channels on TV, and that was if I could talk my sister Jane into holding onto the rabbit ears and wearing tin foil. (Sorry, Janie. I know I shouldn’t have asked it of you. But you were the younger one, and that’s the breaks, kiddo.)

Without much to do, I read a lot. The public library was my favorite place. I would stand in front of the stacks and crane my head back. The books went on and on to the ceiling. Had anyone read all these books? Probably not. Did the librarian even know what was in all of them? Doubtful.

When I ran out of stuff to read, I told myself a lot of stories. That’s the beauty of life in the middle of a cornfield where the only constant is the pump, pump, pump of the oil rigs. You gotta lotta nuttin’ to do. Which translates into “thinking time.” Daydreaming. Imagining. Fertile soil for dreaming up characters for a story or a book.

I won my first writing award in high school. Majored in journalism and wrote a column for the Muncie Star while at Ball State University. Worked for newspapers, radio stations, and had a talk show on TV. Did public relations. Wrote speeches. Gave speeches. Freelanced for magazines and newspapers. Taught writing in college, and now online. So I've been working at this career most of my life. You'd think I'd have some grasp of the process and the business.

Here’s the weirdest part: This isn’t my first book. It’s not like I haven’t been through this before. I’m the author of ten books of non-fiction. All of them sold well. A few sold REALLY well.

So why am I worried?

Because this is fiction. This is me. My imagination. My heart, my soul, my special talent, my little stories, my creations come to life on paper pages. And golly, I want other people to like what I’ve done as much as I do.

It’s pathetic.
It’s true.
I guess I’ll just have to wait until September and see.

About Joanna Campbell Slan...

Yeah, she really did grow up in the middle of a cornfield. Today she lives in a suburb of St. Louis, near a soybean field. Catch her blog with other mystery writers at or her ideas on promotion (other than folding sheets) at her blog in her website Paper, Scissors, Death: A Scrapbooking Mystery will debut September 13, 2008 from Midnight Ink.

Fall 2008, Midnight

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