Monday, May 23, 2011

Before & After: Ty Drago (Part Two: After)

Ty Drago again.

It’s been nine days since THE UNDERTAKERS: RISE OF THE CORPSES celebrated its launch at Children’s Book World in Haverford, PA – just outside of Philadelphia, on Saturday, April 9th.

The turnout was solid, as were the sales. Most of activities I planned to do went off more or less without a hitch, and everyone seemed to have a good time. A couple of Corpses (don’t call ‘em “zombies”!) even showed up and engaged in a little light reading. You can’t ask for more than that!

All in all, it was an auspicious beginning for what I hope will be a successful series!

But, of course, it’s only the beginning. That why they call it a “launch”!

In the coming weeks and months there will be interviews, school visits, conferences, literary events and, of course, blog tours – just like this one! I’ll be very busy, especially considering I have UNDERTAKERS Book Two to write and a full-time job to consider.

But that’s good, as it keeps me from panicking too much.

I recently told a friend that having a new book come out is a bit like a combination of Christmas and root canal. It’s both exhilarating in a way that’s hard to describe – and terrifying in a way that’s even harder to describe. A writer’s life is often considered solitary, and I suppose it is, but so much of what the modern writer does is also surprisingly – and sometimes frighteningly – public.

We put ourselves out there, dropping our work on the desks of agents and editors and then stepping back into the shadows for the long, patient hoping that truly defines our existence. It takes time, often a lot of time, to find out if you’ve been accepted for publication (Huzzah!) or rejected yet again (Sigh!). And, if it’s the latter, as it usually is, then we must ready ourselves to do it again. And again.

But if it’s the former, as it was with UNDERTAKERS, well then we cheer and celebrate! Then, when we start thinking about, I mean really thinking about it, we get very, very nervous! After all, publishing a story and especially a novel takes “putting yourself out there” to a whole new level.

Now there will be readers, hopefully a lot of them, all reading a work that you’ve poured your heart and soul into. We live today in the most communication rich environment in the history of the world, and so each of these readers is also – by definition -- a critic, either publically on personal blogs or websites like Amazon and Goodreads, or more privately to their friends and family. And since fiction is as subjective an art as there is, the reviews can differ wildly.

Over the years, I’ve been praised and panned, loved and loathed, vindicated and vilified. I’ve also learned how to use alliteration!

Some writers will tell you they don’t read their own reviews. I’m sure that can be wise, or even true, once you’re established. But for those of us who are trying to break into this hyper-competitive, often heartbreakingly fickle industry, I don’t believe it for a second. For myself, I read every review I can get my hands on, because each one is – in my mind’s eye – another weight on the scale. Pro or con. Succeed or fail. Book Two … or no Book Two.

So folks, if you happen to find yourselves in a bookstore looking for a fun adventure story, one that’s aimed at middle grade but can be enjoyed by anyone, I hope you’ll linger on the middle grade shelf dedicated to authors whose last name begins with “D”. Or, if you virtual wandering leads you to a book site that sports an eye-catching, fiery cover featuring the words “THE UNDERTAKERS” and my name at the bottom, I hope you’ll consider clicking the Add to Basket button.

As this is a subjective world, I can’t promise you’ll love it. But I can promise that all my best effort, along with fifty years of hopes and dreams went into it. This book is precious to me, and I’ve done (and will continue to do) everything I can to help it succeed.

But, ultimately dear reader, it’s up to you.

Reviews for The Undertakers: The Rise of the Corpses
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I Swim For Oceans
Michelle's Cozy YA Blog


Orchid said...

Ooh, Undertakers sounds like a great read. :)

The haunting of Orchid Forsythia

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