No, I'm not referring to cat fights, although we've had our share of those as Swizzle-Kitten learns to stand up for herself against the old guys. No, it's just a matter of everything happening at once. I'm dealing with four books in various stages of their existence, and each one could use large chunks of my time.
First there's the old-timer, A Scratch with the Rebels, written and published traditionally back in 2007. It's been lingering on the shelves, all but forgotten. Its publisher works in a small local market and needs a bit of prodding to think more broadly about marketing. Now that it has received a very complimentary review in a nationally recognized historical journal, I have finally managed to convince the publisher to lower the Kindle edition price from $9.99 to $2.99 in hopes of making it more accessible. But that's just the beginning. If we're going to open a market for the book, I have to start the ball rolling myself. So you'll be hearing a lot about James McCaskey, Gus Smythe, and the Roundhead Regiment in the next few months.
Next comes Beyond All Price, which has seen great distribution over the last six months, after almost a year of stagnation. There have been some 48,000 downloads of the book, but there are still readers to be reached out there. Interest remains high. I have two talks to give coming up this month, plus some book club activity. Even my hometown public library in Ohio has made overtures, hoping to schedule a public talk or a video conference. And there is a real possibility of turning the book into an audiobook, as soon as I can find the time.
Book number three is The Second Mouse Gets the Cheese, which just went into production. It should make its appearance on Amazon by the end of the week, and I'll have my copies available before January 27th. The Kindle edition will appear about the same time, followed, as soon as I can get the coding done by editions in all of the other e-book formats: Nook, iBooks, Kobo, Soney, etc. I'm hoping to plan a formal launch by February 15th, if all the loose ends get tied up by then.
And then there's The Road to Frogmore, my new novel based on the life of Laura M. Towne and the founding of the Penn Schhol in South Carolina. It's currently about 2/3 finished at 75,000 words, with a firm deadline of August. Because of a wonderful opportunity coming up in November, it absolutely has to be finished by then. So, despite all the other tasks, I need to WRITE!
So where does this blog come in? Well, I've set myself a schedule that I think will work for readers while keeping me firmly on track. On Sunday evening or Monday morning, I'll take a look at the week ahead. Tuesdays and Fridays will bring you some useful suggestions for writing, all of them lifted from chapters in The Second Mouse Gets the Cheese. Wednesday's post will be a calendar entry, discussing the activities of Pennsylvania's Roundhead Regiment during 1862 -- in honor of their 150th anniversary. And on Thursdays, I'll bring you some samples from the world of Nellie M. Chase, heroine of Beyond All Price. I have a collection of recipes, dubious medical cures, Gullah folklore, and other tidbits to share. Finally, over each weekend, I'll try to do a weekly roundup, including progress reports on The Road to Frogmore. Keep me honest, friends, by asking questions and leaving comments. Your interest is what keeps me working.