You know what she's thinking, don't you? "How can it take you an entire year to write a book? You can make a baby in less time than that. And just look at the authors on supermarket book shelves. They have a new book almost every month. Come on, Schriber, get with the program. Why so slow?"
Well, the truth of the matter is that it takes even longer than that. I can't possibly write a book I'm proud of and satisfied with in a year. Here are my production figures:
A Scratch with the Rebels: Started in 1981, revised in 1987, put away until 2002, started hunting for a publisher in 2004, and finally published in 2007. Twenty-six years is not a record, but it's close!
Beyond All Price: Started in 2006 while waiting for Scratch to hit the bookshelves; self-published in August, 2009. Three years!
The Second Mouse Gets the Cheese: Started blogging about the writing process in 2008 while finishing up Nellie's story and then kept it up while I did the research for The Road to Frogmore. Finally had enough material for a "how-to" book in January 2012. Three and a half years!
The Road to Frogmore: Research started in 2008; will be published in October/November 2012. Almost four years.
And there's the explanation for bringing out Left by the Side of the Road: Characters without a Novel. I wrote the first of these little sketches during National Novel Writing Month 2010. They've been floating around ever since without a home and without much hope that they will ever find their place in a book dedicated to them.
So here they are, in the hope that the weeping lady up there will take some small comfort in having something new to read. Is the launch successful? It's too early to tell, yet, but I can give you a couple of figures. A couple of hundred people have downloaded the short stories -- enough to boost their ranking to #19 in Kindle Short Stories and #25 in Historical Fiction. The book is still free until midnight tomorrow night, so please pass the word in case there are other desperate readers out there.