Friday, April 15, 2016

Time for some major changes

I took a long break in order to get certain parts of my writing life in order. This blog contains some of those changes. Here is a short synopsis of the alterations:

1. Background image: The old photo of a stack of books on my blog header has been replaced. My new background pays homage to two places that have played big parts in forming me and my way of doing things. The raindrops are for the Pacific Northwest, where I was born and lived for the majority of my life. The mountains are for Colorado, where I have resided since 2005.

2. Content: I still write posts occasionally, but I add video chats on a regular basis. I plan to make this video chat a Monday-Friday routine. Just give me my cup of coffee, Photo Booth on my laptop, and I am good to go. I start with what I call Act Outside the Box, a series of one-sided discussions about taking chances when writing. My talks are purely impromptu, so excuse some hesitations and occasional looks off into space as I try to find the right word or words to say.

3. Being a published author. I self-published "One Summer Season: A young man's brutal baptism into love and baseball" on Smashwords. It took some time to code my manuscript to fit Smashword's parameters, but everything went smoothly when I put my work into what Smashwords affectionately calls The Meatgrinder. It went through that process and came out as a ready-to-publish ebook. "One Summer Season" has been accepted into the Smashwords Premium Catalog, which means it goes out to major bookseller websites such as Barnes & Noble, Scribd, Kobu, etc.

4. Doing all the "heavy lifting" myself: One part of being self-published is that all the auxiliary parts of being an author become my work to do. I don't have a publishing house's cover design, copy editing or marketing departments to do the work for me. I found Vila Designs as a recommended cover designer, and Tatiana Fernandez was a pro on every step of production. I am a veteran copy editor, so I felt good about doing that work on my own. Marketing means such things as the video additions to my blog, postings to Facebook, Twitter, and various social media sites, and contacting people who might be interested in interviews, appearances, etc.

I have four video blogs up from my Act Outside the Box sessions on Tuesday through Friday. I take weekends off. I return Monday with a session on strong female characters in my novels. All my protagonists are males, but I surround them with good women. I will talk at length about that necessary part of almost any novel.

OK, off to do other errands. An author's work is never done.