First an apology. I know I haven’t blogged in a couple of months—at least. Time just slid by me. I’ve been doing too many other things. One is that I’ve been working on the fourth book in the tetralogy that started with Mistress of the Wind, followed by Bringers of Magic, and my most recent release, A Mix of Magics. The fourth book will be titled Deniably Dead unless for some reason I change the title before the book is ready for publication.
Before I started work on Deniably Dead I was about halfway into another fantasy novel, a stand-alone titled Linked, not part of or related to the Arucadi series. I still work on it off and on but am concentrating more on Deniably Dead.
I’ve also been getting two books ready for publication—doing final edits and formatting. One is a children’s chapter book titled Grandy’s Grand Inventions and intended for children in first through fourth grades. It will be out some time this month. I’ve set it up in CreateSpace and received the proof, which I’ve gone through, made some changes, and adjusted the cover a bit. I’ll be submitting those changes and then possibly order another proof or maybe proof it online and approve it. As all my other books have been written for teens or adults, this is a departure for me and will need to attract brand new readers.
Grandy’s Grand Inventions is the story of Judy Cameron, a third grader who adores her grandfather (Grandy) and wants nothing more for her birthday than a visit from him. But Grandy is an inventor whose inventions tend to go awry, with disastrous results. Judy’s parents agree that Grandy can come for a visit and to help celebrate Judy’s birthday provided that he not bring any of his inventions. But Grandy can’t resist an invention he’s designed to be a delightful surprise at Judy’s birthday party, to which she has invited her entire third grade class and their teacher. After all, what could possibly go wrong with a machine that creates a blizzard of chocolate flakes to entertain and please Judy’s guests?
In addition to the aforementioned projects I’ve done editing work for clients of my newly established business, Arucadi Enterprises, LLC. The business is designed to publish my own books and those of others who want to publish via CreateSpace and/or Kindle Direct Publishing but need help with editing and formatting. I enjoy editing my own work and that of other writers, but I don’t want to be so busy editing other people’s manuscripts that I neglect my own writing, so I will limit the number of clients I accept.
I’ve also taken on another project. For the next book I plan to publish I want to design and produce my own cover art. However, I’m no artist. I’m trying to learn the computer program DAZ3D, a program providing components that can be assembled and arranged to produce digital art. It’s not an easy program to learn, and it has eaten up a lot of my time, but I’m determined and stubborn enough to keep working at it until I get it right. When I do, I’ll reveal the results here. The cover art is all that remains to be done before publication of my urban fantasy novel Were House. I’ll discuss that further in a later blog.
What I want to stress in this one is that writing is my career, not my hobby. I am retired from teaching but not from writing. I take my writing very seriously and work at it daily in one form or another, even though I don’t blog as often as I should. I do need to spend more time on promoting my work, and I realize that getting books out in print and as e‑books isn’t enough—you also have to sell them. I will try to do better about blogging, tweeting, and otherwise promoting my work, but no promises. I fit in what I can when I can. I find it difficult to balance writing and promotion, probably because I love writing and don’t particularly enjoy promotion. I doubt that this is unusual. I suspect many if not most writers feel that way. We do what we must because, after all, it does no good to write and publish books if no one reads them. And readers need to know about books in order to buy and read them.
So I conclude with an appeal. Watch for the publication announcement for Grandy’s Grand Inventions. And if you have or know a child in the right age range, consider buying it for them or encouraging parents and teachers to purchase it. Give it a try. I think kids will like it, but children in the age group it’s written for aren’t book buyers. Adults buy books for them. So I still need to depend on my adult readers to purchase the book and present it to the child or children of their choice.