Friday, August 02, 2013

Keeping All the Balls in the Air

We sometimes talk here about the juggling act involved in being a writer. Forgive me if I return to that topic today. My post is inspired by best-laid plans gone wrong. I had intended to post about the wonderful experiences I'm having as I work on taking photos of Albany (the setting of my new series) for a writer's essay. I had some photos I wanted to share to illustrate how going out with camera in hand can help a writer to "see" better. But that will have to wait for my next post because my laptop where my photos are stored and neatly ordered will not come on. The battery is dead because the adapter stopped working. So now I have to wait for Best Buy to open to pick up a new adapter. If that doesn't work, I need to make a trip to my computer guy and then decide whether it would be more cost effective to buy a new laptop to replace my aging machine or do yet another repair.

I recite this tale of woe because the laptop went down just as I finally figured out how to deal with a subplot that has been driving me crazy. Or, at least I had it almost figured out -- except for the matter of travel during that blizzard that I really need but that does keep my killer from zipping across town. But I was getting there. Finally, unstuck. I think it was stopping to watch Project Runway (yes, I admit it. I'm a fan). After watching tempers flare, tears being shed, and creativity on display, all of the "mind mapping" I had been doing about my plotting problem suddenly paid off. (Do you do that -- the key words and connecting circles?)

Anyway, that was when my laptop went down. I'm writing this on my desk top computer -- which is finally connecting to the Internet again after several long telephone troubleshooting sessions with my cable company's customer service technicians and a trip to the cable store in the mall last week to pick up a new modem. Only problem is, I don't have time for another session of trying to upload the photos on my new camera that I've had to learn how to use. So the photos will have to wait. Except today I had planned to work on my Pinterest page for The Red Queen Dies. I was torn between posting the photos on Facebook or doing Pinterest. Then I read Laurie King's comments about Pinterest and saw her lovely photo essays for her books.

But I need to learn how to "pin". I'm hoping it's easy because yesterday was the first day of my virtual book tour. With the help of my escort, Partners in Crime, I'm stopping at various websites where the hosts will post a review of the book, interview me, or I will guest post. On sites where the hosts does giveaways, my publisher is donating a book for a giveaway to a reader. I don't know if virtual book tours work. Certainly, it's a great way to reach Internet bloggers and readers and start to create a buzz about the book. But I don't know if this will translate into sales. Chances are I will reach some readers who had never heard of me before. Of course, I also have to be prepared to take some lumps. The website hosts who review the book are not required to give good reviews.

So I'm working on book two, dealing with computer problems, trying to get my photos that I should have taken a couple of months ago up on Pinterest, taking my virtual tour, trying to plan for my book launch party in September (which requires some thought because Alice in Wonderland themed decorations aren't as easy to find as I expected -- at least not for adult book parties), and trying to get around to adding all of the terrific research material that I have for The Red Queen Dies to my website.

For months, September 2013 and the debut of the new series seemed forever away. Now, it's almost here and my attention is half on that book, half on the one I'm writing. And, of course, there is my other career as a professor and the academic book that I'm also working on. School is about to begin. Bouchercon in Albany is coming up. Life is crazy.

Oddly, enough I'm having a wonderful time. I was thinking the other day how when I imagined being a writer, I always knew I would write. But I never really thought that people would read my books. That is really cool. I would write even if no one read what I'd written. But it is so incredibly cool to actually share the stories in my head and connect with other people who may or may not completely understand what I intended to say -- and sometimes that's my fault because I didn't say it well -- but there is this exchange of ideas going on. Communication.

Off to see if I'm lucky and the problem with my laptop is only an adapter. Next time -- the post about writing with a camera in hand. Assuming nothing else goes wrong with that, and I can keep all my balls in the air.


Donis Casey said...

I'm still waiting for the brain fairies to solve my "how are they going to get where I need them to be and when" problem. And I get what you said about connecting with readers. Sometimes what they read is miles away from what I thought I wrote. Their insights are always enlightening! I always figure that once the book is done, it isn't mine any more, but each reader makes it hers.

Charlotte Hinger said...

Frankie, to this day--one of the biggest thrills is looking up a library's catalog and finding my books listed there.

Frankie Y. Bailey said...


I like your philosophy about once the book is done, it belongs to each reader. We send our books out to the world, and each person takes something different from what we've written.

Frankie Y. Bailey said...


Definitely. Even more fun to walk into the library and see it on the shelf.