There have been two times in my writing career when I seriously thought about quitting.
The first time was fourteen years ago during a Write-by-the-Lake Writing Retreat when I was told there’d be a very small market for my book. I felt as if I’d wasted a year and half of my life writing those sixteen chapters of what would become Carpe Diem, Illinois.
Discouraged, I considered not going back to the class. Why bother? But I did and after discussing other avenues to marketing my book, I was encouraged and energized. I went from thinking writing was a waste of time to understanding the potential effect of my words.
My life would be drastically different today if I’d quit.
Even so, I again seriously considered quitting on June 7th, the day of the book release party for The Devil Particle.
Technology threw a wrench in things a few days before and during the launch. Amazon posted price changes sooner than they said they would and took their sweet time posting reviews, Ingram has labeled my book a “Large Print Edition” which they haven’t changed, and I couldn’t add links on Instagram (still can’t). Add to that lower than expected RSVPs to my book launch party at Mystery to Me Bookstore and I was pretty down.
So, on the drive from Waukesha to Madison for the party, I ranted to my daughters Caitlin and Jessica. Why was I doing this? Driving all this way, buying wine, beer, cheese, crackers and glazed donuts. Ordering The Devil Particle plates and red and black napkins and buying a new outfit. Packing everything up and traveling to an event where only a few people would attend, leaving me embarrassed and disappointed.
I ranted that I should just quit writing. Work at a bookstore from 9-to-5, get paid for my services rather than having to pay for services (now that’s an interesting concept), and head home each night, completely done.
What a relief that would be.
When we finally arrived in Madison that evening, Jessica and I parked in front of Mystery to Me, pulled in my cooler and wagon full of books and swag, said hi to Joanne, Hilary, Jayne, and Doug, and set up everything.
People came. More people came. By the time Doug started interviewing me, the place was full. The audience of friends, family, and colleagues was incredible, so supportive and so excited and happy for me.
Which was exactly what I needed.
Now, a week later, The Devil Particle is a #1 new release and continues to get five star reviews. Val Biel of Lost Lake Press and Celeste Anton of Dandelion Web Marketing are tweaking the Amazon and Facebook ads while I reach out to podcasters and reviewers.
With Val and Celeste’s help, I’m plugging away at this marketing stuff and trying to put everything in perspective. This isn’t brain surgery after all. No one will die if I don’t sell a book today. But, I’d still like to make money from these books, so I’ll keep at the marketing, even though it drives me crazy.
More importantly, I’ll keep at the writing. Every day, I set aside an hour or two to revise The Runner, the third book in The Devil Particle Series. As I write about Paul, Gaige, and Jaelyn, I get a thrill creating their stories. That’s when I realize I’ll never stop writing.
P.S. This is my new favorite writing spot — The Steaming Cup on Main Street in Waukesha. They have the best chai lattes I’ve ever had.
I’ve been working with cover designer Patrick Knowles on the covers of The Devil Particle Series. Once The Devil Particle was released I sent Patrick his own copy and he sent me a picture of himself with our book.
The covers for The Vessel and The Renegade (books two and four) are also complete, but we’re still working on the cover for book three – The Runner. The main character in The Runner is Gaige Devlin and I’d like to have him on the cover.
When I mentioned to Patrick that Gaige is African-American, he said that his teenage son is bi-racial and offered to use him as the model. Of course, I agreed. I love that he’ll be a part of these books!
Get your own copy of The Devil Particle today!
Seventeen-year-old Paul Salvage competes against forty-nine candidates to be the vessel to hold all the world’s evil. What could possibly go wrong?
Curl up on the couch with The Devil Particle or take it with you to the beach this summer.
Either way, this adventure will keep you up all night!
Only $4.99 for the eBook and $15.99 for the paperback.
Have a listen
You can listen to my author interviews on “The Art of Paying Attention” with Ryan J. Pelton, “Chicago Writes Podcast” with W. C. Turck (spoiler alert at the one-hour mark), and “My World and Welcome to It” with Rex Owens.
And if you missed my book launch party at Mystery to Me, you can see my interview with Doug Moe by clicking here.