Ted asked me last evening what my definition of success would be - number of books sold? Amount of money made? Adulation by booklovers everywhere? (Stop . . . I like the sound of the last one:-)
Ted reminded me of the time several years ago when all I wanted was to have a book published. Now, I am up to number seven and eight - and still, I don't feel like I've 'arrived' for instance like Louise Penny or Michael Connelly. "It comes down to book sales," I said, "and those come from receiving good reviews and winning awards."
A hierarchy exists in the author world, and it is different, depending on the type of book written. Just like movie and tv stars, there's the A-list, the B-list and the group still waiting tables and trying for a break. How to crack into the A or even B list depends on a lot of things: good writing, a marketable story, luck, publicity, people who believe in you, and more luck . . . oh yes, and perserverance in spades.
I appreciate my husband who likes to keep me focussed on the writing and why I do it. He keeps me grounded just like the Air Canada pilots. "Just think," he said. "Thousands of people you do not know have read your books. How great is that?"
And I have to say, "You're right. That is pretty darn great."
Well, I've finished all I need to right now for the adult manuscript that will be published fall 2013. The publisher returned a copy of the signed contract and the last round of editing is done. I'm now working on the plot for book number two and started working on the opening page last night. It's a frightening yet exhilerating time - like plunging out of a plane and hoping your parachute opens this time.
I just bought my train ticket to Toronto in June when I will meet the Dundurn staff and meet with Marta who is handling publicity for Second Chances, due out September 1st, a mere four months and change away. They've already sent out ARCs (advance reading copies) and talked to book sellers, book festival organizers and others in the business. I'm also going to TO to a luncheon for the Golden Oak awards. The Ontario Librarian Association shortlisted The Second Wife for this award, which is for adult literacy. It should be a great time all around.
One other event I've been working on this week with retired Justice lawyer and new mystery author Dave Whellams. We'll be speaking to colleagues on April 26th at work about writing and getting published. If you know any good lawyer jokes, please send them along . . . I'll slip them into my talk :-) Lawyers love a good lawyer joke, I'm sure of it.
And for those who wonder how the painting of the bedroom is coming along, coat number one is complete! Just under the golf season wire: