Writing a book is a lonely endeavor, but publishing a book is…it’s different. It’s like diving into a crowd of strangers, getting all scratched up and…shudder…touched, and coming out desperate to return to that loneliness, but also wanting to jump in again. Despite all I’ve read from other authors; the advice, the experiences, the emotions and shit involved in selling one of your books and having the world judge it, the experience of sending one of my babies out to strangers has been surprising, but in a good way. Well, in a good, “oh my God, did that skeevy guy just touch my boob, and I think I liked it but not that much, I think I need psychiatric help,” kind of way.
But first, thanks to everyone for the support and encouragement I’ve received since publishing IN THE BONES. Sales aren’t anything to boast about, but they’re steady. I wouldn’t say no to 1 or 200 more. The sales don’t matter (well, they matter, but not in the grand scheme of things), because I didn’t expect big sales for this book. My goal was to use it as the platform from which I’ll launch more work and prove I can do this thing. The important part for me was what readers thought of my writing and the story.
And the reviews have shocked the hell out of me. For some reason, I expected less “awesome” and more “meh.” It’s not that I thought the book sucked, but I held back a bit in this one. I put story ahead of voice, if that makes sense, so I didn’t expect readers to…like it. I didn’t expect them to “get” it. For example, I’ve had a few readers discuss Carroll Albert with me, and the hatred and disgust in their voices makes my heart sing. When I created Carroll, the goal was to portray the embodiment of evil and I’m elated that for some I’ve succeeded.
Another major surprise, and maybe it shouldn’t be but it is, was that almost every reader commented on the profanity, sex and violence. (Not in a bad way) A few times a review has been given with a warning: Not for the faint of heart. This kind of threw me at first, and then I giggled maniacally. Anyone who’s read my other work knows exactly why I giggled. Those of you that haven’t read it, I giggled because I actually scaled down the language and violence for IN THE BONES, when compared to other novels I’ve written and the sex is practically vanilla. So…that might be interesting later on, like when they get their eyeballs on THE LEGEND OF JACKSON MURPHY. Rough language doesn’t really describe Jack’s vocabulary. And the sex and violence…you’re in for a treat…or perhaps your worst nightmare. I guess it depends on whether you truly are faint of heart or not. The Legend of Jackson Murphy is all voice and character. Well there’s story too, but people walk away remembering Jack. I hope.
But really this post is about what I’ve been up to that’s prevented me from updating my blog and keeping up with my OFW articles while completely losing my fucking mind. Amid marketing In the Bones and prepping Jack for publication in June, I’ve been doing a shit-ton of (you won’t even believe it) housework. I’ve been preparing to sell a damn house. Oh my God, I’m such a hoarder. On top of that, I’m a terrible housewife. The combination means that I have soooo much work to do before we can slap a For Sale sign on this place. So far I’ve accumulated a garage full of crap that belongs at the dump, ripped out flooring in three bedrooms, the hallway and the living room, and painted a total of four doors and the walls and trim of one bedroom. Still working on the other two bedrooms. Oh, and I washed ALL THE WALLS. Let me tell you, it’s easier to paint over the dirt. Man, I hate doing things the “right” way. Right always means “lots of bullshit work.” Sigh. I also cleared out most of my junk cupboards and drawers, which is pretty much all of the cupboards and drawers in this place.
While we prep the house to sell it, the kid and I will be moving into an apartment. No one wants to view this house with Buttons and Zippers (aka; my dogs) howling downstairs or the Satanic Bastard cat randomly shitting on things. So we’re leaving for a while so that once the house is new again, it stays new. If the house sells, we’ll be starting to plan a move across the country. Yep. British Columbia, watch out. We’re coming for you.
All this activity drives me nuts. While I’m not an organized person, I like routine and order in my life. I like knowing what I have to do and when, and being confident that no one is going to fuck up my shit. The past couple of months have turned my boring life into chaos. It’s still boring, but in an unpredictable and exhausting way. I bet the move will be fantastically awful. Maybe I’ll write the book full of profanity to end all books full of profanity as a result. Perhaps I’ll create the ultimate serial killer…or become one.
When I find the panic attacks starting, I wonder if my reaction to the everyday bullshit of life is a normal writerly reaction. Does anyone else get completely freaked out when their schedule is disrupted? Does having things “up in the air” drive you batshit? How do you focus? I’m telling you, focus has been very elusive lately. Mostly I just want to sleep so I can wake up when it’s over.
But just wait until I’m safely ensconced in my northern hideaway where I know almost nobody and can be the hermit I’ve always wanted to be. The stories that’ll come then will rock your world, or fuck it. Either way, you’ll be all “We had no idea you kept this shit in your head, Renee. Get help.” And I won’t, because that would mess with my muse.
No, I have no idea where this is going either. In other news, the awesome crunchy-smooshy Katrina Monroe forced me into an interview. Check it out.
I’ve also agreed to do a blog talk radio interview with Iconic Radio on Tuesday, April 9 at about 8:00 pm, EST. Tune in, and be amazed or completely bored. I’m gonna go for somewhat amused and my goal is to avoid dropping an F-bomb. It’s live. Eep! I might have to lock the dogs in their crates and do the interview outside to achieve such a thing. You know how nothing goes wrong and no one needs anything until Mom’s on the phone?
Okay, now that you all know what I’ve been up to, you can go back to your lives.