The predominant characteristic of the pub date is that it’s “soft.” A potentially bothersome quality on other sorts of dates, but in this case, it meant that the release of Cascade Falls was scheduled for March 17th, then suddenly got changed to April 7th.
What’s a writer to do? You’re all gussied up for your date and suddenly it gets postponed for three weeks. Now, I admit, that also happened to me with Tiffany Gluck from Akron, Ohio, but this date proved to be even more annoying. On the morning of March 19th, I sat at the computer in t-shirt and gym shorts, studying the box scores (as I planned to do for the next three weeks), when, just for the heck of it, I opened another window to check my Amazon page. Lo and behold, my date had arrived — with zero warning.
I went into shock. The moment was here and I had no plans. I mean, it wasn’t as if I was going to take my date to see Jersey Boys or anything, but the way the news appeared seemed beyond anti-climactic. I called a few friends to share my soft release dilemma. One said: “I’m on the other line with AT&T, and I pre-ordered the book three weeks ago. Do you need me to call you back?” Another barked: “I’m going to your booksigning before my copy arrives. Are you pressuring me to buy ANOTHER book?”
At least Tiffany Gluck was a happy drunk. This was rapidly becoming the true date from hell. What could I do to save it? Finally, it hit me. The only way out was to head to an actual pub. Down so much Guinness, you forget you ever wrote a book. So I grabbed the wife and off we went. Polished off one or six, then the Shepherd’s Pie arrived, slathered with a generous topping of mashed potatoes. And how were those potatoes? you ask. Ironically, they were “soft.” But very good. Pub date, a success.
As far as Cascade Falls – it’s now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Or if you have a local indie bookstore, get it there. We’ve got to keep these folks in business. Really excited about this novel, and anxious to talk with all of you after you finish!
Many years in the making, CASCADE FALLS is finally published and ready for you to read. I hope to see lots of you at my various book tour stops, but for those I miss, there’s that internet thingie where you can buy stuff — Amazon is taking orders now for March 23, and Barnes & Noble lists a shipping date of April 7th (but it will probably be sooner). Better yet, if you have a local indie bookstore, get it there. We’ve got to keep these folks in business! Really excited about this novel, and anxious to talk with all of you after you finish.
Why two winners? Because Dave, of Chevy Chase, Maryland posted a filming budget of $87,000. The producer who budgeted it for me came in at $81,000 (including $600 for the snake and snake handler, FYI)
Meanwhile, Deb, of Mayer, Arizona, had the closest guess of $400 for the stock version budget, which actually came in at around $750.
The point of all this was to show the technology that we, as authors, now have at our disposal. The added bonus of doing a trailer to promote your work is that it gives the viewer an idea of what your book might look like should someone decide to adapt it for film. And what would be so wrong with that?
THE WINNERS WILL RECEIVE THEIR BOOKS SHORTLY!
3/26 - 7 PM Santa Monica, CA. Barnes and Noble – 1201 3rd St. Promenade Santa Monica, CA 90401
4/1 – 7 PM West Hollywood, CA. Book Soup – 8818 Sunset Blvd, W. Hollywood, CA 90069
4/4 – 2 PM Ventura, CA. Barnes and Noble – 4820 Telephone Rd. Ventura, CA 93003
4/8 – 7 PM Huntington Beach, CA Barnes and Noble – 7881 Edinger Ave, Huntington Beach, CA 92647
4/25 - Time TBD Annapolis, MD Annapolis Book Fest, 534 Hillsmere Dr. Annapolis MD. 21403
5/9 – 4 PM Corte Madera, CA Book Passage – 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera, CA 94925
6/23 – 7 PM Hollywood, CA Toastmasters Club – 8900 Emerson Ave. Los Angeles, CA. 90045
One of the best parts of appearing at book festivals is getting to meet fellow authors. I will be at the Annapolis Book Festival on April 25th, discussing the overuse of adverbs and the merits of dry rub with this scribe-slugger hyphenate.
Parade Magazine’s story on Jason Alexander and me doing the Elevating Overman audiobook.
I got Brown Recluse Spider.
Thanks to advances in Internet technology, we’ve long had the ability to listen to music, watch videos and do research free of charge. Now there’s a new kid on the Free Stuff block — Self-Knowledge. Talk about a game-changer. Why send your therapist’s kids to private school when you can get all the answers online? For free. It sounds too good to be true, but in one week, I learned everything I needed to know about myself simply by taking social media quizzes. Never has enlightenment been so easy. You find a quiz on Facebook, answer nine questions related to the subject, and boom, out pops another revealing piece of your personal puzzle.
Some of my results:
WHAT SODA ARE YOU?
I got Coke Zero.
WHAT INTERNATIONAL GOTHIC ARTIST ARE YOU?
I got Tilman Riemenschneider.
WHAT COMMUNICABLE DISEASE ARE YOU?
I got diphtheria.
WHAT UTENSIL ARE YOU?
I got soup spoon.
WHAT POEM ARE YOU?
I got “Howl.”
WHAT MOURNFUL CRY ARE YOU?
I got howl.
You get the idea. The more quizzes you take, the more doors you unlock. For twenty years, I had been using the man-sized bars of Safeguard. Then I took the soap quiz and lo and behold…
I got Dove.
Which naturally influenced the result of the next quiz:
WHAT FAT BIRD ARE YOU?
After fifty-seven quizzes, I have more self-knowledge than I know what to do with, the only glitch being that there is an enormous amount of information to retain. The other day I was looking for a new place to live, but I suddenly forgot — am I ‘rent’ or am I “buy?” On my last trip to the mall, I couldn’t remember if I was “freeway” or “surface streets” and wound up crashing into the median divider. Feeling stiffness in my neck, I then drew a blank as to whether I was “orthopedist” or “chiropractor.” I saw my world starting to unravel when I suddenly realized that all the answers were on my smart phone — I just needed to check Facebook. Quickly going to log in…
I got empty battery.
Which made perfect sense, because twenty-two quizzes ago I had been asked…
WHAT PHONE ARE YOU?
I got landline.
I soon realized that the abundant riches of self-knowledge had become a lot for me to manage. One day, tired of berating myself for not remembering what casual shoe I was, I started to look for help. As luck it would have it, I located a professional on Craig’s List who calls himself a “Social Media Response Organizer.” There’s no Internet test he hasn’t seen, no answer that fazes him. In less than half an hour, Dr. Quiz outfitted me with a lightweight digital wristband housing my entire history of answers. Then we met for three sessions to make sure I’m applying everything I’ve learned — all for only $1800. Pleased with my progress, I decided to celebrate by taking one more quiz.
WHAT PERSONALITY TYPE ARE YOU?
I got schmuck.
Here I am, in my guest starring role as a chair rental delivery guy in the series finale of “Home Improvement.” I’m not really an actor, and based on the look I’m getting from Tim, he seems to agree. It’s a look many Executive Producers have witnessed from their stars, the studio, the network, or any number of entities whose bottom line is at all dependent on our talents. Producing is a high-pressure gig, no doubt about it. Most of us started out as writers, only to find ourselves becoming business people as our responsibilities increased. It’s perfectly natural to fantasize: “What if I could just be a writer again?”
I didn’t know whether or not I was capable of penning a novel, but getting back to the written word in its pure, unadulterated form seemed like a challenge worth exploring. Once I actually finished my first book (without the “benefit” of network notes), I felt elated… that is, until I realized I had to become a businessman all over again. Since there were zillions of books published each year, both traditionally and independently, I had to ask myself: “How are people going to become aware of mine?” I was ready to share on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, tumble on Tumbler — whatever it took to spread the word. The one thing for which I was totally unprepared was PUBLIC SPEAKING. Wasn’t I supposed to be holed up in my garret, creating evocative flights of fancy for lucky readers to embrace unconditionally? Apparently not. The mandate was to get out in the world and do speaking engagements — reading from the book… and sometimes not. Turns out, certain venues do not want to hear authors read. They simply want us to talk about ourselves. Isn’t that what actors are for? Good actors?
It didn’t seem fair, but I sucked it up and forced myself to learn how to be the center of attention. It never does feel completely natural, but you do whatever it takes to honor the work. And sometimes the results aren’t so bad…