This blog is devoted to remembrances and essays on general topics, including literature and writing. It has evolved over time, and some older posts on this site might reflect a different perspective and purpose.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Writing It Is the Easy Part

            There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who can’t imagine writing a book, and those who can’t imagine not writing a book. Most of my friends belong to the first group, and they sometimes ask me how hard it is to write a book.
            My standing answer is that any idiot can write a book, but that it takes a certain level of skill to write one that anyone will actually read. That doesn’t entirely answer the question, I know, but it’s the best I can do.
            As I approach the publication, in a few weeks, of my second Quill Gordon mystery novel, it occurs to me that there is a postscript to my standing answer. That would be that writing the book is the easy part; it’s all the stuff that comes afterward that’s the real work.

Mistakes on Top of Mistakes

            I happen to be thinking of this because yesterday afternoon I got an email from Lauren Wilkins, a former colleague at the newspaper, who is doing the final outside edit of book two, Wash Her Guilt Away. I decided to pay someone to do this after hearing from my friends about the mistakes they were finding in the first book, The McHenry Inheritance. (At least Amazon made it easy to go back and clean those up!)
            Already I’ve taken a week off to do nothing but edit and rewrite the second book, and after I was done with that, I gave it to my wife, Linda, for another read and made the corrections she indicated. Now Lauren is saying she’s making good progress and is surprised by how much stuff she’s catching.
            That both gratifies and mortifies me. I’m mortified because I don’t feel so much should still be wrong at this point, but gratified that my decision to hire an outside editor turned out to be justified. With any luck, my friends will have less to point out this time around.
            A key determinant of the ultimate publication date will be how much time it takes me to go through the manuscript and respond to what Lauren caught. I’m hoping the book will be out in late April, but realistically, it might not be on Amazon before May.

Who’s Hosting This, Anyway?

            Meanwhile, I met with my webmaster last week to redesign my website. Right now it’s doing a good job of promoting one book, but from here on out, it has to promote a series of books, which means completely restructuring it. That’s daunting enough as it is, but it turns out that neither the webmaster or I could initially figure out who’s hosting the site.
            Eventually that got figured out, but it was obscured because I have two accounts with the server business, owing to my propensity for forgetting log in ID’s and passwords. Fortunately that got sorted out in little over an hour; they were very helpful, and if I’d had to go somewhere else, that might have been a long slog.
            At the same time all this is going on, we’re waiting for rain so the final footage for the video trailer can be shot; a storm just moved in today, and the videographer is hoping to take care of business now. And of course I’m planning the promotional work for the book, which will really pick up once it’s actually published. With such a full plate, I’ll barely have time to follow March Madness this weekend. I’m rooting for Stanford and Tennessee, but only the Vols have much chance of going to the Final Four. You read it here first.