Gene here musing on my April 6, 2021 release day of novel #2: Sweet Paradise. This one is very different from novel #1 (Dark Paradise) in that there’s no food, drink or friends gathering at my home to celebrate. There’s also the bittersweet feeling of doing something the second time, which while notable, lacks the drama and entirety of the unknown that being a virgin author entails. My wife, an extremely supportive partner, is at work today because while we both take Mondays off normally, she works on Tuesday and my publisher (also wonderful) said all new releases are on Tuesdays from here on out. My daughter is home with me, but she just had the vaccine yesterday and ain’t feelin’ so special today. I’m having my shot tomorrow at a hotel in Culver City. I guess everything becomes a hospital in a pandemic. Shout out to the Marriott for hosting vaccinations (see it worked, free advertising for Marriott right here on Gene’s blog).
Back to Sweet Paradise. I’m hoping to gain some momentum with this book as I now have twice as many works out in the world of the novel-length variety, so it should boost my audience as least a little bit. This is a newly designed website and blog that I’m making an effort to update more regularly. I also plan to publish some more short books in the future since I have two Boise stories of the short story variety and short stories have a special place in my heart. All of these thoughts are swimming around in my head as I sit here at my dining room table, sun shining outside, a weed wacker buzzing contentedly in the distance and the occasional car motoring by outside.
Bring a novel to publication is a special kind of struggle, especially making sure the story makes sense to people who do not share your mind. You also want it to say what you want it to say and convey those thoughts to others as best you can, however, once a work leaves the author’s possession for the wider universe, no control really exists about what sections of the work the world will focus on. They could latch on to something trivial like a one line description of one minor character’s wardrobe, or the world could attack you for being politically incorrect, or they could love the heck out of something you barely considered, and may have cut from the final draft if you’d been finishing the final edit on a Sunday instead of a Wednesday. My struggle continued well into the final days, and the hardcover version still is not finalized due to technical difficulties with a company that has a monopoly in the publishing sphere. Power and control. That’s what we all want over our own destinies, and on most levels lack in all but very very few areas. The frustration can be overwhelming, even making one fling the french press across the kitchen and putting a nice dent that’ll serve as a reminder of this afternoon for as long as one owns the chrome container. It’s the tough parts we focus on, it’s the tough parts that remind us to keep going. It’s also the tough parts that make the best stories about our lives and about trying to push those stories out into the wider world.
Here’s to another release day and many more to come.