Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Paperback writer (paperback writer)

Paperback writer

Paper back writer (paperback writer)

Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book

It took me years to write, will you take a look

It's based on a novel by a man named Lear

And I need a job, so I want to be a paperback writer,

Paperback writer.

It's a dirty story of a dirty man

And his clinging wife doesn't understand.

Their son is working for the Daily Mail,

It's a steady job but he wants to be a paperback writer,

Paperback writer.

Paperback writer (paperback writer)

It's a thousand pages, give or take a few,

I'll be writing more in a week or two.

I can make it longer if you like the style,

I can change it round and I want to be a paperback writer,

Paperback writer.

If you really like it you can have the rights,

It could make a million for you overnight.

If you must return it, you can send it here

But I need a break and I want to be a paperback writer,

Paperback writer.

Paperback writer (paperback writer)

Paperback writer - paperback writer

Paperback writer - paperback writer

Writers you want to punch in the face


OK then, here is a link to something I particularly liked on FB. I don't like much on FB, and every time I (compulsively) go on it, I see a lot of things that are not nearly as good, or see something that makes me mad and feel I can't say anything because most comments begin with the word, "Awesome!!!!!" If you say anything else, you're a party pooper and "negative", which is the worst thing you can be.

Social media hasn't done me a whole heck of a lot of good. It has distracted me from real writing, which is what I need to be doing, always. Right now I am stymied as to how I am supposed to use it to sell my book. I seem to be nowhere with it. I know I'm not supposed to admit this, in case the unusual happens and somebody reads this. It has been known to happen, but a large number of views is rare on this blog because I write it mostly to please myself.

I finally have a book in hand, but feel a little lost. The things that helped me stay afloat and promote and get out there with my last two novels are mostly gone. The independent bookstores have been driven out of business, and Big Booky isn't too friendly these days. It's not the way I thought it would be, at all, and all too often I feel like a dinosaur.

That said, several times a day I look at the published version of The Glass Character and just shimmer all over. As it turns out, the cover has a high shine that resembles that antique turquoise glass, and it's effective, as if Harold is looking through a windowpane. It was a long, long haul writing this, and twice as long selling it, and now, though I don't know exactly where I am going with it, it has been externalized, it's no longer just a story or a thought in my head or a hope or a dream: it's a BOOK, and always will be, even if it goes out of print. As an ebook, I suppose it will always be around in some form or another.

I've written about Rich Correll, and I did ask my publisher to send him an advance copy, but I haven't heard anything back. Rich Correll knew Harold, even touched his films and became his unofficial filmographer. What he thinks of  The Glass Character matters. But I have had almost no feedback, and it's kind of like waiting for a medical test to come back. You tell yourself, it's just a precaution, I'm sure everythng's fine. . . but you know that the possibility of "not fine" exists. You tell yourself, for sure, this is your last book. Has to be.

I remember a time when Rich Correll was just some far-flung possibility. I opened a file last night in Word, my first letter to him, dated 2010. I had no idea what his mailing address was, could only find vague references to talent agencies and taxi companies. I even sent a letter to his lawyer. I gave up some time in 2012, and he phoned me in 2013. I could not believe how long ago: last summer. I thought it was maybe two months ago.

I think a lot of what I am doing now is distraction. I should be working feverishly on Facebook and Twitter (though I loathe the thought and would rather be hung upside-down by my toenails than open a Twitter account) to "try to get the word out". What word? My book is out.  Buy it, it's swell. End of message.

I suppose if I don't promote my face off, I won't be eligible for the awards that can propel a writer out of the Paperback Writer zone ("Dear sir or madam, would you read my book, it took me years to write, would you take a look"). I don't know quite how that works. Do I sound super-confident here? I doubt it.

I do feel good about the book. It's not that. Or, I don't think so. It's everything else, what goes with it. Writers are jerked back and forth: stop being so sickeningly self-congratulatory! Get out there and be a shameless self-promoter! Go away, come back.

And then there is Cinderella Syndrome, the great lottery win, with some obscure or completely unknown author catapulting to the top of the New York Times bestseller list (Nirvana for every writer, supposedly). I should have called my novel 50 Shades of Harold.

It's a weird place to be in. I wouldn't want to go back. All of it has been hard. The writing was the best part, as always. I'll never forget it. And a few people have commented on it. Even my daughter liked it! She's the toughest critic I know, one of the few people who actually speaks her mind when you ask her about something, so her opinion matters to me.

All I want to do is make Blingees, right now, to take my mind off things. I have had no reviews at all so far, and there may not be any (not that they lead to sales). One would be nice. And hearing back from Rich Correll. Now THAT would be nice. An invite to read somewhere, so I don't have to phone an organizer and say, "Please, sir. . . "

But I remember the day the idea fell on me to write this book - just fell on me like an anvil out of nowhere, and my first reaction was, "Nooooooooooooo." Somehow, that led to this. The strange "this" I'm in now, which is a long way from the initial assault.