I must have been going a little crazy, because less than two months after Don’t You Forget About Me was released, book three, Dream Lover will be published. Both books are continuations of Pam of Babylon. Dream Lover was fun to write because new characters are introduced and their stories are told in the first person. The continued drama of Pam and Jack and Sandra and Marie are still told in the third person, although Pam does have a brief opportunity to speak.
The cover is my favorite so far. When it arrived yesterday, it was one of three choices I had and this one spoke to me. The gratitude I was feeling for the powers of the universe, for the joy of writing and how great things have worked out overwhelmed me and I broke down sobbing. Jim got me five one gram fish oil capsules and I felt better.:-)
Book four is in process, about a quarter of the way finished. Prayers for the Dying juxtaposes between looking back at Jack in the early years, and Pam now, as she really comes into her own. It is so much fun seeing her shed her former self! I am stepping away from it for a moment today to play with my family. Liz and Jim are headed out and we are going to lunch and antiquing. I need the break desperately.
I’m taking to heart some critiquing a dear relative did yesterday; why are Pam and Sandra both seeing cops in book two? Truly, it was just a coincidence. A while back another friend pointed out to me that Pam’s cop bf was named Andy; my son is Andy. So forget taking that relationship any further. I will be forever grateful that she told me she had picked up on it right away. It was too Oedipal and more fun to get rid of him anyway. Oops, I gave something away.
I wish I could write a disclaimer at the beginning of the book. People, this is a work of fiction. Its not great literature. It is just something I wanted to write. I felt like telling a story. The Pam series is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m dragging my feet about releasing The Savant of Chelsea because I don’t want to deal with the backlash. It makes suggestions about certain groups that if one were ti take personally, could be offensive. But once again, that is usually not the writer’s intention. It is not mine. I could have a field day of meanness if I were that type of person. I worked in the Operating Room with myriad doctors and nurses for almost thirty years. The stories I could tell…..
Another book that is turning into a series is The Greeks of Beaubien Street, a story about a Greek family who owns a grocery store in Greektown. The daughter is a homicide detective. Another cop. Okay, I love cops. So get over it. (You know who you are.) Her boyfriend is a diener at the local morgue. Once again, there are layers of stories and back stories. And many, many characters. If you read the bad reviews I got on goodreads.com most are because the reader doesn’t like all the characters and can’t keep them straight.
Recently a local reporter did a story about me and the books and asked lots of questions about self-publishing. She wanted to know about costs, etc. The actual costs are not bad. I don’t do much myself but write the book. I have an editor, a designer who does the covers, and I pay for all the technical stuff. Those costs run about $3000 per book. My friend, John does it all himself. It also cost a lot to have the book converted into Kindle or Nook, about $150 per conversion. Marketing costs are astronomical. Thousands. I get about a buck for each kindle edition and not much more for the paperback. So its both a labor of love and a huge investment. I read last night that 1500 books are published every DAY. That’s a lotta competition.
I don’t know why this reminds me of the first time I saw Shirley Jones on the Partridge Family. It shocked me because I had heard her voice, and it was beautiful. What was someone with her singing voice doing on that silly show? When my daughter was in college, (vocal performance conservatory), we were warned that in spite of her beautiful voice there were thousands of other cute girls out there with equally beautiful voices. The competition would be fierce. There are so many talented artists, actors, writers, and other performers. Why does anyone bother to stick their neck out, open themselves up to criticism and make the huge investment of time and money when it is known that chances of success are so slim? Is success really just luck? Being at the right place at the right time? Having the perfect website for marketing? I am asking these questions because I want to know.
I am driven to write. For some reason, this is where my life is for now. I don’t have an outline that directs every word I type. I make some mistakes and offend some people. I might tell a story that is really not mine to tell. But it is inspired. It really has a purpose, at the very least, to me. My daughter told me that when she read Pam of Babylon, she could hear my voice. That was important to me. One of the things I love about Facebook is that my friends continuously support me. It’s isolated adoration. I am so happy for that. Thank you, thank you, thank you.