It’s only January 17 in the year 2019 and I’m feeling that this year will have a lot in store for we writers.
First: I was invited to be a participant in Guys and Goals, a forum for gifted fifth and sixth grade boys. I was contacted by Jamie Pelletier who invited me to participate as a presenter. She told me that she was seeking adult men who would be positive role models for sixty young Aroostook County men who were at or near the top of their classes. First of all I want to be clear that never before have I been considered a positive role model! However, when I asked Jamie what would be expected of me she informed me that I would do four thirty minute presentations each to a group of fifteen students. The presentation was to be about my life and how I became a writer.
I started the presentation with an introduction giving the basics of my life, stating my being a local boy, my educational background, and a brief employment overview. I then asked if any of them were considering becoming writers. I was pleasantly surprised when there was at least one (or more) students in each group that raised their hands. I followed up asking if they were writing now. They all were. What followed was an enjoyable morning in which I hope motivated them to write–it motivated me.
The second positive was the influence we members of the MWPA are gaining in Maine. The Portland Press Herald decided to no longer publish reviews of books written by local (Maine) writers ( https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/79001-mwpa-saves-local-book-reviews-with-boost-from-stephen-king.html). Joshua Bodwell learned of this and started an online petition campaign. In two days the campaign (see link above) had increased online subscriptions and the paper relented–they will continue to publish reviews.
All of the above in a little over two weeks! As a result I have become re-energized (don’t expect me to wear a pink bunny suit and pound a drum, however) and have decreed that in the upcoming year I am going to become proficient in that part of our business that I hate the most–marketing my books! The first marketing activity is to remind everyone that my fifth novel (second in the Ed Traynor series) is slated for release on July 2 (already available for preorder–hint, hint). My first reader has gone on record as saying that it’s my best yet. The premise is: What would you do if you were summoned to a remote woods land to I.D. a body and it turned out to be your brother–with whom you’ve had a stormy relationship for years?
Well, time for me to get busy. Part of my campaign is to begin doing podcasts and I need to iron out some wrinkles. The primary wrinkle is “what to podcast about?” Any ideas?