Would I Lie: The Audiobook is approved at last! Should be on shelves in a day or two… Maybe my personal Mercury’s coming out of retrograde…
First off, I want to share with you what my straight male publisher said about Conning Colin, going live tomorrow:
This book gets a big thumbs up from me. I definitely empathized with Colin’s change of character. Putting himself in character for Taco Fuckin Bell was really great. The Hollywood and script-writing parts are obviously researched, I know you’ve got that theater class so you know more about it than me, but from what I know, you got it exactly right. There are a dozen really small touches that I think were just fantastic that I can’t remember all at once, but I think this one is a great one, and I hope people jump right from this book to your self-pubbed work.
I MEAN WOW RIGHT? When you win the straight guy vote, you’ve got a hell of a book 🙂
It’s funny, rereading the book, how seamless it feels, how fun and effortless. The way a romcom should, right? But when I look at my Excel progress chart, and see how many times I got stopped cold by bronchitis (twice), depression (it was a 7 month winter here), and how many times I rewrote the remaining arc/outline as I went and the story kept changing on me… I’ve impressed myself 🙂
I’ll be honest with you, I’m done with angst. For my next trick, I was going to write a novel about a West Point cadet who gets caught up in international intrigue, and the love interest was a DoD employee, a veteran who’d lost his lover thanks to the machinations of a couple pieces of shit in the State Department (based on a real story in Little America about Holbrook and some other piece of shit who got men killed in Afghanistan just so they could win a bureaucratic swinging dick contest).
And… I just couldn’t do it. I just can’t go dark anymore. No more dead lovers, no more shadows of terrible fathers, no more serious illnesses, physical and mental. The world is so dark now, the news is… well, you know. I need LIGHT in my life, I need to have fun in my work and not feel like I’m constantly plumbing depths I can’t climb back out of when the work day is done.
And (we’ll see starting tomorrow) I think I’m not alone. When times are good, sure, people are prepared for heavy emotional lifting, but… when times are bad? People (I!) want Gold Diggers of 1933, Busby fucking Berkeley, Rogers and Astaire.
Oh, there are plenty of real feelings in this book. There’s regret, and hurt, and longing and sorrow. But there’s no darkness. There’s no black holes of pain. I’m fucking done with that. And there’s a lot of laughter. My models now are Cathleen Schine, Barbara Pym, Cynthia Sweeney (The Nest)… I want to write books that are fun and funny without being dumb. I want people to walk away happy, and I want to walk away from the keyboard happy every day as well.
A while ago I said that I was being real about market forces, that I wanted to write a novel about a film historian who teams up with a bad boy director to find a missing gay movie from the 1920s, but I couldn’t sell it to my new publisher. Well, on the strength of CC, he’s willing to let me follow my road where it takes me, and Don’t Tell Chuck (working title) is underway. Again, feelings but also fun, funny, light, happy. How fucking cool is that…
One thing I’ve learned from my recent adventure in screenwriting (on hold while I concentrate on cashmoneynow from books, audio etc.) is that you can’t “write to the market” and write anything good. Not if you don’t love what you’re writing. You can’t write heteromcom if you’re only doing it “for the paycheck.” Because it’ll come out stale, empty, boring, when your heart’s not in it. And I really, really wanted to do Conning Colin, and Don’t Tell Chuck. And that’s where (we’ll see!) the real money is most likely to come from doing what you LOVE to do, because that is what you’ll be best at.
“Do what you love the money will follow” is total bullshit. Do what you love and you may die broke in a ditch, but at least you’ll die happier than you would doing what you hate.
Okay! Would I Lie to You: The Audiobook is finally approved. What. An. Ordeal. After 26 days on hold, I finally took to the social media warpath to Make Shit Happen. ACX invited me to Tweet my progress… and so I did, or my lack thereof. And added @JeffBezos to the tweets. And hit it here. And on Facebook.
And I really went on the warpath when I got some bullshit customer service email that basically said I had my nerve emailing them “just two business days” after making a call (because how could I possibly expect anyone to push a button or make a call in a mere two business days, especially when I know damn well that this is a global operation that doesn’t respect weekends off).
And it worked – I got my own engineer who helped me get shit through the process. And yesterday, the book was approved for sale and is on its way to the shelves, no idea how long that takes but whatever, I’m done fighting, I wore myself out last month, all month, because it took that long to get this done… I lost a whole month of income on the audiobook, and that hurts.
So I set aside Strength in Numbers: The Audiobook at 75%, partly out of exhaustion with the whole thing and partly because it makes no sense to put out two audiobooks on Audible in the same month – I want ’em to use one credit for WIL and next month’s credit for SIN, right? 🙂
And A Little Too Broken, like everything else on my list in May, made about $0.00. But I’m set up at IAVA for $20 a month regardless. I can’t even look at spreadsheets and do math when the news is so bad, but I guarantee you that ALTB audio and ebook combined didn’t even make that much. I’m hoping I get the backlist boost from Colin that I got from Road Home, but… we’ll see…