*Walks to stage. Basset hound ambling behind. *
Me: “George, get out of here. You have your own blog site.”
George: *Snort* *Releases a silent but deadly bomb. *
Me: *Waves stench away from nose. * “Geez, if you have to fart, please go away.” *Turns to audience, red-faced. * *Finger waggles to crowd of four. *
“Um, hi! I’m Mindy Mymudes, another member of the Roaring Writers’. This is George, my muse and overall pain in the butt. *Points to dog on stretched out on floor, snoring, passing noxious gas, belching in his sleep. *
My story is a bit different than the others in the group. A small Canadian publisher, MuseItUp, took pity on my first book, George Knows. The book became an award winning, Amazon number one bestselling midgrade book. Mainly, it was a fluke. I have #1 NYT bestselling author friends who had just released a book, and George Knows sort of tagged along. Later, the second book of the Magical Drool Mysteries, Tillie’s Tale did the same.
I also have another NYT bestselling author as a mentor. It wasn’t on purpose, in fact, I refused to tell my now-mentor and dearest-dear friend that I did write. Not that she didn’t ask. A lot. Hey, it’s embarrassing. I’d been in a writer’s group that really did a number on my confidence. Pitching is easier than the company of a bad critique group. I learned that I am not a good writer.
I was trying to write a piece for Dog Fancy. It wasn’t until several pages in that I realized that what I was writing had nothing to do with my English springers. A nose pushed into my face and told me, in no uncertain terms, that I was a secret-ary for him, George, the world’s greatest basset hound.
*Loud thumping of tail. *
I’d joined another, far better writers’ workshop, and cleaned up the story. As I took it through pitches and sent to slush piles, I learned tons. Not so much how to write. I learned about promotion, how to get the word out and the books into the hands of readers. I joined street teams (word of mouth advertising by the fans). I used social media. I tried various mailing lists. I hired blog tour promoters.
I discovered I love to do the promoting. So, with a friend I met on a street team, we started Let’s Talk! Promotions, with a kick in the butt by my mentor.
I love to meet successful authors and pick their brains. I love meeting the fans as much as the authors do. It’s a high because I’m not struggling to get my book out there.
I’m disabled. Some of the medicines I take make it difficult to want to write, though there are a couple of stories waiting to be completed, and a steampunk story waiting to be started, and even with a co-writer it sits. It helps to have friends to help inspire and motivate, especially on days where it’s hard to get up. Still, I’m a lousy writer. The more I beta read, the more I realize it.
The point? A million words, huh? My first published piece, about zombies, was the first short story I ever wrote. I got paid enough to take my husband out for dinner. At McDonalds. George Knows, about 60K. Tillie’s Tale about the same. With rewrites and editing, I think I make it to 250K words. I have a long way to go. It’s probably ADHD, so I write midgrade, where books are supposed to be short.
Writing is okay, but when your muse is a smelly, mean basset who has no manners, it was just more fun to talk up other people’s work.
*Walks off stage. Trips over basset hound*