Release week is over.
The Dragon Eater came out last Thursday, and it was a freakin’ amazing experience. Although it didn’t top the Amazon charts – TY, Amazon algorithm, it sold well – my best new book launch in years.
But it wasn’t the sales that fed my soul. It was the Zoom book launch on Saturday that Steven at Water Dragon Publishing set up for me.
Steven says that normally they get 5-10 folks at these things, and have reached as high as twenty. We had double that, a wonderful cross section of folks from the various parts of my life. It’s the gathering of different friends you rarely see outside of a wedding.
There were people I knew in high school, including one of my besties and my English teacher, a wonderful woman who nevertheless almost derailed my burgeoning writing career in my junior year.
A friend from my Publishers’ Group West days in the nineties was there in spirit – Joyce Akiyoshi was one of the first people to encourage me to follow my writing dreams. She didn’t make the meeting, but she did buy a signed copy. 🙂
There were family members, aptly represented by four of my aunts, from both sides of my family (and two uncles too), and some from Mark’s family too.
There were writer friends, there to give me a boost and ask great questions (special mention to Angel Martinez for nailing one of the core themes of the series with hers).
There were people from my Italian study group, friends from the Paranormal Romance Guild, Liminal Fiction friends, folks from our church and our neighborhood, writers from the Queer Sacramento Authors’ Guild, and even a few fellow Water Dragon authors.
And there were even some friends from Mark’s side of our “logical” family, Nazli and Cheryl.
And most important of all, Mark was there.
Mark is my husband of almost thirty-one years. He’s been the biggest advocate for my writing career, even though he doesn’t really get most sci-fi. He proofs these columns for me, reads my short stories, cheers on my successes, and picks me up off the floor when things go awry and my inner critic finally catches up with me.
The book launch party was an uplifting experience, a chance for me to share what I do and why I do it with some of the people I care for most, and it was over far too soon.
Now it’s Monday, and there are dishes to do, emails to answer, and clients to keep happy. The rosy glow has started to fade, replaced by a steadfast determination to make the most of last week’s momentum and move forward with purpose and determination.
I have three short stories in various stages to wrap up and a novel to finish. There are authory marketing things to see to, and a whole ‘nuther job that must be done if we wanna keep the lights on and keep me in the Oreos that I have become accustomed to.
But for that one, shining moment on Saturday morning, everything was perfect.
So I want to thank everyone who came, whether you jumped in and participated actively or were there silently in loving support. I will hold that moment in my heart as a lantern against the darkness that will inevitably descend again, as I walk the lonely paths of writerdom in my lonely cave.
Well, lonely except for Mark, who is behind me (waves) literally and figuratively.
And I will count the days until we get to do the whole crazy release thing again in September. Feast or famine – such is the writer’s life.
To my writer friends, how do you deal with the aftermath of release week? Do you come down hard, or do you have a strategy for moving on?