Saturday, November 22, 2014

Pondering the next set of writing projects

As the end of November starts to slide into view and the sales process for the new Christmas novella swings into the automatic phase of appearance after appearance after appearance, I start to turn my mind to the next writing project.

As anyone who has read my earlier posts on this blog will know, I have been considering a number of different possibilities for 2015: a comic novel, a more serious novel that seems to be developing to of the comic novel, another collection of Abigail Massey historical stories for children, perhaps another Abigail Massey novel, and even a play project that would be developed out of A McAdam Station Christmas.

That's a long list, I know. And it may just end up that I actually pursue two, three, even four of them in the new year.

I have written about 15 pretty good pages of the comic/serious novel and I find myself continuously developing it as I wonder through my life.

I had a nice coffee with a friend the other day, a friend who has been strongly involved in the Abigail project over the past two years, and she has expressed an interest in creating a writers' group specifically to work on new Abigail children's stories. The idea would be that we find two more strong writers, toss around stories ideas together, then each of us go away and write a story for the others to review.

There are a lot of real advantages to this kind of approach, including the fact that it would become less a work project and more a social project and the fact that having four writers involved in the project would mean that we had four people helping to promote the new book once it is published.

The possibility of a new Abigail novel, meanwhile, got a jump start when, in response to a very simple story suggestion sent to me by a friend, I pumped out a fully developed plot proposal of more than 500 words for a possible novel. It surprised me that it came so easily: clearly I have been considering the possibility, at least in my subconscious, for some time.

And the play idea... well, that one might actually be the first on the list. A friend at work has earned a degree in screen-writing and is very interested in working with me on a play. And I think that, if we can write a decent stage play out of the Christmas novella, we could have it performed next Christmas at the McAdam Station or perhaps at a local theatre. That would provide a boost not just to the Station but to the sale of the Abigail books themselves.

These are interesting times... with lots of decisions to be made and lots of writing work to be done.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Leading up to launch

Launch day.

This afternoon at 2, we send my latest work out into the world with high hopes and the usual set of doubts and worries.

The weather is cooperating. Last Sunday, we were hit with a nasty winter storm, the first of the season, complete with rain, hail, snow and high winds. If our launch had taken place last weekend, no one would have shown up.

Today, however, the forecasters call for a mix of sun and cloud and a high near 10. That works for me. Works well.

Funny the kinds of things you worry about when you are about to launch a new book.

I've tweeted about the launch again this morning and I've facebooked about it. I have appeared in two local newspapers (photos in both, with big articles -- hooray!) and I have been interviewed on a local pop music radio station. Perfect timing on that one: Friday morning, just in time to advertise today's launch.

I think I can be confident that I have done everything I can possibly do to make this launch a success. Now it's just the nervous hours leading up to the beginning of the event. Five hours of pacing and wondering and hoping and trying to think of ways to pass the time.

I've already planned out my own remarks and I think I can count on the host of the event and the person I've asked to read a section of the book to the crowd to do a good job. As for me, I'm more nervous now (five hours ahead of time) than I am at the event itself.

If all goes well, we'll have a good crowd turnout, maybe even some media, and we'll sell a bunch of books. My favourite part is after the event when I get to sit at a table, meet the people and sign their books. It's fun and invigorating and interesting and many good things.

I just have to get through the next five hours.