Blog No. 333
The Neon Heart is out! It’s official, it’s available, and it has a very loud cover. The book took me a lot longer to finish than I had hoped. It is a lot longer than I had planned too, though. The initial idea for the series was to capture the crowd that wants to read, but doesn’t have a lot of time. I got a lot of good feedback from people who bought No Light Tomorrow just to be nice, but ended up finding it approachable and really liked it. I figured, why not make a fun, fast paced book, at a non-intimidating length? They’ll eat it up. They did not. The Thinking Machine sold okay, but it did not have the monster sales I had hoped. It was, however, a new book that I could bring to events and advertise. For The Neon Heart, I changed gears a little. I listened to the feedback from the people who did buy the last one. Thinking Machine was too short and felt rushed. They loved the format, though. With that in mind, I let the story in Neon Heart drive the size. Now I have a book two in the Novella Series and it is the best thing I’ve ever written.
It is a connected book, but it’s not exactly a sequel. It’s a new story with new characters set in the same world. There is a distinct crossover. My hope is that with the new book, and a snazzy bundle, they will move faster. I also hope the story will blow people’s brains out of the back of their head and they’ll beg me for more, but I try to reign in those thoughts. As it is, the end product is solid. It’s a much thicker book, the cover turned out awesome (thanks again Christian for coming to my rescue) and while it looks good in photos, people’s reactions to seeing it in person have been awesome. The printing is less than stellar, but I expected that. I don’t have a better solution, but since I’m working on a novel right now and that should be something release by a publisher, I don’t want to think about it for now. I’ll give a more in depth behind the writing for the book some time later. There is another novella planned, and I hope to get it in the pipe even sooner than I did for The Neon Heart, but I’m still a one thing at a time writer. So, you’ll have to wait for that one.
It’s been two weeks since the last ChiSeries event, which was the first ChiSeries event of the year. I intended to make last week’s post all about it, but I had forgotten the breakfast post for March and had to squeeze it in. The event went well, but it was also not amazingly attended. I’m not sure what it’s going to take to get authors to come to a paid reading, but I’m going to keep trying. Since I was a reader (unpaid as I’m part of the Series) Christian took over as host. He told me he didn’t want one of my famous scripts that I insist on making for each event, and as it turns out, he didn’t need it. I was joined by ChiSeries first timer MJ Garner and alumnus Michael Drakich. They both made my job as a reader much more challenging.
I’d like to think that I held my own against them, but it was the first time I did a reading out of The Neon Heart, so I’m sure I didn’t. Brendan Scott Friel was our musician for the evening. He has the prestigious claim as the first musician we had for a reading. As always, he blew the doors off the place, the place being the eternal Phog Lounge. Once again, I feel the need to point out how effortless having an event at Phog is. Tom is super accommodating, the venue is ready to go with the sound system and stage, and the staff is easy to work with and extremely helpful. All in all, it was another successful reading. Except we just can’t break that 20-25 person attendance. The next one is in June. I’m counting on you to help break the streak.
This weekend I have two events. The Neon Heart came just in time. On Saturday I’ll be at the Windsor Small Press Book Fair at the University Community Church above Green Bean. There will be a bunch of local authors, publishers, and makers with some really cool things on sale. You could get your own copy of The Neon Heart, for instance. Last year, I spent more than I made, and I expect to do the same this year. It’s hard to pass up all the cool books and things for sale. Come by to support local talent and bring some cash, because I know there is something you’ll want to take home with you (like The Neon Heart, for instance).
On the Sunday, I’ll be heading to Sarnia with my partner in crime, the venerable Christian Laforet. We didn’t make it to the Sarnia Pop Culture Show last year, so we hope to hit it hard this year. We have three new books available in All These Crooked Streets, The Thinking Machine, and of course, The Neon Heart. Our record for most sales at an event was at our first SPCS, so I hope to do even better this year. It’s a busy month, but I have a book to show for it. See you at the events, or I’m sure somewhere soon.