Blog Post No. 440
*My new book, Break/Interrupt, is officially out. I’ve started local distribution. If you would like a copy, please comment or send me a message.*
The release of a book is both an ending and a beginning. For the writer, it’s the end of a project that took months or years to write, edit, and publish. For the readers, it’s just the beginning. They get a new book in their hands that will take days, or (if their a fast reader and like the book) hours. The time disparity is one thing, but what’s really sitting with me right now is how the book is perceived totally differently by both parties. By the time I get a book out the door (like my new novella, Break/Interrupt, for example) I’m so sick of it that I question if anyone is even going to like the stupid thing.
I’ve read it dozens of times, gotten others to tell me what’s wrong with it, and scoured the pages for mistakes. I’m so done with it (and eager to get started on something else) that if I never read it again, it will be too soon. Don’t get me wrong. It’s exciting. I’m eager to see what people think about the book (and soaked in a stupor of stress worrying that no one will like it). Writing a book is an accomplishment and seeing as it’s something I wanted to do from the time I was in high school, I’m proud that I was able to actually accomplish it (every time).
I bought a new album last week, Brendan Scott Friel‘s Summer Moons. He’s been releasing singles for a few weeks and I’ve been eagerly anticipating getting my hands on an actual CD. As soon as he dropped one off in my mail box (the push I needed to distribute Break/Interrupt) I popped it into my five disk changer and let it play front to back. At about song six of ten, I started to think about the process of making something and releasing it to the public. I’ve been lucky enough to have some outstanding (if one sided on my part) chats with Brendan at Anchor Coffee House over the years. We’ve talked about the similarities with making a book and an album. It’s not apples to apples, but there is plenty of overlap.
I thought about how he must be feeling, coming to the end of the process of making this new album (it’s really good and you should totally check it out for yourself). He’s been writing songs since his last album, Quiet Cars, (also a banger) came out in 2017. Then he had to pick the ones that fit together best, finalize the composition and lyrics, record the album, get it mixed, get art work for the cover, shoot a video (or two), distribute the album on streaming services, and get the CD stamped and shipped. The audience has heard about the album for a few months as he’s built up some publicity, gotten a taste with a few singles and a video, and now gets the album as a whole to consume and enjoy.
It’s must be the same for him. His journey is ending and he must be eager to get started on the next album. I’m sure he’ll do some live streaming performances and when it’s safe to have shows again, he’ll be playing these new songs for however long it takes to get the next one out, but essentially, this project is over for him. For me, it’s just starting. It’s going to enter my rotation as I gear up to start editing the Invasion Novel. I’ve already experienced listening to it for the first time, but I have many more to go. That’s the big difference between music and books. Some folks have told me they’ve read my books multiple times, and I feel my heart grow a bit every time (like the Grinch discovering what Christmas is really about) but most folks will hang on for the ride and move on. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just funny to think that a project, be it a book or an album, means different things to the people who made it and the people who consume it. I suppose it always has and always will.
You should really check out Brendan’s album. I really enjoyed it. My new book has arrived. As stated at the start of this post, I did a couple of distribution trips around the county already, but I’d love to do more. Not only because it means I’m selling books and folks are interested, but also because I enjoy getting out of the house and going for the drive. I guess I’m like a dog in that way. I’ll start organizing shipping after I get my first vaccine shot. Let me know here or on my facebook page if you want a copy.