Monday, June 20, 2011

Fog Lifting and Ready to Roll!

This past weekend I went back to New England for Mom's memorial service. It was sad, of course, but it was also wonderful. I feel so much better now that we have done it. I was, however, exhausted from a very long day getting there, being anxious beforehand, tired when it was done, and then another long travel day to get home. No matter what you do, there is no quick and easy way to get from one side of this country to the other.

The service was Saturday morning, and then Saturday evening we went in the complete opposite direction. My sister's college roommate was having her 50th birthday party, so we all went. The friend is from a BIG Irish family, so it was raucous and crazy and funny and wild. She is one of seven kids, including two priests - one an Anglican priest and one a gay Episcopal Bishop. Throw in about a hundred cousins, a keroke machine, and Uncle Frank with the beautiful voice, and you've got yourself a party. We sang all the old Irish songs (even though I'm English!) and some George M. Cohan thrown in for good measure. It was just what the doctor ordered and we covered life from both directions that day - first honoring the deceased and then celebrating the living.

In the midst of all this, my agent told me that she felt she was striking out with my book. The latest publisher told her "It's well-done, but it's not for us." She said she hasn't heard from everyone, but she knew that I was moving in the direction of self-publishing, and felt that the fact that she hadn't heard indicated that they likely weren't interested. Whether they are or they aren't, I realized that I am ready to bring my book into the world, and so I am going to do it myself. I will be using's Createspace, which my friend, successful three-time author, Arthur Wooten, is using. He is blazing all the trails for me and is a wonderful mentor.

Since my book is set at Christmas time, I want to roll it out in the fall. So, I begin this week. I hope that you will come along with me on this adventure, and I will be asking for all the help I can get when it comes to marketing and promotion. I plan to roll out locally here in Santa Fe and also back east in my hometown, my sister's town and other places where I have friends to open doors and smooth the path for me.

I am gathering a list of book stores and libraries and even Christmas stores. If you have ideas for me, please send them - I don't care how long my list gets! I will do what I can this year, and then do it again next year.

I am so pleased to have made such supportive friends here on blogger. It's not always about writing, sometimes it's just about life, and I love that balance. Thank you all for being there!


  1. Good for you!!! I have been following along on this publishing endeavor of yours, but honestly, the idea of getting an agent and finding a publisher for a book seems so horribly daunting to me (for my book), that although I was happy to see you try, there was NO WAY I would ever attempt it. It seemed too hard.

    But self-publishing -- that's an idea I've toyed with too, and I will definitely cheer you along as do this. I want to watch how it works, b/c I don't have a clue, but I think if I ever do finish my kids' book, and publish it, it'll be this way. I hope this is a great year for you!

  2. M.K., I'm so pleased to have you with me! I had a moment of sadness Friday, thinking, "why can't it ever just be easy?" Then quickly, I felt like it was right - I like to be in charge of my own destiny and the thought of publishers changing my title or changing my lovely story, well, I've never liked that idea much! So, it feels right and I feel supported. We will learn together!I feel like having gotten an agent (and another who wanted it) mostly gave me the confidence that it was good enough to put out there. I am a little scared, but not really!You know, "feel the fear and do it anyway..."

  3. You've been on an emotional rollercoaster, to say that least. I'm really sorry for your loss but glad you've been in good company and able to celebrate happy occasions too. I'm inspired by your determination to self-publish. Thanks for the tip on createspace.

    Finally, thanks so much for the follow. It's great to have a new friend in you and I'm glad to join your fan club here too.

    Be well.

  4. Nothing like a proper Irish knees-up! I wish you the best with your new venture. Can't wait to hear more.

  5. Melissa, wishing you best of luck with self-publishing. I did it and am very glad I did. You just need to make sure it looks and sounds professional - professional cover, editing, etc. The promotion part was the hardest for me - and it's what I did for 30+ years for others.

  6. Fellow A-Zr here, following the link from the Warrior Mus's site.

    Wow, you've had a lot on your plate. My sympathy on your loss.

    I too have experienced the sting of "Well-written, but not for us." For me, I've decided to keep 'em in the drawer and plug away at the next book, but I admire your decision to go ahead. Had a friend who's been very happy with her CreateSpace decision on her non-fiction work.

    Writing in Flow

  7. So sorry for your loss, Melissa.

    Good luck with your self-publishing venture. I'm hoping to find an agent--don't have the time to handle the business end of writing just now--but will look forward to hearing about your experiences.

  8. Traveling cross country is exhausting. My family is all back east.

    You passed a big test, getting the agent. You might as well go for it. I'm thinking of going this route, too, so will read of your adventures with interest.

    Sorry to hear of your Mom.

  9. I'm new to your blog but excited to have found it. I wish you the best of luck with self publishing. Such a big but important step.
    And how wonderful that you had such a balanced day honoring your mother's life and celebrating your sister's friends birthday :-)

  10. I'm so excited for you, and will be cheering you on. I can't wait to read your book and I'm glad you are sharing it with the world!

    I'm also glad you had such a wonderful birthday celebration to balance the sadness of the loss of your mother. I'm so sorry for your loss.

    Best of luck on the book, and I can't wait to follow along on your adventure!

  11. Thank you so much everyone - this really is such a supportive community. So blessed to know you all!


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