Archive for September 2022

Fame and Fortune   3 comments

September 12 2022

If your book took off tomorrow with enormous worldwide interest and sales, are you prepared for all that entails?

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5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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A Fantasy Come True

I’m ready if it happens. The cool thing about being my age is that you’ve been through stuff that prepares you for other stuff. While authorial success might change my outward circumstances, it wouldn’t affect my inner life. That part I’m prepared for.

How to Organize Success

Since I’m an independent author, I don’t share my royalties with anyone but Amazon, so if the books suddenly took off, I’d take some of my new income and hire an assistant, someone who could set up book tours and the like. I’ve not done many of those because I live in such an out-of-the-way corner of the country and I haven’t had much money for airfare. Whoever I hired would have to have knowledge I don’t currently possess. They’d also need to monitor social media and email. I suspect I’d want to respond to most people myself. I have always admired Kate Elliott’s Facebook conversations with her fans.

If the books took off, I’d probably continue with the same system I’ve used before — if it’s working, why replace it. Amazon Ads does attract readers, and it clearly did if my books are now best-sellers. So I’d hire someone — maybe that assistant, or another one — to replicate what made me successful, just on a bigger scale.

The goal has always been not to spend more than I make and if I’m being wildly successful, that goal would still be in view. I’d have more money to spend, but I still wouldn’t spend incredibly more than I do now. Some airfare, some ads, maybe put my print books on Baker and Baker — but not go crazy because that’s not who I am. And the point of success is not to go nuts and drive yourself into the poor house later.

I just became fully vested with my retirement plan, so I might choose to retire to have time to ride the wave, or I might take a leave of absence from my job to see how long the wave lasts. My goal for retirement is not super fancy, but I do want to be able to pay our bills rather than relying on our children. If I can make the kind of bucks that reportedly comes with a best-selling book, then I’ve got that covered, but if it’s a short-lived success, then I need to remain employed another five years.’

You see, it’s all about not losing yourself in the surf. I would want to keep my head together and make wise choices while also enjoying some well-deserved fame and fortune. I’m sure there’d be lots of people trying to tap into my income stream, but I would want to remain in charge and not make any assumptions that the high times are going to last. They usually don’t and if you’re prepared for that, then it’s easier to be pleasantly surprised when they do.

Posted September 12, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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Interview with Cai Delaney   5 comments

Interview one of your characters (not your main character.) How do they feel playing second fiddle to your main character?

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5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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Who Are You?

Tell us something about yourself.

I’m Malacai Delaney, oldest son of Rob and Jill Delaney, brother of Shane and Keri Delaney, husband of Dr. Marnie Callahan Delaney, a lawyer. Everybody calls me Cai.

You’ve actually had quite a lot of air time in the series. Are you still a secondary character?

Yeah, well — you’ve got a point. I was the main character for most of A Death in Jericho because Shane was healing up from an accident. And you’ve been really mean to me.

Have I?

You have. I was nearly killed at the Colorado-Kansas state line. I guess I should thank you for not putting me in the City Hall shelter with the hundred who died there. Then I ended up running from the military in Wichita. I spent the night under a bridge. Then I ended up enslaved in Hutchinson, Kansas. I had to kill a man. Then I had to save Mike’s life by threatening to kill people. I’ve been disposing of bodies all winter as people go hungry or get sick and die. And now at the end of Worm Moon, you seem to have killed me off. You’re really a blood-soaked author.

I’m just telling your story as you give it to me.

Hmmph. Well, I guess I should thank you for leaving my life status up in the air for the next book.

Anyone can die in my books. As I showed in Winter’s Reckoning, even Shane could die. Since right at the moment you and the readers don’t know if you’re living or dead, let’s talk about you a bit. Who is your best friend?

Oh! I have three, well, four. I’d say Alex Lufgren, but we just became friends after Shane left and now that Shane is back, Alex’s allegiance has shifted. Brian Callahan and I have gotten really close this winter. We were enslaved together at Hutchinson. That can be a bonding experience. My wife, Marnie, is probably the person I’m closest to, even though I often don’t understand her. And, oddly, Shane is becoming a good friend. He’s mellowed since he was hurt this winter. For a really long time, we didn’t get along at all, and then when he came back, he scared the hell out of me, but he’s showing sides of his personality that are new and I’m enjoying that.

So you’re a lawyer, but you’ve done very little lawyering in this book series.

Not a lot of legal matters to settle, really. I think the law is for more civilized times than this winter. I was kind of looking forward to helping to re-establish a basis of law in America as things recover. I kind of feel like I’m missing out if I die.

I’m not telling you or the readers if you live. It’s your story, man! Tell me! Do you live? Will you have brain damage? Until I started writing the next book, I had no idea, and I’m not telling. But, in the interest of this interview, how would you re-establish law in America now that things are coming out of the crisis?

Well, I don’t get to go to the constitutional convention. That sucks!

You were busy being injured and potentially dying. Or suffering brain damage. And do you really think this convention will be a bunch of lawyers poring over a lot of boring legal tomes?

I hope not! You won’t hear this from many lawyers — and I think a lot of us didn’t survive to say it — but a part of what was wrong with America was too many laws. They overlapped, contradicted one another, made ordinary activities illegal under certain specific circumstances. The system had just become so complicated. If I’d gone to the convention, I would have wanted to keep a lot of the old Constitution, but made it more state-based, assuring the federal government couldn’t overrule the states. I don’t think that was ever the thought for the original framers and since we’ve been utterly transformed in the last six months, now’s a really good time to do a rebalancing. And….

Hold on there, Cai! You might not even be alive in the next book. We get that you want to start with a clean slate.

It’s an opportunity to make a limited set of laws that don’t contradict one another or the Constitution. Sue me if I get excited about practicing my profession.

So what have you been doing with your time during the chaos? Disposing of bodies and…?

Shane refused to lead up the internal community patrol. He fears his skills from overseas might hurt our neighbors. Those skills are darned useful on the wire, keeping strangers out, but he might be right that the boundaries are a little blurry for him. So Dad asked me to lead the community patrol. We really haven’t had any instances since.

Instances?

A mob tried to loot Dell Conophor’s house. They had a big truck garden and animals to provide milk and cheese. People who are hungry get weird and dangerous, even toward people they played softball with just last summer. That’s why we created the community patrol. But its existence seems to have fixed the problem. Or people were just so shocked that neighbors had to shoot neighbors to protect their family that they remembered their civilization.

You don’t do the border patrol?

I do. I do both. I want to be useful. Lawyers are kind of useless even at the best of times, but in a survival situation, my skills are pretty useless. So I try to help where I can. I’m sick and tired of burying people, though.

How does your faith come into all of this?

I believe everything falls within God’s will, even when we don’t understand it. The events in September, the EMP later, the flu that’s paralyzing teenage kids, the hunger and lack of heat — it’s all working together within His plans, but it’s not always going to feel that way to us. When I got shot, it felt like I must have been doing something wrong, but I was coming out of that, grateful to be alive and starting to feel better physically when this happened. Now I don’t know if I’m going to survive to the next book.

Tell me about being a father.

(Long pause). That’s why I don’t want to die. Rebuilding the world sounds like this great adventure, but rebuilding it for him or her — that’s the miracle, right? It’s just a couple more months. I can leave Marnie now and my kid needs both parents. I need to live for her.

Then tell me more of your story. You’re not just a secondary character, so your story matters, but only if you keep talking to me. When you stop talking, I have to do something with you. I can’t just let you hang around as a non-playable character. Not after you’ve given me such a rich story so far. Talk, man, and let’s see where your story goes.

Posted September 5, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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