Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Oooh, Shiny!

by Janis Patterson
I'll admit it. I have a short attention span. I'm all too ready to be distracted by something new and different. Which, incidentally, is why I don't particularly like series – either writing or reading. I want something new.

I never realized that this failing of mine extended to my own books. Several years ago I was fortunate enough to have two romantic/gothic/mysteries published by the incredible Vinspire Publishing. I was delighted to be with them, as both books are really rather special stories to me. Although they are more than half mysteries, they were brought out under my Janis Susan May name instead of the Janis Patterson I now use for mysteries.

Both are set in the mid-to-late 1960s. DARK MUSIC is about a romance writers' conference (yes, there were such things before RWA was begun in 1980) set in a Canadian resort hotel. Then there's a freak blizzard trapping the conferees, including the heroine and her ex-husband; then someone starts to murder the romance writers one by one. It was a fun book.

The second book is ECHOES IN THE DARK, about a photographer with a broken leg who gets taken – reluctantly – by her ex-husband to an aged resort hotel in the Arkansas wilderness to join an archaeological dig he is spearheading. (And before you ask, when I wrote these two books I was in the throes of a painful breakup of a long-time romance that had gone sour. Writing was cheaper than analysis.) The heroine also has a head injury and is prone to hallucinations. When she sees a ghost that isn't an hallucination, her troubles really start.

These are both good books. I like them and enjoyed writing them. I didn't realize how I had pretty much forgotten about them. Recently Vinspire has started bundling their books and asked what we were doing to PR them. I was ashamed to admit even to myself that I had done nothing in the longest time. I had put so much time and energy on writing new books (isn't that what we're supposed to do?) and on getting my backlist and a new one or two published and released during my 30 June-30 October publishing blitz that these two little gems had simply faded into the background, a spot they really didn't deserve.

So now I'm really doing a lot of publicity for them, but it's making me think about how my - or anyone's - career should be prioritized. I only have so much time. I have to write. I have to publish. I have a family and a life and other obligations.

What has to give?

What indeed.


UPDATE : My publishing blitz is going right on schedule. This fortnight's offering is THE EGYPTIAN FILE, a new, never-before-published romantic adventure (with a large dollop of mystery, too) set in contemporary Egypt. What secrets does THE EGYPTIAN FILE hold? Will my heroine survive to find out? Well, of course she does, but for a while it's touch and go. And what about that handsome cab driver? Who is he, really?



6 comments:

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Janis,

It's great that you are able to get your previous novels out to readers who missed them the first time around. Congrats!

Anne Marie Becker said...

What, indeed? I have the same problem...juggling writing, publishing, promo, and, well, life is so tough! Glad to hear the blitz is going well!

Jan Christensen said...

Hi Jannis, this is a huge problem for writers. What to do next? What to promote now? I'm still feeling my way with this. It was interesting to read your story about your older books. I have one, too, published in 2004 by a now-defunct small press. I put it up on Kindle (got the rights back), promoted it for awhile, and now it sits there, practically forgotten. I think it needs a new cover and a little updating. But who has time?

Marcelle Dubé said...

So many books to write, so little time... I always default to the work in progress, principally because I'm not very good at promotion. :-)

E. Ayers said...

Hate the promo and I totally understand those long forgotten books.Fortunately several of mine are seasonal so it's easier to drag them out for the holiday and do a little promo. Wishing you much luck with the boxed set.

Luanna Stewart said...

If someone has advice on that $64,000 question, I'll gladly take it. Or if a physicist can discover a way to add more hours to the day, that would be good too.

I much prefer working on the current project, but I know the promo/career management is important too. It's like a little black cloud hovering above my head, or a to-do list with items that never get checked off.

Your previous books sound like lots of fun - I'm going to look for them now.