Tuesday, April 19, 2005

3 more days

We cut the launch close to the print date. My publisher and I both knew we’d be cutting it close, but Killing Earl was interrupted by both God and man. I told my daughter Earl almost killed her the first go-‘round, and now he’s gunning for me.

I was winding down the first draft of what would be a six-draft manuscript as the hurricanes were engulfing Florida last year. We survived the power outages, damage to property, and petty annoyances with gratitude, because none of us were hurt and we still had a roof over our heads.

Then I sent the manuscript to Dr. John Campo, the physician who agreed to write my introduction. After reading it, he offered comments. One, in particular, made me see the book in an entirely different light. “This is your story, a mother’s story,” he said, maybe not exactly in those words, but in a similar fashion.

So I rewrote the last half of the book, switching chapters around. The story evolves over a 2-year time span. One of my publisher’s readers felt the timeline needed to be clearer.

Then two different developments in medicine occurred, and both needed to be written into the book. Finally, we had the manuscript in a form that could be edited. Once we’d proofed the galley, I breathed a pretty solid sigh of relief. And like any good writer, I began to work on my next book. Meanwhile, the review copies went out. This gives an author something new to worry about: how the book will be received.

Now there are 3 days before April 22 when I walk into Barnes and Noble to sign. I keep thinking I need to get a “lucky” pen. I tried that with A Poetry Break, but I kept losing the pen.

Most of this morning has been spent talking to media people in other cities and sending news releases and contact information out for the April 30 event in Brunswick at Hattie’s Books and the May 7 event in Orange Park at Books-A-Million. Multi-tasking, I’m setting up signings in Savannah, Miami, and Greenville, as well as other cities. Somewhere in between all that, pages for the next book are scrolling through my psyche. And somewhere in between all that, I need to update my Net site, pen a new article for an editor, and answer a few of the 752 emails sitting in my in-box.

Plus I have a board meeting at my daughter's school tonight. Mandatory.

I’m thinking the burger joint down the street may be hiring, a tempting proposition. I could get discount burgers, paid sick leave, and health insurance--maybe even write a book "Memories of a Burger Maven."

It'd probably sell a zillion copies, allowing me to retire in style.

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