I Feel like an author. I’ve never been able to say that before. I’m not sure why. I write every day. Just within the past year, I’ve published around 100,000 words from my blog posts alone. That’s an entire novel. My own debut novel, A Shot at Redemption, was released in digital format back in January. People bought the book, liked the book, and some even posted extremely favorable reviews. It was all very gratifying. I still didn’t feel like an author–not even when I received my first royalty check, easily large enough for a lavish dinner for four at Pizza Hut. What I mostly felt was relief because the long, often frustrating saga was over. Well, that’s what I thought at the time. I later realized I needed a final round of revisions and a new book cover. I’ve talked enough about that stuff so we’ll move on.
In addition to Kindle and Nook, A Shot at Redemption is now available in print. It’s published through CreateSpace and you can find it at Amazon this very moment. It’s at a special introductory price so don’t wait if you’re thinking about picking up a copy. I bought 200 to sell on my own. The novel, as you hopefully know, is set in Oswego, NY, and much of the action takes place at the Oswego Speedway. The most prestigious event in supermodified racing, the International Classic, is held at Oswego every Labor Day Weekend. I thought that would be the perfect venue to have my book out in public for the first time. I think I was right. Despite a lousy forecast, a rain delay and a condensed race schedule, I still managed to sell most of my inventory. I signed a lot of books. That was a first for me. And a few people, after purchasing a copy and starting to read, either bought another one or sent other people my way. Prior to what’s generally referred to as Classic Weekend, I was asked to write an article for the Classic Yearbook. It was a variation of last week’s blog post, Living Legend, and was to pay tribute to speedway announcer Roy Sova to commemorate his 70th birthday and 50 years of dedicated service. I bring that up now because two people purchased my book solely because they read the article and were duly impressed. I definitely didn’t expect that and it was hugely rewarding. I thank you all for your support, your interest and your encouragement. I’m hoping to arrange a return visit to Oswego next season. Who knows what will happen with the book between now and then? Audio is getting increasingly popular. That might be worth pursuing but I’m not making any promises. For now, I need to focus on promotion and marketing and we’ll see where that all goes.
If there’s one malady that’s extremely common among writers it’s being an introvert. I have the double whammy of having horrible eyesight. For me, making proper eye contact is a near physical impossibility. That takes the whole introvert thing to an entirely new level. It also makes self promotion an absolute nightmare. Still, you do what you gotta do. If that initial face to face is difficult, I found it really helps to have an adorable 12-year-old at your side. Without my daughter Samantha leading the way, I know my book sales wouldn’t have been anywhere near as strong. She’ll do anything. She’ll talk to anyone. In the spring, and still as a 6th grader, she had the lead in the high school musical. Take a look at this video and then tell me if you’d be able to turn her down if she came knocking on your door.
Thank you to Samantha for being so charming, to my son Michael for all the heavy lifting, to my dad for all the plugs, and to my wife for putting up with me all the time. She’s got the toughest job of all.
In other news, I continue to do my thing. I am perhaps seventy percent done with the first draft of the Parlor City Paradise manuscript. It’s hard to tell for sure because I’m very much a discovery writer and I often don’t know where a story will take me until I’m already there. I am at the point where everything is starting to come together. That’s very exciting. My tentative timetable is to have something ready for Beta readers by the end of the year. Any volunteers? All I’m going to tell you at this point is that the book has nothing to do with racing. Maybe I’ll post another excerpt one of these days. Again, no promises.
Next week, please check out my interview with award winning and bestselling author James Scott Bell. To get ready, you should really read one of his books. I highly recommend Try Darkness, Try Dying and Try Fear. If you’re a fan of legal thrillers or you’re just a sucker for a great book, you won’t be disappointed. I am ecstatic that Mr. Bell agreed to talk to me. And in the coming months, I’ll be publishing interviews with A Shot at Redemption cover designer Robin Gilbertson and The Last Open Road author Burt Levy. Turns out I’m not the only one with a book about auto racing. Who knew?
if you like what you’ve read, please subscribe to this blog or my Turn the Page book reviews blog. You can visit me at michaelsova.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter @Micsova. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and please pick up a copy of A SHOT AT REDEMPTION.