There's a contest that pays 20k pounds to the winning author, and I have all these books I've written just sitting around, and after seeing the guidelines and thinking about what I want this particular book to do, I have decided to enter. No book can change anything if no one reads it, so it's better for me to attack this way than to sit around hoping that someone will do the work for me. Practicing what I preach is a lot more important to me now than it was before I had children and even if that sounds corny to people, I don't care. There is no time for me to worry about being sentimental and how my work or my method of distributing that work will be received by academics and people who are afraid of change. You know who you are, so if that sounds like an attack to you, then I guess it is. Although, it is very unlikely anyone "offended" by that will be reading this anyway.
Part of what I've needed to accomplish while getting The Bombmaker's Wife finalized for publication, is to make a strong cover that communicates the right mood and also entices a reader to click on the book (no clicky, no buy-ey). I've received some guidance from my good friend Eric Smallwood and also a few generous artists out in the world who've shared their knowledge of painting on YouTube...for free. Robert Marzullo and Jazza, I am mostly talking about you two gentlemen. But there were some random others who I hope to one day track down and thank as well. Only so much time, as you are aware, and each minute spent not earning a dollar is a minute spent accruing student loan debt. Hooray!?
I'll be talking about The Bombmaker's Wife more as I move forward, but I wanted to let everyone who has read my previous fiction know that this book is set in the same town that Rake and Vezchek live in while not deployed (Riverside), but it is a book that is more about America and the people who live in it: legally and not. A better description and a teaser and all that jazz is to come, but for now, here are a few of the cover mock-ups I've done just so people can have a look at something tangible, and so you can see that a person who has no formal training in visual art can create something that compliments his work just by getting up at 4 a.m. every day so that he has time to practice before the daughter train chugs into town, snags him from the station, and then rolls down the line to chaos city.
In short, don't make excuses for yourself; make a plan and adapt. Keep working hard, and find a path that you can travel. There is a path for you even if it's bumpy and foggy and if you find yourself back at the entrance a few hundred times. Keep traveling, and you'll get somewhere, even if the place you wind up is a place you never thought you would be. I don't know who you are or if anyone is actually reading this, but if you are reading this, I believe in you and I believe in the good you can do in the world. So, you know, go out and do it.
Comments are welcome, of course. Anyway, here are four of the comps so far. More on all of this to come soon, and, for those of you who are less interested in "serious" books. I also recently finished my childrens' book My Toys are Your Toys Too which I'll be shopping around as soon as I figure out where to submit it.