Immersion, Obsession and FAQ

The final year of working on a book is always a strange one. I often feel that I live in an alternate universe most of the time, emerging to make and eat meals, do laundry, walk dogs, and cram in the occasional visit with family. For the most part though, I live and breathe Belfast and all the other locations the book visits, and live the lives of Pamela, Casey, Jamie and company. It’s always a bit of a jolt to come out of my reverie at day’s end and realize I have to cook. It’s going well right now though, as I’m in that zone of immersion and obsession with the story. I could probably tell you more right now about a little cottage hidden away in the woods, than about what my (incredibly messy) office looks like.

So on to a little housekeeping here and answering questions that people have been asking.

Will Bare Knuckle or Spindrift ever be in physical format?

The answer is yes—eventually. This last year has been really production heavy— three audio books with all the attendant work that comes with that—editing the master files, as I always like to take the opportunity to fix things I missed with the books on the previous edits. Also the first three books being put out in hardcover versions, which also requires re-formatting, etc and all the fees that come with any new editions we choose to put out. This year will be incredibly busy with writing, if I’m to finish Butterflies by my self-imposed deadline of November. I think I can do it, as things are going along quite well at this point. But that means I can’t take on too much extra with producing different formats of previously released books.  I understand and appreciate that not everyone does digital books, but it’s simple for me to put out my shorter works in just that one format.

Part of the problem in producing all the various formats lies in the fact that people often think they want these additional formats, but when it comes right down to it, they don’t buy them in the end. I have to at least be able to make back my set up fees for the various formats, and unfortunately that’s not a given. I really have to weigh whether each story, and each edition of said story that I publish will be able to pay for itself.

The next question that I know will be asked once ‘Flights of Angels’ is out in its audio version will be, ‘When will ‘In the Country of Shadows’ be out in audio?’ It’s a fair question for which I don’t really have an answer just yet. It’s hugely expensive for me to have these produced. They are long books and good narrators like mine don’t come cheap—nor should they, by the way, lest it seem like I’m complaining. This last year I finally filed for my withheld taxes from the IRS, and used that for the bulk of paying for the production of the audio versions. I also ran a GoFundMe with perks, which so many of you were kind enough to participate in. However that was a lot of work and of the $6600 that was raised, I managed to keep roughly $2400 once the hardbacks were paid for (my cost on them) and the shipping on all the various books and prints was totalled up. Still, it was a big help in paying for the production of ‘Mermaid in a Bowl of Tears’, and it was fun, as well as pushing me to get the hardbacks produced. I’m all set for ‘Flights of Angels’, but alas that’s where the well runs dry financially speaking. I’m still tussling with the IRS over one of the years of withheld taxes, and it’s due to an error of theirs, but so far I can’t seem to get that straightened out with them. If I can get them to see the error, and they release the money, I will be able to fund Shadows at that point.  I will eventually get all the books done, but I don’t really know when at this point.

Right now I also need to consider the production costs for Butterflies—formatting, setting it up with the printer, and the cost of that initial run of books with the printer. I know this is all rather boring talk, but I try to be transparent with the reasons I can’t always get things done in a timely fashion. It generally comes down to two things—time and money. Which is true for so many things in life. On a side note, I plan to have both the hardback and softcover available from the get go with ‘Where Butterflies Dream’.

‘Where Butterflies Dream’ is a bit of a sprawling mess right now, but so was Shadows at this point in the process, so I’m not letting myself worry about that too much. Chunks of the book are in place—by that I mean runs of chapters and sections that are pretty much done, which means while it’s still a sprawl, it’s one with good supports in place. If all goes well, I’m looking at another St. Patrick’s Day (St. Patrick’s Day of 2020 just to be clear)

nature orange butterfly silver bordered fritillary

Photo by Pixabay on

release, or the closest Tuesday to it, as Tuesday is release day in the book world.

One thing I can tell you about Butterflies is that if you cry as much reading it as I have in the creation of it, you’d best stock up on your tissues in preparation.