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We Ran Out Of Books

irenes_booksigningMy first book signing. We ran out of books.
 
I actually had to run out to my car for the two books I had in the backseat; luckily, leftovers from an earlier attempt at guerrilla marketing.
 
The last fourteen months of my life living dollar to dollar so I can get published, and now I’m holding 10s of dollars, 20s of dollars, in one hand. I didn’t think I was gonna sell any books tonight, so I didn’t think about maybe having a bank bag or lock box or something to put this money in. I’m so fuckin’ irresponsible.
 
I sold out my first event. Jesus Mahoney Christ, this shit’s really happening!
 
Wow. Just. WOW.
 
4/9/14 @ 11:38pm

 

 

From The Comfort Of My Bed, The Book Intro

Von Simeon, International Woman of Action!

It is not a relief to hold your debut novel in print format. In fact, it is the opposite. Your back tenses up. Your face sours. Your lower sphincter tightens.

What the hell have I just done??

But then, your face loosens, slacking your cheeks enough to produce a smile.

There. The Dedication Page. The old boy telling me, “Good on ya! Finally! Well done, homie!” I always figured he called me that.

It looks good.

I flip through the pages. Bold, pronounced chapter numbers. Easy to read text. Good grouping, good flow. It looks. Good.

I scoff at my Author Page. The photo you guys picked made it in the book; thanks for taking that pressure off my mind.

I palm the back cover, at the gorgeous rendition of the protagonist, then flip to the front cover, and admire Marie Chapin’s beautiful disaster. The bold blue words revealing an inconvenient truth.

That’s when my hands start to tremble.

Holding a proof of my debut novel. Quite a moment.

Holding a proof of my debut novel. Quite a moment.

Three years. Three productive, revealing, empowering years, and the result is this novel. Not just another sci-fi story; it’s a Game Changer. Already receiving delighted buzz regarding its release, even fun expressions of impatience, both on the ground and in the ether. Friends from Canada down to South America, friends from the United Kingdom all through Eurasia. Friends in Oceania, the Middle East, Southeast Asia. A support network built solely from the launch of this WordPress blog. For your support and love via zeros and ones, I thank you.

Give me until April 4th to set up shop and then, the OFFICIAL release of I Blew Up Juarez. We are planning a Meet The Author event locally, and I’m working out the kinks to sponsor a virtual book reading hopefully around the same time.

Kava helps to work down my nerves.

Kava helps to work down my nerves.

I am going to keep a stash of printed books in The Treehouse too, so if you live in the United States and want a SIGNED copy of I Blew Up Juarez, please notify me via @VonSimeon, my LinkedIn page, or here in the Comments area, so I know how many to put aside once the shipment gets in.

Ahhhh….but there’s more.

Last week, I signed an agreement to be a contributing writer with Thirteen Press out of London. The short story you helped me edit will be featured in Night Walkers. I’m cleaning up another psycho-terror story to submit around summer, at the soonest. So yeah. Both sides of the pond, you can find Von!

Ahhhh…but there’s more!

My writing partner and I have committed to another project. We’re combining individually-developed Wonder Woman fan fiction into one saga. We had our first collaboration this morning at T and Me and it was awesome! While she immerses in studying all things Wonder Woman, I’m studying historical women warriors, starting with Queen Boudica and then, going back to my studies of the Dahomey warrior women. This shit’s about to get real.

Gotta love living in walking distance to a public library.

Gotta love living in walking distance to a public library.

Finally, I’ve submitted prose to a local literary journal with high probability of acceptance, and then, because I’m a zealot, I submitted a poem to a Goodreads poetry contest. Cross fingers I at least final; I haven’t written much poetry since I started developing Juarez.

So…what have you been up to?

Beginning Of The End

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The original notebook where it all began, 2011. Notice the two titles? Under I Blew Up Juarez is Book 3′s working title.

I finished watching Breaking Bad on Netflix just a few moments ago. I applauded the screen after Vince Gilligan’s name appeared in the final credits. Bravo.

It made me sink into my couch and pop this notebook open, to purge what I’ve been experiencing. An end. A proud moment. A reckoning, delivered, successfully.

Last Thursday morning at approximately 5am, shortly after completing a NINE hour, non-stop, final read of I Blew Up Juarez, I submitted the final proof to my publisher, Trace Taylor Publishing. Little indie operation out of Gulfport, Florida, a place that became, in the last five months, the epicenter of my existence as a writer.

Since Thursday morning I’ve been suffering through small bursts of panic and anxiety, doing my damnedest not to succumb to uncertainty, not let doubt take over. But at this point, I’m at a loss. I don’t know what’s happening. Literally, don’t know what’s happening to my art. I’ve never been here before. I’ve had a lifetime of experiences, but I haven’t been here before.

Trust is key. I have to trust Trace Taylor Publishing is going to fulfill the contract I signed February 20, 2013. I have to trust my final adjustments are applied, my cover artwork transitions to print, my intentions are conveyed. I have to trust that all the effort I put forward to tell the story of Johnny Saucedo was not in vain.

Between panic attacks I busied myself, getting out of the Treehouse, spending time in public, under the lovely Florida winter sun, talking to fellow artists and releasing, really releasing, the feelings I have about this process. The start was exciting, the creative process, a wild surf of my passions, but the end? The end? Here we are. The end.

Before sitting down to dinner and series finale, I took my copy of The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest poolside, doubly to get out of my head for a few hours and to finish the Millenium trilogy so I can watch the movies! Came across this, talking about Mikael Blomkvist, the heroic celebrity journalist: As always when a job was finished and at the printer, and nothing could be changed, he felt empty. I had to laugh. Steig Larsson, are you talking to me right now??

I read Vince Gilligan’s GQ interview a few months back regarding the end of his excellent series. What Bryan Cranston and he put together was a man’s tale of self-recognition and in the delivery of the tale, Vince Gilligan felt all that needed to be said was said. He is proud of the story. It ended correctly.

I feel the same way of this work too. I Blew Up Juarez is Book Two out of four I wrote regarding the protagonist’s life journey. But even in the last few months, as the work went from my creative space to a tangible Adobe file, I saw opportunities for the story to splinter off. The characters Johnny encounters shine well enough on their own. Just as Saul Goodman will be experiencing a resurrection via a Breaking Bad spinoff, there is a high chance I’ll be creating flash novellas highlighting characters from the Juarez story. Even though the story of I Blew Up Juarez ends, there’s way more to experience! Kind of like a dirty bomb; the shrapnel can land anywhere, the bits of shard and metal and stone within could morph into its own thing upon release. I sit here thinking of the future, and it seems plausible that The End is merely marking a Beginning. And a beginning to an end, and ending a beginning.

So there is no end. There just is, the first story.

Send all your positive energy towards my publisher and the press she uses. The **MOMENT** I get updated on the status of the novel, I will certainly blog it up!

Let RiRi convey my emotions with song:

A Comedy Of EXTREME Errors

Borrowing my friend Waiting For Satan‘s blogging style, I pose to you the question: what should BA have done to work the situation to his favor?

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Your Best Friend Lives In Your Head

Over on Facebook I’m promoting my upcoming novel, I Blew Up Juarez. Every Tuesday until the book release, I’m gonna feature a character teaser. Last week, everyone met Set, and this week, the brilliant Jah.

His curiosity encourages Jah to make new discoveries, foregoing the consequences, such as warping a simple creature into a destructive demigod. Oops!

5 Hours Deep In Proofing Nutella Break

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Reading every chapter aloud is taking a toll on my voice.
Medicine: creamy soothing hazelnut goodness.
Chapter 26 of 43. It’s gonna be a late night, friends.

Kicking Ass And Taking Souls, The Gods Show No Mercy

 

Over on Facebook I’m promoting my upcoming novel, I Blew Up Juarez. Every Tuesday until the book release, I’m gonna feature a character teaser. Last week, everyone met Iwan Maclaggan, and this week, the ambitious Set. Humankind is NOT ready.

My inspirations include Storm of the X-Men, 70s era Nightshade (Captain America’s nemesis) and Hapshetsut, the benevolent pharaoh who happened to be a woman.

Turning Rage Into Resolve

His hand slowed its feverish massage as his laughter grew.

“What the hell are we listening to?”

I stop my humming and open my eyes, lifting my Galaxy to my face.

Chris LeDoux.”

He shakes his head and keeps moving the mouse ball, putting the finishing touches on the design I made. A complete overhaul of my book cover. It’s beautiful.

“What’s so funny?” I ask.

“It’s just that when I left here, you were listening to Otep.”

I smile. “It’s my thing. Country music is where I go when I need to bring the rage down.”

He’s right. A few hours prior, I had sat at his workstation. I had Marie’s artwork framing the screen. I had a blank Photoshop layer precut to the background artwork in the center. And I had the roars of Otep, Killswitch Engage, Rammstein carrying about me, helping me bring my rage to resolve.

And from resolve begat beauty.

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Mandatory Therapy Session.

I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s a living fact. My online persona constantly engages in controlled folly, and much of that folly comes from my actual persona managing the ebb and flow of the disorder. I found over the last few years transforming from shadow artist to true artist, having PTSD is a gift. A strange one, in that it can be a crippling situation if not managed, but when it’s harnessed, it can become a powerful source of creativity, sometimes bucking you crazy, but at the end of the ride, you’re left with a masterpiece.

If my actual persona was not the skilled master of the ol’ Put The Stick Down, the design flaw I had to deal with yesterday would’ve sent me into a vortex of fury. I chose to convert my dark thoughts into a working plan. You know what, if you don’t like it, change it, I said to myself. I knew what I wanted to create, but I didn’t have the equipment. Made some contacts; finally, the guy who did my photo shoot not only had the full suite but he didn’t need to use it for the day.

At 2:37AM my time I sent the completed design files, the proofed manuscript, and reference files to the publisher, then I passed out. Today, whatever latent malevolent feeling I have about the ordeal is going to get exorcised out productively. I’m thinking, jog around the park with Bobby, go read my book on the pier, and listen to something that goes like this:

 

Yet Another Valentine’s Day. Still Single. This Is Why.

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