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  • Writer's pictureM. E. Roche

REcalibration .....

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.Friedrich Nietzsche


I usually think of fall as the time to begin something new, to learn something new, to recalibrate--to maybe consider doing something different. It's the unsettled but anticipatory feeling I felt as a kid. But it's now June, not September, and I feel that need to make those changes now. I liked this picture of the head trying to see over the top of the shrubs--to see the path out of a labyrinth.

Since publishing my most recent novel, ONCOLOGY, I've been attempting to learn more about the other side of putting a book out--the whole aspect of marketing, something all writers are now primarily responsible for doing, even if they have a publishing firm. It's a topic I've only skimmed, and it's the bane of most writers' existence. Myself included. I like this picture because I wish I had an overhead view of all the aspects I should be addressing. Marketing can be quite confusing! And I have no feel for it.


So what does marketing entail for a writer? A rough overview: the website (with a blog or newsletter), social media (with regular posts), connecting with other writers (and hopefully with readers), posting reviews on Amazon, Bookbub, and Goodreads (and any other sites if one has the time). There is also the monitoring of the financial aspects, including fees associated with the website, royalties, and taxes. It often leaves a writer wondering when they will have time to write. Me included.


So, this was my first step in learning something new--to learn more about the intricacies of marketing. When asked why I was bothering to learn if I hated it so much, I had to think for a while. I came to the conclusion that I see marketing as a puzzle--all these pieces that I somehow have to fit together. It's a challenge, and while I'm not much for games, it is a game of sorts, and it's a challenge.


Meanwhile, as I was thinking about all this, I had a brainstorm. I've been talking about starting a painting--something I haven't done in a while. The problem was, I didn't really want to give up my office--where I was thinking the easel had to go; it's already pretty crowded in there. Then, I thought: Why not move into the guest room and turn the master bedroom into the studio? The bed could stand against a wall. That room has the best light. The guest room is the darkest and is probably better for sleeping. I haven't moved anything as yet, but I'm thinking. Change is good. Make one change, and it can give one a new perspective. Maybe it leads to more, bigger changes. Maybe the chaos does lead to something new and beautiful. We'll see.


So this was a little heavy, and I'd like to leave you with a couple of books I've come across this month--one serious historical and two that gave me a laugh. Again: authors new to me. I'd love to hear back if anyone gets a chance to read or listen to one of these, or to a really good audiobook--my preference for catching up while on my morning walks. This focus on "killers" was unintentional!


Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann (2018). Set in 1920s rural Oklahoma, this is the true-life mystery of murders among families in the Osage Nation. When oil is discovered on tribal land, the members became the richest per capita people in the world. How they were swindled and murdered for their wealth is a haunting tale. After years of mounting deaths, the newly created FBI finally stepped in. With a joint undercover operation under the leadership of a former Texas ranger, the mystery and conspiracy were unraveled, and the perpetrators were prosecuted.


Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn (2022). This has mystery, murder, and humor. It's the story of four women who have worked the last forty years as hired assassins, and now they're retiring. Unfortunately, now they've become someone else's target. It's rather original and definitely entertaining!


Who's Killing the Great Writers of America? by Robert Kaplow (2007). I stumbled upon this one and couldn't resist seeing what it was like. The promo: "What do bestselling writers Sue Grafton, Danielle Steel, and Tom Clancy all have in common? They've all been murdered in a manner both gruesome and appropriate to their writing style. An extremely paranoid Stephen King is convinced that he will be the next victim, so he leaves his heavily-barricaded fortress in Bangor, Maine, to discover who is bumping off his fellow novelists." It's narrated by Arte Johnson, and it's quite entertaining, even if some of the humor is seventh-grade.


HAPPY SUMMER!







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