Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Author of the Day

 Patient friends, it's possible that you're as weary of hearing about my book as I am of talking about it. (But consider: you could be getting another election post!) Publicity, I find, is not my fort√©, and Darwin has graciously done most of my marketing for me. However, today I'm the Author of the Day over at manybooks.net, and I've answered some nifty interview questions.

Readers say your story feels emotionally honest - how did you pull this off?

I take "emotionally honest" as a great compliment! I believe that the smallest, most personal choices have the greatest moral impact on the world, for good or ill, and resonate long after greater events are forgotten. When I write, I want every character, no matter how minor or comic, to be a full person, not a caricature who exists to serve the story. Even the tiniest interaction carries the potential for grace to break through our human limitations -- and every character has the dangerous gift of free will to be able to reject or ignore that grace, to hurt themselves and others.

Do I sound a little jaded up above? I don't mean to. As I type, Darwin tells me that I've cracked the top 100 in Holiday Fiction on Amazon. I'm so grateful that people are reading and enjoying my book, even if I wish I wasn't stuck in the Holiday Fiction ghetto, with a bunch of billionaires enemies-to-lovers small-town second-chance romance books. (You didn't know these subcategories were a thing? NEITHER DID I.) I suppose if you spoof a certain kind of story, that's the very shelf you're likely to be filed. 

But perhaps it also helps to love the thing you're spoofing, and I don't love Holiday Fiction. I don't love fluffy Hallmark movies. I hate them because they're plastic and false. Alas, I have been too subtle, perhaps, in my disdain. As a result I can't reach any like-minded readers beyond the borders of my blog and social media (and I know that they are out there), because literary venues are loath to review anything that looks like self-published Holiday Fiction, yea, even Holiday Fiction crossed with Shakespeare. My inbox is full of "This looks interesting, but I don't know what to do with it." And so the bulk of our sales (according to our sales and marketing data) have been to readers who really want the Holiday Fiction experience. Judging by the responses I've gotten, they've been pleasantly surprised. But it's because they were expecting a standard Holiday Fiction novel, not because they were looking for something deeper in the first place.

Which is why I'm so grateful for all my sympatico readers who have bought and shared Unstable Felicity, and to all the internet peoples who have been willing to take a chance on a small, unknown book (albeit a book with an awesome cover). I'm even grateful to the person who left a 2-star rating without writing a review, because at least the book stuck with them long enough to merit a response! And I do agree with the readers who've noted that the book is too short and a bit rushed. If we've learned anything about self-publishing, it's that four months is not really enough time to shepherd a book to print. (I mean, we kinda knew that, but now we really know it.) 

So: tolle, lege, and please recommend. And if you already have a copy and want a signed bookplate mailed to you, please drop us an email with your address and whether you want a personalized note or just a scrawled autograph. And if you want a signed copy as a Christmas gift, act soon before it's too late to mail! 

And if you want an audiobook, Unstable Felicity is finally, finally available through Audible.

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