The Road Goes On Forever

By David Corbett

In my last post, I mentioned the need for near perpetual publicity in this day and age of publishing meltdown and online promotion.

A little over two weeks after my book release, I feel like I understated the matter considerably. I need seven more hours a day, five more days a week, and a bottomless bowl of Wheaties to tackle everything.

As for sleep…

There are the events and readings I’m doing in the Bay Area and Los Angeles—please come out if you’re nearby—including a wonderful panel I did with Ellen Sussman this past weekend at the San Francisco Writer’s Conference (they sold out of my book!).

There are the workshops I’m conducting—again in the Bay Area and Los Angeles, and also at Left Coast Crime in Colorado Springs, where I’ll be serving as toastmaster, and then in various northern California locales, at the DFW Conference in Dallas (where I’ll be co-keynote speaker with the lovely and charming and gifted Deborah Crombie), and finally, Memorial Day weekend, at the High Sierra Writers Conference in Reno.

There’s the various blogs I’ve posted for—call it Bombing the Blogs—including:

  1. book giveaway on Goodreads. I’m giving away five copies of The Art of Character, to be followed by a week-long Author Chat March 4-8.
  2. An interview with the writing community at Scribophile, with an extra forum for additional Q&A at the Scribophile Forum. (The interview is open to the public; the forum requires a free signup to join the community, which is much like Goodreads, but more writer oriented.) Scribophile will also soon be sponsoring a contest with free books and a free critique session as prizes: Stay tuned.
  3. I’ve posted various items with bloggers Kristi Belcamino (a Murderati regular), Vince Keenan, and Jungle Red Writers, with one planned with another Murderati regular, Erik Arneson, and more on the way.
  4. I’ve posted excerpts from The Art of Character at NarrativeZyzzyva, and We Wanted To Be Writers.
  5. And I’ve even touted what I keep nearby for pleasure reading at Books By The Bed.

Then there’s just keeping my News page on my website current, with updates such as:

  1. The Art of Character was chosen one of the 13 Top Picks for Writing Guides for 2013 by The Writer Magazine.
  2. My article, “Push Your Characters to the Limit,” appeared in the January 2013 edition of Writer’s Digest.

I’m pitching an article I wrote called “The Politics of Plot” to the Huffington Post, and one titled “Secrets & Contradictions” for the New York Times’ The Opinionator/Drafts column.

And then there’s the constant drafting of event invites on Facebook, keeping up with the ever-changing world of Amazon, communicating with everyone who responds to the book giveaway on Goodreads (and inviting others I know), answering comments on the Scribophile blog, updating what I’ve already done, building my Twitter base (hey guys, over here, follow me, follow me, no me, over here, I said here, hey guys?) …

Plus I have my online course through UCLA Extension — incredibly wonderful, hard-woring students from around the world — a new one I’m pitching to LitReactor, three manuscripts to review and edit, a novel to finish (close, I’m very close)…

I’ve yet to inload any financial date into Quickbooks for my 2012 taxes, I’m refinancing my house (don’t get me started), my car needed new tires and a new radiator before I headed south to LA, my computer keyboard has developed a new glitch where — only in Word — the forward cursor moves backwards and no one at Microsoft has a clue…

Then there’s the happier end of Things to Prepare For: My other half, Mette, is driving cross-country next month with Hamley, the Wonder Dog, and moving in with me.

(I’ll be traveling to Norway and Turkey this summer to meet Mette’s extended family. Yes, she’s descended from Vikings and Turks. This is not lost on me.)

So, let’s just say I’m keeping busy. Or busier. Make that busiest.

Every now and then, I get to read a book—which reminds me: Cara Black’s latest, Murder Below Montparnasse, is coming out on March 5th, and you can win a trip to Paris with Cara if you pre-order now. (I’ll be interviewing Cara about the new book on Wildcard Tuesday, March 26th.)

Oh, and lest I forget, you can buy copies of The Art of Character here.

* * * * *

So, Murderateros—what’s keeping you up these nights?

* * * * *

Jukebox Hero of the Week: Robert Earl Keen, Jr., one of the great Texas singer/songwriter/storytellers, with one of my favorite tunes ever, and something of an anthem for my life right now, thus the title of today’s post: 

14 thoughts on “The Road Goes On Forever

  1. Reine

    Oh, David… you are keeping me up at night. You and Zoë. Look how late it is. Congratulations on the Mette-Hamley move in. Although I am terribly, terribly jealous.

  2. PD Martin

    And I thought I was ready to self-combust! Funnily enough, at this stage I've tentatively titled my next Murderati blog 'Falling short'. You're not alone! But just remember, everything you've described above is GOOD busy 🙂 Really good busy!

  3. Sarah W

    Congratulations on the book and bloghopping and busyness—and best wishes to you, Mette, and Hamley for a smooth, stress-free household blending!

    I would second Reine's comment, except you and Zoë are actually keeping me company at lunch, so the only things keeping me up at night are a new editing project and a five year-old who, because of School Movie Day last week, has decided that Pinocchio will come for her if she dares fall asleep—or wakes up at say, 3 am (next time, I'm calling up her kindergarten teacher and sharing the joy).

  4. Jake Nantz

    Yeah, guess I can't complain about the mountain of grading and planning that's keeping me from writing anymore, huh? Damn David, take a breath.

    Ok ok, you can let it out now. Don't turn blue or anything…

  5. Zoë Sharp

    Fascinating to see how thinly one human being can be spread, David, but please don't overdo it!

    I have a theory that there is only so much elasticity in one's ability to absorb stress and once it snaps, it really snaps.

    Out of all the publicity activity you've been doing, what do you feel has worked best for you?

  6. David Corbett

    reine" Well, writers do love keeping readers up at night. I feel in excellent company with Zoë. And don't be jealous — trust me, I'm no fun to live with. Mette is a very brave woman.

    Phillipa: Well said. And yes, I don't have wee ones to care for, so don't think I know I've got it much easier than many of my fellow writers.

    Bill: Man, you nailed that one. Some of Steve Earle's stuff gets there too, and Townes Van Zandt, but this is almost a perfect tune. And a great noir vignette.

    Jake: No lie, those student papers and assignments will keep you up. They give so much, albeit clumsily, and I can't shortchange them. I know you well enough to suspect it's the same for you. (And yes, exhale,

    Barry: Made me laugh out loud. That sounds like the Chico Marx version of Yeats's "the dancer from the dance."

    Zoë: Good advice, thanks. Yes, I'm a weasel, but I don't want to go pop.

    So far, I think the best publicity has been generated by people who've read the book or seen me speak and tweeted or written a review or commented on a blog thread. It's hard to know, to be honest. The folks at We Wanted To Be Writers, Iowa Writing Workshop alumni, have been incredibly generous with praise, and right now the Goodreads connection seems to be growing. But I'm just starting with this, it's very much a word-of-mouth kind of book, and we shall see.

  7. Sarah W

    My comments haven't been posting lately. Either I've been banned, or something else is going goofy.

    If this one goes through, congrats on your book and busyness, and best wishes for you Mette, and Hamley on you household melding!

  8. Lisa Alber

    Wow, I got tired just reading your post. I'm imagining Popeye downing his spinach to gain some extra strength. 🙂 Keep up your nutrients if you can keep up your sleep!

  9. Maddee

    HOLD ON!!!!!! You are a Robert Earl Keen fan?!?!?! West Textures (the album that song is on) is in my top ten favorite albums of all time. Every song is absolute perfection. I've been madly in love with REK for well over 20 years. Seeing him (again) next month in Denver. Seeing his name pop up made me inordinately happy today!
    Oh, and happy about Mette and book success. Of course!

  10. David Corbett

    Sarah: Sorry about the posting problems. I assure you, you are not banned. We've all had out issues with Squarespace. Sometimes, if there's a URL in your post, or if you have website information included, it assumes you're spam, but there are other reasons, unknown to any of us, for it's being so selectively snarky. I apologize. Glad you got through this time, though. And thanks for the kind words.

    Lisa: Yes, nutrients. Like the vitamins I keep forgetting to take. I'm trying to eat wisely but exercise has become mythical, which ain't good.

    Maddee! Hi, sweetness. Yeah, I love that album too. (Don't Turn Out the Light is a particular favorite… ahem). Lucky you for catching him in concert. And thanks for the attaboy.

  11. Erin Alford

    Good luck with the move and the new book. Love that song David! Keep the Robert Earl Keen & Steve Earle videos coming!

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