I should probably have written this a while ago, but I’ve decided it’s time for a temporary but major format change on the blog.
For the last five years, I’ve been interviewing authors, artists, editors, publishers, and collaborators, and I’ve loved every minute. The guest answers have never, ever been predictable. But for the next few months, I’m putting them on hold. I have two more in the hopper: Jayne Barnard and Ceallaigh S. MacCath. After that, I’m taking a bit of a break from interviewing.
It’s time to admit I can’t do everything, and to prioritize what gives me the biggest bang for my buck. Here’s where the momentum is:
From October to the end of December, I was ghost collaborating on a horror movie script, while also helping to edit a military history book for another client. In January and February, I was working with my editor at Tyche Books to prepare Helix: Plague of Ghouls (coming this summer! egad!). Through February, March, and now into April, I’ve been working on wrapping up the Helix trilogy with Helix: Scourge of Bones. And while working on Helix 3, I had three short stories accepted for publication, one right after the other, and all of them in anthologies coming out this year.
That’s just the writing angle.
Now we’re approaching Ad Astra 2016, and Creative Ink Festival follows the weekend after. In those two weekends, I’m launching the Myth Hawker Travelling Bookstore. That means I need to set up accounting, finish the development of www.mythhawker.com, buy promotional materials, manage stock, arrange transportation and accommodations, design and build a lightweight folding display case, and generally geek out about small press and independent authors, all over social media.
And then there’s the day job. Early this year, I received a lovely little promotion (no complaints here). While it doesn’t represent a change in my workload, the responsibility has increased, and the stuff I’m doing now requires a lot more in-depth preparation and thought.
It sounds like a lot, but it’s not, and I’m almost caught up. (Also, remember: no kids, no significant other, don’t watch TV, sloppy at housework.) The first draft of Helix 3 is within fifty pages of completion, and aside from the accounting and the website, the bookstore’s pretty much ready to go for Ad Astra. The day job takes care of itself.
But frankly, I want to go to the gym again. I want to take leisurely, pointless strolls again. Now that I have a backyard, I want to grab a book and go sit out on the lawn. And most importantly: I want my lunches back.
When I prepare an interview, I research the heck out of a guests’ work and background so I can come up with the most engaging and thought-provoking questions I can. Then, I spend more time searching for and reading through previous interviews to make sure those questions haven’t been asked before. On top of that, I spend a surprising amount of time seeking out interviewees, and then routinely following up with them to get the responses, bios, and photos I needed for any post. A standard blog post like this one I can put together in 20-30 minutes; but a really good interview can take me up to four hours. That’s almost a week of missed lunches, per interview. Dang it, I’m tired of coffee and instant noodles at my desk. I had enough of that in university. I want a fancy salad! And I want to eat it in my backyard, away from the computers and phones. Dagnabbit, for the first time in ten years, I want a natural leg tan!
Besides: the whole reason why I was conducting interviews was to spotlight authors you might never have heard about otherwise, in order to help get the work of those authors into new hands. By focusing instead on the bookstore, I am literally, physically putting those same books into new hands.
I know, it sounds like no big deal, but for me, changing an established format after five solid years…it’s no fun. But standby, up and coming authors! We’ll get the interviews back on track by end of year.