Can You Keep a Secret?

5-SecretAgentManny_PrintProof2-FRONT (LindaHPLaptop's conflicted copy 2017-01-11)

Today I’m ordering a proof copy of this book—Secret Agent Manny—so I can make sure it looks pretty and beautiful and marginally correct. Wait, I mean, to make sure the margins are correct. We typesetters care about these things.

This book started as a dare (as most great books do) … by two writer friends of mine, Fara Linn Howell and Jim Watkins. The first line of the book (“There’s been an incident at the house”) was spoken to me over the phone by my electrical engineer husband while I was at a writing conference … and Jim and Fara thought it was a perfect jumping-off point for a story. Then again, bungee jumpers think high bridges are perfect jumping-off points, and I think they’re all insane.

That year, their idea turned into my NaNoWriMo novel, written on my IBM Selectric. And I’ve been tinkering with the story ever since. This past autumn I spent five wonderful days at Forest Edge Cottage in Kane, Pa. (in the Allegheny Forest), where I wrapped up the story on my Smith Corona Coronamatic.

Yes, I use typewriters to write fiction. Don’t get all up in my face about it. If these particular typewriters were good enough for Hunter S. Thompson and Kurt Vonnegut and Ray Bradbury and Charles Bukowski and John Irving and James Baldwin, they’re good enough for me.

Plus, I have no real hobbies to speak of.

Anyway, now Secret Agent Manny is edited, typeset, and proofread. And it’ll soon be available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s website. (Don’t panic. I’ll post direct links once the book’s available. Take some deep breaths into a paper bag or something before you faint. I said, don’t panic!)

If you’re going to see me at a conference or festival this year (like this one, or this one), I won’t mind if you wait till then to get a copy (so I can sign it for you and make it worth ten or fifteen cents more than you paid for it).

Otherwise, watch out, world! Secret Agent Manny is coming your way—sometime in May!

Erma-Gerd!

So, here I sit in a glorious hotel suite a few miles from where, tomorrow, I’ll be entrenched among other people of like mind. I’m at the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. It starts tomorrow. A few of us have come in a day early to get our heads cleared, to get settled here in this strange land of Ohio.

And then tomorrow, the craziness starts.

I’ll come home inspired, exhausted, and thrilled. I’m so ready to start. Because yes, even introverts get out into the world sometimes and have fun.

I’ll just have to curl into a fetal position for most of Sunday afternoon. But it’ll be worth it.

 

Kindle Edition on fire (so to speak)…!

One day out, and so far, so good on the Kindle edition for Fork in the Road … and other pointless discussions! Still awaiting word that the trade paperback version is available on Amazon (although I’ve ordered my own copies because I get certain privileges the little people don’t).

No, wait—the little people DO get those privileges, if they don’t mind ordering directly from CreateSpace instead of from Amazon. (CreateSpace can, well, create them immediately. A few more days for Amazon to catch up.) So if you’re dying for a print copy and don’t care about Amazon’s free shipping thing, you can order trade paperbacks here:

CreateSpace direct link for paperbacks of Fork in the Road

Otherwise, I’m okay with the one-day information on the Kindle edition, having seen this little page on Amazon just now (click the picture to see it bigger and better):

FITR-25-b

And now, I’m off to go see my dad for Father’s Day. And just because he’s so danged awesome. (Or should I saw “au-some”? No, I shouldn’t. It’s an old Au joke. There really aren’t any new Au jokes, though.)

Tomorrow I head off for the St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference in Grove City, Pa. Once I’m back, I hit the ground running getting several of my NaNoWriMo novels tweaked and sent out in the big wide world….

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One down, one to go…

Well, finally …

3DBook

Fork in the Road … and other pointless discussions  is lurking around the CreateSpace ether, waiting to be cleared for takeoff. I’m obsessively checking my email inbox every twenty-seven seconds or so (give or take five seconds) so I can check the digital proof as soon as it shows up and approve the final layout.

It’s been a long time coming, but I can honestly say I am happy and relieved to finally have it heading out into the world. It clocked in at about 4,000 words more than Head in the Sand … and other unpopular positions. Many of the essays in Head in the Sand were written for contests or other venues (which makes for a bit of unevenness in a few spots), but everything from Fork in the Road was written with the book in mind.

Gotta give a shoutout to a few folks who saw me through this process with advice and helpful tips (in alphabetical order):
Chris Bowyer (who wishes to be known as Alan Smithee)
Lynne Gordon
Jerry Hatchett
Dora Machado
Lisa McClinsey
Fara Howell Pienkosky
Mel Rigney

I quite literally couldn’t have gotten here without your friendship and wisdom, lovingly shared. Thanks, guys!

In anticipation of Fork in the Road going live any second now [furtively checking email on the second monitor just in case… nope…], I’ve put Head in the Sand’s Kindle edition on sale for $0.99!

HeadintheSandPRINTfinal-FRONT-SMALL

CHEAP! CHEAP!   <——- CLICK HERE!

 

 

The print edition of Fork in the Road should be available in a few days. Once I approve the digital proof, I’m ordering my own copies to take to the St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference next week. You guys can fight amongst yourselves for the privilege to order your own print copies while I’m gone. And remember to contact me for a free autographed bookplate for either print book! I’ll use an actual stamp on an actual envelope to mail it to you! (This offer void for Kindle editions. It makes no sense to put a sticker over your Kindle screen.)

Be on the lookout for upcoming posts with direct links to Fork in the Road!

Multi-Author Book Signing, Dec. 11!

Hey, gang!  Long time, no type! I’ll catch up on stuff later, but for now I wanted to announce this upcoming event (info lifted from the group’s Web site without a bit of guilt on my part):

LOCAL BOOK SIGNING!

The Beaver County Wordsmiths are holding their annual Christmas Book Sale on SAT., DECEMBER 11, from 11 a.m to 2 p.m., at Dej’a Vu Books in Bridgewater (222 Bridge Street).

If you haven’t been to Dej’a Vu yet, it’s a charming little book/antique store nestled inside of an old brick building along Bridgewater’s historic main street. The store features a unique selection of antiques, books, collectibles, paintings, prints, pottery, and more! Dej’a Vu is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  724.709.8246

THE BOOK SIGNING:  More than 10 local authors (including your favorite humor writer) will be taking part in the event, and we’ll all be happy to sign our books.If you’re local, come and get a personally signed book for that special someone!
If you’ve already bought my book, bring it along and I’ll sign it for you (or sign it again if you’re semi-stalking me). My books make great holiday gifts!  Buy two; they’re small!