2 January 2014
Welcome to Seductive Peach! I know what you’re thinking.
It’s just what the world needs – another blog. And, worse, an eclectic blog with literary aspirations. Well, to be honest, I’ve been ambivalent, myself, about doing this for quite some time. But with publication of my second book, Zendoscopy, due in March, I thought I’d give it a whirl and see what happens.
To get things started, a bit of background about, er, me might be in order. In the late 1980s, I finished writing my first book, a novel entitled Panope’s Pride. With brutal honesty, I’ll admit that it wasn’t very good and, in truth, I wasn’t overly happy with it. Nevertheless, I had put a fair bit of sweat equity into its creation and so I did try to get it published. It didn’t happen, and the lesson I learned at the time was that I’d never get a big name publisher to take on my work if I didn’t have an agent pushing it, and I’d never get an agent because I had no track record of having my fiction previously published. It was the true embodiment of Catch-22. Stuck in a dead end with a not very well written novel and not knowing at that point what to do with it, yet unwilling to bear the pain of burning the manuscript in my living room fireplace, I stuffed it into a box and squirreled it away, out of sight and mind.
While working on Panope’s Pride, I was simultaneously tinkering with the sci-fi/horror/fantasy realm, and I wrote a story called “Spacebraid” about a group of people who time travel from the near future and environmental disaster to a better time, when the earth has healed. The story was briefly pulled out of the slush pile at a major Hollywood studio and considered for optioning as a film project. Ultimately and to my great disappointment, the studio decided to pass. Although disheartened, I really liked “Spacebraid” and so I went back and revised sections of it that, I thought, improved it considerably as a novella. Then, with seven other short stories, I made it the lead story in a collection called Spacebraid and Other Tales of a Dystopian Universe. Still unable to get an agent, I self-published it.
That was when I learned my second big lesson about publishing, namely, that getting one’s work into print is not the same as selling it. And marketing is both critical and expensive. I took ads and managed to sell a few copies, but my lack of a truly substantial budget for marketing resulted in distressingly few copies soaring out the door despite a couple of nice reviews in niche publications. The book is currently available in both hard and soft copy from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble online, and from many other online sellers including Xlibris (the publisher), and it’s also available on Kindle. With no professional marketing campaign, though, sales continue to languish. (Shameless plea: If you like sci-fi/fantasy/horror stories, please buy a copy. Or two.)
Sometime ago, I pulled Panope’s Pride out of its hiding place and tapped some of its episodes for a new book. With much new material and revisions through some thirteen drafts, I’ve now completed my second “real” book, Zendoscopy, which is scheduled for publication in March of this year by Inkwater Press. The obvious question, of course, is how to market it. Which, finally, brings me to the proximate and driving reason for starting this blog.
At some point, it occurred to me that a writer’s blog might help not only me but others, as well, to gain a little name recognition. The purpose of the blog, then, is not only to promote my own writing but, periodically, to direct some attention to other writers’ works that might warrant broader attention. Finally, it’s my intention that the site will not shy from the publication of stimulating opinion pieces voicing a range of viewpoints, although I freely admit that the blog will manifest a decidedly liberal and secular editorial bias. And, for the record, flaming will have no place here. All opinion entries will be either fact-based or built on a foundation of solid reasoning and judgment.
So, whether you’re a writer or a reader, consider following The Seductive Peach as it develops over the next few months. And tell your friends. New postings will occur on a regular, if somewhat unpredictable basis. I’ll try to send up a flare on Facebook each time there’s a new entry. With some luck, the effort will be worthwhile for all of us.
And now, this entry’s featured annoyance: “Breaking news!”
Have you noticed that every news program seems to begin with someone announcing, “Breaking news!” Most of the time it’s some lame car chase, a traffic accident, or another murder in downtown wherever. It’s not “breaking”, and usually it shouldn’t even be news. In truth, most of the time it’s a waste of time, and after reporting whatever it is, the newscaster goes on to tell you repeatedly throughout the broadcast what he/she is going to report on “next” instead of actually reporting whatever it is. I watch these programs for the weather report, which is really stupid, since I live in southern California, where there is no weather.