Monday, March 26, 2012
The End of the Blog Tour Trail
Three and a half years ago I wrote a little novel based on my experiences working at a gas station after getting kicked out of college. Today that book is released into the world. When I started writing the book I was just trying to get as many stories from the time period down. I wasn’t sure what would become of it. I wrote them in emails to myself while at work. At the time I was managing a children’s bookstore. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you might remember those days. I was also in the midst of my MFA. I wrote Code for Failure separately from the work I was writing for the program. I didn’t tell people in my MFA about it at all.
I don’t know why I didn’t tell anyone, probably because I was self-conscious. The same way I feel about people reading the book now. Code for Failure is much more personal than a lot of my fiction, which is funny because I also feel less tied to it as my writing. I feel much more paternal toward the Alaska stories, but also less self-conscious. When people read Code for Failure they are reading about a very tumultuous period in my life. One I am lucky to have survived.
When I finished the book and started sending it out there were a few early bites, one press even accepted it, but after some discussions I didn’t feel like they were a good fit, philosophically. I declined their acceptance. A move I was worried spelled the end for the book. Eventually Black Coffee Press expressed interest and soon after accepted it, I was ecstatic. It’s been two years since then. In those two years I tinkered here and there with the manuscript, but mostly I moved on.
During the interim I also got up the guts to ask some of my favorite writers to consider blurbing the book, and they all agreed to give it a read, much to my surprise. Even more surprising were the words they lent it; I was certain I would get emails telling me they wouldn’t sully their names by being associated with my book. The words that Paul Di Filippo, Gary Amdahl, Kyle Minor, and Ben Tanzer lent Code for Failure did more than humble me. They made me emotional and they made me excited about the book again.
The same goes for the cover illustration John Dermot Woods did for the book. That he took the time to create a piece of art for me and my book will always be one of the greatest honors I can imagine.
But being humbled by the experience did not end there. Along came Lori Hettler of The Next Best Book Club, who has become an incredibly supportive fan of my work so much so that after reading and reviewing the book she undertook organizing this blog tour to support the book! I am humbled any time anyone reads anything I write. That people spend some of their time reading something I wrote will always astonish me. That eight people would consider putting even more time and energy into my writing to help me promote a book is just incredible. I’ll be honest, it chokes me up a bit. Lori, Allison Renner, Ben Tanzer, Benoit Lelievre, Erica Spangler, Caleb J. Ross, b.l. pawelek, and Laura Cline all did this for me and my book and I will love them all forever.
(If you haven't had a chance to check out the other stops on the book tour, you can find all the links HERE!)
Like all writers I hope this book is just a stepping stone to bigger things, but even if that’s not in the cards for me, it is readers and supporters like those who have put in their time helping on the blog tour, or those people who read my work or read this blog that will always serve as encouragement every time I’m feeling run down by writing or the writing world.
There are probably more things to say, more stories to tell about the book's journey, but in the end it's all about the work. I hope you will consider picking up a copy of Code for Failure and if you do I hope you will enjoy the read. It is now on AMAZON and at BARNES AND NOBLE. You can also, of course, get it through BLACK COFFEE PRESS.
And if you're really feeling frisky, connect with the book on FACEBOOK or GOODREADS!