Sold a copy of AS FROM A TALENTED ANIMAL

On Thursday, a reader of my novels asked me if I had a copy of my latest work with me. I said that I did. He wanted to purchase it, so I trotted out to my car, retrieved the copy of AS FROM A TALENTED ANIMAL and brought it to him. He gave me a check; I signed the novel for him and thanked him for his continued support.

I believe in supporting artists.

I own three original paintings by a fine artist I know personally. His name is Austin Power and he works out of NYC. His watercolors are delicate but speak volumes about the human condition. I love them as I love him.

And so, I thank those of you who support me! You have no idea how much you mean to me as a novelist and a person.

Sold a copy of AFTER JEWEL

On Sunday, because my house was without internet, my son and I drove to our local Atlanta Bread Company only to find it closed. So we continued on to Panera Bread, settled on a table with an electrical plug along the wall. While my son got his computer running, I strolled to the front to buy a cup of coffee and get a glass of water. While getting the water at the drink station, a woman approached me. Frankly I don’t remember what she said first only that her words had something to do with finding a “peaceful” location to — here I became confused — sit and have coffee or perhaps find a place to stay that would also be “peaceful.” I was bewildered. Then she said, “You are obviously spiritual…” and she added something beyond this but I was standing with hot coffee in one hand, a glass of water in the other and my wallet tucked under my arm against my side. She continued, and I suggested a bed and breakfast near the middle school my daughter attended years ago. At some point, the woman repeated “you are obviously spiritual” and that the numbers of the highways “were meaningful” to her — one highway number was her birthday, another her birth year and so on. She indicated that God had brought her here. While she spoke, I decided to direct her to a nearby abbey where the monks take a vow of silence.

“A great place for a spiritual retreat,” I told her.

She smiled, her eyes gleaming — literally.

Finally I gestured that I needed to take the water to my son and get the hot coffee out of my hand. She followed me to a table next to my son. We sat down and chatted about the abbey and the monks as well as about her views on the church.

The church — the conclusion of our talk was a realization that the church — not the body of Christ but the man-made institution — is a lonely place because God is missing from it.

“He’s left, hasn’t He?” I asked her, almost making a statement.

At any rate, over the next ten minutes, we discuss my novels. She wants to support me, she says. And so, I tell her that most of my novels are in the back of my car in a box if she’s really interested. Turns out she really is. So, I bring her METAL MAN WALKING and also show her AFTER JEWEL which is the one she settles on.

Hmm — does God work in mysterious ways? He certainly did Sunday morning.

Just when I think, it changes

Just when I think I’ll never sell another book, I sell one or two or three or even more. Just when the sky seems to darken to a threatening black, the sun peeks from behind the cover of darkness and says, “hello there.” If I wrote for myself, the black clouds overhead wouldn’t matter, but I don’t write for myself. I write for others. I write to be read. So, once again, I must thank my readers, few though you be. I so appreciate your willingness to support me and my endeavor to be a novelist — one who writes novels.

Thanks again.

“I Need Something to Read”

Five of my more favorite words strung together are: “I need something to read” but six of my most favorite words strung together — that follow closely after the first five words — are: “I want to read your book.”

These two phrases — uh, sentences — were “heard” by me via text yesterday, and this morning my friend — one of my readers — bought my novel GANI & SEAN.

I signed it to her, “You know I love you.”

Sold A Copy of THE EIGHT-FOOT BOY

From the back of my car, I sold a copy of THE EIGHT-FOOT BOY to a person I met at a Low Country Boil. I’d sat with her mother and we talked of how we both went to college in Ohio, about our lives in this beautiful region of the world and then I mentioned that I am a novelist.

When her daughter arrived, we spoke of character development in novels, about where ideas come from and I gave her a little information about my writing process.

She expressed an interest in AFTER JEWEL. I told her I probably had a copy in my car. Later, as I was leaving, she initiated that she’d like to buy one of my novels. I said, “Well let’s see what I’ve got with me.”

In a box in my car, I showed her METAL MAN WALKING, THE ONLY THING ( which is a sequel to GANI & SEAN but I had no copy of GANI & SEAN and she’d need to read it first, so…), AFTER JEWEL ( an earlier edition ) and THE EIGHT-FOOT BOY. She expressed an interest in reading the re-write of AFTER JEWEL ( which makes sense ) and so she purchased THE EIGHT-FOOT BOY.

One of the easiest sales I’ve made.

“The High-Five”

Every now and then, I run into someone who is a die-hard fan of my works. Today was such a time —

I saw him at a distance, stood and stared at him – smiling.

He raised his arm, headed toward me.

He raised his hand in a high-five maneuver. I didn’t even realize people still do those; so very cool.

We did the high-five twice!

He began to tell me how much he is enjoying “the one about the tall boy.”

I nod, provide the title — “Ah THE EIGHT-FOOT BOY.”

He raves about it. He likes my writing style and the story and the situations and the characterizations.

Then he tell me “You’re going to break that ceiling, I think. I think you are going to be on the NY TIMES BESTSELLER list one day. I really do.”

I laugh and tell him my plan is to write at least 25 novels before I kick off and maybe I’ll be remembered for doing that!

He laughs.

“You wait and see,” he says.

Tentative book cover for THE ONLY THING

The Only Thing

My tentative cover for my latest novel, THE ONLY THING — a sequel to GANI & SEAN. THE ONLY THING is well underway but remains a “sketch” with much work ahead for me, the writer.

When books don’t sell themselves and when they do

I prefer the latter — when a potential reader says, “I want to read that book – what’s it called?” and then almost correctly names your novel. The book has sold itself — I would imagine through word of mouth?

The feedback on my novels is generally either absent or glowing. Either the reader says nothing to me or he or she seeks me out to tell me how great I write or how much they loved my novel.

Several readers actually follow me — they are my tiny fan base. I love my fan base, and though I do write for myself primarily, I want my novels read by others, of course.

A novel is not designed to sit on a shelf; rather, a novel is crafted for the hands of the reader. The reader is meant to open its cover and bend back its pages and make its insides come to life.

Therefore, I call for readers.