Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Day in the Life of a So "Not" Famous Author

When I began writing some 800 years ago, I yearned passionately for getting published, selling tons of books, earning rave reviews (and lots of money), winning awards and becoming famous--not J.K. Rowling famous, but famous for writing quality books for kids that flew off the shelf, created lines at author signings and got me invited to speak at big deal conferences.  Well, 800 years later, I can heartily say that a little bit of that dream came true. I have written and published over 60 quality books for kids that have gotten good reviews. The rest of the dream? Never realized -- but the great thing is at this point, I don't even yearn for it--even a teeny bit.

I am still writing and publishing.  Darling Mercy Dog of World War I just came out. I am super-proud of this book and hope it does get in the hands of readers and that it does earn some great reviews.
But no longer do I yearn for it. I love the book and poured time, energy and passion  into it. It is a great story about the mercy dogs that helped rescue the wounded during the hellish battle of Messines in Belgium. As always, Peachtree Publishers did a quality job creating it, and the illustrator, Michael G. Montgomery, did a fabulous job on the cover and interior art. But tons of sales and rave reviews? Nope. Blog tour? One reviewer so far. Conferences? Not going. Author tour? Too old.  School visits? Ditto on the too old. Lots of money? Still keeping the part time day job. I DO hope to have a drawing for a free copy in time for Christmas, and yup, if any of you want to review the book on his/her blog, please see below about emailing me and I will send you one.

Anyway, in lieu of telling you what a famous, hard working, still-yearning author does, I'll bore you with the day of a not-so-famous but still hanging in there author.

7:00 am. Get up after being awake for an hour because when you  get older it's harder to sleep through the night even though you do not have little kids.

7:01 walk dogs

7:15 Feed dogs and me and read paper.

8:00 Walk dogs again (longer), feed horses, put on fly masks etc.

8:45  Check email and Ebay -- did anything sell? do I need to ship? Why isn't anyone bidding on that great oyster tin?

9:15 Clear desk--again. Put in load of wash. Water plants on steps. Get ready for real job (not writing, antiquing, ebaying or procrastinating--those are not REAL jobs).

10:00 -- 11:45 teach students who are disinterested in writing and reading

12:00  -- walk dogs again. Lunch. Check ebay and email. No bids yet????

1:00 -- answer questions for a blog interview.

1:30 -- Answer email to editor about next book and topic. Possible pub date 2015. Seems like a long way            off, but I need a concept by Jan. 2014.

2:00 -- kill stinkbugs on the porch. There are thousands.

2:20  -- take new stuff into Verona Antique Mall  booth--check sales. Get depressed.

3:30 -- stop by Goodwill because, well, it's THERE and right on the way.
Me thinking about dinner, not writing.

4:30 -- take dogs for a walk. Take masks off horses. Brush horses, clean water trough and think about what to cook for dinner.  Feed dogs.

5:00 - work on the end of chapter six of Murphy Gold Rush Dog.

6:30 -- husband and daughter want to know what's for dinner. What? It's dinnertime? Why is there no time to write???

8:00 write blog post for Equestrian Ink.

10:00 Walk dogs. Bedtime. Toss and turn because book deadline is coming up and I am only on  CHAPTER SEVEN.

So there it is--the real life of an author. Next post I will be giving away a copy of Darling. And let me know below if you would like a review copy. If so, you can email me at alisonatalisonhartbooksdotcom. I'd love to  get someone besides my editor to read it!


Linda Benson said...

Oh, I'd love to read your new book, Alison, and I'll happily blog about it! (I'll shoot you an email.) I love dog books, and in fact just read one about a family giving up their dog for service during World War 2. What a hard thing to do.

Thanks for sharing your day-to-day life with us. So Busy! (And people think that authors live such glamorous lives - Ha!)

Alison said...

Thanks Linda--you're first on my list of reviewers.

Laura Crum said...

Great post, Alison! I so relate to every bit of this, from the initial longing for publication, fame and fortune--to the acceptance that well, maybe publication and some useful money to buy groceries is OK. At this point, like you, I wouldn't want the fame and fortune if it was handed to me. It would make life too complicated, and I like my life the way it is.

If you would send me a copy of your new book, my son and I would be happy to do a joint review on EI.

Oh, and my days are much like yours, except that you can swap teaching disinterested students for homeschooling my son--doesn't pay as well, but more fun, I think.

Unknown said...

I like your day. :-) Sounds like the typical day of many writers I know.

Alison said...

Hi Laura! I'd LOVE for you and your son to review Darling. Send me an email with your address!

Angelia/Angie -- AK other writers like me? I hope they are more efficient!