I like having fun. Things I think are fun are many and varied. To me, almost anything can be fun.
This — more than anything else — is the key to my own particular brand of success, such as it is.
When I decided to write my novel I set my computer up at my bistro table, disabled my Facebook account, made a pot of coffee, and started writing. I didn’t stop for about fourteen hours. I did it again the next day. In about three weeks I had something that looked like a book — at least in terms of word-count.
Then, I started editing it for twelve to fourteen hours a day. I added, deleted, and re-wrote parts of it. After a while I had something worth showing to someone else. But I wasn’t done. There were still months of editing and rewriting to come. Then it went to the first editor, then the second, then the third. Each found new holes and new requirements.
But through this all, I was having fun.
I even had fun when it was sent to an editor who really didn’t understand that it wasn’t meant to look just like something else already on the market and boring people to death around the world. Diamond-T is just a story I wanted to tell. It was my own inspiration. Her own book-length indictment full of damnifying Marxist lit-crit effusions she wrote back to me at first agitated, but then delighted me. I was delighted that my book had managed to outrage someone.
It was fun.
Then I got with a very good publicist who reviews and promotes books for authors whose work she loves–because it’s fun. She asked me if I had any “teasers.” She showed me a few from her other clients. I said “I can do that” and slapped a wall of text on a picture I downloaded from Wikipedia. She said “Ummm . . that’s . . . nice . . . ” I knew I had to get better at it, so I did. I learned to get creative with graphic design. It was fun.
Then, I thought it would be a good idea to release a promo video with the book on the day it went live. More fun. So I called my friend Sid. Sid is seventy-two and and has had — at last count — something like twelve careers since graduating Harvard in the ’60s. He has a deep, sonorous, and enticing voice that probably could be used to quell Jihad in the minds of detainees at Gitmo.
I told him: “Sid, I need your voice. Just a few sentences. I need you for a voiceover for this video.”
He asked me when he should show up.
So over the course of an hour and about twenty takes, he synced himself up with the words on the screen. I explained what was in the mind of the protagonist, and what the portentous tone was all about. The takes got more expressive, sometimes too expressive.
“I’m trying to soften this Susquehanna accent that plagues me,” he said in a tone of slight frustration.
“Sid, no!” I shook my head. “That’s why you’re here! I want that! You’re perfect just as you are!”
And with one or more takes, and a sudden bout of inspiration, we had it.
It was fun. And I hope that fun comes through to anyone reading Eye of the Diamond-T.