What can I do… sometimes? This might not mean much to anyone outside Turkey but in recent years this English phrase has become integrated into Turkish everyday speech. It is often followed with much knowing laughter by those around who ‘get it’. And just about everyone does.
It is a phrase that was coined by Fatih Terim, the manager of the Turkish national football team. He said it in a TV interview. It’s been adopted into popular culture by millions to explain away things that they feel they can’t do anything about – situations out of their control. It’s usually accompanied by a shrug and a countenance of resignation.
What can I do… sometimes is the phrase that occurred to me when faced with my dilemma of when to self-publish A White-Knuckle Christmas (Romney and Marsh File #7). It sums up my feelings perfectly.
The issue is that it’s almost spring and the book, as the title and cover suggest, has a winter/Christmas backdrop. Will readers want to read a book about winter and Christmas in the spring? I gave this more thought than I really should have. Because the answer is a simple one for a CWAP writer like me: self-publish and be damned.
Look, the book is written. It came back from the menders this week. I’ve formatted it and it just needs a read-though. It’s almost ready to leave the nest.
It’s a Romney and Marsh File, it’s not exactly Harry Potter, is it? Why would I wait another nine months to publish it? OK, so it might lose some impact because of the time of year. I will have to accept that. But I wouldn’t mind betting that in ten years time if this book is still floating around in the ether readers won’t care when they read it. I read winter-themed books in the summer and summer- themed books in the winter. The same goes for watching films and I always manage to enjoy them out of season if it’s something I can enjoy in the first place. Believe it or not, this week at the gym Wham’s Last Christmas was played over the sound system. In February. And guess what? As I bench pressed my usual 10kg I caught myself singing along.
I’m a CWAP. I can’t afford to have a finished novel sitting on my computer for the ‘right time’ to publish it. Being a CWAP is as much about momentum as it is about anything. And anyway, one of the primary reasons I write is to be read. There are a good number of R&M Files readers out there who I know want me to release this one as soon as it’s ready – for them, like me, the R&M Files is about the characters. It doesn’t matter where or when in the year they are. Why would I disappoint them with a commercial strategy? Something that could, ironically, end up back-firing and hurting the R&M Files as a commercial entity, if we must look at them in that way. Let’s face it, I’m not such a successful CWAP that it’s going to make that much difference when it comes out.
And what if I were to get hit by a bus tomorrow? I do live in Turkey you know, where to fifty percent of the drivers at large a red light at a traffic crossing means proceed with caution (ha!). Who would put R&M#7 out then? The sobering truth is there is no one. I’m not kidding.
For any one who doesn’t want to read it now, for whatever reason, I suppose I would just have to hope that if you like the R&M Files you’ll download it and keep it for Christmas or download it at Christmas when you’re in the mood for a cover with a snow-storm on it.
A White-Knuckle Christmas (Romney and Marsh File #7) is going to soon be available for pre-order. I just haven’t decided on a release date yet. Having Three Short Blasts coming out on the 12th is a spanner in the works. I’ll probably have made a decision by next week.
Maybe I can whet an appetite or two with the blurb:
A particularly nasty series of crimes is casting a pall over the members of CID and an unusually white Dover in the run up to Christmas on the south coast of England.
The festive period is further marred by the report of a pair of suspicious sudden deaths on the frozen outskirts of the town.
Detective Inspector Romney and his loyal team are dealing with evil on all fronts and against a ticking calendar.
Three Short Blasts is a collection of three original stories that are not to be found anywhere else. There is one story in each of the three series that I write: The Romney and Marsh Files, Acer Sansom and Booker & Cash.
Going on industry standard word count, the three stories range from forty to sixty pages of a paperback novel in length – significantly longer than short stories but not quite novellas.
There’s also an introduction in the book where I explain the motivation behind it. You can skip that bit if you like and get straight into the reads, which I hope you will enjoy.
Regular blog followers will know that I have enrolled a book in the Kindle Scout programme. Deep State (Acer#4) has got a couple of weeks to go. For any one who hasn’t seen about it and who would like to know more, please see this blog-post and follow the link therein. Kindle Scout – Deep State (Acer#4)
This week I’ve been back working on Booker & Cash #3 Waifs and Strays. It’s been slow going as I get back into a B&C frame of mind but at least it’s moving forward again. I do get grouchy if I am forced to go for long periods without writing something new.
Six weeks and counting.