Bit of this, bit of that, bit of the other

Man, oh man.  Where to begin?  I’d planned on being so freakin’ PUNCTUAL with this blog and didn’t even last a month.  The thing got away from me, but not necessarily for bad reasons.  At any rate, let’s do a bit of catching up, in no particular order . . .

1)  My latest fantasy novel “WEATHERCOCK” is now a reality!  Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible.  (Doesn’t that sound like an Academy Award speech?)  In particular, I’d like to mention my husband Ed for support above and beyond; my “twin” Pam Hohmann, who keeps my feet to the editorial flame; and authors M.J. Allaire and Ryan Twomey who encouraged, lent assistance and knowledge, and (in the case of Ryan) bled from his eyes to make this book happen.  (And he designed my spectacular cover, too, as well as a million other tasks.  Thank you, Lord Twomey!)

“Weathercock” is the coming-of-age story of Kinner, a young man who must decide whether to cave in the demands of society (which require his death) or fight back and make a place in the world on his own terms.

The book is trade paperback in size, 277 pages, and costs $16.99 (USD) plus $5 postage/handling.  At this time, “Weathercock” is available only from moi, although I will have a PayPal button on my (updated) website very soon, as well as an ebook version available through Smashwords.  (One step at a time and please be patient.  I’m doing a lot of this on my own.)  If you would like to order the book at this time, please contact me directly.

You can also contact me with questions and comments about the book (or any of my other writings).  Make sure to let your library and local independent booksellers know that you’d love for them to carry the book.  I’m also available for readings, signings, and workshops (and I particularly love working with kids.)

2)  Also on the subject of “Weathercock,” author Charles de Lint (“The Painted Boy,” “The Very Best of Charles de Lint,” and others) has generously requested an ebook of the manuscript because he “may” (operative word here; there are no promises, nor would I ask him for one) review it in his column for F&SF!  I am breathless with excitement over this.  Thank you, Charles!

3)  Oh!  And if you’d like to know why an author who has been published via the standard route decided to self-publish this time around, check out my past posting on the topic.

4)  Author M.J. Allaire (“Denicalis Dragon Chronicles”) and I attended Boskone in Boston, MA, February 18-20.  This was my first convention in longer than I care to admit, and M.J. very first!  We met some lovely people (hello Lawrence, Badger, Bill, Joan and her “Honey,” Pat, and authors Jim Mastro and Bruce Coville).  M.J. had a book signed by Joe Hill (“Heart-Shaped Box,” “Horns”) and I had the great thrill of being reunited with my good friend Dan Forward.  We sold a few books (which is always nice), ate some great food, and had a good time.

5)  Work progresses (albeit slowly) on my next book, “Call of Blood.”  I ran into a wall, as it were, and needed to back-track, but I think I’m on the right course now.  Hope so, at any rate, because I have two more books clamoring in my brain to get out.

6)  Selling books is a wonderful thing, but what really adds the cherry to the top of my personal sundae is being able to talk with my readers, to find out what worked for them and what didn’t, what moved them to tears and why.  (Hopefully it’s not any bad writing!)  It’s great when someone tells you they love your work, but when they can tell you why, when you know it touched them at their very deepest . . . there’s no other high quite like it.  I had a lady tell me that while she was standing in line reading my short story “Transformation” (available in “Darling Wendy and Other Stories”) she was bawling her eyes out because she, like the protagonist, had lost her husband and the story gave her hope that there really IS something Beyond which we do not comprehend.  Another woman came up to me at a reading and asked me about the end of “Darling Wendy.”  “Did Wendy fly or did she fall?” she said.  “What do you think?” I replied.  “I need to have her fly,” she said, and her voice was so intense, so fervent.  Something in the story had spoken to her.  “Then she flew,” I said.  The woman’s eyes flooded with tears.  “Oh, good,” she whispered, and walked away.  Times like these are jewels beyond price.

7)  “You know what’s wrong with your blog?” someone said to me recently.  “There’s no focus.  You’re all over the map.  Why don’t you just write about writing?”  Simple.  Because I WRITE ALL DAY…and because writing (much as I love it and am driven to do it) is not the sum of my existence.  Yes, I’m interested in writing — talking about it, sharing ideas, DOING it — but I don’t for a moment think I’m so accomplished that I have a right to drone on and on about it as if I were some sort of writing Oracle.  What the heck do I know?  Besides, I like to talk about whatever catches my mind, whatever pleases me or has me in an uproar.  (Don’t even get me started on that pseudo-religious group bent on picketing the funerals of armed forces service people.  The best thing we can do about them is ignore their ignorant little asses.  Oops!  Did I say that?)

8)  As always, I’m looking for venues, people.  Bookstores, schools, conventions, libraries, fairs, people to write reviews of my books….bring me your ideas!

9)  The publishing world is in turmoil…and so is the world of self-publishing.  I’m not talking only about the many ways in which a person can become self-published, I’m talking about the enormous range in those writers who choose to self-publish.  I’m talking about the difference between someone like my pal Dan’s grandfather (who refuses to let anyone edit his work) to someone who knows the job is WORK.  And that the work, God bless it, is worth it.  Support your independent writers, but hold their feet to the flame.  Make them be good.  Make them work at it…or step aside for those who do.  Encourage your local independent book stores to stock at least one shelf of independent authors…and not just local ones at that.  Seek out independent authors the way you seek out indy films and music.  You’ll often be blown away by the good stuff you find.  Read them.  Recommend them.  Support them.

10)  Ten’s a good number, don’t you think?  Ten.  Has a good solid sound to it, a heavy footfall on packed earth.  And it’s where I’ll end, number 10 being that I’m glad to be back and will try to be here more often.  Spring is coming. (can anyone spell C-A-B-I-N-F-E-V-E-R?)  I’m renewed and energized and want to bring you along with me.  For now, though…it’s time to start dinner.  There’s a place in life for the hum-drum as well.



About Melissa Crandall

Longer ago than I care to admit--although I will--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and media tie-in novels. Since then, I've moved on to narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and essays. I write to explore and understand the world around me, the things I see and experience nearby or from a distance. If I shake myself up, cool. If I shake you up, even better. Not gratuitously--what's the point in that?--but to set what I know, or think I know, on end and realize, "Well, doesn't it look different from this side!" My work is neither sexually explicit nor graphically violent. Let's face it - your imaginations will come up with things far worse than anything I could write, no matter how descriptive. Besides, it's just not my thing. I live in Connecticut with my supportive husband Ed, a cat named Ruby who might just think she's a dog, and an epileptic Australian shepherd named Holly who isn't quite certain anymore who she is, except she knows she loves her mommy.
This entry was posted in Appearances, Connecticut, CT, Darling Wendy, editing, Essays, fantasy, Fiction, Independent Book Sellers, Independent Writers, Literary Fiction, Mainstream Fiction, Melissa Crandall, Science fiction, self-publishing, Speculative Fiction, Weathercock, Writer, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Bit of this, bit of that, bit of the other

  1. Hi. All the best in your promotional efforts!
    As for that person who told you to “focus” on your blog–BAH!I say. You’re a complex person with a variety of interests. Why should you LIMIT yourself to one thing? Besides in order to blog one must write. So in a sense bloggers are always focused on writing. Oh and btw, was that person a blogger or not?
    Grins! LUCK!

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