Monday, October 19, 2009

Back at it

When I first began writing my Bay Tanner mysteries, I had this naïve, Youngblood Hawke sort of notion of how my life would change once I found a publisher. Not that I envisioned moving to New York and taking up the swinging life or anything like that. No, I’ve been blissfully married to the same man for nearly forty years and firmly planted in my adopted South Carolina. It was more the idea of it, I guess. The notoriety, the excitement . . . maybe even some money. It’s a long story, but I got disabused of those notions pretty quickly. Not that I haven’t done just fine, thank you very much, but the reality is a far cry from the fantasies I entertained back in the day.

I’ve just finished the revisions for the 10th installment, Canaan’s Gate, to be released next spring. I’m expecting the dreaded copyedit in the next couple of weeks and girding up my loins for the grammar and punctuation battles. In the meantime, I’ve been “on the road”—regionally, anyway—and that’s what engendered this post.

I had no idea when I first stepped foot onto this path that so much of my time would be taken up by talking. In the past few weeks, I’ve done thirteen presentations, from luncheons to radio interviews to working with school kids, with one more to go by the end of the month. I have no idea how many words I’ve spouted during these gigs, but I have a feeling the number might rival a couple of full-length books. The necessity of getting my face in front of the world came as a complete shock to me in the beginning, although I’ve sort of come to terms with it after nearly ten years. What I never counted on was how much time and effort I would expend on this unexpectedly large part of the authoring process.

I love to write. It’s my joy. I lose myself in creating stories and characters. I almost never rise from an hours-long session at the computer without a smile on my face and a deep feeling of satisfaction. I’ve learned to embrace the necessity for personal appearances, and I almost always enjoy the interaction with other people who love books. But I’m always yearning to get back to the writing. Always.

Thankfully, the promotion machine is winding down—until next spring, at least. I’ll be traveling to Ohio to the Buckeye Book Fair in Wooster on November 7, and then it will be just a couple of signings here and there. Today I opened the file with the first two chapters of the eleventh Bay Tanner mystery and read over my notes on the plot. I’m itching to tear into it. And I will. Time to get back at it. Time to write. Hallelujah!

Kathy Wall grew up in a small town in northern Ohio. She and her husband Norman have lived on Hilton Head Island since 1994. Her 9th Bay Tanner mystery, Covenant Hall, was released in April from St. Martin’s Press. Look for Canaan’s Gate in spring of 2010.

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