Apr 24 2014

A New Gage Book Coming Soon, Plus Some Thoughts on the Merging of My Two Careers

wickedrain_ebookcover_1Finally, a bit of book publishing news!  I’m putting the final touches on the next Garrison Gage book, The Lovely Wicked Rain.  That’s the cover on the right, though the final version might undergo a bit of tweaking. After copy editing, manuscript layout, and other publishing-related tasks, both the ebook and the trade paperback edition should be out in the world in early June.  June 9 is the official publication date, but my guess is it will be available before then.  My usual process is to let my “New Release” email list know first when it’s actually available, then post the news on the website and other places. If you want to be one of the first to know, sign up on the right.  I send no more than a handful of emails a year, if that.  

This is the third Gage book, and the first to be published exclusively under my own name and not under my pen name, Jack Nolte.  If you’re curious why I decided to let go of the pen name, read this post.  I’ll have a book description and other information up before too long.

It’s been two years since the last Gage book, far too long. In fact, by the time The Lovely Wicked Rain actually gets published, it will have been a year since my last book came out, Ghost DetectiveI’m not the most prolific writer in the world, but that’s still pretty slow by my standards.  I have my excuses, of course, but that’s all they are, excuses.

That, and some other changes I’ll mention in a minute, forced me to take a hard look at how productive I really am as a writer, which in turn got me to start getting up early again.  And it’s worked wonders.*  I shifted my schedule a bit at the university, started getting up early, and now get two hours of writing in most days before I leave the house.  This isn’t so much about trying to take the publishing world by storm as it is about feeding my soul the proper amount of creative time to keep me balanced.  You would have thought I would have realized how often I was letting the writing slip just based on how cranky I was, but no. Sometimes I have to get hit with a mental sledgehammer.

I’ve also gone back to graduate school.  What’s that, you say, graduate school?  Yep.  Since some changes at the university had me transferred to the library, my day job as an instructional technologist and my writing/publishing life have started to merge, something I never would have predicted even five years ago but makes complete sense now.  In fact, at the encouragement of the dean of the library here, I started to look into the direction libraries are moving in the digital era, and realized that libraries, especially academic libraries, will eventually become not just repositories of information — but the place where information is created and distributed, which means publishing.

I am speaking of publishing in its broadest sense, which means to make public.  This could be a website, a digital video, or, yes, a book (whether ebook or print-on-demand).  Since this is the direction my job has been moving, I decided about six months ago to head back to graduate school to get a Master of Library and Information Science, with as much emphasis in my studies on the publishing/distribution side of the field.  Whether the degree pays off at this university, or another place, I’ll have to wait to see, but I just decided to jump in with both feet — and I’m really enjoying the ride so far.

With the writing, the work at the university, graduate school, and all the craziness that comes from having an active eleven-year-old and eight-year-old, I’m busier than ever.  Funny thing, though, once I started getting my writing time in early, I’m more productive not just overall, but in each area of my life.  I guess it proves the old maxim that if you want to get something done, give it to a busy man.

These recent changes have also allowed me to finally put to rest a bit of schizophrenia I had about my two careers.  On one hand, I treat my writing very seriously, and always labored under the assumption that I’d eventually become a full-time writer one day. On the other hand, I’ve always enjoyed the work I do at the university — plus it has to be said, as someone who has been self-employed before, that a steady paycheck and good benefits are nice things to have!  But with the merging of these two careers, I no longer struggle with this issue. They’re all just part of the same pie.

As Walt Whitman says, I contain multitudes.  And it’s just the way I like it.

You may have noticed some additional blogging around these parts.  That will continue.  I noticed that my web traffic has jumped by about 50%, so I guess some people are appreciating it. I’m also back on social media, at least Facebook and Twitter so far, not to promote my work, because I hate being spammed as much as you do, but to connect with like-minded folks.  (In fact, rather than add a comment section, I’m experimenting by just using Facebook.  So friend me or follow me and become part of the conversation!)  I might start doing a few more conferences, workshops, and other speaking engagements, but that will be a slow change, considering how crazy busy I am right now. I’ve gotten a few invitations lately, and I’m carefully considering them.

Anyway, that’s the state of play in Scott-land.  Busy, tired, but a lot more productive and at peace, so life is good.

*Speaking of writing productivity, I’m well into the sequel to Ghost Detective.  Expect news about that before too long.