Playing the Angles

Serendipity today. I thought I was done with the subject of flogging – I mean – promoting your book, when this came in the mail.

The Writer magazine has a monthly feature, “Where in the World is The Writer?” It’s just a little thing in the front of the book where people send pix of them reading the magazine in various locales – along the Nile, on a ski slope, top of the Empire State Building, that kind of thing.

At the start of the summer we were in Florida for vacation and we brought a copy of the magazine with us. Tori got a picture of me and Max (on the left) perusing the magazine with some of the local freebooters at the Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival.

The October issue came out today, and there it was in all its glory!

How could they resist? You just can’t resist pirates, am I right?

This is called: Playing All the Angles. You might not looking putting yourself forward, but you’ve gotta take every chance you can to get attention to your work. Of course, it helps if you’re a pirate!

Putting a Cap on That

File Jun 01, 7 02 10 PM  I was going to write a post on writing – on the question of whether it makes more sense to sit down everyday and write, regardless of whether you feel you have something to say, or to wait until inspiration hits, when the words inside you are burning to come out and you can’t type fast enough. But I didn’t.

I’ll do that another time, maybe Tuesday or Wednesday, although I’ve got work to do both days – rent copy, you understand, as opposed to the great American novel, or in my case, the great pirate novel (coming this summer to a bookselling website near you!) So I can’t promise much. Listening to politicians jabber away for hours on end is hard enough without feeling guilty about not meeting some self-imposed deadline.

Instead, I want to tell you (and when I say “you,” I have no idea if that number includes more than one or two people, so forgive me if my words echo hauntingly in this empty hall) why I didn’t. I was having too much fun.

My birthday – a milestone, I’m 60 now) was back in February. As is usual, I paid it little notice. But my wife, Tori, made it very special. We ordered me a new pirate hat. Please understand, I love my old hat, the one from Captain Jack’s Pirate Hats. The McKay did a great job on it. But I’ve had it a dozen years, and like me, it’s showing its age. So we ordered a new hat from a local craftsman, the Chapeaux Pirate. It took three months to get it, but it was worth the wait. Today (Monday) we drove out to pick it up. He lives in the heart of Cajun country, in a town called Breaux Bridge, just outside Lafayette, a two-hour drive from our home in the New Orleans area. It’s a charming town, small, quiet, the main drag lined with local eateries and antique stores. Trouble was, virtually everything in Breaux Bridge is closed on Monday, including the restaurant where we were supposed to me.File Jun 01, 7 02 35 PM

There was one antique store opened, and Tori went in there while I waited for Laffite to show up. When he came around the corner, I tried njot to look at what he held in his hands until we’d found Tori. She was talking to the woman in the the antique store, they were having an animated conversation. We interrupted them and –

It’s beautiful. It’s just damn beautiful. The pictures don’t quite do it justice. It’s leather dyed a rich mahogany, fading into black at the brim, with three feathers, blue and yellow, and two hand cast pins holding the brim curled up. It’s just amazing. Can’t wait to wear it at the Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival, and in other appearances around the country in the next year. It’s an amazing hat.

We spent a good 45 minutes standing in the antique shop chatting. The woman at the counter seemed bemused, but it’s not like there were any other people in the store so we weren’t getting in the way. And there was literally nothing else open. Breaux Bridge is a weekend town, and MOnday they sleep in, or go fishing. So we couldn’t see much of it, but I hear it’s lvoely.

But not nearly as lovely as my hat.

Chapeaux Pirarate – you are an artist! And a gentleman! Great job. Great hat.File Jun 01, 7 03 06 PM

That Feels Real Now

Been very heartened by the response my initial announcement received, a lot of you out there seem very positive about my decision to self-publish “Chrissie Warren: Pirate Hunter.”

While it was all great, I have to say my favorite comment came from my friend Lance “Clapeye” English, who said, “We who are about to read salute you!” Colorful as always, Clapeye.

Yesterday I spent some money, getting the ISBN and a bar code, for the three versions of the book. It’s one of those business things you have to consider when you’re a “publisher,” as opposed to simply a writer. Each version – the ebook, the paperback and the limited edition hardcover – have to have their own ISBN, which is the string of numbers that identify the book when it is sold. I only need one bar code, because the trade paperback, at this point, is the only version that will ever even potentially be scanned at a cash register. But it all added up to a tidy enough sum that I had to say to myself, “You’re sure about this?” Well, I am, and having announced it, I really had no choice.

This isn’t like when I said I’d quit smoking, then didn’t. Yesterday involved real money that I really spent. So this is feeling more and more real.

Next step is to set up the pre-order. Have to have that done in the next few days. I want everything worked about by next Thursday, when I’m off to take in the Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival. Don’t want anything hanging over my head. Just want to enjoy being a pirate!