I’ve been in a bit of hermit mode the last year. I’ve been busy editing and not a whole lot else.
When I took the time to reflect on why that might be, I had to go all the way back to the Fall of 2017. That was when my mother was diagnosed with dementia and I was named her Power of Attorney. If you don’t know what that means, let’s just say both her life and mine changed completely. She became my dependent and I got the unenviable job of being responsible for her affairs.
I took some time away from writing to get those affairs in order (including settling my mom in a safe place to live). Once that was (mostly) under control, I started to write again.
I also started to do signings again. I had arranged a couple (one late Spring and one special Halloween event) with one store a distance from my home and a couple with a closer one (big box book stores to be clear). Just prior to my late Spring signing, I reached out to the store to confirm I was scheduled to come in.
No response. I called in and still couldn’t get any confirmation so I didn’t go. Fast forward to the Halloween signing. I did the same thing except this time I was told flat out I was not scheduled for the event.
Very disappointing, but it was what it was so I didn’t go to that one either. The following day I got a nasty email stating I had missed my last two signings with that store and I was to come pick up my books and not darken their doors again (paraphrasing heavily here but that was the crux of the message). Upset, I called the store demanding an explanation. I was put on hold for about five minutes before the manager came back on the line and sheepishly apologized for their mistakes (on both signings). They gave me a much inferior date to sign to try and make up for it.
As you can imagine, I wasn’t overly motivated to go back and do ANY signings. That little incident really took the wind out of my already tattered sails.
I did a signing at the closer store in the Spring and didn’t sign up for any during the summer (deadly slow then, believe it or not). I ran into the closer store’s consignment manager at a Horror Convention where I had a table and he encouraged me to come back in the Fall.
So I emailed him to setup some dates. No response. Like none at all.
I tried again. Still nothing. A third attempt (after almost a month) got an auto-response saying he was no longer doing that job and sorry for the bad luck. It gave me another name to reach out to, which I did.
That person told me (essentially), tough luck but I was too late to get in for any signings on any day for the rest of the year. Their signing season was over in September (in seven years working with this store, they have NEVER stopped it that early). Then, a couple weeks later I got a follow-up email saying, none of my books had sold since my last signing and please come get my books. This is during peak holiday sales season and they pulled EVERYTHING I have off their shelves!
Devastating when even my local book store won’t carry my titles; a store that has carried my books since I was first published seven years ago. But, I’m welcome to try to come back in January to do signings if I like.
The hits just keep on coming.
But, rather than wallow in self-pity (which would be easy) I’m going to get back to writing after too much time away. Mik Murdoch: Identity Troubles is now available online as both a print and an eBook and doing quite well. Jack Kane and the Kaiser is soon to be released (last I heard, November 25 was the date) and will be paired with a brand new covered version of Jack Kane and the Statue of Liberty.
Time to look forward to bigger and better things. 🙂