I was lying on my driveway yesterday, feeling SO GRATEFUL that the DALMATIAN had dragged a metal bowl outside and was BANGING IT on the asphalt right beside my head; it was mid-morning so the heat had not come full into the day, and I was thinking about life.
About crazy-brilliant artist Michael Heizer. About the Lannan Foundationwho funded his work. About how I don’t seem to be able to write the scary-deep creative work I want to do and earn a living at the same time. About how to be funded by a foundation SO THAT I CAN JUST WRITE. About marketing my book. About Eckhart Tolle and how he lived rough for years before writing his book, and then hand-carried copies to local bookstores. About if it is possible to just let my book grow organically? About if the UPS truck would not hit me if they came up the driveway. About maybe just lying on a road far far out west somewhere, maybe as far out as Heizer’s work called City, just in the middle of the road, and if that would be safe if I put out an orange highway cone.
My friend Heather Brack called. “What are you doing?” Her bright voice on the phone.
“I’m lying on the driveway and thinking.”
“Atta girl,” Heather said.
This is why people love Heather, of course.
Heather wanted to talk about organic marketing (she has written a DARLING book about old houses).
That was kinda cool. Just what I’d been thinking about.
Then she brought up Eckhart Tolle.
…okay, how the EFF did THAT happen?
I offered ideas about how we might do better by marketing our very different books together, as a way of supporting each other and encouraging other writers.
After that, I decided to walk down the steep driveway, because I was pretty sure that the proof copy of my book would be in the mailbox.
(Who knows why? These understandings just happen sometimes.)
There it was.
THERE IT WAS!!!!!!!!
I wanted to document the moment but that meant I had to delete a bunch of videos of the Dalmatian in order to have enough space on my phone to take a picture of the book in the mailbox. (Just sharing with you.#SoChaotic)
Later that day, with the paperback version (so-fast-already-up?! Hooray!) on Amazon, it was time to start thinking about marketing.
Here’s how organic marketing and magic may work.
This is just SO WEIRDLY COOL:
For years, picturing this novel as a big-screen movie, I’ve thought of who should play the male and female leads. If you had a book about an iconic Norse man, who is THE ONLY PERSON to ask first?
WELL HELL YES IT SHOULD BE ALEXANDER SKARSGARD
So, I googled how to get in touch with Alexander Skarsgard Net, so I could send a copy of the novel to him and beg him to consider being in it. You know, once somebody options the movie rights.
AAANNNDDDD August 25, the day I was looking him up
…was his birthday.
NO EFFING KIDDING.
If they made a music theme for serendipity, that beautiful theme would be soaring to full volume right there.
So I posted on Alexander Skarsgård Library (Alexander Skarsgard’s Facebook fan page, where they were showing pictures of him celebrating his birthday! Happy birthday Alex!)
…sorry, got off track there. Anyway, I posted all about how historians and writers have been UTTERLY SHAMEFUL TO NORDIC PEOPLE what with all the horned helmets and using the words ‘barbarian’ and ‘raping’ and ‘pillaging’ all the time.
(Those who want to read the whole rant will find it in the Author’s Notes in the back of the book.)
Now…today…I can see that somebody in Europe bought a Kindle copy last night.
Who knows? Who knows?!?!!?!!!
But here’s what I think:
Call it magic, call it serendipity, call it The Force…
…something crazy good is at work here.
Oh, and ps…today I looked up the Lannan Foundation that supported Michael Heizer’s work and guess what: Lannan Literary Awards and Fellowships are given to “writers who have made significant contributions to English-language literature. The fellowships recognize writers of distinctive literary merit (and this is the best part of all) who demonstrate potential for continued outstanding work.”
Which is exactly what I hope to do. This first book is about the powerful ways people are shaped by their past and their choices, and how they can change their destiny. The sequels will each have their own big theme, in addition, I hope, to being wildly entertaining and readable.
And Pss: the only reason I know about Michael Heizer and Lannan Foundation is because our neighbor’s mail was inadvertently delivered to us, so I read their copy of The New Yorker before I took it to their mailbox…and it had a beautifully-executed story by Dana Goodyear about Heizer.
So…time to subscribe. Gotta pay the magic back AND forward.
May the Force be with you,