What happens when a publicist gets published

Who knew this would be a hard question? I spend at least part of my day, every day, getting publicity for somebody’s book. It’s what I do. And, if I do say so myself, I’m fairly good at it. What’s even better is that I love what I do. It doesn’t get much better than this.

So when I got the word that one of my books was finally going to be published, it seemed like I’d just taken “better” to a whole new level. Let the fun begin.

It didn’t take long to figure out I’d MUCH rather brag on someone else’s books than my own. After weeks, literally, of avoiding the issue (after all, it’s not even released yet) I figured out I better get some help. Fortunately, I’m in the business so I know where to get it. Whoever thought I’d be hiring a publicist??

The first of what seems a frightening number of blog stops begins Sunday, June 23 at the Oak Tree Press. There’ll be plenty more to follow that one.

I can’t avoid it all, so with some trepidation, I am working on plans for an exceptional book launch. Note that you are all invited and that my partner-in-crime Mike Witzgall WILL be in attendance along with the illustrious Earl Staggs and whoever else I can corral to make sure we throw a real Texas party. More on that later.

There will also be a few random book signings in the Tulsa area (so all my Night Writer friends and family get ready) and around Hot Springs Village so all you writers up there can come too while I’m in town visiting my mom.

My hubby, also known as radio-man, is thrilled to talk to all his broadcast buddies about interviews with me. I’m rolling my eyes a lot. But I’ll show up and we’ll have a good time and in the process, I hope we move a ton of books.

But meanwhile back at the ranch, I’ll be busy tucked away in my office, talking on the phone about all my clients’ books because that’s what I love to do. Being published didn’t change that a bit. Promoting you all is a joy! Promoting myself is a job.

Published at last!

I started writing while I was still in school. After college, I did quite a bit of freelance writing and academic articles in the field of psychology. It was a living for me for awhile. I’ve loved mystery Trixiesince I first discovered Trixie Beldon and Cherry Ames in the Bookmobile when I was in first grade. The love of mystery has only grown from there.9- Cherry Ames, Student Nurse

What’s really exciting is that I’ve managed to carve out a career promoting the type of books that I love and I’m in a place where work just doesn’t seem like work most of the time. But back in the nineties, I decided to try my hand at fiction. I scribbled out a few short stories that were published in different places but that truly isn’t my forte. I found that my stories kept getting longer and more complex so I finally took the plunge and decided to write a novel. Not the world’s greatest. Just to see. I loved it. I finished one, polished it (or so I thought) and started another while I learned the ropes of querying agents and publishers and rewrites and getting hopes up, then the dashing of the same. If you’re a writer I’m sure you’ve been there and done that. If you’re not, I promise you it’s not as glamorous as one might thing.

Finally, I found an agent who raved about the book. But alas, after a year of trying he couldn’t find it a home. I decided maybe I should try querying a few publishers myself. After 20 or so, I actually found one who wanted to see the whole thing! Off it went (back in the dark ages of mailing manuscripts). Meanwhile, I got a phone call from another agent I’d queried. She also wanted to see the manuscript. Who’d have thought? I was jazzed!

It was the agent who called first. She wanted to represent me and thought she could sell it to an agent she knew at Berkley who was looking for a new series. Eureka! That same week I got a call from the publisher of a small press who wanted to offer me a contract. I just couldn’t believe it. I called my agent, she encouraged me to decline the offer and give her a chance to do her job. I took her advice. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. She did talk to the editor who took a look and liked what she saw. She asked me for a couple of rewrites, which I did. Then she left Berkley and took a job with another publisher that wasn’t in the market for this type of series and she didn’t want to rock the boat at a new job. Unh! Ever vigilant, my agent connected with the editor that took her place at Berkley. However this particular agent wanted an ice skating series instead. I don’t know anything about ice skating.

As a last resort, I tried to contact the publisher who’d offered the contract before. They’d gone out of business. So maybe it wasn’t meant to be. I tucked the manuscript away, but I kept writing. I worked on promoting other authors’ work and enjoyed the friendships I made along the way. It was worth everything just to have that.

AngelKillerfrontFast forward 10+ years with all the changes in the publishing industry and so many having success with self-publishing. A few of my friends suggested I dust off those old manuscripts and see about publishing them myself. They’re worth reading, they said. I mulled it over. Before I could actually settle on what to do, I decided to take one more shot at seeing if I rewrote the manuscript to bring it up to date with things like cell phones and such, would a publisher like what they saw? Yes, they would. I was so excited to get the word, I didn’t want to tell anyone at first. Kind of waiting for another shoe to drop. But it didn’t. Angel Killer will be out later this month! It’s very surreal.

So, riding that wave, I had Private Spies edited and hired a cover artist and a formatter, and it is now available for Kindle. Thus the introduction of this new blog for PJ the Private Spies frontauthor to differentiate me from PJ the publicist, if indeed that is at all possible (probably not). I hope to keep this blog about my writing life and those who are a part of it, those who’ve influenced it and generally about all the books that I’ve loved. I hope you’ll stop here from time to time and share your thoughts. A quiet blog is a sad blog. So let me hear from you please!