And Another thing

Tomorrow is the big day! The newest children’s book is going live… One Hungry Werewolf and Other Monstrous Rhymes will be available in print and ebook.

Which leaves me sitting here thinking about what’s up next. I have plans for more children’s books, and the live chat last night consisted of more than one person (but mostly my Mom, who seems to think I am superwoman able to bend time to my will and do All the Things) working on convincing me into publishing a cookbook. It’s… not a bad idea. I just need to figure out where to shoehorn it into my schedule.

But you, you’re probably here for my fiction. The fun thing about being a publisher? I can do what I like? The sad truth is, though, that if I want to make this into something more than a hobby, I also need to do what readers want from me. No, it’s not quite ‘dance, monkey, for I have thrown thee a penny!’ but there are considerations on my part. I’m a mercenary wench.

Which means I need to decide how I am managing the launch of The Case of the Perambulating Hatrack. It’s finished, but it needs to be polished (ie formatted) and it needs to be set. I need to figure out how I’m marketing it, in other words. Just publishing it, standing back, and saying ‘tada!’ is not a plan, although it is what I did with The East Witch. Also… how soon is too soon?

I’m working on other projects, but they won’t be finished for some time. I am not writing as much, as fast, as I was last year. So I plan to put out two novels this year, Hatrack and whichever of the others I finish first – hopefully Tanager’s Flight. It’s fun to write. It is far less fun to edit, and format, and make up marketing schemes. But I have to discipline myself to follow through, or what’s the point? I mean, I suppose I could set up a Patreon or something like it, and just post snippets for subscribers. Seems a chancy business model, though. Me, to try and put out a quality product that way, on time, and earn my keep. For my subscribers, to trust me to actually, you know, finish a book or story, and not going haring off on a whim as my muse grabs me. I do enough of that with the writing-in-public I do for the weekly prompt challenge.

I’m tired and a little bleak this morning. Which means I should probably have coffee and a nap (not necessarily in that order). Or perhaps just curl up with a good book and escape reality for a while. My daughter is coming by for brunch (works better with her overnight work schedule!) and my son is planning to make chicken and waffles for all of us. It should be a nice time, and I’ll be rejuvenated after it. Maybe I’ll even take time to write today! Or just edit. *grumbles* I should really edit, shouldn’t I?

And in case you have forgotten how it started, here’s the Hatrack. I don’t even know what category or genre to sort this book into!

Enter Hatrack 

When she walked into the office, I knew she was trouble. Milda looked up and smiled, already asking ‘how may I help you?’ but it was too late. I was caught. 

I’m not usually in the waiting room. I prefer to hide in my office, with the back door so I can slip out quiet-like when moments like this happen. Milda’s got a button under the lip of her desk to press and warn me. It’s just that today, my coffee maker was busted. So I went out there to get a cup from the public one and she walked in. Through the door like a small thundercloud, with a pixie-cut bob haircut that spelled k-a-r-e-n and a look on her face that backed it up. 

She pivoted toward me, drawn by some ineffable sense, and thrust a finger out toward my chest. “You! You can help me.” 

“Uh.” I am known for my wit and repartee, but I was also backed into the coffee counter and had no polite way to escape. I looked over the woman’s shoulder at Milda, who smirked and shrugged. 

“When I saw it in the antique shop, I had to buy it and now it’s… it’s….” She sniffed, and to my horror I saw her eyes well up with wetness. It took no time at all for tears to burst out. I tried to lean back out of the splash zone. “It’s walking!” she wailed. 

“Er,” More of my world-renowned loquacity came to the fore. “Would you like to step into my office?” 

She nodded, more tears splashing my shirtfront. But at least she backed off and turned toward the open door that led to my sanctum sanctorum. “Oh, Mr. Dennessy, I’m so happy you will take my case…” She walked into the office, her voice trailing behind her like a rippling veil. 

I shot another look at Milda, who was having trouble repressing her mirth. “I’ll be in my office.” I informed her, putting my nose in the air and sweeping through the door, pulling it shut behind me. 

“Ah, I don’t believe I caught your name?” I gestured at the chair in front of my desk. “Please, have a seat.” 

She sniffled, and collapsed into it with the grace of a thrown sack of potatoes. “I’m Dakota Taylor-Ashton. It’s not like it was my grandfather’s, or anything. It’s just that it had these cool curvy legs and what-do-you-call-them hat holder parts. It fit my aesthetic but it started to move around at night and I’d get up and think I was losing my mind and then I got a nannycam and it’s walking around Mr. Dennessy!” That last was delivered in a breathless wail. 

I leaned back in my own chair and steepled my fingertips together. Less out of a desire to look wise and thoughtful, and more to stay out of the spray zone. On second thought, I reached into a drawer of my desk and produced a floral printed box of tissues, and gently nudged it in her direction. She took one and blew with a flourish that would have made Duke Ellington proud. 

“Ms. Taylor-Ashton, has it made any, er, menacing moves toward you?” 

She started to shake her head; her face half obscured with the second tissue. The first was in a wad on my desk, and I eyed it with, I hoped, concealed disgust. Then she dropped that tissue and looked at me, eyes wide. “It kicked Mr. Pebbles!” 

I blinked. “Who is, er, Mr. Pebbles?” 

“My teacup chiweenie! He’s my precious baby.” She scrabbled in her purse. “I have pictures on my phone.” 

3 comments

  1. I resisted the chunks of Hatrack because I was waiting for the complete set. My wait is almost over. I can pair it with the Werewolf. (grin)

  2. Is good story. I read it all in snippets as it was posted, and now I get to buy the book and re-read it! YAY!!

  3. Hatrack’s genre is the same as whatever Dresden Files is.

    Detective, check. Fantasty, check. Humor, check.

    Dresden doesn’t stay funny through the series, but the first books have a lot of humor. If I’m looking for something to read like “The building was on fire and for once it wasn’t my fault” or however exactly that line goes, Hatrack won’t disappoint me .

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