This morning, rather than having too few topics, I had too many. I’ll start off with the second volume of the hunting anthologies. The Deer Shot Back launched a little rocky – the paperback version is still not live, more than 48 hours into the process – but the ebook is doing just fine as you’ll see from the orange tag! Will be interesting to see if it also kicks up the sale of the previous volume, which it may not do as it’s not linked like a fiction series would be.
The other release this week was even more esoteric. I launched an art book. The first, but likely not the last, as I’ll be doing my N’inktober this month, and plan to release a sketchbook of the last couple of years’ work in November. I’ve been asked many times over the years about doing art books, and I’d balked. Color interiors are prohibitively expensive. However, black and white is reasonable enough. So… why not? Thus, Fantasy Treehouse Art & Architecture came into being.
Two orange tags, two books, and the year is far from over! I’m working on a lot of smaller, more experimental projects, but it’s been fun, and I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do now that I’m all settled into our Texas home. One thing I have going for me right now is a day job. I am not relying on my writing income, or art income, although it would be nice to have. I have the leeway to branch out and dabble in passion projects, like the Treehouse book. I don’t know how long I’ll have this flexibility, so I’m going with it. Sure, it’s probably not going to do more than make me look scattered. I’m an artist. Already going with the ‘flakier than good pastry’ stereotype.
Even now, with multiple illustrated books under my belt, and the orange tags on all of them (the first hunting anthology, How Not to Shoot Fish, had three!) I’m still a little uncomfortable calling myself an artist. No, it’s not to escape the stereotyping. There’s a reason that exists. It’s more that I feel like I’ve made myself into something. I don’t have a lot of formal training in art. I have a lot of sheer stubbornness of ‘I want to do this.’
Ultimately, though, doesn’t that sum up most of us who become writers? Most particularly Indie authors. We’ve taken what we know we can do, and leveraged ourselves out of the muck of ‘coulda woulda shoulda’ into the somewhat firmer ground of ‘I did this.’ Might not be the best, but by golly! We did it. There’s no longer a book inside of us, it’s on the outside and we can sell it to anyone that’s interested.
If you have to write, why not publish? If you have to create art, why not do something with it? As an Indie publisher, I’m in a situation where if I want to, I can. I have the skills, I have the outlets. Why not, indeed? I’m a free woman.