Friday, December 22, 2006
Writing Update: December 2006
It’s been awhile since I’ve mentioned what’s been going on with my writing. Indeed, for awhile there, very little was happening. We’ve moved three times in the past year and I’ve been working the day job as well. But now that I’m coming up on a short holiday break from work and will be able to steal away just a little time to write, I thought it was an ideal time to look ahead at what I hope will occur on the writing front in 2007.
Zooming Thru Life
My first nonfiction book is finally nearing completion. It’s been a long time coming. Some history: The idea originally came as a series of travel tips that I either figured out on my own or learned from traveling companions while globetrotting. Since I’m an artist by nature and not very well organized at heart, I figured out how to apply a lot of what I learned to every day life to help streamline things. The original title of the book was going to be “Travel Tips For Every Day.” But I had a problem with it sounding too much like a travel book and not enough like an everyday how-to-streamline-your-life book. So the title changed to “Zooming Thru Life: Creative Tips To Bring Sanity To Your On-The-Go Lifestyle.” And that’s the title to this day. In fact, since the title solidified, I’ve started either writing or outlining several other books in what will become my “Zooming” series. Titles you can look forward to are “Zooming Thru Your Move” (which capitalizes on what I’ve learned moving both cross country and locally over the past ten years) and “Zooming Thru Disneyland” (which finally gathers into one place all of the tips and tidbits I’ve learned about streamlining your visit to Disneyland in Anaheim, CA).
And I’ve taken the Zooming “brand” even further. At this point, I’ve written three tip-laden Zooming articles (and have more in the pipeline). The current ones are “Zooming Thru The Holidays,” “Zooming Thru Your Book” and “Zooming Thru Your Work Day.” I do have specific plans for these as well as their yet-to-be-written siblings, but I’ll share that at another time. For now, they’ll remain unpublished (even on this blog).
One of the Girls
For those of you who have not yet read my Young Adult contemporary superhero fantasy, “One of the Girls,” please feel free to order a copy. It’s currently available only from my website (www.paulcarhart.com).
When the book came out in April of 2005, my dad was really sick. So, instead of focusing on distribution and promotion of the book, we were more channeled toward selling our house in Colorado and getting back out to California to be with him. We didn’t make it in time and my dad never did read OOTG. As a side note, all four of his children had something put in his casket. So he is buried with his copy of OOTG. But let’s be real. He still isn’t going to read it.
However, three moves later, I can now turn my attention to what to do with OOTG. I’d love to write a sequel, but to be honest, no one knows about the first book so that would be impractical. The idea now is to take OOTG into the elementary and middle schools of Southern California and speak to the kids about writing and creativity while offering my books there.
So, with that in mind, Lori and I put together a proposal packet during the fall. As a former elementary school teacher, Lori’s help was invaluable in prepping this thing. We presented it to a school in Bellflower and it sounds like they like the idea so much that they’re going to try to do it as an assembly for all of their fifth and sixth graders sometime in January or February! So this is exciting news, as I’ll finally be able to get readers for this book (a flyer will go home with the kids prior to the event telling them about the book and how to purchase a signed copy for their child). The idea is to replicate this event on a classroom and/or assembly level at other schools as well. I currently have another lead for a school in Long Beach, so I’ll pursue that after the holidays. The plan is to sell enough books and get enough of a readership that a major agent or publisher will take notice and take this book and (hopefully) series to the next level.
So if you’re reading this and you have any clout with any elementary or middle schools, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get a proposal packet put together for your lead.
The Fairlight novels
With “One of the Girls,” I utilized a new publishing model. We basically started a small publishing company and went for it. While I don’t think I’ll go that route again in the near future, a couple other publishing options have come to my attention. The current reigning idea is to test one of them with ZTL (see above) and to test the other with a re-edited Special Edition of “Chance for the Future.”
I have two issues with the current edition of CFTF and, for that matter, the other two published Fairlight novels (although not to the same degree with FITP as with the other two). The first issue, which I’ve always had, concerns the cover price. $20.95 is just too much money to ask for fiction from a new author. When I’m at signings, I feel like I’m asking people to do something I wouldn’t do myself.
The other issue has to do with my growth as a writer. Since CFTF first came out, I’m a much better writer and editor. My work in OOTG is far cleaner than it is in the version of CFTF that is currently available. But I love the Fairlight stories and characters and hope to continue them one day. So I’ve taken the time over the past two years to squeeze in edits here and there. The result is a shiny new and leaner edition of “Chance for the Future.” It won’t be any less story, mind you. Just less words in the telling of it. The idea is to give “Hope for Tomorrow” and “Faith in the Past” a similar treatment and re-release them over the course of 2007.
If you’ve already got a copy of these novels, the new ones will still be worth picking up. The idea is to re-publish each of the three novels with an additional short story. HFT will probably come with “Riot Act.” FITP will probably come with “Saint Nik” and the idea is to write a brand new Chance story for CFTF called “Give Chance a Piece” (“Taking Chances” has since been folded into the narrative of FITP).
When I go to the middle schools, I’ll take along the Fairlight novels as well as OOTG but they’re probably a bit much for the elementary schools.
And then Lori and I had this idea to promote my writing that has to do with arts festivals and interactive, on-the-spot storytelling. But more on that another time.
I probably won’t post again until 2007. So, for now, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
See you on the flip side.