by Rebecca Cantrell
Not counting being a mother, what I love most of all writing in a room all by myself without anyone bothering me. Since I am a mother, I only write during school hours and after bedtime. And now that my son is getting older bedtime is getting later. The social networking and promotional stuff drives me nuts. Every morning I read my email on my old personal account, my Rebecca Cantrell account, and my Bekka Black account. Then I check my messages on Facebook and Twitter. I’ve abandoned MySpace, so if you’re trying to contact me there go to another portal.
After I deal with all of those messages that are so urgent they can’t wait until just before bedtime, then I’m allowed to write. Except not really. There are a ton of other promotional details: book giveaways, blogging, mailing copies to bloggers and reviewers (I can go through that automatic mailer machine at the post office so quickly people have been known to line up to watch me), getting those book trailers in shape, booking a blog tour. And every one of those things that I don’t get to make me feel horribly guilty because I’m clearly not doing all I can to sell my books. And if they don’t sell, I don’t get to write more.
I have met some wonderful people online and at conferences and made friendships that I treasure so it’s not like I hate every minute of it. I am completely humbled every time I meet someone who chose to spend $25 hard-earned dollars and at least eight nonrefundable hours of their lives reading my book. As sappy as it sounds, every time someone says “I read your book and I loved it!” I actually get tears in my eyes. It is so amazing.
But I’ve discovered one thing since I sold A TRACE OF SMOKE a few years ago: it’s really all about what I do in that room all by myself with no interruptions. It’s all about words on the page, words that will turn into a book if I just give them the time and the care that they need. So, I’ve cut back everywhere that I dare so that I can do the part of the job that I love best, and the part that readers treasure most: listen to the characters tell me a story.