Other pains of being a writer

No one really liked Gerry. He just showed up at the meetings, pretending he had wings.

No one really liked Gerry. He just showed up at the meetings, pretending he had wings.

I know I had something lined up to talk about this morning, and it wasn’t my dragon, (which is coming along really well considering it’s summer and it’s competing with the garden for my time.) But I did want to say thank you to every one who reminded me yesterday of how much they appreciate the time I spend trying to be accessible as well as the “pain” of signing all those books.

It always surprises me when readers who have been standing in line all night are worried about me and my wrist. Seriously it’s my voice that goes first, not the wrist. (grin) Besides, you guys are the ones doing all the work, especially when they start taking those chairs away! Truly, signing books is NOT a pain, and I wish I had worded my comment yesterday to Martin about it not being a good day a bit differently. Β Signing books is part of the job, and I’ve plenty of time to space out the B&N signing extravaganza going on right now on my kitchen table so it won’t be a physical problem. I love doing this for the readers, and to complain about it might give the impression that I’m a prima donna when anyone in their right mind would be salivating for the chance to make so many books that much more special. (And yes, I did salivate when offered the chance. I’m a little PR vampire.)

When I told Martin it was not a good day, I was referring to an industry trouble. It’s bothering me greatly, and the last time I brought it up, it was turned into a them vs us issue, which not only left me bewildered, but enlarged another worry. So I’ve got two, maybe three industry things gnawing at me, and it’s making it very hard to sit down and, you know, do my job and create stuff, which is what I basically live for. (Despite what I just said about being a PR vampire.)

Today doesn’t look much better, but as I sit at my kitchen table and sign books, I’m counting my blessings with each one. Writers will always write, and readers will always read. I just need to concentrate on my part of things and try to be adaptable.

 

53 Comments

Filed under Drama Box

53 responses to “Other pains of being a writer

  1. Hello Kim,
    It has been awhile since I left a comment here. I had to comment to this. Remember for publishers its all about numbers. You are Awesome. Unlike a lot of writers out there yo stay in touch with your readers. We appreciate that more than you know. Stay true to yourself. We will always have your back!
    Respectfully,
    Angela Aka Silverwolf

  2. Talios Wing

    Hi,

    This will sound a bit odd, but here’s my comment. I own most of the hollows books. I think I’m missing the last two….I’m a college student, recently lost my job, yada yada. I realise I’ll never be able to see a book signing (mostly because you haven’t come to Va Beach yet) and that’s completely fine.

    It would just make my year if you would lie to me and tell me Ivy is strictly lesbian for my human ass. *shrugs* White Witch, Black Curse was my favourite so far…I really identified with Ivy and what she went felt, on some level. I’d want THAT book signed, personally. It has meant more to me than the current books (not that they’re bad, just I identified with the other one). And….now I’m rambling LOL.

    Tali

  3. Vampyre

    Any one that knows anything about you at all knows you are not a prima donna.
    You do all the work designing and maintaining this web site and blog. Every sig is by hand, not rubber stamped,, best of all you do it for free. You don’t charge us anything at signing like I’ve heard some authors do. You are always there for us and we will always be there for you.(as long as you don’t mess up like that guy in Misery πŸ™‚ )

  4. I love your dragons and it’s not fair someone has so much talent πŸ˜‰

    I know there is a lot of turmoil in the industry but everything changes and will continue to change. You have to go with the flow. Your books are amazing and I know I will buy them wherever they are sold (still looking for those earlier hardbacks.)

    I found your books in 2011 through paperback swap. I got the first one and immediately bought all of them. This past year I bought all of them in kindle ebook format because I like to read in bed. If I’m in a bookstore I recommend them, our book club has read them all, and anyone else that will listen will find out you are my favorite author.

    Word of mouth is the BEST advertising and it sells books no matter where they are sold and frankly almost everyone I associate with doesn’t care who the publisher is as long as they get a good book and all of yours are.

  5. Nici B.

    I love the dragons – did I tel you that I collect dragons? So I am looking forward to your pattern, once you release it. I actually do not knit, but I suppose for this I have to start then…

  6. Lynnette Higgins Souders

    Silly naive Giraffe, Dragons eat giraffes… Your dragons must be very patient and civilized. That is a good reflection on the dragon parent πŸ™‚

  7. oh love the giraffe, she’s adorable. knitting in the round totally flummoxes me, so i’m impressed by those that do. anyway, how about the giraffe who loved dragons? working title? you know children’s book. my inner child is loving that. this comes under the picking battles category, so do what you can and love doing and let the rest go. all the best, enjoy ❀

  8. Diane

    Kim,
    I’m green with envy. Your so taltented at so many things. I love the hallows. Love your dragons and you. You have a good heart and a loving personality. It’s hard sometimes to remember we are not BFF’s. From all you do I feel as if I know you. I suck at kitting. My eyes are going down hill at 53. If you have a dragon to raffle for charity or somethings I would buy tickets. I have rotten luck, but i would be a chance and for a good cause. Should I get one of the pre orders of the next and last of the hollows? I was gonna wait til the tour, but I don’t want to miss out.

  9. Lisa

    I love your dragons. Do you make any for sell? I’d buy one if you did.

  10. Krista M

    Kim I didn’t take it at all like you are a prima donna AT ALL. I took it as it’s a bad day becasue you couldn’t put as many words on the page yesterday. Signing is part of the job and a fun part no doubt but sometimes those stories just need to come out. As a reader I rather have you write, I am impatient and I want to read the next story.
    ANYONE who has met you knows how much you appreciate your fans (look what you offer us all the time) and how humble you are about being (my words) a KICK ASS AMAZING AUTHOR, (your words) an author. Even if they haven’t met you in person you share yourself here everyday and people know what a kind person you are. I don’t think anyone here that follows you or who has met you would ever think you are a prima donna author, I have met them and it’s NOT you. Honestly there are a rare breed authors on a whole tend to be amazing people. (And I have met and know A LOT of authors. Not to brag, but as a reference point)
    There is a lot of turmoil in the publishing world right now, (for those who aren’t aware) and people are taking sides. It is a hard thing to watch from the sidelines because both sides have good points, but they aren’t hearing each other. The sad thing is that it’s only the beginning and in the end, the only people who are going to get hurt are the authors and the readers. On the bright side it is shining a light on independent local bookstores and that is a good thing.
    Have a great day getting the words on the page, becasue I want to read what’s next. πŸ™‚

  11. Lorraine

    I’d take the dragons and my beloved hubby would love that giraffe lol. So Gerry would always be welcome in our house :D.

  12. aseekersjourney

    Kim,
    On the ‘us vs. them’ issue, only worry about it if you can control the outcome. Perhaps have someone be an advocate for the issue to raise awareness? Being a burgeoning author myself, I can empathize with your concern. Please don’t let it hamper your creative side for I believe that will make you miserable. I know that when I can’t write I feel like I am ‘clogged’ up. This immense pressure builds until I feel like I’m going to explode! Knitting, crafting, writing – nothing comes out right. There is no creative flow, just sludge. Sometimes when that happens, I write about what is troubling me. No one ever sees it but it lets me purge some of the worry. Just a thought. πŸ™‚

    As for the wrist of steel, perhaps the knitting and the fact you do part of your writing longhand are the reasons you don’t tire out. Most writers use only the computer now. Sometimes I think that writing longhand is going the way of the written correspondence. Extinct.

    -Amy O

  13. Dianne Scoffield

    I always wish that I could make it to the US for one of your signings or that you could have a signing in Canada somewhere near me… .but even if that never happens, I’m so thrilled that you make the time for us and are so gracious to your fans! LOVE your books…. and am always so impressed with your blogs! Hope today will end better than it started!!!

  14. I don’t think writers realize how much it means to their fans when they come out to events and give of their time. Whether it’s a book discussion, a workshop, or sitting at a table surrounded by readers with books to sign, it means a lot. Thank you for doing this. You’ve no idea the hearts you touch with your stories and your presence.
    And those dragons? I’ll be stalking Ravelry for the pattern release.

  15. Your photo caption sounds like the MOST wonderful opening to a children’s book! πŸ™‚

  16. devin torres

    Im sure you aren’t wanting to sell your dragons. But if you would be willing to id love to buy one from you as a gift to my girlfriend for our 1 year anniversary. Im a huge fan of the Hollows series and she is absolutely in love with your dragons you’ve made. She’s a huge fan of dragons. She seen them on Facebook when you first posted them and hasn’t stopped talking about them since. If you cant part with them I understand but I thought id give it a try in hopes to give her a special gift made by one of the best authors out there. Thanks!

  17. Verna Edwards

    glad to here it’s not the wrist but angst with the other part of the job. Every job has it other part which takes the joy from the work. For you it’s the industry for most of us it the bureaucracy at the business we work in. Big brother always finds a way to give most people a downer with their work, but we all have ways to take and savour the best parts of our work. Keep up the world creations and we will buy them(or gobble them up, faster than you can write). since the dragons oversee some of your work will they be involved in any future world, perhaps? Keep up the good work, enjoy a cuppa and your gardens and frogs.

  18. Dea

    So many creative industries are going through turmoil and change. Part of it is technology and part of it is the greed of the business model over the last 2 decades – (holy cow, look at the music industry! Look what Jack White did because of it!). Properly published authors don’t get their real due already, much less forcing them to come down to the lowest Indy level. It’s hard to watch, but I believe it’ll settle down eventually.
    Indy authors are just those who won’t be told ‘no’, kinda like a garage band who’s so dedicated they drive the neighbors crazy. Amongst them are the odd diamonds in the rough, who’ve been inspired by you, Kim; and others like you. So I don’t see how anyone can take an ‘Us vs Them’ mentality.
    My brother is a graphic artist for the music industry – his entire profession pretty much tanked because of the internet. He had to reinvent himself because kids were producing for free what he did for a living. It was shocking and unfair. These same kids wanted the music for free on things like napster. Yes, we older types used to tape each others’ records and loan books out, but it was a very different world–one where the middlemen kingpins didn’t take as big a cut and it just plain cost less to do things. Also, the houses took risks on budding authors, helping them to grow. Not anymore. It’s early doors yet with the internet, so everything is in turmoil still—but wonderful work like yours Kim will always rise above the nonsense.

    • Mandie

      I have no words. Not positive anyway..

    • Dea

      By the way, I’m an Indy author about to publish my second book on Amazon. Kindle price will be $4.99, POD will be $13.99, except when Amazon puts it on sale. In case anyone was confused about where I”m coming from. I’m with Kim – authors of any stripe shouldn’t undercut. Sorry if I had the wrong tone. I love the dragons too.

  19. Diva

    Just keep swimming. πŸ˜‰

    And the dragons rock. Anne McCaffrey would be proud.

  20. Martin

    Good Morning Ms. Harrison,
    Throw-away lines are like that. I have often blurted something out, not really meaning anything by it, and people around me are left perplexed, bewildered and concerned. Real communication is hard. Knowing we are loved helps us work through these bumps. ❀
    M

  21. As if it’s not awesome enough that you are an amazing writer you also create awesome dragons. Can I be jealous now?

  22. monabliss

    Absolutely LOVE the giraffe at the dragon meeting. Lots of industry discomfort going around right now. No easy or simple answers, specially for the writers. So ya know…thanks for writing the stories and thanks for all the work you do so we can peak into who you are a bit and how you do the things you do. The industry will continue to morph but in the end a good story is a good story and hopefully we’ll always find a way to get stories to readers and readers to stories.

  23. Rachel

    I Love Giraffes! And I Love Your Knitted One πŸ™‚ I Also Wouldn’t Mind Having A Dragon πŸ˜‰

  24. Christina

    I try to always thank the writers that I follow.
    1st, by buying their books!
    2nd, getting their newsletters and/or following their blogs, and Facebook
    I want them to know how much I appreciate their talent and the way they brighten my life with their wonderful way with words!

  25. Diane

    Kim,
    I don’t always catch what you have said in the drama box. I’m sure you didn’t mean it how it came out. It’s a nice thing to do, pre sign all those books, but it has to get “boring” and have that I will not talk in class feel to it. Your creative by nature. Pre signing the page must seem like doing laundry. It never ends. lol I think your a genuine nice person. Don’t beat yourself up about the less “fun” stuff. If you were sitting across from the fan it would be so different. Take care sweet lady, your allowed to have the less fun stuff and even comment.

  26. Amy

    I love all your books and have read all of the Hollows series and look forward to reading more of your works. I try to come to your signings anytime you are in the Dallas area so that I can meet you. I have other authors that I read that are not as open and honest with their readers and that is one of the things that makes me love your books even more.

    By the way I LOVE the dragons!

  27. Megan Stewart

    I’m dying for that pattern! I love those dragons! πŸ™‚

  28. Jamie Sweet

    Thank you for sharing yourself with us. I hope today is a much better day.

  29. Gail S

    Kim, you are the most generous of authors, I know the time you put into communicating with us (the readers) is precious time that you carve out of your busy everyday life. You’ve allowed us to get to know the person behind all the creativity. Your generosity in sharing all things “Kim” in your writings, book signings and opinions is a gift to us. It make the books so much richer to read. It makes me feel that a friend has written something special just for me.
    The book industry is changing, it will bend, twist and morph, but I do believe that books will always be in demand and that authors will always want to share their works with readers. It will all work out hopefully without bloodshed. πŸ˜‰
    Lastly, I think it’s a wonderful idea that you write a children’s book! Gerry the Giraffe needs a voice too! πŸ˜€

  30. Jean

    I love your books, please always continue to write and I will continue to read.
    I also love your dragons, I am a but of a dragon fanatic as well and wish I could knit after seeing yours but I only crochet. The nice thing about yarn is that it will wait, the garden can monopolize your spare time right now while it is the season for it.
    Have a wonderful day!

  31. SquidgeWA (aka JKH)

    Bless your heart, and your steel wrist, I know the industry evolution pains will come to some conclusion, whether or not we comprehend or wish. Enjoy the fruits of your hard work: the ability to do what you love for real money, which gives you and your Guy the opportunity to live as you prefer. Love to you and yours from a would-be writer with all-too-tender wrists!

  32. Romina

    Is it possible to get the pattern for this Dragons? Please *-* I would love to make one for my son .

    • Soon as I’m done tweaking it, Romina. πŸ™‚ Creating this pattern from scratch has truly been one of my favorite things, and I don’t want to put it out there if it’s not reproducible.

    • Romina

      Thank you so much for doing this. ^3^ And I also thank you for your books. Because of you I started reading it in english because I couldn’t wait for the release in germany. And it also gave me strangth in difficult times..so thank you for all your work .

  33. As long as you’re putting out books, I’ll read them. And I don’t care where I buy them from. Hopefully everything works out.

  34. Kimberly I

    I would soooo love to see a children’s book from you ! πŸ™‚

  35. I love your dragons makes me wish I could do it. I don’t know how you do it garden, write, sign books and create little works of art all wile getting ready for the last book to come out. Thanks for all you do Kim

  36. Mary Gasiewski

    I hope your industry worries work out for the best And everything else too. Soon the weather will be much more favorable and all of his concerns will be put by the wayside to enjoy the sunshine:)

  37. silvermitt

    Writers write & readers read…well, yes. And it’s good to hear you’ve taken a few breaths and feel a bit better.

  38. Did you MAKE those dragons??? I also do crochet, and would LOVE to have the pattern!!! They are fabulous!!!

  39. RuthieB

    Your dragons rock!

    Sometimes the mechanisms of our industries get in the way of our ability to concentrate on our part in it all, but that’s ok-It means we care. We are not machines.

    In the meantime, thanks for sharing your talent! It has brought many of us great happiness…and made us cry (i.e. Kisten) and I thank you for choosing writing as your career since you have proven yourself talented and creative enough to have chosen many other paths.

    Thank you!

  40. old72jim

    Hi Ms. Kim I think we worry because we want you writing a long time. I really do think publishers should spend time thinking about how to reach readers. They(publishers) do a vital job. How are we going to read if they don’t publish? I never mind paying what a publisher needs to stay in business for that reason,just as I don’t begrudge what authors make, it’s their sweat.What I DO begrudge is publishers and editors making no effort to to figure out how to reach readers.Thats their job, just like it’s the clothier’s job or the shoe salesmans job to reach their customers.

  41. “Writers will always write and readers will always read.” That’s a great philosophy to keep you focused on what you do–which is write wonderful stories your readers can’t wait to get their hands on! The rest of the process, how we readers actually get our hands on them, is complicated and confusing right now.

    It does always seem to turn into an “us vs. them” argument whenever this comes up. Sometimes I envy those people who see this as black and white. It looks like a muddy gray to me. I hope that eventually this will get sorted out in a way that is fair to both the writers and the readers since we’re the two most important parts of the equation.

    Meanwhile, have a good day and keep writing those great stories!

  42. Chere Graves

    I love your dragons!

  43. You should make Gerry a pair of strap on wings, maybe then he might fit in a bit better πŸ™‚

  44. Brianna watts

    I LOVE the white dragon!!!!! Are u gonna sell these????

  45. I’ve heard of writers having to ice their wrists at signings, so I know it’s a worry. We’re fans and don’t want you hurt because of us. πŸ˜€ But glad to hear it isn’t bothering you.
    Whatever the industry does, your fans will want to read your books so just direct us to where we can get them, no worries. I remember hunting down all of your Dawn Cook books when I found out that you had written more. I made B&N order the missing one from their shelf. I bet I am not the only one. for what it’s worth. I hope it gets ironed out, but if not, we’ll go where we need to in order to buy them. Like I said, Obi Wan Kim, show us the way….

  46. Kim, it speaks volumes that you went to the extra effort to clarify this. While I wouldn’t need to like and appreciate you as a person, in order to thoroughly enjoy your books, it certainly is a nice “bonus”! Your last paragraph really resonates for me, too!

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