Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Day ???

I'm two-thirds of the way through the second draft of The Cherubim. Still spending 90% of the week in the office revising away; at least it's more readable than the second draft of The Dead Rise. Still going to get back to Critique Circle once the chainsaw's put away and the scalpel comes out (right now, I'm trying to get rid a lot of the mundane stuff - those who've read earlier drafts of my first book know what I'm talking about :-) )

I've started to worry about the joblessness. I know; I planned to stay out of work for four to six months. That's still very do-able. But I'm getting grumpier the more I read the news, and when I look at job websites - NO ONE is hiring, and the few times I've submitted a resume for IT positions, I haven't heard a reply back. Sometimes, I wonder if my email is working properly.

So I applied for a job at a local bookstore that's a quarter mile away. Think I did well on the application, except when it asked for a salary, I listed an hourly fee more in line with an IT position than a bookstore clerk. That was silly of me.

I'm still not sure what to do. I'm nearly done with the second book, but I haven't heard back from any agents in a couple of weeks. I can't decide if I should send out a few more queries, or wait to hear some kind of feedback from the agents I've already queried.


  1. The reality is that even after you sell Dead Rise, you won't see any money from it for quite a while, aside from the advance (which for first time authors the norm is around $5000 - unless they think you have a blockbuster. Then it could be much more. But, for practical purposes like paying the rent, we must all assume a standard first advance and be happily surprised when we get more than that).

    Suppose you get an agent in 20 days. She shops it around to editors. That can take anywhere from a week to 2 years. Another couple of weeks negotiating the contract. Then, you get the advance minus agent fees. (You won't see royalties from your book for a LOOOOOOOONG time)

    You're looking at a decent amount of time there.

    I say this all in a caring way, because I like you and Rebecca so much. I'm not trying to be crass. I think you have an excellent shot at selling Dead Rise, but, even when you do sell it, you'll still need income in the mean while until the advance comes. Right?

    I'd take the time you can afford to be off work to polish novel number two so you can query it also, then I'd do both. Query both novels and look for jobs.

    Working in a book store sounds like heaven.


  2. From everything I've seen, the chances of making an honest living from writing really isn't easy - and you're right, I'd be looking at a very, VERY long time before that would happen. I don't ever expect to be able to live solely off of writing income, even though that'd be great :-)

    When we got here, we made a deal that we wouldn't start looking for jobs for at least three or four months. Now it's more... worrying about not being able to find a career when I'm ready.

    I'd really, REALLY love to work at a bookstore! But what I'm finding out is, unless I have experience in retail, they don't want to hire me. I started out in a computer career right out of high school, and I'm finding a lot of companies just don't think someone my age would really want to work retail. I would; I'd love to do something with books or food. But... nothing yet.

  3. Well, I think you're a good enough writer to make a living at it. I do. But, it can take a year or two (or three) after selling the first book to have enough income coming in to live on. So, looking for a job near the end of your 3-4 months is a good idea.

    People are making freaking bundles of cash designing app games for the iphone. Is that something you can do? Some kid made over a million dollars. No kidding. That would be a nice "in the mean time" income!

    Back in 2000 when we bought this house (we moved here to Iowa from Nebraska for my job), my husband stayed home with the kids and I worked managing two hearing centers. A year after we moved here, the co. I worked for wanted to move us again so I could start up two more in Yuma, AZ or Tampa, FL (they gave me my choice). I quit. 6 months severance was in my contract whether I quit or got fired, so neither of us worked for 6 months. That was SO awesome. We just made the decision to both stay home together for that time. It was the best decision. It brought us so much closer than we already were. We had so much fun. At the end of the 6 mos, he went to work and I stayed home. Three of our 5 kids are adopted and special needs, so 1 of us always has to stay home.

    Anyway, we had a blast and don't regret it at all. My severance wasn't as much as my regular pay, so we were broke, but what a great time it was. I think you guys are doing the right thing, taking this time to concentrate on what you love.

    Now I've babbled my fool head off, so I better quit sucking up all your blog space to talk about me me me. ha ha

    You guys have a great day.


  4. It would be AWESOME to program for the iPhone! But I haven't done anything like that for so long - and I don't have a test system - that I don't think I'd be able to do it.

    You know - I think you're right! If we can afford to do it, and we're being productive and doing what we love - why not? It's not like we're really hurting for money. It really is all of this news that's freaking me out; CNN keeps reporting that if you don't have a job, it's near impossible to get one. It's stressful. But you know, one of us will find something in the next few months!