Over the weekend my wit ‘n wisdom was featured in Chuck Sambuchino’s fabulous Writers Digest column. It’s called “The Writer’s Journey: How Much (can) Someone Possibly Stand?” What I’m talking about is how much a writer has to go through to get where they want to be, the hours, the sacrifices, the research, etc. Here’s a snippet:
So there’s this, there’s all of this, and yet as hard as you work, shuffling schedules to make room for those two blissful hours alone, polishing that manuscript until it screeches surrender, querying in bunches and crossing your fingers, there it comes again, that blasted, callous bit of communication that so effortlessly denies you entrance. So you steal more hours, polish some more and once again type that header: QUERY: Historical Thriller 80k–and it’s almost as if you’re stuck in a copier churning out denied, denied, DENIED.
DENIED. Yeah, we all know what that’s like. Rejection, requery, resubmit. So why do we do it? What pushes us on. You don’t the answer to that, right? If you don’t, then, ask yourself, why not?
Hello all. Yeah, that’s me, looking like shit because I’m flying for three weeks now on about five hours of sleep a night. I believe it’s around two o’clock in the afternoon, who knows, because I’ve been up since six and since my office is down the hall from my bedroom, “getting ready in the morning” has lost all imperative. My morning ritual is getting up and turning on my laptop, checking the weather on my phone (because looking out the window is SO old school) shuffling into the kitchen, pouring a bowl of Cheerios and shuffling back to get a glimpse into the outside world via the New York Times online. Then it’s go make a cup of strong tea (thanx to pals Kate and Susan who’s supplied me with some diesel-strength loose), and off to Rex-land, the subject of which you’ll find out shortly. I think I last got a shower before noon about three weeks ago. Did you know that bras are not for indoor wear? My hair is actually past my shoulders, but who would know? I haven’t worn socks since May. I cannot remember the last time I ate a meal sitting down at a table, at least at home. All the rest have come out of paper containers. I got a modem upgrade from Comcast a month ago, but the box is still sitting unopened on my chair. My back hurts.
This is what my desk looks like. Those cherries have been sitting there for four hours, and the seltzer is warm and flat. The only time I’ve been getting out is for the summer class I’m teaching, but that’s three nights a week, so I never really see natural daylight. My ass hurts. I need to pay my utility bills, but it’ll take too much time. The only online time I have is to look up things like “French curse phrases” and see how things are pronounced on Google Translate. I need a pedicure. I need a massage. My husband hates me. My cats are scared of me. Got to go. I’ve already wasted too much time writing this.
Buy my book. Please.
It has, hasn’t it? I mean it’s been soooo long I’m back to wearing shoes! Truth–I wore my first pair since May yesterday, and today me and the husband even went to DSW and dumped $168. (If you have to ask, sweetie…) Anyway, I suppose you’re just dying to know what I’ve been doing. Well, not writing, if you must know, which is extremely bad when you’re a writer. But I’m also an instructor of writing, or as my still outstanding college loans keep reminding me, at the university level, and four classes and two graduate mentees have really kept me from doing much else. But don’t get me wrong–I love teaching, but I also love writing, so now that things have calmed down, I’m almost back to my former and soon-to-be-current career. And I’m kickstarting it by co-hosting a workshop at the Connecticut chapter of the Romance Writers of America’s annual Fiction Fest this weekend at Mystic.
I’m really looking forward to it, not only to get back into the mix, but to take some really great workshops with some really great writers. You see, writing is just like any other profession, and then again, it’s not. Like any, you have to keep up with current trends and who’s doing what out there in the world, especially because writers do so much of what they do alone. But every once in a while we come out of our cave and seek out our own species, and I promise to bring back a report and as many photos as I can sneak without using my camera as a social weapon or a third-person filter. Writers live a lot of third-person reality, and every now and then we have to get out into it. Really! Continue reading Holy Cats! It’s been a long time!
It’s Release Day for paperback Wanted: Wife! As you may have gotten from my post yesterday, there’s nothing like seeing your work in old-school print–that is if it’s old school after all. It just feels too new and fresh. As of this morning, Amazon already had almost exhausted its stock, so it must be selling somewhere. Just like the U.S. Treasury when it runs out of money, I just suppose we’ll have to print more! I received a nice little shipment of books from Avon’s own Carly Bornstein yesterday (thanks, sweetie!) and I took one of those copies around to my local Barnes & Noble’s Community Relations Manager, Susan Hogan. I thought if I brib–er, gifted her a copy, she might be persuaded to stock a few on her shelves. Turns out she already had some on order. Hey! Wasn’t that nice! And she also went a step further saying she’d like to have me do a book event. Well! Way more than I expected. So we’re looking at late summer/early fall, you know, right around the time it hits the New York Times list. I will most definitely keep you posted.
Many thanks to all the usual suspects who brought this day around–editor extraordinaire Tessa Woodward, my most glamorous agent, Marisa Corvisiero, Avon indispensables Carly Bornstein and Caroline Perny, fellow writer, beta-reader and head-smacker (when necessary, which is often) Linda J. Parisi, and all those wonderful people out in the dark. From my desk to yours, thank you.
I’m sitting here with my head in a towel, just out of the shower, writing this. The immediacy of tomorrow just struck me and I had to make note of it, as it’ll be the first time I’ll see my fiction in print–in print the old-school way that is, how every writer still works to see themselves. Although print these days may seem quaint, it’s a technology that’s survived five hundred years and there’s a reason for that, to get it in down in writing denoting a seriousness, the permanence of ink still resonating. With so much of our documents now virtual, it’s a charge, at least to this writer, to heft her own book in her hands, a tangible confirmation of her creative ability. I’m sure most other writers feel the same, at least most of the writers I know do, although there are some who don’t and that’s fine. But there’s just something about books in general that get to me. It’s the smell of ink and paper and the space they occupy, whether in a bookstore yet to be adopted, or packed into your own shelving, indicating a concrete database of accomplished cultural knowledge. I have five tall, crammed bookcases myself, a compendium of the varied aspects of my life, from my undergrad and graduate studies, to textbooks I use for teaching, signed books by favorite authors from my bookselling days, my reference for research, the non-fiction feeding my political bent and inner historian, to rows and rows of fiction as varied as James Joyce, Mark Twain and Dorothy Parker to Diana Gabaldon, Lisa Klepas and Khaled Hosseini. And now one more, decidedly personal.
Which you can buy by going right here. I see a space on your shelf it’d fill perfectly!
Let’s face it, no one really cares about me when there’s a cute cat involved. This picture of Gracie was taken almost two years ago when she could still tuck herself in a little corner of one of my bookcases. Of course, it’s not happening anymore. But she still sits where she damn well pleases. Anyway…
It’s Week Two of the release of Wanted: Wife (hold on; shilling right here), and so far, so good. I’ve been getting some pretty positive reviews from bloggers–check the REVIEW page on this site–and from what’s been posted on Amazon and Goodreads. But I still feel like it’s too early to tell, as I’m sure unless you’re a reviewer (or know me personally) the last book you buy still has to mellow on the TBR pile for a little while. I mean, really–isn’t that mandatory? Anyway, I am looking forward to what the people who actually paid good money for the book think, too. Oh, be honest. I can take it!
As of this writing, this week’s blog tour still has a couple more days. It’s been great so far, thanks to the lovely ladies of Literati Literature Lovers, and this is coming on the heels of Avon’s Launch Week Blog Tour. But we’ve got another fun time coming up the pike in the weeks leading up to the paperback release of Wanted on July 2. Can’t say what it is now but yo! it’ll involve a whole lot of Jersey for certain.
But the really exciting news this week was being contacted by Klarque Garrison, who invited me to be on his show “Conversations with Klarque.” We’ve set up Sunday afternoon, July 28 at 4:00 EDT, and I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a little scared shitless. But hey, at least I’ll be quaking in the comfort of my own home, and being radio, you won’t be able to see me doing it! Even so, I had a nice dose of conversing with Klarque over the phone just the other day, and he immediately put me at ease, so I think I’ll survive!
Be the first kid on your block to Like my new Facebook page! And stay tuned to it for fast-breaking news, saucy visages and witty bon mots! Visit now and visit often and make everyone jealous from your near-brush with the almost nearly famous! And don’t forget to preorder Wanted: Wife at Barnes & Noble! Or Amazon! Or the Apple iBookstore! Or—aaaaaah! Don’t make my head explode! It’s bad enough I have to wait until June 4! Stay tuned for more updates! It won’t be long now before you have Wanted: Wife in your hot little hands, but OH the agony of the wait! Ease your suffering and preorder now!
In case you’ve been living under a preconceived notion or two and don’t know where “the center of the universe” is, well, that’s pretty simple – it’s New Jersey of course! How can you think otherwise?
Hello there, the name’s Gwen Jones, and since you’re obviously of good taste, it’s no surprise you’ve found my website. I’m a writer of discerningly good fiction, more often than not that’s Women’s Fiction or Romance. I might as well tell you right from the jump you’re not going to get any of that schmaltzy prose out of me, whatever I’m writing. I’m fond of teetering on the edge, and so are my characters, and I’m not averse to tripping them up if I have to. My women are smart, sexy and know their way around a whiplash remark, and if their men can’t take it (or dish it right back) then they’re not their men for long.
Anyway, that’s the way I roll, so why don’t you take a look around. There’ll be much more to come in the future, but I think you have a enough to get you started. Drop me a line or two if you have any questions or comments or even some advice. Not like I’ll listen.