Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls – we have a release date for The Contract! I am immensely excited to finally make solid decisions, after YEARS of planning. The Contract is set for publication and will be available for purchase on Amazon and other wonderful distributors on March 3rd, 2017.
Everything is coming together quite nicely. I officially have an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) and the cover artist will be commissioned shortly. We have vendors that have already requested orders and my marketing manager has book signings lined up. It is beginning to feel extremely official.
I suppose many writers might feel the same way that I do right before publishing for the first time. As I’ve said before, I have been working on The Contract for years. This world became an escape for me. When things were quiet at work, I’d pull my small notebook from my pocket and write dialogue and brief scenarios to be considered later. When things were rough at home, I could retreat into a chapter or two – once completing over seventy pages in one very long sitting. The characters are real to me, like lifelong friends. As a matter of fact, our antagonist of the story has become a pop-culture icon that is briefly discussed at least once a day in our household (“Peter just got back from a trip in Spain.” “What is Peter up to lately?” “I heard Peter was invited to Trump’s Inauguration.”) For years this book has been my personal detachment, a brief vacation from some increasingly dark moments I have been sifting through, and in many ways, writing this book has allowed me to overcome some of these trials.
Writing is a personal journey. While I intend to entertain and hopefully allow my reader to think about things from a different perspective, there is no denying that this book helped me to cope with my own demons and face things that I never felt prepared to truly deal with. That is really the beauty of this form of art, just like any other. It allows you to step away from yourself while ultimately looking into yourself, if that makes sense. Probably doesn’t. You’d think as a writer I would be able to put something like that into words that would be easier to comprehend, yet that is the thing – it isn’t easy. That is what makes it so damn important.
Another promotional shot for The Contract. Amazing what a bit of colored water flavoring can do! And yes, it did stain.
There’s no doubt that after releasing this book, things will never be the same for me. Not because I expect it to take off and become a major hit. I am much too realistic for that. After all, I am still the undisputed unknown with a debut novel on my hands. I can’t tell you the happiness I would feel to just see that someone bought a Kindle copy for 99 cents, or even buy a paperback. I am in the business of telling stories, not gathering sales. That was never what this is about and never will be. I just want people to read my stories and provide even one person with a brief escape. If people enjoy it, I want them to tell me. If they don’t, I still want them to tell me. Because this story will never be just mine again.
And that is beautiful. This is an opportunity for me to share something important with others. It might not be a bestseller. It might never sell more than a hundred copies. It might sit on a shelf unread. It might go forth into the world silently for years to come. These are risks that are very real, but let me tell you something – that is a risk that I would never think twice about taking. I have researched and edited until the blood vessels in my eyes have burst from the strain. I have gone days without sleep while working and going to school and taking care of my grandmother, all the while writing and re-writing. Everything important in life comes with risks. Risk of ridicule, risk of disrespect, risk of failure. When you decide that something is more important than these possible short-term repercussions, you become more empowered. Plan your strategies and understand that there are many potential outcomes, yet don’t let them dismay you from the ultimate goal. Only you will ever be your worst critic.
This was one of my favorite shots from Ragtime, the musical I took part in last year as the wonderful, power Emma Goldman. She was a writer, as well, and a brilliant one at that. Sometimes I need help remembering that even she had doubts and fears, but she ultimately made the decision to never be stagnant and charge forth toward what was right.
So, my dear readers, thank you for taking the time to read today’s entry and thank you for your support! This is going to be a wild ride, and I am excited to take it with you.