Well, yeah, I kinda am, I guess.
Enough equivocation in that sentence for ya? Suzy, who knows full well exactly how crazy I am, asked me roughly that question when I told her I’d come up with a new character for a new series of stories. I replied that Bubba the Monster Hunter is not necessarily going to be a novel-length character, but he’s somebody fun to play around with while I’m between longer works. The first story, Voodoo Children, is out now, and available wherever e-books are sold (it’s free on Smashwords, BTW, and hopefully will be free on Amazon before too long, but I have only limited control over that). But Bubba is just a fun side project, and as the Black Knight books have been taking a little bit of a darker turn, Bubba gives me the opportunity to let my sense of humor have free reign. And since I’m not AT ALL gearing the Bubba stories towards younger readers, they’re free to have more profanity and adult situations than some of my other work.
In a sense, Bubba stories are just fun stories about a giant redneck behaving poorly and killing monsters in the process. And being a somewhat larger-than-life redneck in reality, I enjoy behaving badly, so it’s a big chunk of my id running around loose yelling WOOO-HOOOOO and “Hey Y’all, watch this!” I’m always going to have about eighty-seven different projects in the fire at one time, that’s just the kinda guy I am. Look at this weekend – I want to finish edits on The Chosen in preparation for a relaunch of that book with a new cover, new edits and maybe (just maybe) some bonus material. Then I want to write and do the cover for a second Bubba story (Bubba goes to the Circus), and I’ve got a buddy doing a book signing that I want to go to, the Panthers are playing (hoping for the first win!), I have to drive to Atlanta for the day job, and now that at least one beta reader has told me that Return to Eden isn’t a total piece of crap, I need to start working on a cover and edits for that books. So I’ve got a lot going on, not the least of which needs to be taking a HUGE box of DVDs to the used DVD joint to try and unload them and cover my bar tab in Atlanta this coming week.
Oh wait, I’m on a diet. So much for a bar tab. Guess I’ll just sell off the DVDs to get them out of the house.
On a completely different note – as writers, or any type of creative person really, do we ever get over that terrified feeling of being the awkward kid asking the pretty girl to dance? When I finished Return to Eden I was convinced that it was crap, the worst book ever written, and that no one would ever want to buy it. In my saner moments I knew this was not likely to be true, since I felt the same way about every book I’ve ever written, and they all turned out to be okay in the end. But when I sent that poor little book out to my betas, I didn’t feel like a proud papa watching his kid go off to school for the first time. I felt more like the pizza-faced skinny kid with glasses who sent a rose to the cute girl in middle school then found out that she didn’t like him and he had to get the rose back and send it to someone else “as a friend” despite the entire seventh grade knowing about the whole thing and making him feel small like only middle school kids can do.
Yeah, that happened. What can I say? I wasn’t always the pantheon of cool that I am today.
But anyway, sending a new book out still feels like being that middle-school kid again. All awkward and nervous, just waiting for someone to slap you down, despite the experiential evidence to the contrary. What about you writer types? Do you still get butterflies when you send out a book to the first readers?