I write primarily in the early morning, usually from 6 to 8. It’s not an inviolable rule, but it’s what I aim for most days. For me, this is the ideal time. I put on the coffee, read a little news on the web, check work email and then read over notes I made previously about the novel. At this point in the day everything is still ahead of me and all I see is potential. No one is calling yet, no one is in the office, and the traffic outside is still quiet. Perfect. I write, have a light breakfast, then go out for run in Central Park, shower and clock in to work around 9. Some days I will write in the evenings as well, but usually the bulk of my writing gets done early. As for word count, I don’t really keep track. I’ve tried at different times, and now that I have contractual obligations I will likely pay closer attention to my progress although I am loathe to get too caught up in that lest the word count drive the story, and not the other way around.
I landed a big book for next summer that should find itself right in the middle of election politics. It’ll be formally announced shortly, but I’m excited because it’s not a polemic and should shed some light on a very divisive subject that needs it. Meanwhile, there’s been interest expressed by a national television show in Band of Sisters. Marketing a book today is in large parts trying to create critical mass, and doing so from the bottom up. Readers, and that’s all of us, don’t like to be told what to read. Well, a lot of readers don’t. They like to discover an author. Publishers can and do spend massive amounts of money to promote a book, but the only thing that guarantees is that the publisher spent a lot of money. Word-of-mouth is the Holy Grail. You need people to take up your cause as if it was their own. Nothing really new here, but it’s worth remembering because an author can and should play a large role in this. As an editor, I judge the commercial viability of a book on more than just the written word. An author who can help him/herself is a huge asset.