The search for an assistant

Actually, this person will be my second assistant, so in essence an assistant for my assistant (who is now an assistant editor) to assist me. Sort of assisted living for editors. Next year I’ll be publishing 45 books which is a handful. While many will be reprints several are original hard covers with significant publicity and marketing requirements and as we’re a smaller publisher we do more of that than normal. It feels like a monumental task and in some ways it is. Finding a qualified person is hard enough, but finding a qualified person with a bright personality, solid work ethic and ability to deal with the unexpected makes it a real challenge. Oh, and all at editorial assistant wages. I lucked out when I hired my first assistant. He’s continued to thrive in the job and has been clinically diagnosed as having taken over 37% of my higher brain functions. In another couple of years I’ll be drooling in a big black box with blinking lights (one for yes, two for no) while he runs the show. In the meantime, the search goes on.

In other news Band of Sisters is going back to print again as the book continues to sell extremely well. Kirsten has been terrific in support of her book and really gone above and beyond to help make it a success. She keeps her website updated, follows up on all queries, is gracious with her time and treats all events (and the people associated with them) with respect. I hope to emulate her example next year when my book pubs…as long as I can suppress my crusty, volatile and capricious editor tendencies.

My book versus ‘my’ book

At some basic, perhaps even genetic level, I know everything that’s going to happen along the road from now until A Darkness Forged in Fire hits the store shelves. I’ve traveled this path hundreds of times with my authors so it’s definitely old hat, and yet, it isn’t. Each milestone/hurdle is a bit more memorable for me now as bright-eyed author than wizened, er, wise, editor. It’s a Yogi Berra-ish like existence of deja vu all over again, but tilted a half degree, shaded a couple of hues, and with different subtitles. Just when I’m ready to shrug something off I catch myself and realize, hey, this is my book. Day in and day out I refer to the books I buy and edit and publish as my books, but this one is truly my book. Funny how simple semantics can hide so much meaning.

I have a pet…sort of

I woke up around 1:50am and heard scurrying coming from the kitchen. I got out of bed and turned on the lights and saw a mouse. I reminded myself that she was just as scared of me as I was of her, or something like that, and slowly backed away. She scampered, but a few minutes later reappeared and began trotting around the kitchen floor like she owned the place. At two in the morning she pretty much does. I watched silently for a bit then moved. She scampered again and hasn’t been back.

Exercise doesn’t necessarily kill you

I’m part of a group that meets in Central Park once a week or so to see which body part will tear, twist, rip, swell, snap or otherwise malfunction. Yup, we’re runners. Sort of sadomasochism without the leather, but lots of lightweight mesh and moisture wicking fabric. The weather yesterday was cool with a breeze which made it ideal for running. Of course, then we decided to tackle the hills at the north end of the park. The Alps they’re not, but those hills do seem steep the longer you go. I survived and still feel the warm afterglow of that endorphin rush of making it all the way up and not collapsing in a puddle. The other cool thing is that it seems to be helping with my writing. The runs clear my head (ok, not exactly a Herculean task) and I sit down to the novel with a new and re-energized perspective.