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Chapter 8: Checkup

*Spoiler alert for Chapter 8: Checkup


Prologue

This might be the shortest chapter in the book, and almost doesn't merit a blog post. But, I am here to entertain you, so not only do you get another bonus song this week, but I'll spend a little time on what the book launch has been like, plus some upcoming events.


First, the checkup

I could actually see a professional writer cutting this chapter from the book. It is short, and doesn't move the story foreword by a huge step. It serves a couple small purposes though: expands on the relationship forming between Dustin and Melissa, and adds some legitimacy to the recovery time for the dog.


Writing is a funny thing, because you think you have a story, and then you realize you're going to have to research all kinds of weird stuff...like the recovery time for a dog with a broken bone. Or whether they even had MRI machines in vet offices in the early to mid-nineties.


In this case, I realized I would have to pace the story according to a realistic timeline for healing a dog's broken leg. Fortunately, I didn't have to reset the entire story timeline due to this. I always intended for it to center on the rough timing of summer vacation in the United States, and this is enough to cover dog recovery time.


Anyway, back to the relationship thing. I'll always wonder if readers' are disappointed in the story of Dustin and Melissa's relationship in the book. In this chapter, we get our first indication that Melissa may have been thinking about Dustin as something more than a customer.


When I was growing up, I remember my best friend's dad, who was a carpenter, explaining to me why he didn't wear his wedding ring like my dad did. The job was just too dangerous to have jewelry on. As with a number of things in the story, I took this learning, and my time actually working construction with my friend and his dad, and used it in the book.


Dustin not wearing a wedding ring because of his trade gave me a perfect opening for Melissa to think he is single.


The old cliché is, "write what you know." Well, I learned just enough about construction as a teenager to not look like an idiot writing about it in this book. I didn't need to do much research on that aspect of the story.


Bonus Song

Well, No major songs influenced my writing in this chapter, but I do have a great song to share.


Later in the book, I'll feature an amazing song by a band named Fuel. I won't tell you what it is yet, as it gives something away about the plot. From the same album though, they have a great song called Song for You. This is your bonus song for the week. I hope you're all enjoying the soundtrack so far!


Self Publishing a Book

Well, you ever hear the saying, "you made your bed, now you have to sleep in it"? Or something like that...?


This is the journey of a self-published author. I am the marketing department, the social media expert, graphic designer, advertising specialist, publicist, finance (this department is not happy right now), agent, and on and on and on.


If I had to pick one reason why I self-published instead of trying to get signed by a publisher or agent, it is impatience. I was compelled to push my story out to the world, and I didn't want to wait for others to see the value in it. Believe it or not, it can take years to have your book published through traditional means, regardless of how good it is.


Additionally, from everything I've read, even when a publisher picks you up, you're still the main avenue for marketing. If I have to do that bit anyway, why not own the entire process? Well, career, family, home...these things tend to get in the way of spending countless hours online trying to scratch out sales.


Anyway, I can now see that I'll have to scratch and claw for every single book sale. This is okay, as I have the long term in mind. I've also heard that the more books you publish, the more your back catalogue sells...so now I'm motivated to write the next book!


Event Ideas

I am thinking about a local book signing event here in Sonoma County. There's a local book store downtown, and right around the corner is Mutt Lynch winery's tasting room. They are very active in animal rescue fundraising.


I think it would be fun to have a book signing, and people can meander around the corner for a wine tasting. Maybe some raffles and such to raise funds for the Paws for Love foundation?


What do you all think? Let me know in the Comments below, or on Twitter and Facebook.


Until next time, see you at the movies.


Soundtrack (thus far):

  1. Alive - Pearl Jam

  2. Across the Great Divide - Semisonic

  3. Bonus Track: Interstate Love Song - Stone Temple Pilots

  4. Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town - Pearl Jam

  5. Bonus Track: Rockin' Chair - Oasis

  6. Calling Yesterday - The Nixons

  7. Down - Stone Temple Pilots

  8. Hand Me Down - Matchbox Twenty

  9. Work Out Better - Rusty

  10. So I Need You - Three Doors Down

  11. Don't be Long - The Tories

  12. If I Run - Semisonic

  13. Follow - Semisonic

  14. Bonus Track: Happy - The Tories

  15. Bonus Track: Song for You - Fuel


Follow as we build the soundtrack on Spotify!


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