I spent 39 years working in the pharmaceutical industry, with the FDA, then a drug company and I finished up my career as a consultant, working with companies from all over the world. I was on top of my game.
Then I retired, started writing murder mysteries as a hobby, and was fortunate to find a publisher for my latest book, a medical comedy murder mystery (PLEASURIA: Take As Directed). The transition has been interesting.
As a pharmaceutical consultant, I was an expert, knew the industry language and had companies seeking me out to work for them. As a newly published author, I am now on the bottom of the pile, I don’t speak the language at all and I’m way out of my comfort zone. My conversations with my publisher usually consist of me interrupting him every other word, asking him what he’s talking about (duh?).
And, God help me, as with most authors I’m doing some of the marketing, using social media and marketing software that might as well be written in Chinese, and me no speakada Chinese. Thank God I have a wonderful marketing expert, Shari Stauch of Where Writers Win, to help me out. My conversations with her on the phone are even funnier than with my publisher. She starts talking marketing lingo and I just kind of zone out. Every once in a while I’ll hear her say “John, are you still there?”
Then there’s the book events, the book launch party, book talks and book signings. I can handle book signings okay; I can still write my name. But I had to talk about Pleasuria: Take As Directed and answer questions at my book launch talk, and I had to do this without giving away the entire plot or including any major spoilers. Apparently the point is to get people to buy the book, and my marketing expert tells me that revealing the entire story to the audience kind of runs contrary to this goal. I actually enjoyed this part, although I prepared in advance so I didn’t get nervous and just blurt out everything.
I’m learning, very slowly, but I’m learning. I get great joy from the writing part, but at first I was very anxious about the whole publishing/marketing thing. Now I’m actually enjoying being WAY OUT of my comfort zone. If anyone out there feels like you have a good book inside you, I recommend you try to let it out. It’s a blast, if you have a sense of humor.