It’s The Focus, Stupid!

The editor’s fingers drummed on top of her desk, her eyes steady, friendly enough, but not kind, “You have been claiming you’re going to get four books out this year—three of your novels and the next Land for Love and Money.”

I felt myself blink. “Yep!”

“Where are they?”

I launched into my mantra. “Well, the Sandy storm shut you folks down, and then I decided to rewrite the last third of Uncompahgre and, hell, this is only December…”

She brusquely cut me off, “Are you making improvements to your ranch this year?”

I felt my eyes widen. What the @**# does that have to do with this? “Yes—irrigation and field work on two fields on the spread…”

“Just two?” she interrupted me again with a wry smile.

“Yep. Try to do more and nothing will get installed.”

She nodded. “Exactly. So if that’s true for the cowboy and his ranches, what makes you think it’s less applicable to the author and his books?”

Of course, she was right.

“It’s the focus, Stupid.” That has been my grimaced message to myself in the mirror the past month.

There’s a host of things to attend to on the ranch side of my equation, compounded by the morons in Washington DC – and I include all of them, both parties, left or right. But that is yet another tale. And then there’s life, and the never ending promotion of the books.

When I finally do sit down to write, and those first several paragraphs setting the scene are on the page, it’s as if I’ve stepped through a portal. I am on the stage, it is 1855, and there is the smell of sage, gunpowder, perfume and the land. The characters smile, nod their heads as if they have missed me, and begin to again tell me the story. Then I can write like the wind – three to six thousand words a day, and sometimes more. The problems are two-fold. First, finding the time to sit down and do the first two transportive paragraphs. Second, now that the single cell in my thick cowboy skull has acknowledged that more focus on fewer books, and a set schedule taking into account the incredible myriad of mandatory steps will actually result in more “walk” and less “talk” in getting the highest quality books out and into your hands!

It wasn’t until we sat down during January and really mapped out the schedules to some of the smallest details (though even then not to the nth degree) that I realized how right they were. There are more than one hundred critical steps between story concept and the pages in a reader’s hands. The Cowboy had blissfully and woefully underestimated.

I’ve tipped my cowboy hat back and I’m scratching my forehead vigorously. “What the hell was I thinking?”

So in summary, apologies for getting Book 3 out later than I wanted or you anticipated, but taking a step back now means ten steps forward in the future. Adjusting the Uncompahgre release results in a schedule and structure critical to a realistic two Threads West books per year—still more than the typical big series schedule of a single novel per annum.

Yes, I write because I love to write. I pen because I have a story to tell.  I bond with the characters that live in the pages because they are me, and you, and real people we all know. I immerse myself in the tale because there are multiple messages on many levels that I want to send. But above all, I write because you like to read.  Thoughts, comments, or what have you are welcome!

Threads West, An American Saga Series Schedule
Book Three – Uncompahgre-English
May 7 – 14, 2013
Book Four – Moccasin Tracks – English
Sept 27 – Oct 4, 2013
Book Five – Footsteps – English
March 2014
Book Six – North to Wyoming – English
Sept – Oct 2014
Book One – Threads West – Spanish Print/Ebook
Third Quarter 2013
Book Two – Maps of Fate – Spanish Print/Ebook
Third Quarter 2013
Book Three – Uncompahgre – Spanish Print/Ebook
Fourth Quarter 2013
Audio Book – Threads West – English
Released January 1, 2013
Audio Book – Threads West – Spanish
Third Quarter 2013
Audio Book – Maps of Fate – English
July 2013
Audio Book – Maps of Fate – Spanish
Third Quarter 2013
Audio Book – Uncompahgre – English
November 2013
Audio Book – Uncompahgre – Spanish
Fourth Quarter 2013
Audio Book – Moccasin Tracks – English
November 2014
Audio Book – Moccasin Tracks – Spanish
Fourth Quarter 2013

2 Responses to “It’s The Focus, Stupid!”

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  1. carole says:

    Howdy my friend! You sure have alot on your plate..glad you like to wrrite and I love to read, have a few books to read for class and some are boring and some are quite interesting and I enjoying on what I’m reading. Just wish I could get the classes I need for next semester but already gotta see if someone will drop it or I’ll wait for fall. the other option is takigng it at another school, so will see. Now i know when book 3 willbe out in May//maybe my kids will get it for me for mothers day but usually they don’t get me what I want, even though I hint! Well, I better finish reading my reading on fla. history its our 125th birthday! One of my friends is going on a treasure hunt, he’sknown been on one before and has found alot of nice stuff..I lived in Port Salerno and the town was wn for piriates landing there, its a neat little town and loved it there,my dad lives acouple towns from there so gonna visit him sometime this summer if all goes well and I don’t like to plan for they always seem to fall apart. I just go on a whim…gotta go thanks for th excerpts and the trailor was so awesome. Have a good weekend! Its bitter cold here and my fireplace is a blazing…32 in north fla….

  2. reidadmin says:

    Glad you liked the excerpts and the trailers, Carole! And yep–LOTS on this cowboy’s plate 🙂 If I had added the ranch stuff to the book schedule your eyes would have glazed, and I would probably have had a heart attack seeing it all one sheet! Sounds like you have some fin times planned with your fandamily! Good for you. And yep–Uncompahgre for Mother’s Day!! Now, back to writing for me. Thanks for commenting!

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