I don’t sleep well most nights. It’s a combination of factors: diabetes, which tends to get me up two or three times a night to visit the bathroom, arthritis pain, which even with strong analgesics is impossible to subdue totally, and the sheer boredom of retirement.
That last is the most important factor. I’m possessed of a jackrabbit mind, which leaps into high gear the second I wake up, and it can be difficult to subdue.
I had no such problem last night. I hit the sack just after midnight, and was asleep in minutes and aside from the one time I needed the smallest room, I didn’t wake up until gone seven.
It’s not difficult to work out why. Yesterday was simply one of the busiest days I’ve had for a long time. It was, of course, the official release of Peril in Palmanova, the long awaited fifteenth in the Sanford 3rd Age Club Mystery series.
I spent most of the morning faffing with my webcam, trying to cure audio/video sync problems, and I didn’t have a great deal of success. As a result, when the launch party started on Facebook, the live videos I put out left a lot to be desired.
Notwithstanding that, the day went quite well. The afternoon proved lively and entertaining, with plenty of input from the people who attended, but it effectively manacled me to the computer from noon up until eight o’clock in the evening.
It’s not physically demanding work, but it’s surprising how tiring it can be, and by the time I brought it to a close, and sat down to watch Professor Noel Fitzpatrick work his surgical miracles on a range of dogs, I was absolutely worn out.
But it was worth it. By the end of the day, Peril in Palmanova had climbed into the top 60 of the Amazon UK cosy crime chart. Over and above that, pre-orders had lifted The Squire’s Lodge Murders, STAC #16, into a healthy position in the overall rankings.
I don’t take any credit for that. Books, whether ebooks or paperback, are not sold; they’re bought. It’s not like selling home improvements where you can bring in high pressure techniques to secure the signature. As the author, having written the tales, it’s my job purely and simply to raise awareness of their availability. The rest is up to the readers. Fortunately for me, Joe and his pals in the Sanford 3rd Age Club have a core following of dedicated fans who had been waiting two years for the next instalment in their adventures.
For that, I apologise, and I hope the wait was worth it.
And it is to those devotees that I say thank you. It’s you who have set Peril in Palmanova on the road to success.
And now I’d better get back to the coal face. The next book won’t write itself.