By Keith A. Owens
I’ve been writing pretty much ever since I was tall enough to reach my small hands up to the typewriter on my mother’s desk. My mother still has the pictures of me in my pajamas doing exactly that while looking over my shoulder at the camera as she caught me in the act. I was that kid in school who couldn’t wait to write the story about what I did over the summer, then couldn’t understand why the teacher was so upset with me for telling such wild stories.
Fast forward to adulthood, and I’m still telling wild stories. And I still don’t know what I would do with my life if I couldn’t tell them. Being a writer isn’t just what I do, it’s what I am. Just as I am also a musician. In many ways I don’t feel I was given much of a choice in the matter.
And I suppose that right there gets to what bothers me about the relationship I have with my writing; there are those days when I wish I had more of a choice. Not that I know what else I would do, but as I approach my sixth decade of life and begin to reflect upon all that has come and gone, then look forward to what’s left, I suppose I wish there was more. Just …more.
I’m well aware of the admittedly wise advice circulated by any number of wise old(er) writers that the love of writing itself should be sufficient payment and that anything else is gravy. Just tell the stories and perfect your craft and try not to worry so much about whether you will one day become one of those writers that has achieved some level of notoriety, respect, and fame. Because most likely that time is not coming, especially if you are an indie.
So at this late date I continue to grin and bear it, and I continue to tell my stories. And I know that I will always continue to tell my stories because I don’t know what else to do with my life. But if I said that I was totally satisfied and content with not being better known and more widely read, I would be lying. Because I don’t just write for myself. I write for others to read my stuff. To me that’s always been the point.
And so what am I doing about it? I’m studying up on marketing and promotion like never before. Like a lot of writers I’m much better at the writing part than I am at all the parts. Yeah, well the new rules of this Brave New World dictates that this simply won’t do. Adapt or die. I must confess it’s been a daunting task over the past year or so as I have struggled to become more adept at all the steps required to build a better book, but in many ways it has also been enjoyable because it is an investment in me and in my craft. Everything from learning all the intricate details of better formatting techniques and negotiating my way through the Smashwords process, to becoming more involved in Goodreads and author discussion groups, I feel I am beginning the process of getting myself where I want to go.
Heck yeah I wish it was all moving along faster. Like I said I’m closing in on 60. But tomorrow is another day, and who knows? That just may be the day when my seeds start to grow that garden I’ve been waiting for. And working for.
Keith A. Owens
Keith Owens is a freelance writer, columnist, and blogger whose work has been featured in The Detroit Free Press, Detroit’s alternative newsweekly the Metro Times, the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, and other newspapers. He was also a nationally syndicated columnist with Universal Press Syndicate for three years beginning in 1993. Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, he has lived in Detroit since January, 1993, and considers it home for good. He lives there with his wife of 16 years, Pamela Hilliard Owens, and their two dogs Jam and Pepper. This is his first published novel.
More information about Mr. Owens can be found at his website and on Twitter. Other places where you can find him are Facebook, LinkedIn, and his blog.
The Mayonnaise Murders, Part 2
"The saga continues as a crew of angry mutant chickens collaborate with the critters from Planet 10 and a group of ambitious drug dealers in Denver to inflict the alien drug MayoMadd upon a planet of unsuspecting humans as revenge on behalf of the human/chicken hybrids for an experiment that went horribly wrong. This is a science fiction/fantasy/detective mystery with a lot of humor thrown in for one wild, offbeat ride."
The second installment of The Mayonnaise Murders is here! I know it's been almost a year since Part 1, but I wanted to get this just right. I'm really hoping you'll find it worth the wait. I'm not kidding, I had a ball writing this, so if you have half as much fun reading it as I did writing it then I'll consider it a win.
The Mayonnaise Murders Part 2 is available at Smashwords in several e-formats for 99c if you use Smashwords Coupon Code: RG55G when ordering. The Mayonnaise Murders, Part 2 is also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and KOBO. You can read Chapter 1 on his website. Another bargain. The Mayonnaise Murder, Part 1 is on sale for just 99 cents for the next two weeks on Amazon and at the other venues.