It’s all in the timing: the punchline to a good joke; getting a deal on an airline ticket; and, for me, the launch of my next novel. I am writing about The Sweet Spot.
As loyal readers know, I’ve been pitching The Sweet Spot recently, saying it would come out very soon. It’s the first of my so-called hilltown novels, which take place in rural Western Massachusetts, where I once lived. Set in 1978, the novel has a big scandal, a nasty feud, and interesting country folk living in the fictional town of Conwell. As usual, I love my characters, including one very flawed man.
Now, I officially announce the launch date of The Sweet Spot will be in January, more towards the middle than the end.
There are very practical reasons for the delay. I kept reading the manuscript over and over and over, forwards and backwards, on the screen and paper. I’m doing this on my own and want to get it right. Also, Michelle, the book’s designer, has other obligations.
We could have launched the novel in late November or early December, but that seemed like a bad idea, given the pre-Christmas shopping frenzy. Frankly, I don’t think my novel would be on anyone’s wish list, save for a few dear friends and family members.
January seemed like a smarter move. New Kindle and tablet owners will be looking for novels to read. People will be hunkering down with books because it’s winter.
Michelle and I met last week, now that she’s read the entire novel, to talk about cover ideas. I am going to read the manuscript one last time — I promise — before I hand The Sweet Spot over to her, so she can get it ready for paperback and Kindle. This time, we are releasing both versions at the same time.
During the time leading up to the launch, I will be giving updates, including a peek at the cover and snippets of copy. I will tell you about the main characters, such as Edie, Walker, and Harlan. Then there’s Edie’s old rascal of a father, who runs the town dump, and her outspoken aunt. The Sweet Spot is far more serious than my first novel, Peace, Love, and You Know What, although like real life, it has its comic moments.
When I think about it, January is not that far off.
ABOUT THE PHOTO ABOVE: That is a glass of Harvey’s Raw Apple Cider I bought at the Taos Farmers Market last week, the last time it will be available in Taos this season. Unpasteurized cider is illegal in New Mexico, except at farmers markets. The full-bodied cider tastes just like what I used to drink in New England. Delicious.