Am I Worth A Damn, And How Do I Know?03:49
The WEbook guest author series continues with Victor Gischler, former English professor and author of four hard-boiled crime novels. His debut novel Gun Monkeys was nominated for the Edgar Award, and his novel Shotgun Opera was an Anthony Award finalist. His latest crime novel, The Deputy, was released in April. To learn more about him, check out his blogpocalypse or follow him on twitter @VictorGischler.
Take it away, Victor!
So I find myself wondering if anyone has heard of me. Sometimes, if I’m traveling in a strange city, I’ll wander into the book store, curious if they have any of my books on the shelf. I mean, am I actually accomplishing anything?
I suppose these questions weigh most heavily when I walk into my local Barnes & Noble – keep in mind this is my HOME TOWN where I’ve been reviewed in the newspaper—only to find they have none of my books on the shelf. This was a mere week after the publication of my brand new crime novel The Deputy. I found a dead-eyed drone at the information counter and asked if it would be possible to order a few of my books since I was a local author. You’d of thought I was asking for a kidney. After a mumbled phone conversation, I was told they’d order a few copies. Well, I came back two weeks later and guess what. Still no books. I asked a different drone what the deal was. Did they order books? The answer: “Books? Naw, we didn’t do that.”
The books eventually arrived, but should it really be that hard? You can maybe start to see what I mean. It’s like pedaling a stationary bicycle. Pedal your ass off and you still get nowhere fast.
Fast forward six weeks.
The Pistol Poets—long dead and buried here in the USA—debuts in Italy, and I’m invited all expenses paid to a literary festival. I’m interviewed in newspapers. I’m interviewed on the radio. Book stores have my books and I sign at standing-room only events. (It helps that I was touring with Joe Lansdale—ha ha.) The point? Somebody somewhere gave a flying hoot. It was a good feeling. I had to travel halfway around the world for it to happen, but it was worth it.
A few days ago, a nice fellow on Twitter told me how much he liked Gun Monkeys, my first novel. The book is ten years old. You never know when a reader will find you or how it will happen. So here’s the deal. Every day you wake up is another chance. Maybe something good happens. Maybe somebody notices.