MM Night Before Launch Day

‘Twas The Night Before… Book Launch Day

Is Stephen King nervous the night before launch day for his latest book? How about J. K. Rowling? Dean Koontz? Michael Connelly? Perhaps after an author has sold eleventy-seven bazillion books, he or she sleeps peacefully.

For the rest of us, though, a book launch is nerve-racking.

Liars’ Table makes my third book launch, but that makes it worse in some ways. For The Lottery, I was too naive to anticipate what could go wrong. With Jaxon with an X, I believed I had thought of everything. Now, I know the question isn’t whether something will go poorly, but what will it be. Will the pre-ordered ebooks be distributed timely and efficiently? Will print books hit the mail and arrive at a reader’s house? Will libraries add it to their inventories?

And most importantly, will readers like it?

In the writing stage of a book, the author is in complete control. Well, not complete, because the characters have this obnoxious habit of doing what they want to do, but at least no one else is witness to the struggles of getting them across the finish line (a particularly difficult task when they change where the line is drawn).

After the writer has spent hundreds, even thousands of hours sweating over the story, the structure, the characters, and the words, the editors are invited in. They shape the tale by asking questions, but it still belongs to the author.

At some point, though, the pen must be lowered to the desk (or the keyboard stowed away, but that doesn’t sound nearly as poetic). The book must be released to live its full life.

One of the best pieces of advice I received when I started this journey was to understand the book belongs to the author only up to the day it goes out into the wild. When the book is released, the ownership passes to you. You may love it or hate it, but that’s not in the novelist’s control. The only thing he or she can do is write the next one.

So, tomorrow, I let Liars’ Table go. I no longer have any control over it. The eBook is in the hands of retailers as far away as Canada, France and Australia, Pre-orders have been strong, at least via the channels that share such information. Sales have been more than three times as strong at Amazon and Apple as Jaxon with an X— and that was far better than The Lottery. At some point on Tuesday, those retailers will release the book and it should magically appear in e-readers.

The print book has been way behind schedule—much to my horror. So far, I’ve only noticed it listed at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Fingers crossed it appears online at the other big retailers and through the network of independent bookstores tomorrow when the book launch is official.

Tonight, the night before the book launch, I’ll nervously wait. It’s out of my hands. It’s in yours. I hope you enjoy it.

In the meantime, cloistered in my writing cave, I’m weaving a new tale. The characters are talking to me, telling me their plans. Some are nice. Some are not. None of them have yet told me how the story ends. Maybe they don’t know. But we’ll figure it out. I’ll get it down on paper.

And then the night before that next release, I’ll be nervous again.


Click cover for details

In 1972 in Charlotte NC, Gibson French and his friends are months from high school graduation and the possibility of being drafted into the Vietnam War. One of Gibby’s older brothers was killed there and the other came back addicted to heroin, lived a life of crime, and is serving time in prison.

When Jason is released, he comes home and invites Gibby to a weekend day of fun with two girls. Against the wishes of his parents, Gibby agrees. When one of those girls turns up murdered in a gruesome way, Jason becomes the prime suspect.

Gibby sets out to prove his brother’s innocence, a fact complicated by their father’s job as a police detective. His digging leads him to dark corners of the world, including his brother’s connection to the Hell’s Angels, what really happened in Vietnam, and untold secrets from his time in prison.


Netflix announced its acquisition of the Roald Dahl Story Company. Dahl was the author of numerous books including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, and many others. The two companies have been in a partnership for three years, but this acquisition will allow Netflix to expand its production of both animated and live action movies of these classic stories.


Gratuitous Dog Picture

The Herd's idea of crunch time
The Herd’s idea of crunch time

Cool air flowed in this weekend and the leaves were falling fast from the trees. Two long walks a day on a leaf covered trail would be The Herd’s idea of crunch time, which certainly reduces my stress in meeting my own crunch time.


Liars’ Table

In country stores, old men gather over breakfast and coffee to swap tall tales. The fish are bigger, danger greater, and adventures wilder in the stories told at a Liars’ Table. No harm in stretching the truth when nothing exciting happens in their small town.

Until someone steals Purvis Webb’s car. Life is hard enough without thieves. A wife in a nursing home. An estranged daughter. A grandson he didn’t know existed.

Unable to accept one more indignity, Purvis takes matters into his own hands. His pursuit of the thief leads him to places he never thought he’d go and to decisions he never wanted to have to make.

In this rich, layered story about life spinning out of control, past and present entwine seamlessly with engaging characters. The reader will be eagerly flipping the pages to see what happens next.


Background title image is courtesy Brandi Redd

2 Comments

  1. Jean Burkhardt on October 18, 2021 at 6:33 am

    I just received the new book and will be reading it either today or tomorrow. I CANNOT wait!!!

    Our dogs too are FINALLY enjoying some cooler REAL Fall weather!!! Keep Hu-Dad busy boys so he won’t worry so much! The book sounds fabulous!

  2. Debbie & Miss Ruby on October 18, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    Let’s hope it is a best seller!!

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