Category: An Author’s Life

May 18, 2015
By Michael Rupured

A Taste of Retirement

Submission deadlines make me nervous. Working without an outline and only vague ideas about where the story might go means I could hit a wall at any time. Prompted by a May 1 deadline for Whippersnapper, I took a week off from the day job in mid-April for a taste of what life will be like after I retire. I finished the first draft Tuesday evening. Wednesday and Thursday I worked on revisions. Friday and Saturday I wrote the dreaded synopsis the publisher requests with every submission. Vision issues keep me from writing for more than a few hours in one sitting, so I had time to do other things. The weather sucked. Aside from a few sunny hours on a couple of days, rain made doing much of anything outside difficult. …

Apr 20, 2015
By Michael Rupured

My Dual-Career Household

University faculty positions are very demanding. Many of my colleagues work all the time. I don’t. Balancing work and my personal life has always been a priority, and in my opinion, the reason I’ve managed to stay productive. My writing career is also very demanding. Penning a novel takes time. The publishing process adds additional time demands. Promoting books, maintaining my web site, and engaging on social networks adds still more to an already very full plate. Since becoming an author, striking a balance between work and my personal life is no longer possible. After getting home from the day job, I spend several hours on my writing career. I try to make exercising a priority, but otherwise, I work all the time. Fortunately, my faculty position …

Mar 30, 2015
By Michael Rupured

A Dream Vacation

Travel holds little appeal for me these days. Flying is unpleasant. I’m too damn big (6’2″ and 200 pounds), and over the last ten years or so, have become increasingly claustrophobic. Were teleporting an option, I’d be more interested in visiting far away places. Until then, unless driving is possible, I don’t go. The publisher I’ve been with since August, 2012 (Dreamspinner Press) holds a conference every year for authors. I joined the gang too late to attend  in 2012. Attending in 2013 or 2014 required flying or more driving than I cared to do. When they announced the 2015 conference would be in Orlando, I jumped at the change to go. I confess, the big draw was the opportunity to connect with …

Mar 09, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Finding Myself in My WIP

A bit of me goes into everything I write, sometimes on purpose, sometimes not. Reading my novels gives you some idea of who I am and how I see the world. Mental health professionals who read all three probably see enough to offer a diagnosis. Since penning my first novel, I’ve struggled to figure out who I am as a writer. For no good reason, I thought me the writer was somehow different from who I am as a person. Whippersnapper has shown me they are one and the same, and in the process, freed me from self-imposed constraints. It’s more “me” than any of my previous books have been. People say I’m funny. Telling humorous stories is a family tradition and as essential to who I am as big feet …

Feb 16, 2015
By Michael Rupured

An Historical Disappointment

Based on absolutely nothing, I expected each of my novels to sell at least a few more copies than the one before. That hasn’t been the case. Despite my disappointment at the time about the lack of digits on my first royalty checks, Until Thanksgiving has done well — much better than After Christmas Eve and Happy Independence Day, combined. Money isn’t the issue. My bills get paid whether my books sell or not. I’m not asking for sympathy or trying to lay a guilt trip on anyone who hasn’t bought my books. The focus of this post is the impact of my unrealistic expectations on my ability to write and, to some extent, my ignorance about the industry. If you ask me, …

Nov 24, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Social Network Fatigue

Once upon a time, the only social networking options were snail-mail, rotary dial telephones, and face-to-face. Travel costs and long distance telephone charges made letters the preferred means for keeping up with out-of-town friends and family. When not in class or hanging out with local friends, I spent hours on the telephone talking with them. Yeah. I can be kinda catty chatty. I got my first email account in the 1980s through work. In those early days, all messages were business-related. Spam hadn’t yet been invented. Gradually, folks stopped worrying about nosey employers. For family and friends with an addy, email became the preferred means of communication. My first home computer, purchased in the 1990s, came preloaded with AOL. Dial-up access ruled out …

Nov 10, 2014
By Michael Rupured

I’m so Fancy…for Now

As with my brain, I use a fraction of the full capability of the technology at my fingertips. My smartphone and Macbook Air mock my ignorance, and think they know more about my needs than I do. Both are forever doing me little favors, like importing contacts from Jobs only knows where into a huge, useless directory with dozens of duplicates and unwanted entries. Same with pictures I snap from my phone. Thanks a lot. When FAX machines were new to the workplace, I was one of the more tech-savvy folks around. After the department store where I was employed in the late 1970s switched from cash registers to computer terminals, I taught the other employees how to use them. A few years later, …

Oct 27, 2014
By Michael Rupured

My Writing Demon

In honor of Halloween, I’m dedicating today’s post to my demon. He’s possessed me for as long as I can remember, compelling me to write, whether anyone reads my words or not. Over the years I’ve sacrificed vast quantities of time, ink, and paper to appease him. My demon makes me write for an hour or two every day. Fortunately, he’s easy to please. As long as I’m writing something, he’s happy. Letters to friends, email messages — even making a list counts. Waiting for replies annoyed the demon, and one can only make so many lists. Eventually, I had to write something else. The personal journal I started in 1979 to appease my demon fills twenty volumes. The quantity is far more impressive than the content. …

Oct 13, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Writing: Career or Hobby?

Getting the contract for my first novel was like winning the lottery. Rather than the years-long, rejection-filled path traveled by most writers, I’d found success right out of the gate. Until Thanksgiving was going to make me rich! My preconceived notions about publishing a novel were a tad off. Two years, two more novels and a short story later, my vast fortune has yet to materialize. Turns out, getting published is the easy part. With hundreds of new titles coming out every week, catching the attention of book-buying readers is a much bigger challenge. Good thing I kept the day job. I’ve loved to write for as long as I remember — at first mostly letters to friends and family, and later, in my journal. …

Sep 15, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Ready for Some Strange

Coming up with an idea for my next novel has never been a problem. By the time I finished writing Until Thanksgiving, most of After Christmas Eve had already come together in my head. Once I started writing that story, I knew several of the characters would turn up at the Stonewall Riots for Happy Independence Day. I’ve got ideas for lots more Holiday Tales, but right now, I want to try something different. I love Philip Potter and his friends. But after writing the third novel in the series, I’m ready for some strange. My first thought was a trilogy loosely based on the memoir that prompted me in 2010 to join the Athens Writers Workshop. The memoir, in its current …

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