Thursday, January 07, 2010

Paula's Pet Project

We at Working Stiffs are happy to announce that Paula Matter will no longer be blogging. No, wait, we're happy to announce she's giving up her bi-weekly slots for the next few months and has invited several fine writers as guests. Some of these folks are new to publishing, some are well established, and some fall somewhere in between.

Let's start the New Year off by welcoming debut author Graham Brown to Working Stiffs!

Books and Years

By Graham Brown

So it’s a new year and that creates this fantastic vibe of a fresh start. Kind of like picking up a new book and looking at those first few pages.

So here we are in the first chapter of the year. I’m trying to get things off to a rousing start, fired up about new projects, everything from getting in shape, to painting the living room to getting the second book done. For me January will include the long awaited (at least by me) debut of my first novel, Black Rain. So that’s a good start.

But then what?

The next few months have to establish the story line – what direction will 2010 be heading? The plot thickens, new characters pop up, obstacles appear. I’m supposed to be publicizing Black Rain but I really have no idea what I’m doing or even what I’m supposed to be trying to do. And I’m also working on Book Two. And then there’s this little thing called taxes and this Uncle I’ve never met who keeps taking a third of my money.

So the pace quickens and I do my best, feeling that if I only had a personal assistant, an accountant and a chiropractor, I could really excel.

But instead I pop Ibuprofen like they’re going out of style and I do some kind of tax thing on line. No idea if I paid the correct amount or not, but signing the check was pretty painful so that’s gotta be close, right?

And quickly we’re into the middle of the year and instead of a pause, we hit that point of no return. Have to push on, no going back. You’re a writer man – so write. Agent calling: where is Book Three and the proposal for Book Four? There are deadlines looming. What have you been doing all this time?

So I hit the gym once, just so I can say the membership wasn’t a complete waste and I rush toward the finish, typing and scribbling and wondering how the hell a shoulder can hurt like this? And then, just when it looks like it won’t get done...

Somehow it does.

Book Two hits the shelves and the publisher is thrilled and we’re going to do a new deal. Now everyone’s happy; me, agent, editor – even that Uncle I keep telling you about.

Then a friend of mine comes over and says “Weren’t you going paint this room in January?”

And I stop and think for a moment: 2010 was a page turner. I hope and pray that 2011 is more of the same.

Graham Brown’s debut novel, Black Rain follows an expedition into the darkest reaches of the Amazon rainforest, where things go terribly wrong. Linwood Barclay, best-selling author of Fear the Worst, called it a “terrific read, smart and intelligent.” Steve Berry, best-selling author of The Paris Vendetta, said it “…sizzles with tension and twists.”

  Black Rain goes on sale January 26, 2010. 

Graham Brown was born in Chicago in 1969. He went to college in Arizona, earning a degree in Aeronautical Science and learning how to fly small planes.

He later attended Law School, where he spent many lectures pretending to listen while scribbling down pages of notes for what he hoped would be a great novel.

After working as an attorney for a couple of years, he decided to see if there were any good ideas in those notes. Apparently there were. Several years later Random House bought the rights to his first book, BLACK RAIN, in a multi book deal. Graham is currently working on the sequel.


Joyce said...

Welcome, Graham!

I'd say you summed up the writing life pretty well.

Good luck with your book. It sounds great!

Annette said...

Welcome to Working Stiffs, Graham. I'm now totally exhausted from just reading about your year.

Judy Schneider said...

My only variation on your writing sequence, Graham, is that I would never have vowed to paint the living room in the first place!

Good luck with Black Rain. It sounds terrific!

Paula Matter said...

Thanks, Graham, and welcome to Working Stiffs!

Graham has also just started posting over at
the Criminal Minds blog. The link to that great blog is on our front page.

Check it out if you haven't already!

Alan Orloff said...

I think BLACK RAIN is headed for my TBR pile. Sounds great!