Thoughts from an expectant father

by M.J. Hearle

Tomorrow, Winter’s Shadow will be available in bookstores. After months of drafts, late nights, a staggering amount of caffeine, and more than one or two moments of self doubt, the finishing line is in sight. Or is it the starting line? Releasing a book isn’t like opening a movie. The commercial success of the property won’t be evaluated on the opening weekend’s sales. This is a marathon not a sprint. Or so I keep telling myself, while entertaining fantasies of selling out my entire print run in the first week.

A few updates:

You may have noticed that the home page is now the Winter’s Shadow page. Don’t be alarmed. A change is as good as a holiday. I’ve also swapped out my header image for a sexy new gif (I originally had a much more complicated image – replete with moving woods background, but the file was too large. Such a shame – it looked very cool and took me a long time to make). I’ll probably keep the site in this format over the next couple of months and then revert back to the previous style. For now, the site’s all about Winter’s Shadow and less about M. J. Hearle’s thoughts on writing (though that will continue under the ‘Blog’ tab).

If you listen very carefully, you can hear the publicity machine whirring, starting to pick up speed. Along with the fantastic reviews I’ve received from various bloggers, the book’s internet coverage now includes two interviews. The first can be found over at Fictional Fantasy and the second at, We Love YA. Thanks to both Rachel and Natalie for shining a light on my little book.

Winter’s Shadow is also the official Bookclub Book of the Month over at Aussie Twilight Mums which is very exciting. If everyone who bought Twilight picks up Winter’s Shadow I’ll be a very happy chappy indeed. I think the world’s ready for a new monster crush, don’t you?

Expanding the M. J. Hearle online domination, my amazing publicist Louise has organised for me to be a guest blogger over at Badass Bookie later in the month. I’ll be sure to post an update when I know the exact date. My other amazing publicist who goes by the mysterious moniker ‘Dad’, has arranged for the Port Macquarie News to do an interview with me as well. Yes, that’s right – Winter’s Shadow is infiltrating the mainstream media. For those who don’t live in the Hasting’s area, I’ll scan the article and upload it on the site. That is if I can get my hands on a copy. I imagine they’ll sell like hotcakes once it leaks celebrated local author M. J. Hearle is featured.

Now, this might come as a shock considering the preceding paragraphs, but self-promotion doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m uncomfortable talking about myself at the best of times let alone trying to sell myself or my work. Unfortunately, if I want Winter’s Shadow to a stand a chance, I can’t just sit back and hope people discover it on their own. It’s a pretty crowded marketplace.

Being a writer isn’t only about getting the words down on the page, it’s about selling those words as well. Writing for yourself is enormously satisfying, having others read your work – and enjoy it – is even better. Luckily, the marketing responsibility of Winter’s Shadow isn’t mine alone. I’ve got a strong network of friends and family – not to mention an incredibly supportive publisher – who are doing their part to sell the novel.

Which brings me to you, Welcome Reader. If you have a blog or a reading group or any kind of forum to bring attention to Winter’s Shadow, then this is the part where I entreat you to use it on my behalf. Not only will I be eternally grateful, I’ll be sure to return the favour by giving you a shout-out on the site and posting a link. For those interested, I’m available for interviews, guest blog spots, and calendar shoots (I just bought a new bikini) so please don’t hesitate getting in touch with me, either through the comment field or email.

In the immortal words of The Carpenters :

We’ve only just begun.

M. J.