Wednesday, September 16, 2009

After the Honeymoon

I'm a whore. Let me start with that.

I'm not a whore in the literal sense that I sell sex for money (I'm cheap), but the very nature of writing books and publishing in the small presses necessitates whoring your work. While traditional and romantic ideas of the writer's life might lead one to believe that writers emerge from their log cabins in the woods with a manuscript that goes directly to the publisher, via bike courier, gets published, and the next thing you know, you're signing books for a line of fans that stretches out the door of the Barnes and Noble, and later, you're knocking back drinks with Don DeLillo and Russell Banks. Maybe that happens for some writers (though I tend to doubt it), but for me, it's been over ten years of working full-time as a high school teacher and writing, much like I am right now, when the family is in bed with The Red Sox game in the background. Every few years, I have enough decent material to put together a manuscript, and so far, I've been fortunate enough to have a few of them published.

But it hasn't been glamorous---no book groupies, or hobnobbing with the literati , or reviews in major newspapers. It's been doing whatever I can to get my books in the hands of readers and working my ass off to try to make sure the publishers at least break even on their investments in me. So the publication of my new collection of poetry, After the Honeymoon, is, in many ways, bitter-sweet. While it's always a thrill to see your book in print, your labors materialized in front of you, I also know that if I'm going to sell any of books I'm going to have to whore myself; meaning, I will have to do anything in my power to get my work out there.

This means doing a book tour in October with my publisher, Dave McNamara. We don't have a publicity budget or any monies, for that matter. We're doing it by jumping in a car and hitting the road for three weeks. We're doing it with our shoulders to the wheel. You can look at my reading schedule and see for yourself: This trip is all about attrition.

While on the road, however, I will be updating this blog frequently. In fact, with it looking like the Sox "should" be playing in October, this blog is going to be renamed Nate Graziano's Big Baseball and Book Tour Blog. Depending on what the brackets look like for the post-season, I could possibly be infiltrating enemy territories during the games in October, friends. But I promise, regardless of where I am or where I read, I will be wearing my Red Sox hat.

Back to the book: While my book is a collection of poetry, and I understand that many people, much like myself, may get very frustrated trying to untangle a lot of the arcane metaphor and language gymnastics in modern poetry, my poems use common, straightforward language to deal with real life/gritty topics. I promise you won't need an MFA in poetry to understand it. As a writer, my goal has always been to communicate emotions and ideas using language that my family and friends, who are mostly not writers, will understand and appreciate. If a reader doesn't like my work or what I write about, I can understand that; it comes with the territory. But if a reader doesn't get what I'm saying, I feel as if I've largely failed in my endeavors.

Here is the information for purchasing my book, if you're interested. You can purchase it directly from the publisher here (preferable), or through here. The book will be on the shelves in certain bookstores, but if it's not at your local bookstore, you should be able to order it through them.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who takes the time to read this blog, follow this blog, or read any of my work whatsoever. I love hearing from you, so please don't be bashful to write me with your cheers, jeers, or fart jokes. Thank you, and namaste.

How's that for a rim job?

P.S. ALEX GONZALEZ, BABY! I'll definitely be blogging baseball in October!

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