1. Neither Can Be Ignored
Well, YOU can ignore them. Well, actually most people in the world could safely ignore them but if I turn a blind eye to the mice, I'll likely face wild mammalian multiplication, Hansa virus, and holes where the Swiss never intended them.
If I ignore my own book release, I will ...well...I'm not actually sure what would happen, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't help the book find its first at-large readers. It also wouldn't make me very popular with my publisher's hard-working staff, or with the many book-loving people who have generously taken the time to read Advanced Reader Copies, write blogposts and reviews about THE NINJA LIBRARIANS, talk it up with friends, create beautiful trailers for the heck of it, and just generally share their enthusiasm for the book.
2. At First Blush, the Options for Responding to the Situations Seemed Limited and Terrible
In the case of the mice, the initial choices seemed to be A. hosting a mushrooming mouse jamboree or B. snapping necks and taking names (Tattered Ear...we hardly knew ye).
In the case of the Book Release...
Oh, readers (are we alone?) because I must confess. (hey, I was raised Catholic. Be happy I'm not taking out your kneecaps with a ten pound thurible) As the calendar pages flew off the wall cinematically, hitting me in the face more often than not, and I finished making a torture chamber of the stalwart copyeditor's life with my final 500 changes, and the Advanced Reader Copies became available, and the beautiful cover materialized, I didn't see a choice looming in front of me as much as a hellish inevitability.
The inevitability took the form of a zero gravity self-promotion thunderdome in which I would be consumed, defeated, and cheapened. It waved tentacles, it drooled, it let out ugly peals of fake laughter and faker puffs of bonhomie. It handed out flyers with instructions for how to bootlick and curry favor (I'm not proud!) and different flyers that explained how to do it all wrong anyway and...well, no need to get er...Hieronymus Bosch about the whole thing, but it SCARED me! The idea of trying to bring attention to the book
I started using my Twitter account a little (because that's what lapsed Catholics do when they're not swinging thuribles). I felt dirty if I retweeted something positive that someone had said about my book. I felt like a fool if I couldn't bring myself to do it. In the midst of trying to get my head around the beginnings of my second book, the question constantly posed itself: How can I let people know about my book without being an overbearing, self-centered, irritating, honor=less fiend? Well, I'm paraphrasing a little.
The truth was, that despite understanding the outrageous extent to which luck, privilege, the generosity of others, and smelling the right way on the right day, mixed with my own efforts to result in THE NINJA LIBRARIANS getting published. I didn't want to have to sell it.
In the case of our little Mus Musculus problem, my brother's room-mate (Hi Ioan!) showed me the clever non-lethal contraption pictured above, which besides not squishing little mouse heads has the added advantage of being impossible to forget about (Another friend warned us about the ease with which one can forget about variations of the "have a heart" trap, and the mouse slowly dying of dehydration inside)
In the matter of the promotion of the book...I had help from my friend, John Gibson who, if not sternly, then with loving force, helped me see the process of actively bringing my book to the attention of others in a different light. He said (in his habitually compelling uncapitalized way):
"many are spooked by asking for themselves.years of fundraising taught me a useful distinction:
Oh, and good news...we caught some mice!