Beneath the Stain and Throwing in the Towel

Okay– not throwing in the towel for the whole writing gig.  For one thing, I’m sort of virtually unemployable for anything else– it seems I have deeply ingrained authority issues and an inability to keep my mouth shut.  So sad– I was seriously considering that career in politics.
But no– throwing in the “I’ve got to do it all myself” towel.  But I’ll get to that.
First– do you like the cover?  Do you LOVE THAT COVER?  I love that cover.  I’m totally in love with that cover, right down to and including the tattoo, which you may recall seeing a few weeks ago.  (Also the “Bleeding Cowboy” font– the real name– I could just DIE!)  Anyway, the Anne Cain cover is beauteous, and Mackey even looks scrawny and more like a xylophone than a six-pack, and I’ve sorta got a thing for scrawny guys.  (You all may have noticed Mate is a great deal slimmer than I am… well, it’s a thing.)
And about that cover… you may notice the “Part 1” not once but TWICE on that cover. 
See, uhm, this book is coming out two ways.  
Way one– in serial form, seven parts, one part a week, with the release dates as follows:

1 – Aug 29
2 – Sept 5
3 – Sept 12
4 – Sept 19
5 – Sept 26
6 – Oct 3
7 – Oct 10
Full release Oct 17 at GRL
Way two– and the one that’s coming out on October 17th at GRL– is the complete book, both paperback (thus they can be purchased at GRL) and e-book.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “So, if we can get the full book on October 17th, why is it I should order the serial and read it in pieces?”
Well, a couple of reasons. 
 The first is the obvious; that the soap opera feel of the book is given a little bit of a boost the being released in pieces.  Each piece is between 15-25K long, so sort of a short novella length, and we tried to break up the book in such a way that you both got one question answered and then another one asked.  We’re going to try to open a special page on FB so you can discuss the novellas, with spoilers, and speculate talk about what an asshole Mackey is and all of that other fun stuff.
The other reason is that, available in the serial form and IN NO OTHER FORMAT, are what we have started calling “DVD Extras”.  (In fact, I think they’re called that IN THE BOOK.)  And I love this feature.  See, you know how people are always saying, “I’d like this person’s story!” or, “Even though that’s a het pairing, I’d like to see more!”  Well, when I wrote the book, I was conscious that it was going long.  In fact, we broke it up into sections because it was nearly 170K long, and DSP usually draws the cut-off line at 140K.  So I kept the story arc short and tight– some of my tightest writing ever–and it definitely worked.  But that didn’t mean that I didn’t want to write the other character’s backstories, either. 
So this way, I got to do that.  The DVD extras–and there are seven in all–are brief forays into the lives of the characters whom we don’t get to see offscreen.  Mackey’s brothers, his best friend, and Trav’s best friend and boss, all get some screen time in these segments, and I think you’ll like what they bring to the table.  Even the guy you’re going to hate (for the first 125K or so) gets a moment of sympathy–and you’ll be glad to know what’s going on in his life, even if you’re conflicted.  So the serial starts coming out sooner, and that’s a plus, but even beyond that, there’s a reason to read it.  The extras came to nearly 20K (so like a whole other novella)and while they don’t tell you anything necessary to know for the plot, they sure do get you invested in the side characters–and I think you’ll really like them.
So that’s Beneath the Stain– and believe me, I’ll have buy links the minute they go up!
And that’s the other thing.
See, I have, in the past, done most of my promo by myself– with some help from friends, of course (Rhys Ford’s help with Blackbird Knitting in a Bunny’s Lair was invaluable, as is Mary Calmes’s every time she posts a buy link–and pretty much every interview I’ve ever given has been solicited by someone else.  Folks, I love you–thank you for your help!) But the idea of promo-ing this– complete with contests and swag and a blot tour and getting people to promise not to give spoilers and…
Well, Mate came home and the other day and said, “What’d I do?”
“Okay, there is a funky black cloud everywhere— what happened?”
It took me hours to unfreeze my face and stop my hamster wheel from going around–and in the meantime, well, writing deadlines, editing deadlines, being kind to my children…
So I e-mailed a promoter and asked for a price point.  And if she can’t do it, I’ll find a price I can live with.  Because I give.  I know what needs to be done–and Glory, I don’t mind doing it–but it seems my little juggernaut has gotten bigger than even I can pull back.  The sled is overbalancing and threatening to slide of the mountain, and I. Need. Help.
So yes–for Mackey, I have to throw in the towel and get some help doing promotions.
But it will be worth it.  Because…
Because a year and a half ago, Mate and I went and saw Muse concert, and this story unspooled in the back of my head, perfect and beautiful, from beginning to end, with all the stops in between.
A year ago, I went to the Electric Christmas festival at Arco, and Cage the Elephant played, and Mackey strutted through my brain, fully formed, flaws, perfection, beauty, genius, fury, and glory, all of him.  And I had the story ready.  Everything was all there.  And I needed to write it.  
In my head, it was perfect. 

A week after that concert, I sat down at my computer and IM’d with Mary Calmes until 4 in the morning, her time, and I outlined everything.  As cleanly and concisely as a college thesis.  I knew what this story was going to be.

On paper, it is the best I can do.
Now, I’m sure someone is going to read it and say something stupid like, “If she was a better writer, she’d make it shorter.”  (For the record, I did that with The Bells of Times Square. This is a different animal– it’s like comparing an ocelot to a tiger.)
Or (my personal favorite, because for every reviewer who’s said “My absolute favorite by Amy Lane!” there’s been someone who has said this): Not Amy Lane’s best.
I would beg to differ.  Love me or hate me, love my guys or loathe them, this book is everything I’ve ever wanted to write.  Like the rock star Mackey Sanders is, he needs to be sung, lauded, and paraded in front of the freaking stars.  
This is my best work.  I want as many eyes on this as I can get.  
Mackey deserves it.  
So, uhm, *blush*  buy links as soon as possible.  Heads up on promos in the same time.  In the meanwhile, remember that cover.  It’s beautiful.  I love it.  Holy Goddess, Merciful God, let people not think it sucks–I swear to you all, it’s gonna be good. 

0 thoughts on “Beneath the Stain and Throwing in the Towel”

  1. Unknown says:

    …and as it is written, so shall it be. I can hardly wait, Amy!

  2. JRSF says:

    ebook buyer here. I'm sure that the component parts will all be labeled in such a way that when I see them on my Kindle they won't all say Beneath the Stain, and I'll know which chapter I'm reading when I click to open a particular one? I may not be able to keep up with the releases, but I want to buy each of the parts, and I haaaaaaate spoilers, so I don't want to open the wrong one by mistake.

  3. Amy Lane says:

    JRSF– I'm reasonably certain that the ebook will be as clearly labeled in the URL as it is in the shown cover–but I will double check with our production department. Thank you for the reminder!

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