My guest this week is Rider Jacobs. Thanks so much for appearing Rider.
Writing, Blogs and Conventions, Oh My.
By Rider Jacobs
As most of you know I lost my best friend and writing partner at the first of the year. Since that day I have been navigating the world of blog and conventions, something she always did while I stayed home and wrote. Well ok, let’s be honest, my evil day job doesn’t give me much time off and at a time when the conventions are the most popular I tend to be working.
For those who don’t know my evil day job is at a candy factory. I really feel I must have a discussion with Willy Wonka because so far I have seen nothing like the fun place he showed me as a child, not that I work for Willy Wonka to start with but he led me to believe in chocolate waterfalls.
Since last January I have tried to take over the web page and found that I just don’t have a flare for that. I have tried to manage the blog and the Facebook page, once again something I just don’t seem to remember to do. For those of you that have met me, I’m a bit of a scatter brain. My mind is always on the next story, I am about as unorganized as they come. I’m the one person that loses the thing I was just handed before the two minute mark was up. That is where my Angel came in. She was detailed, organized, loved to meet new people and had no problems making sure our writing and yes me, ran smoothly. I know some of you may say that I seem calm and collected but honestly there is someone in the wings that has given me all the information and objects needed to make it appear so. Angel was the one that knew everything about our stories, kept journals on the characters and even saved all of our writing through different steps. I would call her up while I was writing and say “Angel friend, what was the name of Inanna’s father?”
She would look at the notebook that she kept of detailed character and family descriptions and give me the answer. She would beta read for me and tell me “Kitten friend do you know that you have used the name Jack in three stories now?” I would be there changing the stories. Angel had a flare for description, I was the bare bones of the story. She would tease me and say “Kitten now I’m giving you a five thousand word story to look at, please don’t hand it back with two words.” I’m a harsh editor tending to cut more than I leave in.
GRL in Atlanta was my first convention. It was a miracle that we even made it. Sometimes I wonder if the Universe was trying to tell me something, if maybe we made different choices she would be with us now. GRL comes in October which is never a good time for me. I don’t have vacation at work. We are told when our vacation is which is always the first two weeks of June. It took all of my sick time to attend GRL. I had to go six months without missing a day or risk losing my job but it was worth it. Of course at the time I wasn’t so sure. We went as authors, I was going to fly, Angel was driving. So I sent her all of our swag, five hundred magnets, t-shirts, business cards and books. The post office lost it. I march up to the post office with my tracking number and insurance number and was told that it got delivered, someone must have stolen it. We were devastated because now two weeks before we were to leave we had to buy all new swag.
Angel was a manager her place of employment, a week before she was to leave one of her employees quit. It was a scramble for her to get someone hired and trained, to get people to cover her shift and now the shift of the lost employee. She really thought she wasn’t going to be there. Against the odds, and a plane turning back three times for mechanical problems we both made it to Atlanta. We were on top of the world.
The first of the year I released two stories. The first is a short called “Everything Changes”. It’s about a writer who just can’t seem to move on with life after his partner dies. When I wrote it I had no idea I was going to lose my best friend. “Everything Changes,” is a twist on one of my favorite movies, “A Christmas Carol.”
My second story came out just after I lost my beloved Angel. It is a ghost story called “Forgotten”. Actually the whole story was centered around one line I heard “Some secrets should never be forgotten”
“Forgotten” is about the ghost of a young man named Alexey. He feels wasn’t ready to die, he was too young, had so much to live for and as a result his anger drives out anyone in the house. When Peter and Rhys move into the rambling farm house they discover that it is already occupied by a ghost and not only does that ghost not like strangers, it has fallen in love with Peter.
I also have a few short stories out in a couple of anthologies, Strong Hot and Irish has the short titled “Snow and Red” and Hot Shots has a short called “ Loving a Marine” When I lost Angel I tossed myself into writing. I was determined to take what we started together and move it to the next level. I’m looking at the outlines and stories I started when I was a young child and crossing over into the M/F genre. It is something Angel and I planned on doing together.
Early in May I attended the Romantic Times readers convention. Angel and I had planned on going together. It was all she talked about from the moment registration opened. She had never been and I think she would have been overwhelmed and disappointed. I was going to cancel my reservation. I’m not going to any conventions this year. GRL registration came when I was burying my best friend, registration for conventions was the last thing on my mind.
There were a few times at RT that I almost cried because I knew how excited she would have been to meet her favorite authors. I wasn’t as social as I could have been, those closest to me saw me and the rest of the time I made brief appearances. There is only one complaint I have about the convention. It is the checkout line at the book fair. I wanted to attend many of the events after the book fair but over two hours in line to pay for the books meant I missed almost everything. By time I got checked out only the fantastic day party was left and believe me after carrying a bag of books and standing in line for hours I just wanted to be back in my room.
So now I am five months into the year as a solo writer. I’m still trying to figure it out. I’m still overwhelmed and wish I had that chance to thank her for making everything run smoothly for us. I never knew how much work everything was. My writing continues on, I have just finished my sequel to “Legion” which many people are waiting for. I called it “Adoni” I wish I could tell you that the sequel’s to the AJ Kelton books would be coming out soon but it was too hard for me to write without her. I have chosen to let those titles go. Give me a little time and you will see the characters again, they may have a different name, some flare that makes them all mine but your beloved cupid and nephilim will show back up.
So be patient with me as I navigate the world to writing, blogs and conventions. As the days turn into weeks and weeks into months I find I’m not crying so much. I find the numbness and pain leaving me and I am learning to live for the both of us. One day, hopefully many many years from now I well see my best friend again. Yes she will have her hands on her hips and say “Kitten friend how you managed to get so far with the attention span of a gnat I’ll never know.” Then we will hug, even though she knows how much I hate being touched and tell me she was the biggest fan of my life.