Skip to content

Walking Identity Crisis Posts

Current Obsession

I have to admit, I’ve been pretty obsessed with this crowdfunding business. I’ve been on Inkshares for not quite a month, and I’ve sold 33 copies of the novel. I have until February 9 to get to 250.

Despite a lot of false starts, crying and gnashing of teeth, I’m really happy I did this. A few reasons:
-The Inkshares community is AMAZING. I have found so many cool writers on there. I’ve been backing their books, reading, and reviewing. I admire their tenacity and determination. I’m not sure if I’m going to make it, but the journey has been a good one so far.
-I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I’m willing to do in order to put my work out there.
-I’m getting deeper into the bookish/reading community and re-discovering my love of books. Which is great, because when you work in a library (especially as a manager) you can get a little burned out on that.

Honestly, I have no clue what I’m going to do if I don’t make it. Inkshares offers the option of extending a campaign; I could do that. I could see if I get placed in a contest or chosen for a syndicate. Or, I could pull the book and simply indie publish. Another perk of this whole thing is that I’ve been networking with a group of smart, talented indie writers, and I know they could help me get this off the ground.

Whatever happens, I’m pretty sure this book isn’t going to be published traditionally. I’ve had a lot of great feedback, so I want to get it out to my readers as soon as possible. That’s another great thing I’ve discovered: a link to a community that wants to read this book. And that’s everything I’ve ever wanted – to see the thing in print.

I’m getting ready to release a companion short story, and I’m excited about getting that out into the world. Maybe my next book will find a “real” publisher – maybe it won’t. Does it really matter? The most important thing, I’ve learned, is immersing myself in this world, the world of books and stories, the world I was born to be part of.

Highlights of My Writing Career

Third grade. Young Cari is given a Garfield notebook and told to write journal entries. The “writing bug” ensues – a peculiar urge to put words together into sentences and hope that others might read them. (Some may view this as a curse).

First novel: Trapped in a Video Game. The protagonist, a fan of Wesley Crusher, is sucked into her Mario game and has to save the princess. It doesn’t sell.

Cari completes a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel wherein Jadzia Dax and Julian Bashir are kidnapped by an alien race and offered up for sacrifice by the race’s god. Kind of based on that whole Theseus and the minotaur thing. Cari is certain the novel will sell to Pocket Books. (Spoiler: it does not)

Bad poetry.

College. Cari studies with great teachers and churns out a couple of decent stories. One wins a $500 prize. A couple of honorable mentions. YES. Cari is going to the big time.

Cari completes Queen of the Geeks, a “chick lit” novel about a woman who moves home to Amish country and falls in love with a mild-mannered librarian. NOT AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL AT ALL.

“Chick lit” is no longer a term used in publishing. All the books with pink covers are no longer selling.

Time to try YA! Next up, Memento Mori, about a teen who is, well, Death.

Henry comes along. All writing is over.

YA isn’t selling. Cari isn’t sure she wants to be a YA author or a “chick lit” author. Commence gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair.
Many short stories. Some are published! Yay, that’s kind of okay!

Cari completes a cozy mystery, of which she does not remember the title because she is tired, about a bassoon player framed for murder.
Ollie arrives. Writing is over again.

More short stories.

Cari completes her latest novel, How to Remember, which is currently on sale at Inkshares.
It’s kind of, sort of, good! You should buy it!

How to Remember

I suck at selling things.

Even at the library, since we’re trying so hard to boost circulation, I’ll often try to hand-sell a few extra books. People always turn me down… and they don’t have to pay anything!

Whenever I have a home party, I’m always demurring – “You don’t have to buy anything if you don’t want to! Just wanted to invite you because I like you! Ha ha!”

So why did I decide to crowdfund this book? (I’m asking myself the same thing.)

Today is my 36th birthday. I’ve been writing since I was in third grade. This is my fourth novel. The others all stink. I didn’t know how to construct a story, I was writing to trends, I didn’t want to be labeled as a certain kind of author.

I lamented and tore my hair about this. “How can I build a brand when I don’t want to write just one thing?” I said to my author friends. They told me to focus on the book I wanted to write: make it good. Make it something you would want to read.

So this is it. It’s about Miranda Underwood, who wakes up one morning feeling… off. She realizes she’s lost a year’s worth of memories. She’s a neuroscientist, working for a shady company called MindTech, which operates out of a secret basement office in Fairlawn – or at least she was until now. She’s got to figure out what happened to her. And you’ll get the explanation through Ben Baker, a computer programmer who tells the other side of the story during the year Miranda has lost.

I’m trying to figure out how to sell this to you, and maybe people who sell things for a living will have better answers. But what I’m thinking is that you’re buying potential. I believe in this book – I really do – and if I sell enough copies, I will get the editing and industry knowledge that the story needs to succeed. You’ll be helping to launch it. Holding the baby’s hands as she grows into a toddler, as she begins to walk on her own.

I’ve got 90 days to make 250 people buy this book. If I get up to 750, I get a higher tier of editing and marketing, and cover design, too. That goal may be a stretch, but I would love your support in helping me reach it. (But if you don’t want to, that’s OK too… No, Cari, stop!)