Have you ever noticed how the weekend has a way of just sneaking up on a person? I was in no way prepared for today to be Sunday. And yet, here it is. Imagine that.
Y’all know what Sunday means here at Women and Words, right? Yes! It’s time for me to introduce our latest guest blogger! Today we’re joined by mystery writer Ann Aptaker. She’s celebrating the release of Tarnished Gold, her latest novel.
Read on and she’ll tell you all about it!
SHOWERED IN GOLD DUST
by Ann Aptaker
This has been my season of being showered in Gold dust. It began last November with Bold Strokes Books’ publication of my debut crime/mystery novel, CRIMINAL GOLD, which, to my nail biting relief, was greeted by excellent reviews in various online and print venues.
The next sprinkling of Gold arrived courtesy of the Golden Crown Literary Society, by awarding me one of their coveted conference scholarships, enabling me to attend their 2015 conference in New Orleans, an event which otherwise would have been out of my financial reach. The GCLS sprinkled me with yet more Gold dust by selecting Criminal Gold as a finalist for a Goldie Award in the Debut Author category. What a way to attend my first conference! And I had a blast. GCLS gave this newbie the opportunity to appear on two panels, where I certainly enjoyed having my say about the place of crime and mystery fiction in American letters (an occasionally taking my foot out of my mouth.….ooops!). GCLS was also kind enough to schedule me for a Criminal Gold reading, providing a venue to introduce the adventures of my series protagonist, the dapper dyke outlaw Cantor Gold, to new readers. All in all, my opportunities at the conference were—okay, here it comes again—Golden. Best of all, though, I met terrific women at the conference, made new friends—writers and readers—who enlarged my understanding of what it means to be a writer, and what it means to be read. And, yeah, we had a cracklin’ good time, too! (Hey, it was New Orleans!)
With Bold Strokes’ release of Book Two of the Cantor Gold Crime Series, TARNISHED GOLD, Gold dust continues to shower me. Once again, I experience the excitement of knowing my words are being read and my vision shared by readers. Once again, readers can take Cantor Gold into their favorite chair or on their comfy couch or under the covers at night to cheer her on as she faces danger and pushes back against an unjust, unfair, and sometimes just annoying world on our behalf. And once again, there’s the nail biting hope the book is well received. Reaching the widest possible readership is important to an author for two major reasons, one creative, and one commercial. On the creative side, sharing a vision with as many readers as possible is an author’s dream. I guess it’s like that Zen question: what’s the sound of one hand clapping? It takes two hands to create the sound of clapping; in this case, writer’s and reader’s. An unread book is a silent thing.
On the commercial side, writing is a business, especially for an author working through a publishing house. Sales matter. The publisher needs to recoup the substantial investment of publishing a book: paying an editor, proofreader, book production designer, cover art designer, printer, e-book formatter, PR staff, distributors, and others who are integral to the process of producing and releasing a book. And oh yeah, paying a small advance to the author. So with the release of Tarnished Gold, I hope there are enough solid chunks of the real 14-carat stuff amidst all that Gold dust to satisfy the hungry commercial vortex. And the hungry author.
Still, being showered in Gold dust during the past several months has been a breathtaking experience. As we all know, life can often be a dicey affair, with more challenges than we sometimes feel we can handle, more burdens than we feel we can balance on our already overburdened shoulders. But then there’s a break in the grind, a new cycle starts up, fueled by some unexpected energy source. In my case, the fuel was, and continues to be, Gold dust.
Native New Yorker Ann Aptaker has been a curator of art during a career in museums and galleries, and as an independent curator designing exhibitions. She brings the same creative drive to her first love: writing. Her fiction has appeared in two volumes of the FEDORA anthology series before that series’ unfortunate demise. She has also had short stories published in e-zine Punk Soul Poet, and numerous curatorial essays published by museums and galleries in conjunction with their exhibitions. TARNISHED GOLD is her second novel. She is currently working on the third book in the Cantor Gold Crime Series.