I have a strong dislike moving, almost as much as I have a strong dislike for accounting, and washing dishes and folding laundry and cutting the grass. I started to say I hate moving (and all that other stuff), but ‘hate’ is a very over-used and much misunderstood word. Hate implies a predilection to violence, and I have a strong dislike for violence.
Mostly because I have had to use violence in the past, and I have had violence done to me as well. While violence may appear to resolve a crisis in a very blunt fashion, and is very appealing on both the small and big screens, it does carry with it many undesirable and unexpected consequences (that script writers rarely bother with). So we’ll just go with ‘strongly dislike’, shall we?
Anyway, I had planned some day in the future to move to Deland, Florida, where I intended to work on my fifth novel in the life and times of Terrance Charles Rankin. Due to family issues, however, that move occurred last week instead of a few years down the road. Well, it’s done now and I am currently living and working in Deland.
My library is stacked up in a corner, in twelve rather heavy boxes, but my computer is up and running well, thank you very much. I have a number of chores yet to do to get me settled in, but I did find a rather good barber, yesterday, after first finding a rather bad one. In other words, one very good – and rather close – haircut required the attention of two barbers, at a cost of $32.00, not including a tip to either one.
But I can state there is at least one good barber in Deland, Florida, who will see me about twice a month for all the time I live here, and very bad one who might pass me on the street but will never see me darken the door to his shop, ever again.
Such is life. You pays your money and you takes your chances.
I got a call yesterday from an independent bookstore in Gainesville, Florida, telling me they are shutting down after nearly thirty years in the same location. That is a very sad thing to hear. They still have some few copies of my novels and want me to stop by and pick them up. Unfortunately, it will cost me as much in gasoline to drive to Gainesville and pick up those copies as I would ever make from selling them. So I will ask to have the books donated to the local public library, instead.
It is a sad comment on the economics of today that this is not the first independent to go under; it is even sadder to know that it will not be the last. People take a big risk with their life savings in starting a new business – bookstores included. People open a bookstore because they love books, and they love people who enjoy reading. When a bookstore dies, dreams die all around them.
As an author, I feel the loss of every bookstore, and not only as the loss of another market for my novels. I too, am a dreamer, you see.
And just like anyone else who experiences the loss of a dream and an enterprise, I immediately start looking for options, some other way to rebuild my life and keep my dreams and goals alive and thriving. Without a dream and the goals to support them, life loses its vibrancy, its tension and excitement. Without something to live for, why bother getting up in the morning?
So this morning I made the short drive into dynamic downtown Deland to an independent bookseller and offered a few copies of my novels on consignment. They were happy to take them, of course, and I was happy to pass them over. I’ll locate another bookstore in a week or so on the other side of town, and make the same arrangement with them.
On Saturday, the 4th of March (just before Super Bowl Sunday), I will be in Inverness, Florida, at St, Margaret’s Episcopal Church, 114 North Osceola Avenue, for the 2nd Annual Festival of Books. Apparently, the first was a roaring success, so they’re doing it again.
If you are in the area, please do stop by. Inverness is a very interesting little town, and that part of Florida has a lot to offer visitors.
“Lonesome Cove”, my fourth novel, is only days away from completion (I could have said hours, but knowing me as well as I do it really is days). Once it is on its way to the editors I will start writing my end of a novel I am co-authoring with a very interesting fellow who has the sort of chops that would make many men green with envy in today’s world of organized crime and counter-terror work.
I’ll get into this a bit more in an upcoming blog post. Needless to say, I am anxious to get started on this project.