30. August 2007 · Comments Off on Adventures in the Literary Life · Categories: Ain't That America?, General, Literary Good Stuff, Veteran's Affairs, Working In A Salt Mine..., World

Finally got paid last week for the ever-loving magazine article, but alas, just as I feared, being implacable and insistent about being paid did rebound. My friend who referred me to them said “Ummm – you know you won’t be getting any more story assignments from them.” Which neatly coincides with what I had decided; if actually getting a check for work performed and published was going to be so prolonged an agony that I would pass on doing any more for that particular publication.

Getting the check at last means I could order another box of review copies of To Truckee’s Trail which will go out in the mail the instant I get them. Most of them will go to Mom, who is even more brash about promoting my work than I am. Always has been; she was the one who practically frog-marched me into the place where I got the job that carried me all the way through college.

I mailed out autographed copies this week to everyone who paid for one, one to be considered for review by �True West�, another to be reviewed at Blogger News Network, one to B. Durbin with extravagant thanks for the use of her photo for the cover, one for The Fat Guy, who loves Westerns and Westernish things. Does anyone else want an autographed copy? Dave the Computer Genius helped me install a donation/payments page at www.celiahayes.com where you can order one with a simple click of the button. I�ll be sending for another box of copies in a couple of weeks, if anyone does.

On the marketing front, I have sent out quantities of postcards to various museums, historical societies and independent bookstores across the western states, and followed up with emails. A google map-search only turns up one independent bookstore in San Francisco which isn�t self-consciously leftist, new-age or oriented to alternate lifestyles and/or the LBGT community. I haven�t tackled Los Angeles yet; San Diego I�ll leave to Mom and her friends.

So far, a bookstore in Truckee has e-mailed me back, saying they will order copies � they carry about a dozen books about the Donner Party alone. I am picturing my book in the �local history� shelf, waving its hands and calling �Hey � read about the people who didn�t screw up their journey big time!� And the Truckee-Donner Historical Society is making noises about reviewing and stocking it as well. So my instincts for marketing the book are paying off in a small way; not bad, considering I have no reviews at all to publicize it with, so far!

I do believe I shall finish the first draft, volume two of �Barsetshire with Cypress Trees, etc� this week, at about a chapter and a half to go. This ends neatly with the conclusion of the Civil War, with all the men trickling home and facing up to the ruin that the war left of their farms and businesses. I�ll be taking a breather and doing a lot more reading before I do necessary revisions and additional research. Then comes the final volume, and finding a new way to write about trail drives and cattle baronies, something that hasn�t been seen in about a couple of million books, movies and TV Westerns.

There is some promising stuff I have discovered so far. Did anyone know that there were trail drives out of Texas, to California, well before the Civil War? And that refrigerated beef began to be shipped out of Indianola almost as soon as the war was over? Or even that the long trail drives towards the railheads in the mid-west even began because Texas was glutted with cattle that had run wild during the war?

Stay tuned�.

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