Closer to Books

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On November 18, 2015, two things happened that would change my life, and this blog, forever.

The first thing happened about 5:00. My muse stumbled down from the attic and burst into my home office, where I was just finishing up a particularly brutal day of day jobbing.

“You need an author website,” she said, tripping over my chocolate lab and swearing like a … well, like she always does. My muse got up on the wrong side of existence and has been grouchy ever since.

“Seriously? You actually brought me an idea?”

Inspirational ideas have been pretty scarce since she took this gig.

“Oh, go chase yourself,” she said. “That just occurred to me because I saw you were on the computer. I came downstairs because you need to go to the store. You’re out of wine. Again.”

So naturally, I did what any man would do—I put on my shoes and coat and went to the store. Don’t judge me. She’s at her most miserable when she’s sober.

YA Author Tom Hoover on Muse IssuesIn any event, the store is where the second thing happened. Well, technically, the store parking lot. I’d left my phone in the car because it’s an iPhone and naturally too big for my pocket. It was screaming alert messages as soon as I was finished shopping and loading my groceries and cheap wine into the trunk.

For all I knew, it’d been screaming since I left. I picked it up and saw I had already amassed 45 Twitter alerts and there were more on the way. At that point in my Twitter career, I was picking up two to three followers every few days and losing two-thirds of them by the end of the week. Dancing back and forth along the triple-digit tightrope.

My agent was in a Twitter discussion with apparently all of her other clients, and my name came up. And then they were talking about me. And then to me—apparently annoyed with me because I was too rude to talk back. An appraisal that didn’t change when I told them I’d been in the store.

Honestly, to this day, one woman tells everyone she meets that I considered myself too good to talk to them. No matter how many times I keep telling her, “Trust me, it’s just you. I’m too good for you.”

What are you gonna do?

She also got on my case because I, at the time, didn’t read enough young adult books. Apparently there’s a certain number you have to hit before you can be a young adult author. Annually. Although she never shared the number, nor asked how many I’d read, she was confident I didn’t measure up.

I wonder if she was a muse in a former life. She’s mean enough.

And I do so read young adult books.

But I digress.

This blog was supposed to start with said books. I guess they’ll wait for next week.

By the by, several months later, when my muse was feeling particularly unkind. She confessed to me that she only suggested an author’s website because she knew I’d have to write a weekly blog.

It made her happy how much I’d hate that.

Next yard sale I have, she’s a discount item.

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