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Entries in Office (2)


Congrats, you wrote a book. Now get back to work you lazy bum

Yes, every author is also a part-time fashion criminal. Hence, the Batman jammies. A lot of people wonder what it is that I do after completing a new book. Do I pour some scotch and smoke a single cigarette? Do I slice the neck of a bottle of Dom with a ceremonial broadsword (that would be kinda cool, actually). Do I run naked through my neighborhood screaming, “SUCK IT, FRANZEN!”?

None of the above.

What I actually do…wait for it…is clean my office.

I know. It’s all about the sexy up here in Bittersweet Productions.

Well, I do that for two reasons:

  1. My office is usually a neglected animal warren by the time I drag myself across the finish line of a new novel.
  2. I’m not really done yet.

Basically, I don’t celebrate anything until my editor gives the book her Papal blessing. Then I kinda celebrate, but it’s more like relief. But the work doesn’t really end, because at that point we start editing. Then copyediting. Then proofing. Then cover design. Then the riot of small things that go along with launching a book: questionnaires about the book for PR. Cover copy. Blurb requests (begging). Catalog copy. Submissions to foreign editors with notes, videos, thoughts, ideas.

And then before I have a moment to really reflect on this book, this 10 lb. baby that I’ve given birth to sideways (my wife is a Labor & Deliver nurse by the way, who always reminds me whenever I use that metaphor that one, that’s not physically possible, and B, I don’t have a uterus) my agent will ask, “whatcha working on now?”

Because with the ever-changing literary landscape (with eBooks, yo) I only do one-book deals. So she’s quick to point out that I should get under contract again.

So it’s DANCE, MONKEY DANCE all over again.

Which I’m happy to do. I have a LOT of ideas. Plus, if I ever run out, people always email me and say, “I have this great story about the time the police stole my bicycle.”

Okay, enough of this blogging nonsense. I’ve got work to do.


Your handy, dandy guide to Jamie's not-so-secret writing lair

Someone recently asked the “where do you write?” question. Here’s the answer:

  1. Halloween door-knocker, purchased eons ago. Used to ring and say, “Beeeewaaare!” but the batteries are dead.
  2. Hanging koi wind-socks. I have no idea where I got these.
  3. Poster of the story Broken Glass by Harlan Ellison. Signed by Harlan.
  4. National Geographic Map of the Pacific, circa 1943, purchased at an antique store in Oregon for $1.75.
  5. Nice email from Pat Conroy.
  6. Access info for checking on my kids’ grades.
  7. Big green jewel. Was an award from the Pulpwood Queens.
  8. Partial manuscript: Whispers of a Thunder God.
  9. iTunes, currently playing Cheap Trick: Live at Budokan.
  10. ARCs and galleys I should be reading. Also comics. Currently reading Nick Spencer’s Morning Glories.
  11. A small urn of my father’s ashes, which doubles as a paperweight. Thanks, Dad.
  12. Bumper stickers from Write Bloody Publishing.
  13. Yes, I have a chaise lounge in the middle of my office. Shouldn't everyone?
  14. Asia, current title-holder of: “World’s Laziest Dog.”
  15. KISS throw-blanket, covering a quilt that Leesha made (not pictured).
  16. Milk crate I’ve used as a printer stand since college. Leesha wants it to go away.
  17. ARC of Queen of America by Luis Alberto Urrea, which is beyond excellent.
  18. Daruma doll. You make a wish and color in one eye. No, I’m not tellin’...

Also, I sometimes write at the public library, but for the most part, my days and occasional nights are spent here.