Here’s an excerpt from my new Christmas release, THE COMPUTER TUTOR.
I don’t have an exact release date yet, but I’ll post when I find out.
This excerpt is from the final draft, in PDF format, which I’ve been going over for mistakes all weekend.
The Computer Tutor
When I phoned my mom a week before
Christmas Eve and told her I was looking forward
to spending the holidays with the family, I
honestly meant it this year. For the first time
since I could remember, I was smiling at the
thought of going back to Asshat, USA for a few
days. Though I was still waiting for my real adult
life to begin, I knew my young adult life in
Asshat was over for good.
After years of hard work, I’d finally graduated
and landed my first authentic-paying position as
a veterinarian in an emergency clinic the previous
August, and I hadn’t been back home since
The Computer Tutor
Easter. I’d grown up in a small town about four
hours northwest of Philadelphia. In high school,
a group of us had nicknamed the little town,
Asshat, USA and it stuck with me all these years.
In Philadelphia, I’d shared a dingy college
apartment near University City with various guys
for almost seven years, including a full-time lover.
I wasn’t one of those students who went home
every weekend. I only went when it was absolutely
Ever since I left home for college, going back
to Asshat for the Christmas holidays always filled
me with anxiety and made me feel trapped. It was
as if that little town was a magnet, and it was
sucking me back with a force too hard to resist. I
experienced nightmares two days before I left
Philadelphia. My heart raced at the thought of
being locked in Asshat forever, working alongside
my dad in his small veterinary practice, waiting
to die a long, slow death.
Landing my new job at the twenty-four hour
emergency clinic had helped dissipate my fears.
Now, I had my own studio apartment in
Philadelphia, a few bucks in my pocket for the
first time in my life, and I was going back home
as an adult, not a needy student.
This realization made a huge difference,
knowing that you’re completely self-sufficient and
no one can tell you what to do anymore. Though
you’re not a complete adult yet, you’re on your
way. When you know you’re going home for just
a visit and nothing more, your childhood bedroom
starts to take on an endearing, nostalgic appeal
instead of a depressing, confined look that
tightens your chest and makes you want to heave
Mom and Dad can’t even suggest what you
should do with your life in a nice way anymore…
because they love you so much. Your life becomes
none of their business. I knew my dad would have
loved to have me come home and take over his
small practice. My mom would have loved me to
marry a local girl, settle down, and provide her
with a litter of grandchildren.
The trouble is that wasn’t me. In high school,
when I was supposed to be dating a cheerleader,
I was usually parked on a dark country road with
another guy on the football team. I won’t even
I was reading one of the publishing blogs I follow earlier today during a coffee break from my next book in The Virgin Billionaire series and I came across something that made me wonder. It doesn’t matter who said it. What matters is there is still some inaccurate publishing advice going around.
The theme of the blog post was about making mistakes while querying editors or agents (groan,) and one of the examples of what not to do referred to a comment the querier made that suggested the book in question would be ready as a “Christmas release…” in publishing.
The blogger jumped on this. The blogger said there was no such thing as a “Christmas release” in publishing because all Christmas related books are released in October and November. And this is what made me stop and think.
I know this is how it used to be in print publishing, back in those good old days. It also used to take a year or two for a book to actually be published once it was submitted to a publisher. There were slow times of the year in publishing, and people actually took Fridays off in the summer instead of working to get books released faster. Until recently, publishing has been widely known as the slowest industry in the universe.
But all that has changed in the past five years. In the past three years alone I’ve personally had several “Christmas releases” in December that have sold many copies…some in mid-December. I would never, indeed, release a Christmas story or book in October now because it would be tired by the time Christmas comes around.
Millions of e-readers, iPads, and tablets are sold as Christmas gifts each year. This year I’m sure the numbers will go up as more people switch to e-reading. And the first thing people want to do after they open their new electronic reading device on Christmas morning is download a few books.
In fact, right now I’m working hard on edits with loveyoudivine.com to get a “Christmas release,” The Computer Tutor, out by Thanksgiving and I’m worried that might be too soon. We’re actually debating about whether or not to hold back and release in mid-December. But more than that, my publishers refer to these books as “Christmas releases.” I don’t think the advice the blogger gave was bad advice on purpose. I just think it was inaccurate advice and not keeping up with all aspects of publishing.
So yes, Virginia, there is a Christmas release.