One week into the great Summer of the Messenger, marketing efforts are going well. Thank heaven I have Dana, who has been putting an inhuman amount of effort into designing and refining the joelpierson.com website. (Go Daddy’s website builder platform seems to be plagued by the devil himself.) With the help of marketing and publishing experts Alan Bower and Erica Dorocke, we have some great ideas for the site, and it’s really coming together well. My sincere thanks to everybody who’s made that happen.
I’m getting more positive feedback from readers about the books, which is always welcome. When I was creating these novels, I had no illusions about creating works of art that would survive for centuries in the great collected works of written human endeavor. I wanted to create books that would make people say, “I just read this, and I had a lot of fun. You should read it.” Every time I hear words to that effect, I feel successful. Of course, I will admit that my main goal in life is to have a college English course named for me; a 300-level course identified only by my last name, as in: “Yeah, this semester, I’m taking English 342: Pierson. We’re studying his later works, right before he went mad.”
What? It’s my fantasy; I can have a mad period if I want one. If Honey Boo Boo gets another season and my books don’t get adapted for TV, I’ll be very ready for that madness, thank you very much.
Yes, it’s true, I’m putting myself out there in the world, in the hope of a weekly dramatic series. I’ve shared my work with a few people who might be able to make that happen. I’m open to suggestions as to who you’d like to see portray your favorite characters. Feel free to leave comments at the end of this entry about who might play Tristan or Rebecca, Genevieve or Ephraim. I’ll be intrigued if anyone comes up with the same names I did in my mind.
Readers will probably notice that I don’t flood the narrative with description—either of people or places. I prefer to be minimalist, letting people’s imaginations fill in the details. That probably comes from my radio theatre background, where such details were always supplied by the listener’s own thoughts and ideas. So if you want Tristan to be tall and blond, he is; if you want him to be shorter, with dark hair and a bit of middle-age spread, more power to you. I’m much more interested in what’s in his heart than what color his eyes are.
I’m inviting my readers to “storm” Amazon.com in the next two days and see if ordering book six, The Messenger Conflicted, can lift the sales ranking into the top 1,000. I would dance with joy if it did. (And I could be persuaded to film that dance and post it to YouTube.)
If you haven’t read books four and five, book six might pose a few questions, but I’d like to think it’s encouragement to read the prequel trilogy. As I mentioned, the books are fun—sometimes funny, other times dramatic. You’ll see a lot of my personality in there (and perhaps one or two of my lifelong foes fictionalized for Tristan to battle, ha ha ha!)
If you’re absolutely new to the Messenger Series, welcome. Thanks for checking me out. For a limited time, you can download all of book 1, Don’t Kill the Messenger, for free in PDF form on my website, www.joelpierson.com. Give it a read, and if you like it, the others are available to order right there on the site.
This is the part that’s been hard for me—talking business when it comes to the books. For me, the joy has been writing them and having people read and enjoy them. But to sell myself as author? How do you do that? The answer, I’m discovering, is by doing it. By putting the word out there and presenting myself as an entertainment-generating service that people can purchase and enjoy. I’m reading a wonderful book on that subject, by the way, Michael Hyatt’s Platform—Get Noticed in a Noisy World. If you have something to sell—even if that something is yourself—buy this book.
But buy mine first. (Sorry, Michael. Just doing what you told me!)
FUN FACT: The Messenger novels contain characters from my writings of the past. Bronwyn Kelsey and Iris Aiello (book three) are characters from my novel and audio series, French Quarter. Bill Ferguson (an alias given by Tristan in book three) was the lead character in my audio series, Knight for a Day. And Virgil and his dog Keesho first appeared in short stories I wrote at age four. They’re all part of the little universe I keep in my brain.