Paperback Rocker #9 – Enjoy the Process


My website is You can find the podcast archives there. Find my books on Amazon by searching my name, Matt Syverson. Follow me on Twitter @PaperbackRocker. Email me at [email protected]. Thanks for listening!

The show notes are as follows: It’s 10:15 in the evening, and I should be writing, but I’m not. Why is that? Because I finished “Blue Whiskey” for the fifth or sixth time. I’m waiting on the cover and writing the back cover copy, which has been difficult since it’s not a plot-driven novel like “Black Dog”. It’s a fictional autobiography of fictional folk musician, Stanton Wheelhouse III. He’s a serious musician, but he ends up writing a one-hit wonder.

The first draft was 400 pages and 130K words, but I cut off the front part, which was the story of the character’s father. It was supposed to be more of an historical novel, but the book got a lot better when I got to the main character being born, so I excised the first 70 pages like a skin cancer. The good thing about that is that I had a background for the characters that provided a richness and depth.
You can’t predict how art is going to unfold, but you have to enjoy the process. That’s the message of this episode. Try to enjoy all phases of writing a book, from the first draft through the editing, including the formatting and everything. And take your time. There’s no rush. It’s like slow-cooking some ribs, which I explain.

I talk about an article by Kristen Lamb, in which she outlines five mistakes self-published authors make. I agree with her number one point. You’ll have to listen to see what that is. I talk about some big downsides of using a vanity publisher.
I’m in a kind of lull, because I’ve written every night for four years, and I feel like I need to recharge the batteries after finishing “Blue Whiskey”. The book is going straight to hardback this time, since my hardback of “Black Dog” has done well.
One key to being a successful author is having multiple entry points for readers. It just takes one commitment from them at first, but they may become long-term fans and reviewers.

It drives me nuts how most authors just market to other authors. I give some tips on how to break away from doing that.
I talk about the concept of ‘enchanted serendipity’ and how it shows up in my life and my books.
I wrap up with a discussion of the movie “Reality Bites” and the slacker label that Generation X had in the beginning.

My dog, Lucy, airs her grievances at the end of the show.