Making sausage!

My ex-boss from Turner Broadcasting Terry Cunningham (who was elected as the next Mayor of Bozeman, Montana and is a planned highlight on the Round America with a Duck route!) used to say it was like making sausage when our National Advertising Sales and Promotions Department created multi-partner contests, sweepstakes, product placement opportunities, point-of-purchase extensions, media tie-ins and events with CNN, Headline News, TBS, TNT and Cartoon Network.

Messy and you don’t want to see the behind-the-scenes details but then, wow!

(My god, we laughed a lot and did some really great work. Terry even left a nice review on LinkedIn, if interested.)

Well, I’m bringing you in on the sausage-making of my new multi-platform book project at a time when simply writing a book is just the beginning (or maybe even the ending) of a very involved process in today’s marketplace. (Terry knows all about that, too — check out his book, Red Mountain Pass! It is fantastic. See my published review of it at the bottom of this post*. Maybe I’ll even get to see some of the locations that inspired the book when I visit!)

I’ve already published a pile of books and know the stark reality of the biz — I have no illusions of grandeur about becoming the next The New York Times bestselling author (okay, maybe a little). I’ve learned how to center joy (as an act of resistance and existence) on this journey called life, and you’re invited. I believe there’s a place in the world for what I have to offer.

We’re going down the BookTok and Bookstagram rabbit holes. We’re hopping on to Wattpad and may even serialize a related story on Vella. We’re creating outdoor billboards (been there, done that, loved it) and RedBubble stickers. We’re developing sponsor packages. Biz cards are tail feathers with QR codes on handcrafted hang tags (taught myself all about that during my BikeBloom project). There’s even gonna be a cartoon!

I’ll build out a page here on Round America with a Duck with ongoing updates. Join me.

We’re making sausage, team (no, not out of ducks! I’m 15 years vegetarian). And it’s gonna be delicious.

* My review of Red Mountain Pass by Terry Cunningham

5.0 out of 5 stars
 Masterfully-written, riveting plot, and completely original
Reviewed in the United States on July 27, 2020

One of the best articles I ever read, published in a beautiful magazine named Montana Quarterly, was written by a man named Terry Cunningham. Through gripping storytelling on a topic about which I knew nothing, Cunningham chronicled how he convinced the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, all native tribes in the Gallatin National Forest, and the family of a world-famous local mountain climber who plunged to his death a few years earlier to name a mountain peak (Alex Lowe Peak) in honor of that man. So when I heard Cunningham had just published a book named Red Mountain Pass, originally written years ago, I knew I needed to read it. I knew that it didn’t even matter what it was about — this guy’s writing is so masterful and his storytelling gift so acute.

Turns out I was in for a real treat, as the plot of Red Mountain Pass kept me wondering what was next and marveling at the intricate relationships, fully-developed characters, and surprising turns of events. His tender and truly unique handling of the relationship between a snowplow driver and a florist, as well as between the florist and her landlord (a doctor who is kidnapped) truly transcends time and feels like it was written right now, today, with a level of awareness and understanding of male/female possibilities well beyond cliche. The power of a quiet man and a strong woman, in particular, will stay with me forever. The only thing that slowed me down during this page-turner was the stunning use of language throughout, which caused me to linger over paragraphs and phrases, simply rereading them to hear their music. I truly recommend Red Mountain Pass and hope to one day be able to see it come to life as a movie. And, yes, I will read anything and everything Terry Cunningham writes next!

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