Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Writer’s Life

  Has been an interesting month here at Hard-Boiled Poker since
  my return home from helping cover the World Series of Poker.

  A couple of weeks ago, I had a regular freelancing gig suddenly
  evaporate. Of course, nothing in the world of freelance writing should be considered regular, so you might call the phrase “regular freelancing” an oxymoron.

Or, alternatively, you might just call the person who uses such a phrase a moron. Won’t hurt my feelings none.

But the fact was this had been a long-term, quite consistent -- not to mention highly enjoyable and productive -- stream of writing assignments that surprisingly went away when the client abruptly decided on a new direction (and some new and different writers). I’ll spare you further details, but I can’t help but share my disappointment both in the decision and (in some respects) how it all has played out.

In any event, all that wondering out loud last spring about possibly moving over into full-time freelancing has been pushed aside for now. Maybe even for good.

Meanwhile, a couple of other sideline jobs have come my way.

European Poker TourThe most notable will be my going to Kiev, Ukraine next week to help cover the European Poker Tour’s first stop of Season 6. No shinola!

You’ll recall how this event was moved to Kiev from Moscow following Russia’s having declassified poker’s status as a sport, thus making it subject to new anti-gambling legislation. Thus did all the poker rooms in Moscow swiftly close, and so Kiev it was.

Have spent considerable time in Europe before, though never made it as far east as Ukraine, so I expect it will all add up to quite an adventure. No idea at present what my access to the web will be like, so if there’s any interruption in the postings next week, you’ll know why.

I know already I will not be following the footsteps of some of my reporter colleagues and making the world traveling thing a primary occupation. But I am definitely looking forward to this trip and taste of what it is like to report on tourneys outside the U.S.

PokerStars' World Championship of Online PokerSecondly, once I get back home I’ll again be helping blog the World Championship of Online Poker for PokerStars come September, doing recaps and some live blogging of the WCOOP Main Event. Looking forward to that, too, as I enjoyed doing the same both last spring (for the inaugural SCOOP series) and for last year’s WCOOP.

Finally, I have one other bit of sideline business to report with regard to my writing career. This is kind of exciting, actually.

Some time ago I completed a novel -- a hard-boiled detective novel, natch. (I remember mentioning this in a post once a long time ago, which gives you some idea just how long ago this project has been going on.) Revised the sucker several times and sent it to a few publishers, a couple of whom expressed some interest but ended up not pursuing. Time passed, and after some encouragement from Vera Valmore I revisited the novel one last time, then decided to publish it myself. Went through and gave it a final edit, took some time with the formatting, designed front and back covers, and this week took the plunge and published it over on Lulu.

A review copy is being sent to me now, and I am going to wait until I see it and decide all is well before giving out any further details here about how to get the book. The story is set in New York City during the 1970s, and is pretty obviously influenced by the hard-boiled novels/authors I have listed in my profile here. And while I’m remembering one reference to a card trick in there, the novel has absolutely no poker in it whatsoever.

I realize I should thank everyone who has ever read Hard-Boiled Poker, especially the many who’ve sent along kind words and encouragement with regard to my writing, as that sort of thing certainly helped played a role in my decision to go ahead and push forward with the novel. Kind of satisfying to get it out there (and maybe just a little scary, too). Feel very good about doing so, though, not least because it further encourages me to get going on that second one.

So more on the novel to come. And Kiev. Stay tuned.

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Blogger Irongirl01 said...

I love a good mystery/thriller so I'd be interested in checking out your novel. Congrats Shamus!!

8/13/2009 8:39 AM  
Anonymous joxum said...

Always wanted to go to Kiev myself. My great grand parents fled to Denmark from there around the turn of the last century.

Have a nice trip and I wouldn't worry about the internet connection.


8/13/2009 9:07 AM  
Blogger AgSweep said...

Can't wait to hear the novel details. (good lord it's too early to be that witty). Detective novels are my sweetheart and my favorites.

8/13/2009 9:08 AM  
Blogger Pauly said...

Sweet. Can't wait to read it...

8/13/2009 10:17 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Wow, Shamus! I'm very excited for you. Kiev should be an interesting experience, and your book has me anxiously awaiting details of how to buy it. Congrats!

8/13/2009 10:29 AM  
Blogger Random Table Draw said...

Ho-ly Shinola! Great news! You hate to see a regular gig fold, but a lot like poker, that applesauce happens.

I think this is awesome all around. We get your top notch updates from Kiev (making it watchable/trackable) and we get to read a new book. Put me down for a copy.

8/13/2009 11:08 AM  
Blogger BWoP said...

Congratulations on the book! I can't wait for details about obtaining a copy . . . :-)

Enjoy Kiev!

8/13/2009 2:32 PM  
Blogger BigTPoker said...

No poker at all in the book? Surely that's a bluff!

8/13/2009 5:03 PM  
Blogger cheer_dad said...

Congratulations on the book, Kiev, and perhaps more importantly the support and love of a good woman, Vera Valmore!



8/14/2009 1:20 PM  
Blogger John G. Hartness said...

Lol - more poker in my religious fantasy novel than in your book? Now that's saying something. Congrats, buddy, can't wait to read it!

8/15/2009 7:57 PM  

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