Faced with having some unexpected free time on my hands, I'm turning my attention back to more personal projects — old and new — including promotional efforts for my now-neglected debut romance/murder/mystery.
And Jilly Came Tumbling After was a labor of love that took about three years to complete. Like most first-time novelists, when the publication went live on Amazon, I'd hoped for extraordinary things. Silly me. While the reviews were positive (even from people who didn't know me), sales never took off.
Part of the blame for the lackluster performance sits squarely in my own lap. As a curmudgeonly Luddite, beyond basics, I'm unfamiliar with the digital frontier and its myriad social media permutations. My attempts at going viral failed utterly, as did measures to obtain recognition via more old-school means of trawling for book reviews.
Eventually, disappointment set in, and my efforts slowed. My freelance job started demanding more and more of my time — for which I am truly grateful. But it also gave me an excuse to step away from my own writing and its attendant chores. However, now, with my hours severely curtailed, I'm fresh out of excuses. Time to get back to work.
While I had dreams of making a #bestseller list and landing a #Netflix deal for a limited series starring @AlexBorstein as Jewish herring heiress turned homicide detective Jilly Delmar, such ends have thus far eluded me. Hope may spring eternal... but who am I kidding? When pigs fly, right?
That said, two things that give me some hope the book's eventual trajectory won't totally mirror that of its fictitious murder victim are the nod from my own personal hero, E. Jean Carroll, who was kind enough to enthuse: “Judy Cole’s And Jilly Came Tumbling After sent me end over end in delight! (So I suggest you read it lying down!)"[Unfortunately, the blurb arrived too late to make the original version, but it's slated to feature prominently on the revised back cover.]
The other is my favorite customer review, courtesy of K. Casselman (whom I've never met):
Reviewed in the United States on May 20, 2021
"My life is better when there is a whodunnit waiting for me at the end of the day. If it's beautifully, lyrically written, I'm eager for the day to end. If [the]characters are familiar and the sex is sizzling, I'm positively giddy. This book pulled me away from social media and streaming. I finished it at 4 am this morning and have the urge to start from the beginning! I loved this book!"
Thank you, K. Feedback such as this is more appreciated than you can ever know. And thanks to E. Jean... for everything.