Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Making of That Was Halloween: Essays on the Holiday

I have to confess I have never cared too much for writing about my own writing. To me it has always seemed a bit self-absorbed to write about the process I go through writing any given work. That having been said, today I feel under the weather and the research for what would be my next blog post is not quit done yet. At the same time I do have a new book that I would like to promote. It was on September 24 of this year that I published the book Halloween: Essays on the Holiday. As the title suggests, it is filled with essays on Halloween, including its origins and its place in popular culture.

As to how I thought of putting out a small book on Halloween, I have to confess it emerged largely due to economic necessity. Quite simply, in August my royalties tanked. This is nothing unusual, as I see a drop in my royalties late every year. It does make sense to me, as people are having to spend money on "back to school" goods for their children, not to mention presents for the winter holidays. Anyway, it occurred to me that I could create a book that might actually sell from the late summer into the autumn. Quite simply, I had already written a few blog posts centred on Halloween. I could then simply write more essays and I would have a short book on the holiday. While my other books might not sell in September and October, a book on Halloween might. Halloween has always been my second favourite holiday after the Yuletide, and I enjoy it even to this day.

Of course, putting out a book in less than a month, even a short book, would not prove easy. It did not prove easy even reworking some of my earlier blog posts on Halloween. It was not a simple case of having to produce a good deal of new material for the book (including a long essay on the origins of Halloween). I had to produce a good deal of material during what for me is often the busiest month of the year. September has always been the start of the fall television season, so I usually have a good number of TV show anniversary posts to write for this blog during the month. This year was no different. Worse yet, the second weekend of September is when our county holds its fall fair, during which the historical society's museum is open. As historical society president I often find myself at the museum for the three days of the fair. For a good part of September, then, I spent several hours writing each day while trying to keep up with everything else. Of course, once I was through writing I had to proofread the manuscript, which is much worse than writing. I enjoy writing. I don't enjoy proofreading.

As to the title, I had a bit of trouble with that. Early on I simply referred to it as "The Halloween Book", but I knew that would be much too generic a title. I finally settled on That Was Halloween, which I drew from the song "This is Halloween" from the classic The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993).

In the end I am happy with That Was a Halloween. I think it turned out well over all. I will probably write more on the holiday of Halloween in this blog, and those blog posts will probably find their way in later editions of That Was Halloween. While I definitely want it to sell well, in the end I am just happy to have written it.

That Was Halloween: Essays on the Holiday is available through Amazon and other book sellers.

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