Victoria Noe

Award-winning Author, Speaker, Activist

Working on Two Books at Once

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(Or, "Who Thought That Was a Good Idea?")

Someone asked me recently what I was working on, and after I answered, he said “You’re working on two books at once?” I’m not sure if he was impressed or horrified.

I am working on two books. I have been for months. And while they are very different, I’m not sure I’d recommend it to any of my writer friends. It’s exhausting. The only saving grace, I think, is that I have not been doing the same thing with each book.

The first one – Friend Grief and Men: Defying Stereotypes – is in the final stages. I’ve been deep in the editing for the past few weeks, deleting and adding stories as well as polishing up what I’ve already written. I love my editor. She constantly reminds me “Not everyone knows what you know.” That’s a good mantra for me when I’m explaining situations in my books. The cover is approved (my newsletter subscribers will see it tomorrow) and the marketing has begun in earnest. I’ve requested permission for quotes and only have one more to confirm. There will be a Goodreads giveaway starting next week in addition to related freelance articles appearing online and in print. I’m lining up book signings and radio appearances.

The second one – Fag Hags, Divas and Moms: The Legacy of Straight Women in the AIDS Community – is in the early stages. I have not even begun to write, although I’ve written some blog posts and freelance articles on the topic. For months I’ve been networking in the AIDS community to identify women to interview and stories of their involvement. I’ve found archives around the US I need to access, and have begun to schedule interviews beginning in June. My crowdfunding continues on the New York Foundation for the Arts website, because the costs of traveling to do the important research are fairly substantial (and you can get a tax deduction). I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility to get it right, so I can’t skimp on the research.

As you can see, I’ve been working on different things with each book, so I think that helps conserve the little grey cells. It certainly helps my sanity.

The book about men is generating some good buzz, in part because people are curious about why I chose it to end the series. Sorry, you’ll have to read the book to find out why.

The other book is also generating a lot of interest, not just in the US; some of my research suggestions have come from the UK. Late this year I’ll be in London to speak at two or more events, thanks to a small grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and I expect to do some research and interviews while I’m there.

It will not surprise you to hear that my brain’s a little foggy these days. There’s a lot going on, and although it’s sometimes exhausting, it’s all good. I hope you’ll continue with me on what’s proving itself to be a wild – but fun – ride.