Authors love to gripe about how hard it is to market and promote, and with good cause. It sometimes feels like nothing I do works, and in this economy, that's very possibly true. So what's a writer to do?

As a teacher, I learned to multi-task, and it serves well in this business, too. I think writers have to work more in multiple universes than others do: I'm promoting MACBETH'S NIECE but getting ready for HER HIGHNESS' FIRST MURDER to come out in January while editing SHAKESPEARE'S BLOOD for the people who might take it if it's shorter and working on HER GRACE'S MURDERS CONTINUE, the sequel that helped sell the mystery. (And yes, I guess I do have a thing for possessives. What's up with that?)

I try to do what I often did as a young mom/teacher; do specific things during other things. For example, my daughter played many sports, and I wanted to be supportive, so I sat high up in the bleachers, checking quizzes and essays until her game began, and often finished them up as I waited for her to shower afterward. Now I find that down times at events like craft shows is a good time to edit, address post cards, or make to-do lists.

If I sound like the father in CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN, I do recognize that we all need down time. I try not to work on weekends, and that usually is the case unless I'm at a planned event or the Muse will not leave me alone until I finish a section. I also try to enjoy the moment I'm in, without worrying about what I should be doing. Writing is a pretty consuming passion, and one is never done with it. Add marketing to the creative urge, and one might become a basket case. I try for balance: do the most I can with my time, and then give myself time for other things. So now I'm going to go plant some flowers.

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