So about the new book…

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

So, what’s new? A lot, actually.

First of all, I should point out that I don’t update this site so much because I quite frankly have too many sites to update. Day to day stuff goes on the Facebook page and Twitter. My non-book writing goes up every month at Cracked, and I’m always hanging around the forum there. If you want to hear my voice, I’ve started showing up in the Cracked podcast.

But if you only rely on this page for updates, let me catch you up.

I am writing (well, revising mostly) the next book, titled Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits. It’s a non-John and Dave book but it’s not like it’s a romance set in Nazi-occupied Paris or anything. If you liked the last two books, you’ll almost certainly like this one. The opening line of the novel is:

If Zoey Ashe had known she was being stalked by a man who intended to kill her and then slowly eat her bones, she would have worried more about that and less about getting her cat off the roof.

 

Unrelated photo of our bunny

It’s not due in to the publisher until the end of next year, because I write slow. BUT to tide you over, we’ve included the first FIVE chapters (about 50 pages) in the paperback edition of This Book is Full of Spiders, which is on shelves as of October 8th:

http://johndiesattheend.com/spiders_order.html

Oh, also Cracked’s new full-color book is coming out at the end of October.  That’s been keeping us all busy the last few months. Oh and Cracked launched a merchandise store, so I’m helping with that, picking out designs and such. And I helped put together this new video series, hosted by my boss, Jack O’Brien. Also, I recently moved to a new city. And then I had my wisdom teeth surgically removed. I think that’s about it. So that’s been my life recently, just writing on the new novel, writing monthly columns at Cracked, writing occasional QuickFix articles like this one, recording podcasts, helping manage the merchandise store, helping create the new video series, acting as administrator of Cracked message boards, editing Cracked feature articles, updating the JDATE social media pages, supervising the six employees I now have under me and answering a few hundred emails a week from Cracked fans, book fans, the publisher, my agent and my bosses. And moving into the new place and getting the old place ready to sell. I think that’s it.

It actually sounds like a lot when I put it all into one paragraph like that.

Oh and JDATE came out in China at some point

“So, what’s an average week like for David Wong?” asks no one, ever, not even my family. Good question! Let’s run through one:

Monday: Since I work from home, everything with Cracked is done via conference call and a massive swarm of emails. So I wake up at around 8 or 9 am and start sifting through email and private messages, doing triage to figure out which ones are emergencies, which are important but not time sensitive, and which can be put on the back burner. After two or three hours of this, I start prepping for the 1 pm call where we go over article pitches. This call lasts about an hour. At 2 pm I have a second call with my superiors, to discuss all of the many things I probably did wrong the previous week. Then at around 4 pm I start editing feature articles, stop to eat at around 7 pm, and then come back and edit until around midnight.

Tuesday: Wake up at 8 or 9, answer emails, again prep for the 1 pm conference call. Then I do a different 2 pm conference call. Then there’s a 5 pm conference call that can last between 30 minutes and 3 hours, depending on what my duties are for that meeting. After that’s over, I do the final edit on the four Cracked Photoplasty contests and usually finish them around midnight. If I’m not too sleepy I might try to squeeze in an article edit, in which case I’ll get to bed at 2 or 3 am.

Wednesday: Wake up at 8 or 9, answer emails, prep for the 1 pm conference call, etc. Once more there’s another 2 pm conference call after that. If I’m part of the upcoming Friday editorial conference call (the big call where we decide what feature articles we want to run – this is different from the 1 pm call I do every day) then I begin going over the dozens and dozens of article pitches. This usually takes about 15 hours, usually split up between Wednesday/Thursday.

Thursday: Wake up at 8 or 9, answer emails, prep for 1 pm conference call. Finish prepping for the Friday editorial meeting. I HAVE to get article editing done on this day, so this is usually a late night depending on when the article pitches are finished. It’s not unheard of for this day to end at around 4 or 5 am – it depends on how many article pitches have come in. I’ve seen as few as 50 and as many as 125.

Friday: Wake up at 8 or 9, answer emails, prep for either the 1 pm conference call or the editorial meeting (there’s a rotation to determine which one I have). The latter typically goes two hours, but it has gone as long as four. Once that’s over, it’s now late Friday afternoon and I try to get as much editing done as I can before getting too sleepy.

Saturday/Sunday: If this is a week when I have a column due, this is when it gets written – it usually takes me about 20 to 25 hours to write a column (usually around 12 hours each day of the weekend, then I revise it at some point during the following week). If I don’t have a column due, I devote the weekend to article editing, on those weekends I try to leave about an 8-hour window on Saturday to do something fun.

Obviously this doesn’t leave much room for novel writing, so I use my vacation time to do that — once every 2-3 months I’ll take a week or part of a week of vacation from Cracked to write on the book. I can usually get 20,000 words or so done in a week if I work 16-hour days.

Some of the miscellaneous tasks that have to get worked in around the above include doing book promotion, for instance this post and the regular Facebook updates fall into that category. The occasional signed book, interviews, etc. It can be hard to work that in sometimes. For example, I had oral surgery a few days ago, so I’m typing this under the influence of Hydrocodone, typing with my right hand and holding this ice pack up to my jaw with the left:

So there’s a lot going on. All in all it’s easier than some jobs but harder than others. I mean I don’t have to leave the house or get dressed up, or commute anywhere, so that’s a big one right there.

Anyway, so there’s tons coming up. I’ll have a new column up at Cracked on Tuesday October 8th, same day the Spiders paperback with the free Suits preview comes out (not a coincidence). A new episode of the podcast with me in it comes out on Monday the 14th. New shirt designs hit the store this week, I think. Then we do Halloween Week, the big horror-themed blowout we do every year at Cracked with a bunch of special articles and scary decorations around the site. Then the Cracked book comes out. Then I’m scheduled to fly out to LA and see everybody. Then I’m going to do a complete redesign of this website. Then I’ll need to take a week off and write/revise the book some more. Got to do Christmas shopping at some point…

Anyway, I’m rambling, possibly due to the pain medication and the fact that even with the pills it still feels like the guy from Splinter Cell has dropped down from the ceiling and stabbed me in both sides of the face with a pair of bowie knives.

All in all, things are going well. I think they’re happy with the movie, it seemed to be a fairly big hit on the streaming side (it’s still among the top horror movies on iTunes and is approaching 400,000 ratings on Netflix), so somebody is watching it. Cracked served a billion pageviews from July to September. August was our best traffic month ever. John is doing well, he’s writing a book. Is it time for a pain pill yet? It is. Here, watch this entire video before you go:

 

-DW


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