Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

A Job By Another Name

I Sort Of Have A Job…

Well, I don’t get paid for it, so not sure you could call it a job. And it has no regular hours or things like that. But because of us buying a third retail store, and the ramping up of a bunch of publishing stuff this winter and spring, Allyson and Kris have decided I need to sort of take over the stores. (Allyson and Billy were sort of doing it before, splitting duties.)

Now Billy,  the head of WMG Sales, runs our south store and will be starting at the end of this year and into next year an entire new phase of book sales for our company. Something very innovative and creative. Something no one has tried or done before. We are all very excited about it. So Billy will be gone on trips a bit and not possible to keep a sharp eye on everything to with three stores. (When I am gone, he will help me on that.)

And Dan, in our new bookstore, has been working miracles with that store, with the old owner’s help, Sheldon McArthur. The place is becoming stunning and great fun. A really nifty bookstore.

And Deena, our new North store manager is going gangbusters on learning the ropes and will be helping with things like city outreach and schedules and so on. Josh, who had run the North store, is helping Deena while moving into the website side of things, as well as being my managing editor at Pulphouse.

So the stores needed a central figure and we needed to get Allyson out of the middle of the retail side and keep her more on the publishing side, even though she will remain the boss of everything.

So I get the pleasure of stepping in and being the go-between on the three stores.

Honestly, this is more fun than I can imagine. I have found my heaven, playing in books, collectables, and picking for all three stores. Billy is our best picker, but I do all right in my areas.

So it isn’t really a job. I just get to get up every morning and go play, then have fun with workshops and helping people chase their dreams, then finish off my days writing fiction. And along in there I get to edit Pulphouse again.

Some of my old friends who are retired ask me why I am still working. I tell them I’m not working.

I’m playing.



  • D J Mills

    I remember feeling like that when I was getting paid to code. Fun all day, every day, and getting paid to do it!
    I hope to feel the same way again, when one of my books “takes off” increasing sales on all the other books. Until then, I get the fun of learning and practicing. All fun.

  • Mark Kuhn

    Hi Dean, I have no idea why I never read any of your Jukebox stories sooner. I guess I was too busy reading Poker Boy and the Cold Poker Gang and Kris’s Retrieval series and Fiction River.
    But the other night I found your “Through the Jukebox” collection in the Kindle store and figured I’d give it a try. All great, as always. But it was the first story in that collection that blew my mind, the story “Jukebox Gifts.” If the regular readers here haven’t read this story yet, stop reading this and go get this collection, and I mean right now.
    “Jukebox Gifts” is the most poignant short story I have read in a LONG time. It tugs on the heart strings and doesn’t let go, and put a lump in my throat a few times. No spoilers here folks, just go read it for yourself. It is one of the most original ideas I have read, pulled off and executed as only you can, Dean. It’s a story about friendship. It’s a story about getting second chances.
    I have read the story about five times so far and I’m now going over it to try to learn how Dean made me care so much for the main character.
    This story, and this collection, is not to be missed. Simply incredible. Wow, well done Dean!

    • dwsmith

      Wow, Mark, thanks. I am blushing. Even though it wasn’t the first, I consider that story the first jukebox story. And one of the novels in the Thunder Mountain series is the origin story of the jukebox, which took me thirty plus years to figure out. (grin) Thanks again. Very kind of you.