Today is the one year anniversary of the release of The Pagan Night, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to do a little retrospective.
First, you may be wondering where the next book is. Simply put, there were some delays that I didn’t expect, so the publication date has been pushed back to August. The first and a half draft is done, but I suspect there will be a fair bit of editing to do before the book is ready for shelves, so hold that date in an open hand. You can pre-order The Iron Hound here.
One of the things about having a book come out in January, as The Pagan Night did, is that it risks getting lost in the mix. By the time the year ends and all of those “Best of Year” lists come out and people are nominating for awards and so forth, the January titles are a distant memory. I’ve spent the last couple months hoping that someone would recall my book as one of their favorites of the year, but that hasn’t worked out, and I don’t really know what to do with that in my head. As with everything I do, TPN didn’t get a whole lot of reviews, but they were almost universally positive, and yet the book apparently isn’t memorable enough to make the lists.
I’m not sure what to do about that. If there were negative reviews that I could point to and say “Ah, here we go, this is where I can improve” then I would have something to work with. I want to write the kind of books that get remembered. I want to get better. But I guess I’m a little adrift on how to do that. It’s not an ideal place to be, especially when you’re two books into a three book contract.
I guess I’ve based my life on two standards of success: financial and literary. Either you sell a lot of books, or you win a lot of awards, and anything between those standards feels like failure. But really it’s incremental. TPN is still on bookstore shelves a year after release, which is six months longer than anything else I’ve written, so I guess that’s better. Mind you, at the current rate of sale it’ll be ten years before I earn out my advance. That doesn’t feel good. But waking up every morning and spending the day writing feels great, and maybe that’s what my success looks like. I just wish it was easier on the people around me.
There. That’s your retrospective, mixed with a little bit of wistful future thinking and topped off with a stab of inspiration. Let’s see what next year looks like, shall we?