In the words of someone famous: “It’s been a funny old year.”
This is a gathering of thoughts concerning events that have happened in 2012. A synopsis, if you like. I began the year on a big personal downer – one of the biggest of my life. On the plus side, I had space to breathe. Also on the plus side, I had three good books on Amazon that were selling in dribs and drabs. But then, I’m no entrepreneur, what do you expect.
Also in my back pocket I had three-quarters of another book. Remember Star Wars? Remember seeing the Death Star out in space, how it looked almost like a globe but it still had the scaffolding up? Well that’s how this new book was at the beginning of the year. And it was my mission to finish it.
This ‘other book’ was The Third Rule and I worked like crazy to become reacquainted with it after a considerable absence. And then I finished it. Life was good.
And it was about to get better.
A close friend of mine tried to turn me into an entrepreneur and of course failed miserably; but a little knowledge rubbed off and The Dead Trilogy sales picked up a tad. I joined a couple of forums and met some great people. I joined Twitter and did what everyone else on there seems to do: plug my book.
One of the people from one of the forums took a liking to The Dead Trilogy and reviewed it, and helped remove errors. Then I did a freebie, a giveaway of the first book in the series. A Long Time Dead flew off the virtual shelves and even after the freebie, it continued to sell very well, earning a number 2 slot in the fiction genre on Amazon. The entire trilogy gained some wonderful reviews and the sales were still – and are still – strong.
The Third Rule is a fantastic book. Remember, I’m no entrepreneur, I’m no salesman, so you can trust me to speak the truth – at least you can here, on my blog; because this is just between me and you, right? Anyway, back to the book. It was quite large, somewhere around 260k words (you may have heard me mention this before?), and I was struggling with whether to release it as one or three books. I chose three. I now wonder if I should have chosen one. People love the story, they adore (after getting to know them) the characters, but they seem to disapprove of the three-book structure. Maybe I should release it again as one big book? We’ll see.
And now I’m working on the next book, the working title of which is Angel. I’m using some of the same characters from The Third Rule, because they’re good characters, I know them, they know me, we get along just fine. And so, while it’s nowhere near three-quarters of the way finished (heck, the scaffolding isn’t even erected yet), there’s a good foundation down and I’m waiting for the concrete to set, it appears to be another good book.
I’m quite lucky. No scratch that, I’m very lucky to have developed a style of writing that is easy to read, that is easy to write and is identifiable even. Let’s not bicker about this, but developing a style of writing is so damned hard you wouldn’t believe it. At least it was for me. Until you nail it, you wander around in the wilderness. You question yourself, you doubt yourself and you wonder if King writes like this, or do I sound like Child or Dexter, or how would Slaughter write this scene. It’s all up here (tap your head).
And to continue with the ‘luck’ theme, one of those people from one of those forums became a very valued friend to me (and I have very few of them). Thank you, Kath; 2012 is the year I’ll remember as meeting you.
I hope to do even better in 2013, but then, so does everyone.
Some people may find contentment with their lot, and that is utterly fine by me. But, well, I’m one of those kinds of people who, when they score 25 points for a win at Othello, want to score 30 points the next time round. And that’s a metaphor for my aims in this new year. Angel will be even better than The Third Rule. Not saying it’ll be longer, but it will be better.