My first book was published on February 7, 2006, and since that glorious day I've been able to call myself a mystery novelist, a horror novelist, a children's book author and (bringing things full circle) a mystery novelist (again). I've also been an unemployed novelist and a New York Times bestseller -- practically at the same time!
So here I am just shy of a decade into a publishing career, and I already consider myself a grizzled, battle-scarred survivor. I've been dropped by a publisher and dropped by an agent and even dropped by a few fans and friends. I've almost dropped myself once or twice, by which I mean I've come close to quitting on occasion. Yet I forge on.
2014 was a high-water mark for me: four new books in one year! But this year the water's going to be a little lower. There'll be another middle-grade mystery come May (Nick and Tesla's Special Effects Spectacular), then a new tarot mystery over the summer. And then...I don't know. Maybe this. Maybe that. Maybe something else.
Irons are in fires. Some look hot. Some look cold. Some probably got left too long and have melted into sludge. And one is only sorta lukewarm, but dammit I can't wait to start working on it anyway. If only I could get those other irons out of the way....
(NEWS FLASH: The preceding paragraph has been awarded the John Henry Prize for 2015's Most Laboriously Overworked Metaphor by the Artists-Blacksmith's Association of North America. And here it is not even mid-January. Congratulations, me!)
Still, this much I know: A year from now, I'm going to come back to this sad little semi-orphaned blog to write a very different post. It's going to be about what I'll be doing to celebrate my 10th year in the publishing biz. My tin anniversary as a novelist! Or would that be my aluminum anniversary? Steel wool?
Anyway, whichever not-so-precious metal marks the event, I'll be observing it with pride and excitement. Is the best yet to come? I don't know. I hope so. But more is most assuredly coming.
If you can make it nine years in this crazy racket, I think, you've earned the right to say you're sticking around.