Three hundred and sixty five days ago, Promise of Blood hit shelves worldwide. I still have a hard time getting my head around it. My first novel. My book, something that came out of my brain, was released into a thousand or more bookstores all across the globe. It attracted some really great reviews (and some crumby ones). It was blurbed by multiple New York Times Bestselling authors. It broke the top ten in Fantasy on Amazon on several occasions. It did quite well. Far beyond my expectations. I had help, of course. No matter what even the most successful self-published author will tell you, this kind of thing isn't accomplished alone. My agent, editor, cover artist, and all the staff at Orbit. My wife and beta readers. If I've achieved any level of success it's because of these people just as much as it is any effort of my own.
I continue to learn something new every day. I try to keep up with the industry, equipping myself to navigate the ins and outs of that crazy thing we call publishing. And it is crazy. Parts of the business still run like they did a hundred years ago which is absolutely nuts if you think about it. That's a whole blog post (or twenty) all on its own. I've gotten two royalty statements now and I can only make sense of about 60% of them which, from what I can gather, is the norm.
I've made dozens of new friends in the industry. I've met my heroes and found out that they're just regular people (who write incredible books). I've learned that neurosis describes most authors and not just me. I had this fear, and still do from time to time, that I'm a great big phony and that everyone will figure that out and my subsequent books will tank and no one will like me. Then I found out that "Impostor Syndrome" is a thing and just about every author has experienced it to some degree.
During this last year The Crimson Campaign, my second book, went through copy edits and production and will be out in just three weeks. It would have been out in February if Promise of Blood hadn't done so well that Orbit wanted time to give it an extra push. That extra push was successful, by the way, if pre-orders are any indication. The Crimson Campaign has already gone back to a second printing.
I wrote book three, The Autumn Republic. The first draft was accepted and I'm working on edits. I signed a contract for three more books in the Powder Mage Universe, locking me into this world for another four years or more. I find that to be almost as amazing as the fact that I've written three whole novels now. I also wrote and self-published three pieces of Powder Mage short fiction (two short stories and a novella), which people really seem to enjoy. I plan to do several more of those this coming summer.
So that's the last 365 days. It probably sounds like another round of self-congratulatory back-patting. It is. I spend enough days staring at the computer, locked in my office, getting nothing done and wondering what I'm doing with my life that sometimes I need to remind myself that I actually have a job where I'm supporting my family and accomplishing things. Even if people only see the fruits of my labor once every year or so. That might sound a little dark, but I really do love this job. I'm grateful to all the awesome people who buy my books and allow me to keep pursuing my dream every day.
Thank you. And I hope you all enjoy The Crimson Campaign.