I was on the other side of the world when it happened. Day Four in New Zealand and Wellington is turning on the charm as she usually does…
You might be led to believe my random posting of photos and video meant I was taking it one day at a time in Aotearoa, not a care in the world to be seen nor any fucks remaining to give. Trust me, the stress of 2014 was now and truly in the rear view, my new day job reinforcing my ability to do what I do and perhaps push the boat out and try adding new skills under my belt. A daring thing to do when you are south of 45 years, but that is what life is all about, isn’t it? Discovery and learning new things. Then off to New Zealand to kick off the 2015 convention year. Enjoy the ride, as I like to say…
Truth be told, I was really walking a knife’s edge on Day Four, the day that I blogged about last year (around the same time) on Chuck’s blog: The Diamond Conspiracy was out in the wild and reaching the hands of readers.
You get an idea. You write. You edit. You write some more. You edit some more. You try to catch any misspellings or punctuation problems, and then you wait. You wait until the reviews and the anticipation of readers who have finally received their copies, and then it’s over, done, and on to the next, right? This being my fourth novel with my wife, Pip, and being my eighth novel since 2002, you would think this is old hat. Ho-hum, just another book for my fans. Pass the suntan lotion lest I get burned on this beautiful sunny day in Middle Earth…
This is me on release day:
And this isn’t counting the times when I release a new short story on Tales from the Archives, my titles in non-fiction, or the various novellas I’ve released. Just another day at the office? No, it isn’t. The Diamond Conspiracy has been out for a month now, and I watch Mention pretty much like this nowadays:
I will be like this for the next few months probably.
That’s how much I get into the reception of a book, I admit that. I don’t set out to raise the bar every time a new title comes out, but I do try to tell the best story I can. I want to tell a story you will talk about, and hopefully will want to talk about with me once you’re done. I want you to lose yourself in our steampunk world, and anxiously prod us for another adventure. Once a story is out into the wild, though, I can’t go back and fix anything nor can I really take back what’s in print. It’s out there for the world to read, to accept or reject, and to pass along to a friend and say “You really should give this series a try.” It’s a hope we writers nurture that our readers not only return to our books for the fun of it, but they tell their friends “This is worth your time.”
When the book goes live, though, you don’t know what the reaction will be; and books sometimes go through a slow burn, and keeping that momentum up on a new title when other books are entering the market can be a full-time occupation.
So no, releasing a new book never gets old, even when you think I should have all the confidence in the world from previous titles. Phoenix Rising and The Janus Affair still appear in Amazon’s Top 100 in Steampunk, and Dawn’s Early Light is being honored with the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award for “Best Steampunk of 2014.” The fourth season of our award-winning Tales from the Archives is underway, and tweets are coming in from all points of the world asking if there’s another Books & Braun adventure in the works.
If I don’t reply straight away, it’s because I’m working on the next novel, not at all worried about how The Diamond Conspiracy is performing.
Nope. It never gets old.