Friday, January 06, 2017
Usually I'm a January Junkie. I love the beginning of a new year and fresh starts. My pervasive post-election depression is fading although there is no good reason to be optimistic about our political climate.
However, each day is one day closer to spring and I'm reminded that one of the most essential components for a writer is hope. The whole industry depends on little worker bees who are willing to spend a couple of years working faithfully on a product that might not make it to the marketplace.
Until we have iron-clad contracts or are a mega-star we have no guarantee that a publisher will produce our book, that the bookstore will stock it, or that the public will purchase it. Certainly we don't have a clue as to whether our books will get reviews, win awards, or that we will make some money.
Other than military expeditions, I don't think there is any occupation where there is a greater investment of blood, sweat, and tears where the odds are stacked against success.
The only rationale for writing books is love of the process, joy in creation, and because we can't help ourselves.
I've started my fifth mystery for Poisoned Pen Press. I'm thrilled with the two good reviews I've gotten from Kirkus Reviews and Publisher's Weekly for Fractured Families, my fourth mystery, which will be released in March. The book is a bit odd so I'm also surprised by the glowing critical reception.
But most of all I am genuinely relieved and surprised that after a difficult harrowing year my enchantment with research and my love of making plots work has magically emerged again. I honestly believe a book will simply come together if I faithfully plug away day after day.
Most of all I'm always surprised by the "gift" character that appears fairly early. This character knows what the book is about even if I don't. In Fractured Families it was a tragic little handicapped unloved child who kept a Commonplace book.
And so my beloved fellow Type M'ers and all of our fans and readers to begin this new year have hope for your writing, your friends and families, and our countries.