Sunday, January 30, 2011

Guest Blogger Kelli Stanley

Two very different series, two books in one year. Kelli Stanley is on a roll.

Am I Crazy? Don’t Answer That …

First, I’d like to thank my fabulous blog hosts, particularly Donis Casey and Vicki Delany, for having me over at Type M for Murder!

Today I thought I’d tackle the question of, well, how insane it is to write two series. Tuesday, THE CURSE-MAKER hits shelves, the follow-up and relaunch of my debut “Roman noir” novel NOX DORMIENDA. In September, we’ll launch the sequel to CITY OF DRAGONS. Am I crazy?

Of course. I’m a writer. You have to be only marginally sane to write in the first place, and once you’re published, the madness gets worse.

So why two series at this point in my career? A couple of reasons. My debut novel came out in 2008 from a small press (Five Star) with very limited distribution. Once I sold CITY OF DRAGONS to Thomas Dunne/Minotaur in 2009, I was out of my own back stock of unpublished writing … except for the sequel to NOX, which I’d written before I was published. I thought my editor might like my first series, and I thought it would be really wonderful if my “first born” characters had a shot at wide publication and distribution. Fortunately, my editor loved THE CURSE-MAKER,

and I found myself in the rather unique position of launching two series with the same publisher. That doesn’t happen often, especially with a relatively new author, and I’m very, very grateful.

Still, publishing them both in the same year was not a given. I advocated for it. First of all, 2009 was fallow for me, publishing-wise … CITY OF DRAGONS was sold in January and scheduled for February, 2010. Bringing out two books in 2011 helps even me out. And from a pragmatic view point, publishing is becoming more and more cacophonous — there are a lot of books out there, and you don’t want to run the risk of being forgotten before you start. Once you have momentum, it’s best to keep it … which is why my goal is always to bring out at least one book every year.

The reality is that attention spans are short and competition for attention increases every day—streaming video, virtual reality games, 3-D movies, YouTube, Guitar Hero … 2011 offers an unprecedented number of custom-tailored amusements, just waiting for the consumer. I am thankful beyond belief that reading is still a devoted hobby or past time with so many people, and if I’m lucky enough to have some of them waiting for my books, I don’t want them to wait longer than necessary.

So … two books in 2011. Two different series, one set in first century Roman Britain (THE CURSE-MAKER), one in 1940 San Francisco (CITY OF SECRETS). It’s double the fun and double the fear—it’s always scary to bring a book out, because, as my good friend and superb horror writer Laura Benedict puts it, someone might say your baby is ugly. But those are the chances we take … yet another reason why writers can plead guilty to insanity!


Kelli's web address is


Vicki Delany said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Kelli. Always a pleasure to find out what you've been up to.

Kelli Stanley said...

Thanks for having me over, Vicki! It's always great to get to hang out with you guys! :)

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

You can do it, Kelli! I do it for the same reasons you gave in the post. If you need a sounding board from time to time, just e-mail or call. XOXOX

Hannah Dennison said...

Congratulations Kelli -- that's a great! I can't wait to read both!

Donis Casey said...

I love historical (duh), and you picked two of my favorite eras. What fun you must have doing research!