New Year’s is a pessimist’s nightmare. Everyone’s still reeling with that festive good cheer and happy holidays tra-la-la-ing.
It’s enough to make any real noir writer nauseous. We’ll all be happier a month from now, when the diet resolutions have been broken a thousand times over, the exercise routine that we had all the best intentions of keeping has fallen by the wayside and yes, we are still drinking as much if not more and the new wardrobe we promised ourselves is coming in a size bigger than last year’s.
Life, as it should be.
As I thought about putting up the first post of the new year on this blog, it seemed too appropriate to talk about new beginnings, about hopes and dreams and all the things to look forward to in 2007. You know, like starting the diet, the exercise program, trying to drink less, write more letters, having the book come out, reading more, not calling the fire department on the neighbour’s when they have their burn pit too close to my trees, which would be the reason for target practice and the purchase of a BB gun, celebrating a few book releases…
Thing is, I don’t typically make resolutions. It’s like setting yourself up for failure. Although I suppose that’s a way of feeding a pessimist’s soul – provide yourself with endless opportunities to remind yourself that life hasn’t measured up to hope.
I know this isn’t what people expect to read over here today. It should be all enthusiasm for the forthcoming releases and the fact that finally – yes, finally – 2007 is here. After all, it is what the Killer Year crew have been dreaming of and waiting for for so long.
And I expect you’ll see that from my comrades. But for me, I’m one of these people that hates beginnings. I know a beginning is supposed to be a blank slate with endless possibilities – I read that in a Hallmark card once.
But a beginning is also scary. By the simple fact that things are new and you don’t know what to anticipate.
The past two months have ranged between gut-wrenching and happy – an emotion I do on very odd occasions. These days when I open mail or answer the phone I expect bad news. I couldn’t count the number of friends & family touched by cancer this year on my fingers. How, exactly, do you respond after hearing that and then being asked, “What’s new with you?”
“Oh, my first book is about to come out. Getting some good reviews…”
Yeah, right. It all seems pretty trivial when you’re hearing of another diagnosis, and things don’t look good.
So, the first book is coming out. Yes, I’m looking forward to it. I’ll finally get to hold the finished copy in my hands.
And then life will move on.
There are things that happen in your life that are signs. They tell you if you’re headed in the right direction, or if you need to switch course. Getting a book deal is usually a pretty good sign. Getting good reviews are nice signs too. Getting fan mail is even better, because people are taking the initiative to tell you they like your work.
I’ll be grateful for all those good signs. But I won’t stand still and worship any of them.
As exciting as it is to have a book coming out, it’s onward and upward from here. I already have other manuscripts drafted, some unsold. I have edits to do, and then decisions to make about how to proceed.
I’m working on the early stages of another new book.
I have anthologies to contribute to, a magazine to run, people to interview, a panel to moderate at Left Coast Crime…
While this is a positive time for me, and the achievement of a lifelong dream, recent events have made me mindful of the fact that time doesn’t stand still. There were people who always thought they’d be here to see this day, and now they aren’t. Puts it in perspective for me.
This is just a big step in my journey. A journey that isn’t anywhere near finished. Not if I have anything to say about it.
Speaking of beginnings, today is the birthday of an incredible author, who also happens to be one of the greatest people I’ve ever known. I’d say it in Irish if I knew how, but I don’t. So feliz cumpleaños my dear friend and many many more happy returns.
See, I can do positive! Occasionally… And on that note, America Reads ushered in the new year with my page 69 test, so if you want a bit of sneak peek into the book, you can check it out. My thanks to Marshal for the invitation – he does a fantastic job with that blog, and this is the only place online where you can sneak a peek.
I also want to mention a fantastic post Kevin Wignall has up over at contemporary nomad. Each of you who read those BSP posts I did back in the summer, about what turns readers off and what marketing approaches work, will find Kevin’s post on how far you’re willing to go to promote yourself very interesting. A must read for any debut author as they wrestle with promotional issues.
Author of Suspicious Circumstances
6 Comments so far
Leave a comment