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So, Fretting in T.O.

Aren't we supposed to develop calluses as we get older?

When my first book, Into the Dark Lands was published, I read reviews of it with interest, and even when they were substantially negative, it didn't bother me. If they were negative, but they were essentially correct, I'd shrug it off; I didn't take it personally. I just figured that I would get better, with time.

Part of this was full-time work in a bookstore (which followed from part-time work in a book-chain, which I started at age 16); I'd seen so many successes and so many failures, and it seemed there was little rhyme or reason in either – huge publicity campaigns went up in smoke – does anyone remember Ushurak? – and brilliant, brilliant books went O/P in such a short time. Having watched it for years (and taken it some of it personally because damn it, I loved some of those books, and I resent bad things happening to things I love), when my first novel disappeared, I was sad – but again, there was distance; it wasn't personal.

I just kept writing.
Fretting behind the cut. You've been warned.Collapse )


( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 14th, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC)
It's oddly comforting to know that someone who has not just one but many novels published, whose work I read and adore, has fears and frets like this. Because I know that your work is good, so your fears don't reflect the actual quality; they reflect your own opinion (which is naturally biased) and what you infer from reviews and success (or lack thereof) and whatever else. For someone who currently writes on a much smaller scale and hopes to eventually be published (some day in the distant future), it's comforting to know that the fears stay the same no matter the scale.

I really do enjoy your books, and honestly I think you just keep getting better and better. Broken Crown was very good; by the third or fourth book in the series, it almost hurt for me to put them down to go to work or sleep or whatever else I had to do. Now I bounce with glee when I get to buy a new "Cast" book, and I'm eagerly looking forward to the new books with Jewel. Just keep doing what you're doing and in my opinion, you've got nothing to fret about.
Feb. 14th, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC)
If it means anything, the entire Sun Sword series has meant something to me. I just started reading Broken Crown for the third time, and the rest of the books will follow in their time.
Thank you so much for writing them, and please don't stop writing.
Feb. 14th, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC)
I discovered The Broken Crown in high school and got totally sucked in (and not only by the fact that they were the first books I'd run into in years that it took me more than 2 days to read), and then had to wait 2 years for The Riven Shield and the Sun Sword to come out.

Let's just say I didn't sleep the week I bought the Sun Sword. I made it to class, but I think sleeping got lost in there somewhere.

I'm sure it will be much the same in 3 weeks when my copy of The Hidden City finally comes.

And you can fret if you think it will make you feel better.
Feb. 15th, 2008 01:24 am (UTC)
I have no advice, no feedback, no personal insights/traumas/what-have-yous to share. Just encouragement. It's hard, but we readers appreciate it!
Feb. 17th, 2008 03:22 am (UTC)
After 33 comments, you've probably had your fill of "keep at it", but there's one point I thought you might like to hear slightly more on. I'm a voracious reader, and a new (read: unpublished) writer, so I tend to be a demanding reader. As I have the habit of reading a series in one go -- picking up the next book in the series as soon as I put the last one down -- I often catch the errors. But, those errors are completely unimportant in the context of a well-written, engaging story. It's only when the writing and story quality are poor that those errors feeling like glaring problems. I've a few friends who read the way I do & feel the same.
I've read most of your novels -- I don't see the writing/story quality ever being poor.

Being so raw in my writing career, I'm glad to have the forewarning that it doesn't necessarily get easier. (And is probably more to the writer's credit if it doesn't.)

Jun. 13th, 2008 12:36 am (UTC)
I was acutely anxious about Sea of Sorrows because I was absolutely certain that my readers would read it and say: I waited two years for this?

Horribly after the fact, but I've been slowly trolling the archives, so forgive me. ;)

I have to say, as a reader of Big Fat Fantasy, 2 years is like, NOTHING, to wait. ;) It's only the first 3 months after the book that's hard, after that the wound scabs over and as long as I don't pick at it by re-reading, the wait doesn't bother me, except insofar as the time makes it harder to remember the last book. But since I also forget things after the first 3 months too (hence the scabbing) there's really no way to remedy that problem. ;)

At any rate, once an author has written something I've LOVED, as long as they keep writing books I don't actively HATE, I'll keep buying everything they write. Actually, sometimes I'll keep buying even if they write something I hate. The 4th Dune book nearly killed me, but 5 and 6 were so good I'm glad I kept truckin'. It's that hope that keeps me going. ;)

I don't think 4 years between Hidden City and Sun Sword is all that egregious. I felt we were left in a pretty comfortable spot at the end of Sun Sword, makes it easy to wait. Plus I'd rather have had the Cast books than Hidden City sooner. ;)
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