Monday, January 23, 2017

Is this the one?


A few years ago I wrote a book titled Beware the Wrath of Bunny Hopper.  When I was done, and after I had edited the book, rewrote parts of it, edited it again, I was very happy with the end result.  I thought This is the One.

You know what I mean:  This is the one that is going to sell well.  People will enjoy it!  The story had adventure and humor.  It was a good solid YA contemporary fantasy with a female lead.  It had huge mutant bugs.  What was there not to like?

But the sales never took off the way I had thought they would.

So a couple years later I had another book I was getting ready to go out there: In the Shadow of Giants.  This one was a real change for me -- science fiction/fantasy/mythology tale that pitted the Norse Gods against the Chinese Gods sometime in the future.  Loki was my main character.  I had written it long before the Loki craze that came with the movie version, but the timing of the release was good.

I thought This is the One.

I was wrong again.  The sales on both of these books have been okay, but you always hope for the one book that will take off and do better.

Last year I wrote, edited and published Raventower and Merriweather 1: Secrets.  I loved the book -- my first nudge into the world of steampunk but with a lot of magic added.  The characters were wonderful to work with.

Was this the one?

Not so far as I can tell yet.

So here is both a problem and a joy of being prolific:  You can have several books that you think are going to be something more popular than they are and go through this time of hope and then realize it is not going to happen.  You can go through this many times, unlike less prolific writers who might not have more than one book every five or so years. 

I could add other books to the list: Kat among the Pigeons (Contemporary Fantasy), Paid in Gold and Blood (Fantasy), Xenation: Draw the Line (Science Fiction) -- even more that I expected to do well.  When they do not, it can be disheartening.

On the other hand, I still have other novels to publish.  I still have hope that I will find The One that will catch enough attention that people will mention my work to other people.  I am not looking to make the New York Times Bestseller list.  What I want is to know that I've reached a good number of readers who enjoyed something I wrote.

And I have more to write, too.  I will write the third Raventower and Merriweather book this year.  The second is sitting in first draft status, waiting for me to do my very first read-through on it.  I'm excited still about the second novel and the ideas for the third.

Am I ever going to find The One?  Maybe not.  And you know, despite some disheartening moments, I realize that it wouldn't change things anyway.  I will still be writing, won't I?  If I am not looking for bestseller status -- which sounds like a lot of work AFTER the book is popular -- then what do I care?

My books do sell, all of them adding up to a nice little bit of money every few months.  I get to sit here and write more.  Should I really want more?

Well, maybe just a little bit more....


1 comment:

Deb Salisbury said...

I know the feeling. I hope you get discovered soon, and your backlist soars!