Here she is. The update to update all the updates.
First! Threader was nominated for a Aurelis Awards. It didn’t win and I WAS ROBBED-ROOBBED-ROOOOOOBBBED!!!!!!!! The winner was Gemina: Illuminae Files 2, by the very talented Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff though. Now that book kind of rocks, so I’m not too cut up. You can check out the awesome reviews here.
I also started a very personal blog that’s more for parental units, all about what it’s like raising 2 kids with special needs – BUT TOTES WITH ALL THE LAUGH. I’ll talk about useful things: like how to apologise to the security guard after your 2 year old just punched him in the balls and yelled ‘happy birthday’.
As well as sharing my brilliant parenting techniques (The power of Christ compels you! Go to bed! The power of Christ compels you!).
In other news, the publisher has made a decision they won’t be picking up any more of the Threader series at this point in time. It did well, but not well quite enough to justify more books, and publishing is a business, after all. And if the publisher doesn’t make money, they can’t operate. BUT NO I AM OKAY REALLY I AM. HA HA HA.
Actually though, I am okay. That could be the hangover talking, or the line of sherbert I just snorted. But I’m good. Writing is one of those businesses you need a thick skin and the ability to move on. I’ve got another book floating around and fingers crossed it will get picked eventually. I’m working on other projects, including a FLASH FICTION piece, which I found so much fun to write. That’s my key word: FUN. My daytime job is a social worker, and being in this industry can really put things in perspective.
I know that finding the fun is such an important factor for me, because I did stop writing for a little while. Life got hard and I just stopped. I’ve been in this dark place before: when you feel like you’re drowning in a terrible cocktail of personal and professional issues that can strip the joy out of life. But because I’ve wallowed in this sludgy pit of self-doubt before, I knew how to pull myself out. Blame everyone else. Okay, no. Sleep, diet, excersise and all that good stuff.
To be very honest, one of the nasty self-sabotaging reasons I felt so crappy was a terrible sense of failure. At the end of each book, a writer can think they’ve written is the most amazing book ever. It’s going to Make You. It’s freaking brilliant, right? In 2012 I was picked up by Harlequin for their first Australian based e-book publisher. The book was an adult fantasy story called Chaos Born. Because it was involved in a launch of new publishing venture, I was flown to Sydney with four other launch authors. We had our hair professionally done, limos picked us up. Cocktails were named after our drinks. We were given speeches. It was crazy. Yes, this was the book that would launch my career. And yes, even though I kept hearing that backlist is king, no no no, this was the book that would make me my cocaine and stripper money.
(You know where this is going, right?)
It was all pretty great. But no. It didn’t ‘make’ me. I’m not sure many first books ‘make’ a writer. And yes, backlist IS king. When my YA sc-fi Threader got picked up for print in the AUZ/NZ region, then THIS WAS IT. That little beam of hope was lit once again inside me. Yes. This was the book that would get me that three book deal and secure my path to PROFESSIONAL WRITER.
My thoughts? Writing is a long con. It takes time to build a career. And following your art can be a difficult pursuit. I imagine acting, painting and other arty careers are much the same (If only a producer would see how fantastic my acting was in that haemorrhoids commercial, then I’d get that part in that movie that will make me rich and famous).
I also think this myth of writers making loads of cash is because they rarely share how much they make. It’s not a wage you can just look up on the internet. It’s a deeply personal amount that you, or an agent, negotiate for. And it’s your art, man. You’re wearing your heart on the outside. But for most people who write, it’s not money that’s going to buy you gold-plated boots.
But that’s okay (who wants gold-plated boots anyway). I’ll always write because I love my art. I love to tell stories. And I am a writer. My heart tells me this. I don’t make career money (YET! *shakes fist at sky*). But that’s okay, because I will always find my way back to the keyboard and carve out time to do what I love. It’s about pushing on, regardless, and finding the fun.
Now excuse me while I get back to my latest manuscript (because for sure this one will make me)…