On July 6, 2010, A Devil in the Details released. Over the past few weeks, I've been contemplating what it means to be five years into my publishing adventure.
Of course, to say that I'm five years in is probably inaccurate. Prior to the actual release of Devil, there was the whole getting the sale, and before that, there was getting the agent, and before that, there was the writing... And it seems like I've been writing SOMEthing forever.
So where am I now? I'm on my second agent, I have six books published (four traditional, two self). I've written quite a few other books in the spaces in between. Jotted down ideas for a LOT more than that. I'm obviously not rich and drinking mai tais on a beach somewhere. (does anyone know what a mai tai actually is? I've never had one) I've changed Real Jobs once, in the interim. My kiddo went from seven years old, to twelve. (a teenager soon, wtf? Who allowed that?) I went from seeing my ten-year anniversary with hubby, to my fifteen.
Not sure I'm where I wanted to be (see aforementioned beach and mai tais), but I also think that my wishes and expectations were based on a misconception of what this whole "being an author" thing is really like. The journey I've been on so far is actually fairly typical, from what I've been given to understand in the time since. Very, very few of us get the Big Sale and go on to Fame and Fortune and Movie Deals. I have to remind myself of that on the days when I've slipped down the hill into "why bother land".
In all honesty, I can't complain about where I am. My stories are in the hands of so many people that I don't even know. People are living in my worlds, even if just for a little bit, and that's really all I could ever ask for. I think about this a lot, especially as Jesse's story is slowly reaching its end. Even though I know how the story ends (and a little bit about what happens after the big finale), I'll miss running around in Jesse's world. I wonder if other people will do the same. I wonder if they'll be willing to follow me into new worlds. I have plans for the Arcane West world. Caleb and Ernst are waiting patiently for me to get back to them. I have plans for new worlds, amazing worlds. I want to visit space, I want to adventure in dustbowl era Kansas. I might revisit Elysia, sometime in the future, to check on Geoff and Lia.
I'm looking forward to writing another post like this in another five years. They say (y'know, "they") that the ten-year mark is when an author really starts to have a career. Not sure I believe it, but the only way to find out is to keep moving forward.
So I guess maybe what happened in the last five years is not so important as what might be coming in the next five. Stick around, you'll probably be as surprised as I will.