I feel like this post needs the clip from Avengers: End Game where filmmakers punched the audience in the face with the time jump.
I’ll skip any additional melodramatic effect and save it for my novels. Yes, novels. Plural. Because one year later, I have two published novels! And, SUPRISE, a chapter in a whole other book too!
In my first update as a published novelist, I described some of the misconceptions I had and the reality of publishing a novel. In the second update, at the three month mark, I gave further updates. The most recent update at six months, I was able to share the good news that Pantheon‘s sequel, Pantheon 2: Ares and Athena, would release on September 9, 2021.
But surprise, quietly in the background, I was working to write a chapter for To Boldly Go, a strategy and leadership anthology framed in the context of science fiction which published on September 30, 2021. For those of you counting along at home, that means I will have published two books and a chapter in an anthology in just one year. Not too shabby for someone who considered the publishing of their first book a fluke.
But how is it going? Really?
Boy howdy, it’s been a ride.
As with my last three updates, alas, I’m not fabulously wealthy and still have to work for a living. (Update: As of Oct 2021, I’ve sold out my advance and am now receiving royalties for Pantheon!) But also as with my last three posts, I have learned, money isn’t the only measure of success in publishing. I’ve continued to grow the number of Pantheon reviews on Amazon and GoodReads over the last year while still hovering near the 5-star level, which I consider a strong win! P2: Ares & Athena has been out for less than a month and is starting off strong with 5 5-star reviews. (One quick plug, if you’ve read the books, please review it on GoodReads and Amazon so more people can be introduced to Pantheon.)
Sales are for Pantheon slowed for a while, but the anticipated “small bump” in sales as Pantheon 2: Area & Athena released was a respectable bump. My social media presence continues to grow, aided and abetted by my “Confessions from the Trail” series, which is now being published on Medium as well.
The last six months before publication day was what military folks know as “hurry up and wait.” Finish writing then wait for my brain to dump it. Re-read and start editing. Wait a week then edit again. Send a final copy to the publisher and wait for them to read it. Set a publication date and finalize a title, then wait to announce it. Announce cover art and title! Then wait to do that final, final edits. Send to beta readers, then wait for corrections. Make corrections and wait to see e-pub. Freak out and become very excited to see the finished product, but wait for publication day.
It feels a lot while a pre-deployment line.
Oh, did I mention I have a full-time job while doing all of this? A new one, with even more responsibility and time commitments! To say it’s been a challenge would be a massive understatement and there certainly were sleepless night.
But I’m fueled by my passion for writing and my drive to achieve. And pain. Personal pain or the pain cave, I’m driven by that too. So, I guess we could say that after a year of be honest about what I’m willing to endure for a goal, I’m being upfront about what drives me.
As I stated in “How I Got Published!” I was turned down many times when I first tried to get published a decade ago. “A good author with a compelling plot, but because you cannot publish on our schedule, you would not be considered commercially viable” is soul crushing to read. At the time I received that rejection, I couldn’t commit to writing a book every 18 months due to my work commitments. To be fair, I still can’t make that kind of commitment and expect my third book to take much longer, since “Ares and Athena” was 90% complete when I signed the contract for “Pantheon.” But the books will keep coming out and I’m so excited and grateful for the opportunity.
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