Monday, November 24, 2014


A time to reflect on what we are thankful for is always a good time as far as I'm concerned.

In this particular case we're supposed to pause and thank those who've helped us in our writing career.

First, my wife, Bonnie. She passed away almost five years ago, but she supported me when no one else did. She took chances with our livelihood and tolerated my mad dreams of being published. She dealt with the good and that bad of that decision. I miss Bonnie every day. I am thankful for the time I had with her.

Second, the publishers and editors. Big press, small press and anywhere in between, it doesn't make a difference. The simple fact is that publishing is a risky business. There's no guarantee of breaking even or making money. Now, a lot of that particular bet gets hedged by low advances and other considerations, but it's still a risk. Angry Robot Books is a great example of a publisher that one should be thankful for. Review copies of the books went out, interviews were set up, artists were commissioned to do amazing covers. Recently Angry Robot took a spill when they were sold out from under by the house that owned them. Happily, they've landed on their proverbial feet and we'll be working together on a few more books. Also happily, because they know how to make the experience a good one.

The readers. Well, that's kind of a given I would think. Somewhere along the way someone spent money on one of my books and decided to read it. Some have repeated the process again and again. I would hope that means I'm keeping my end of the bargain and being entertaining, but either way, readers have taken a chance.

My collaborators. I've worked with several writers on shared projects and enjoyed the vast majority of them. In every case they were learning experiences and I got a lot out of the process.

My fellow writers. Before I was a writer I was a reader. Now and then I've had the opportunity to run across people who very seriously had an impact on me and I've even managed not to make a complete ass of myself. One name: three words: Stephen R. Donaldson. I almost lost my cool when I met him, because this is the guy who wrote LORD FOUL'S BANE, but I kept my calm demeanor. Actually, it's happened a lot. The writers I have known over the years have by and large been very influential and supportive. And I'm grateful for that. several of my fellow word-whores have acted as first readers for me and not even gotten angry when I didm;t manage to return the favor as well as I would have liked.

The artists.
At world Fantasy this year I got to make an fool of myself with Michael Whelan, who remains one of the finest artists I've ever run across. I made a fool of myself because, while I was gushing over how much I love his work with Linda Roberts, the man came up behind me and said "Well, thank you very much." I then shook his hand and told him how very influential he was to me. It was because of his artwork in the book WONDERWORKS that I really started reading books outside of my comfort zone. Whelan is one of those rare and wondrous artists who actually reads the book he's supposed to be doing the cover work for, and he talked about why he liked each of the titles in the book and in the process piqued my curiosity enough to make me invest my hard earned money into books I might never have read otherwise.

For a long while after that, if a book had a Whelan cover, there was a much stronger chance that I would pick it up. I've and the distinct pleasure of having artists like Alejandro Colucci, Les Edwards/Edward Miller, Alex McVeyAlan M. Clark, Glenn Chadbourne and Keith Minnion. I am extremely thankful for that.

I can find a thousand reasons a day that I am thankful. I'd be grateful on the average day for even one.

Happy Thanksgiving, folks.

1 comment:

  1. That was pretty cool that he was right there and heard you. (: