I mostly ignore or dismiss the Facebook notifications about memories from the past year. But with the one year mark of Bald New World coming, I couldn’t help but get excited seeing this email from Publisher’s Weekly again. It was pretty awesome on many levels. But one of the biggest had to be the fact that before this listing, I never thought of Bald New World as science fiction. Rather, a literary work with science fiction elements. The fact that it was listed among the best science fiction books of that year was stunning to me, and a huge honor. I love science fiction and was so stoked to be included, especially, and this weirds me out too to realize: Bald New World is actually the first and only work of science fiction I’ve ever published.
I find it interesting when people ask me about genre writing, my thoughts on it, any concerns versus benefits. I never think about that per se. I only write the story I want to tell, incorporating the elements I feel I need to best serve the narrative. I know in some ways, especially with the marketing savvy prevalent in the industry, it sounds naive. And I’m seriously amazed and impressed how much people spend considering those elements, thinking about the market, potential for x and y and z. I think those factors are way out of my control and while I’ll do my best to help publicize, it’s only after the book is complete, ha ha. The main thing I can control is the story I want to tell. At the same time, I want to focus on evolving as a writer to tell the story that I not only want to write, but read if I didn’t know me. Finishing a novel, while an achievement in itself and one that should be applauded, is important, but I want to focus on upping the quality, the craft, and the characters. I think I read somewhere that there’s from 600,000 books to a million published every year. EVERY YEAR. That number blows my mind. I’m excited for all the authors getting to tell their stories. But it also has me reflecting on what kind of author I want to be. I’m honest in knowing that standing out is hard. Even with all the wonderful support I’ve gotten from people (for which I’m very grateful), it’s a tough industry and everyone has a great story to tell. People are busy, so I’m grateful for every minute.
With my next book almost here (I’ll have an announcement soon), my next book after that going out for submissions, and a few books in the attic, I spent this morning just grateful for the opportunities Bald New World has allowed for me. One of the books I have is one I’ve been working for almost thirteen years. It scares me to think it’s been that long, germinating, evolving. But when I look at it now, I’m glad I waited as long as I did. This new one forthcoming has found a fantastic home. A lot of times, writing is about waiting to find that perfect home. It might take a while to find it. But if you don’t sell yourself short, you’ll find it. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!