This has been a completely whirlwind year for me. I started out thinking: get published. Even though I was interested by the new Indie movement, even if I saw the artistic advantages it contained and maybe even the financial advantages it might contain in the future, I didn't jump immediately into the pool filled with under-edited and badly-covered sharks.
I think some of the reluctance came from how much time I'd been building to the whole agent/publisher hunt. I started working on BETROTHAL in May 2008 with that goal and suddenly it was January 2011 and it would take me a few more months to accept that the publishing world had changed while I'd toiled away on my first two books. Borders ready to die, Kindle dominate. Big changes in the air.
January/February/March wasn't a total waste. Lots of good ideas sprang up in that period, first as short stories and eventually as novels I'll one day write. It also saw me hit up many literary agency and short fiction magazine in futile gestures towards a dying paradigm. It was this process itself that cured me. That set me on my different new road towards becoming an under-edited/badly-covered shark myself.
The tradition route of Agent--->Publisher is the most chaotic...badly-developed...system I've ever seen. By the time I actually sent out my query letters I was praying not for success, but for rejection. If the query letter stage was that mismanaged then the rewriting and publisher seeking probably would have caused me to go brain dead.
As those letters were browsed and thrown away across the country probably without even a minute's examination I turned to this new invention and got to work. I can't believe how artistically freeing it turned out to be.
In the last six months I've published two novels in two completely different genres, one taking advantage of the new technology in its footnotes and the other taking advantage of not having an editor tell me how many times I can curse per page or that I'm making the main character too rough. I've published a short story which I'm able to give away for free to thousands. I've published a novellete, the first of a series of serial novelette/novellas that also takes advantage of the new technology.
That's a hell of a year, but I've also learned a lot more: I've learned how to make not-so-bad covers, I've learned how to use fonts and type, I've learned how to convert ebook files, I've learned all the joys of formatting, I tweet, I blog, I review in my own take-no-prisoners style and I've figured out the whole reviewer-blogger network...which, okay, reminded me a bit of the agent thing with all the different rules for requests, but don't tell them that.
Oh...there might have been something else going on that I don't talk about any longer too.
This is the proudest year of my life...but I've got a lot of life left in me.
What does RR have in store for you over the next few years?
Tons of stuff.
First and foremost will be The King Henry Tapes. FOUL MOUTH 2 will be finished in the next couple months and FOUL MOUTH 3 is already outlined. Actually the whole series is outline, if not chapter by chapter, then generally the flow of all 12 books. Expect lots of King Henry Price over the next few years. And Ceinwyn Dale. And some T-Bone. Maybe a little Annie B...
I've started a sequel to THE BETROTHAL. I don't have a firm idea on when it will be done. I'm kind of iffy on the sequel and while there's some Funny so far in the draft I have some fears for it. Mostly I just saw a trailer for another "American Pie" movie and I really don't want to end up doing that... If the sequel doesn't meet my standards I'd rather scrap it than just pump something out for quick cash.
EATERS will continue. SLIME DINNER and SETTLE DOWN are already coiling around in my screwed up little brain. There might be more after those two, one of the fun things about writing a serial is I don't write with the future, I just let to story go where it may.
Then there's the biggy, my first...I guess I'd call it more complicated novel. We'll just call it CHAINS for now, though the title will change by the time it's done. You'll hear more about it in 2012, for now, my plate is very full.