It’s difficult to know where to start this post since there’s so much to say. This year has been a whirlwind. I wrote a novel. I self-published that novel. And the rest, well…
This entry may excite some, and it may anger and disappoint others. Fortunately, this year has taught me a lot of things–one of those things is to ignore negativity. It was hard at first, but I’ve gotten good at it. Believe it or not, but I used to be a hardcore pessimist. Optimism is my new flavor of choice. It’s hard not to be optimistic when something you’ve wanted for so long begins to come true.
First, the bad news, because it’s always better to rip off the bandaid rather than slowly peel it back.
A lot of you have been asking me about The Neighbors, and rightfully so. I did, after all, say it would be released this December. Here we are, December the 21st, and still no Neighbors. Surely they must be arriving any day now. Truth: they aren’t. Yes, the book is finished. It’s been finished for months. No, it won’t be released when I said it would be, and it won’t be released next month or the month after that either. I can explain. But it’s a long story.
I published Seed in May of this year, and it became a little miracle. Without much publicity, and without much fanfare, Seed clawed its way to the top of the charts by sheer willpower alone. Literally to the top of the charts. It was Amazon’s #1 horror novel for a few weeks. #1 horror novel… by some girl nobody has ever heard of. I’m not one to blow my own horn, but that’s kind of phenomenal. This stuff happens, but it’s always some other bastard who has all the luck. I guess my time was up. That some lucky bastard was me.
I’m sure a lot of people were counting on my luck to run out. But it didn’t. Seed hung on, and it’s still hanging on… not at #1, but pretty darn close. I’m sure a lot of people thought to themselves, ‘there’s no way that self-published book has staying power’ but somehow, by some strange magic, it’s kept up with the big boys. How long will it holds its position? There’s no way to tell, but there are a few people who believe that Seed will gain even more momentum before it slows. Enter Amazon.
About three months ago, I got an email that blew my mind. It was from Amazon Encore. Seed was making noise and they were listening. This was amazing news. It was one of those indie success stories you hear about now and again. Unknown author writes book, publishes book, and suddenly gets a publishing contract. Except that this time, that unknown author was me. I had my reservations, of course, but after a lot of thinking it over I decided that signing with Amazon was the best move I could make, at least as far as the future of my writing career was concerned. Sure, I could snub my nose at them and say I could do it on my own, but I’m not that bold, and I’m certainly not that stupid.
But I could handle the Amazon deal by myself. I’m a smart cookie. I was going to proceed on my own. That is, until I got an email from Paramount Studios. That’s right, the one in Hollywood. They wanted to know what was going on with Seed’s movie rights. While reading that particular email, my eyes fell out of my head.
Then, another email. Questions about translation rights. Suddenly, I was waking up in the middle of the night with my heart trying to jackhammer its way right out of my chest. I was in over my head. WAY over my head. I needed help. I needed (dun dun DUN)… an agent. As surprising as it was, it was harder to find an agent than I anticipated, even with Seed’s shiny sales numbers and emails coming at me left and right. I’m lucky enough to know some amazing people in this industry at this point, and one of those amazing people pointed me toward his own agent–a godsend! My luck was holding strong.
Despite the pending Amazon deal for Seed, I was still full speed ahead when it came to releasing The Neighbors independently. Amazon was aware of my plan and gave me their blessing. And then my agent, David, suggested something that gave me (yet another) anxiety attack: let Amazon read The Neighbors. Let’s just see what they say.
They loved it.
They loved it… and offered me a two-book deal; Seed with their horror imprint, 47North, and The Neighbors with their thriller imprint, Thomas & Mercer. Two imprints, two books, one contract, one no-name girl, a glittering future, and a partridge in a pear tree.
So there you have it: good news and bad news. The bad news is that The Neighbors won’t be available until late next year. The good news, or… at least a piece of the abundance that is good news, is that both Seed and The Neighbors will be available in print, potentially available in audio, potentially available in different languages, potentially available in physical book stores. I say potentially to all these things because we’re still in the beginning stages of all of this. All the while, I’m being told ‘baby, you’re a star!’
Could it be a setup? Well sure, anything could be. Do I think it is? No.
My cover designer asked me just today how I feel about waiting on The Neighbors for so long after I planned on releasing it on my own. I told him the truth. Of course, I’d love to not have to wait to release it. A lot of people were looking forward to reading it. But you know what? If a little bit of a wait is going to guarantee that I’ll be writing for you guys for years to come, I’m willing to check the days off of the calendar. And if a little bit of a wait is going to make this thing I’ve wanted for so long come true, well… I’ve been waiting forever up until now. I can make due with a little longer. I only hope that my readers will understand why I’m doing it. Hopefully this blog post helps.
With all that said, Seed is slotted for a re-release in the summer. Of course, the ebook will still be available through then. The Neighbors is going to have a splashy release in the fall. And until then, well… we’ll just get to know each other better while I continue to come up with new nightmares. Because the better I know you, the better I know how to keep you awake.
Here’s to 2012; a year that somehow, unbelievably, promises to be even better than 2011.