A Temporary Thing

Money Tax day! I have never, ever been so glad for my accountant. Every time I see her I want to hug her. She’s bemused by this, of course–mostly, people see her as the bearer of bad news around this time of year. For me, however, she’s saving me from hours and hours of stress my stomach is not equipped to handle, and worth every (tax-deductible, as a professional expense!) penny I pay. If you’re a writer in my area, I highly recommend her entire office. It’ll save you time you can use for more writing, that’s for damn sure. Or for plotting the downfall of your enemies. Whatever works.

Today’s morning is for revision work on Ruby’s story–one more pass before we go into CEs and proofs. I’ve received assurances that KIN will indeed be published, so that’s good. The first rough chunk of the Fireside serial is resting with the editor, and this afternoon will probably be for another chunk of it and at least one session with Rattlesnake Wind.

My crisis of career confidence, springing from two series abruptly showing bad numbers, proceeds apace. Part of me wants to say people just didn’t understaaaaaand the fairy-tale retellings, but every time I see a writer say that I cringe internally because the fault lies with the writer, right? My bad. I thought they were good when I finished them. Some parts I thought were flat-out great, I was growing as a writer and Trying New things…but it wasn’t what people wanted, I guess. There’s some comfort in chalking a bit of it up to “I’m just not a mainstream writer”, but that comfort is erased by the fact that I honestly thought Cami and Ellie and Ruby had fucking fantastic stories and I was just the person to tell them…and I was maybe very wrong.

Oh well, live and learn.

As for Bannon & Clare petering out, well, in my humble opinion steampunk isn’t a genre, it’s an aesthetic, and the market of an aesthetic gets saturated really quickly. (For those asking, don’t worry, the Ripper Affair IS coming out, you can preorder it.) I’m endlessly glad that my Orbit editor is always open, honest, and flexible when it comes to my work, and that she believes in me so strongly. That belief is an anodyne on days I don’t feel so well.

In the end, this is a temporary thing. Every writer’s career has points like this, and my own is a mild case compared to some stories of “career bed-death” I’ve heard on loops and during some extremely honest barcons[1]. I’m still making the mortgage and I still have the best Readers ever. (That’s YOU, my chickadees.) So it’s been nice to wallow, but I’m back at work now, determined, in Louisa May Alcott’s words, to “take Fate by the throat and shake a living out of Her.” Every other part of writing for a living has been about endurance, outliving and out-stubborning the forces arrayed against one.

This, indeed, is no different.

Over and out.

[1] The part of a convention where writers converge on the bar and in vino veritas begins.

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you dont write the same book twice, so .. every new book IS a new adventure! and we are alla bout the adventure..


I’m not sure if this will help, but you are amazing. Please know, you are the reason I finally pulled on my big girl pants and decided to put pen to paper. πŸ™‚

Jessie Stouffer

I love your books. I am not so patiently waiting for the next one to arrive. Your books are my special presents to myself. If I could I would sit and read and reread your books all day. I’m waiting on Wayfarer to show up on my door step and will be ordering Ruby’s book when I can.


Fortune is not only fickle but blind as a brick. Persistence is the only thing that works in the long run.


Your books changed my world and same of them are forever in my mind and on me body.


I loved the Cami story!
Can’t wait to read about Ellie.
I honestly don’t understand why they weren’t well received.
Looking forward to reading about Ruby.
Your storytelling invigorates me and keeps me at the keyboard.


I’m still in denial about Bannon and Clare. However, let me assure you that it is OBVIOUSLY a case of the masses not recognizing your genius. (Stupid masses.) I have advanced degrees — which means I know what I’m talking about. You should listen to me. πŸ™‚

You should also print this off and put in in your “feel good” file. You do have ” feel good” file, right? A whack-a-mole-doubts file?


I really like your books πŸ™‚ Sorry to hear that they’re not selling as you wish they were but I’ll buy them as long as you publish them. Glad you’re feeling better about it all!


I am another reader who loves your books. Working for the Devil was how I found Urban Fantasy (and is one of the best books out there), my favorite genre. You write wonderful, multilayered stories. Definitely keep writing–we’ll keep reading!


I absolutely love Tales of Beauty and Madness! After I read about Cami, I wanted to read Ellie’s story right away.