I'm kind of known for being pretty straight-forward, and for saying things other people tend to keep to themselves, but I've been doing a lot of keeping my mouth shut over the past year and a half. I've gotten a good look at traditional publishing in a way I'd never experienced before. I worked with some wonderful people, but I have to admit that traditional publishing has a very insular feel to it. The Orchard did well by most standards, but didn't reach the level of national attention my publishing house and agent had hoped for. No morning show appearances, no New York Times review.
But something totally weird and unexpected happened a couple of weeks ago. I made the New York Times bestseller list. And not for The Orchard, but for The Man Who Left. I've been in this business thirty years, and never had a book hit the New York Times list until now.
On top of that, The Girl with the Cat Tattoo is a DABWAHA finalist. This blows me away, and it's humbling and gratifying to know that people are embracing this book that I considered an underdog. Or undercat. People read the book. People want me to finish the second one. (I hope to get back to it this summer. Fall, at the very latest, which would mean a 2014 release.)
You can grab The Girl with the Cat Tattoo for free on Amazon. At the moment, it's only available on Amazon, but you'll be able to find it everywhere April 1. In fact, I'll be pulling most of my titles out of Amazon Select over the next several months, so this is probably the last time The Girl with the Cat Tattoo will ever be free, and I doubt any of my other titles will ever be free again, but who knows?
And all of this taking place in an unsteady time of my career. I've been without an agent for about a year, and I'm feeling more okay about that. It's a weird time for agents, and many are having trouble finding solid footing in this new publishing world.
Today I just received a copy of a newly signed contract, a two-book deal. No agent involved. I've been keeping this somewhat under wraps, but I can now share it. It's for a Play Dead reissue, and a sequel to Play Dead which will be out in 2014.
It's an exciting time to be a writer. It really is. Scary, but exciting. Writing without a net.