Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Second Verse, Better Than the First

Well, friends, as I type this, I'm sitting on my couch in my comfortably shabby Hello Kitty PJs, refreshing the Medicine for the Dead Amazon page to see whether it actually goes on sale tonight, and hosting a warm cat in my lap.

In other words: life is pretty swell.

Anyway, I wanted to say, I know that this book launch has been pretty squishy compared to the epic, Internet-spanning grandeur of The Twelve Days of Launchmas. Part of that's because you always go all-out for first books and first babies.  But a lot of it is because I just didn't have it in me this year.

Basically, my brain broke over the winter - or maybe it's been broken for a long time now, and just got to a point where I couldn't compensate for it anymore - and the time I should have spent organizing guest posts and planning a release calendar was largely squandered on irrational crying jags and days and days of wheel-spinning, self-loathing productivity failure.

And I know it's not cool to flash your insecurities at the world, but it's important to me to put that in writing here... because there is already SO MUCH "we don't talk about that in public" material in this industry, and also because the longer I spend in said industry, the more I realize that mental health is a huge, huge issue for writers.  The black dog has bitten my editor.  The brain-hamsters are chasing my friends.  And the longer you spend slogging through the swamps of sadness, the easier it is not to realize that you've already sunk in up to your neck.

Why yes, I AM still traumatized. Thanks, '80s!
So I feel like that's worth saying.  But the reason I say it on this particular day is because for me, today is a celebration of two intimately-related things: putting this book out, and getting my happy back.  I'm proud of myself for working hard on both fronts.  I'm hugely grateful to my husband, my agent, and all my wonderful friends and family who got me through the rough patches.  And I'm really, REALLY excited for you to read this book.

Like... you know, there was a day last year when I was sitting in a dingy strip-mall dressing room, trying to stuff the mutilated remains of my self-esteem into a god-awful bridesmaid's dress* and contemplating my failures... like y'do.  And then my phone dinged: it was an email from one of my best buddies and critique partners, Dan Bensen:

That's my critique in a nutshell.  Wow.

So Sixes is a good book. It got published and it'll start your career off right. But THIS book blows Sixes out of the water. It's tight, it's focused, it makes promises and convinces me you'll live up to them. It both continues the story begun in Sixes and begins its own new story, and balances perfectly between fantasy and comprehensibility.
*NB: I bought a different, thoroughly awesome dress. 

And you know - that didn't magically fix my life.  I still had to stop and make a concerted effort to fix my own life.  But ever since then, I've been cruising on a rising tide of enthusiasm from the people who've read Medicine for the Dead - and the biggest difference between this launch and the last one is that I'm not going into it hoping that it's a good book.  I KNOW it is.  And I'm so, so happy to have the chance to share it with you.

Anyway, I won't say too much more about it here - because I DID get my happy back, and I DO now have guest-posts and events scheduled out the wazoo, and you will be hearing plenty of book-talk through the whole month of April.  For now, just know that even if it looks like there hasn't been as much pom-pom shaking this second time around, this is truly a bigger, better, greater day... and that if you ever need help finding your way back to your own greatness, I hope you'll let me know.  Happiness is a mass noun, and two people have more mass than one.

Okay, enough sloppy stuff.  Go buy my book, come to my party, and if you've already got all that licked, kick out the jams with me and Harry Solomon.  Life is GOOD!

Life has been good to me
Got very few complaints so far

Life has been good to me
Hope you're as happy wherever you are!


  1. Finally, Medicine for the Dead is here!
    Now I'm going to buy that sucker and go read it in Starbucks.

    1. Upscale coffee and genre fiction? Western decadence!

      (Do it. For capitalism!)

  2. I'm glad you got your groove back dudette. Struggling through the quagmire is a tricky beast, and they do tell you not to "air your dirty laundry on social media" because it'll scare away all the followers. Well I think it's good to get the laundry aired once in awhile, that's how we get clean clothes.

    I'm taking the metaphor too far now, but I assure you, I'll stop. I'm here cheering for you, and I'll be at the launch party this Saturday with my new hot copy of Medicine waiting for your chicken scratch to mark it all up. :-)

    1. Man, that is a GREAT metaphor. Put that on Facebook or something so I can link when I quote you - you are preaching the truth, madam!

      Seriously though, thanks for all your pom-pom-shaking enthusiasm, and I'm so glad you'll be able to make it on Saturday - it would not be a party without you!

  3. Congratulations on fixin' the noggin and getting another fantabulous book out into the world. See you at the Barnes and Noble on Saturday!
    Pamela (Suburban Fantasy Writer:)

    1. Yay! Thanks, Pam - I'll bring my branding iron, and we will induct you into the DIY Subgenre Club!

  4. Medicine For The Dead is a terrific book. Tight, engaging, certainly not predictable. Loved it. See you Saturday.

    1. I don't know who you are, Anon, but I know you are my actual, literal favorite. Be sure to unmask yourself this Saturday for the requisite thank-you hugs!