Friday, September 18, 2015

Try to exceed expectations.

Got a good review of Tuskers on Goodreads from someone who has lots of friends and belongs to lots of groups. It added 10 'to reads' in just one day. Don't know if that means anything, but if a word of mouth thing got going, you never know, it could snowball.

Chaos theory at work. Tipping points (which almost never tip...)

Anyway, the reviewer made comments that I've heard fairly often, something along the lines of: "I thought this was going to be silly and pulpy, but it actually was better and more serious than I expected."

Well, I wrote these seriously, strange as that sounds.  I took the premises which other people find 'silly' and tried to create a real stories out of them. "Hyper-intelligent pigs on the rampage." "Donner Party Werewolves."

So the werewolves are interweaved into an otherwise serious historical story that I tried to make feel as real as possible. The Tuskers are seriously dangerous, and I tried to imagine how an isolated community of humans would react to that.

That kind of thing.

Anyway, maybe I've stumbled on a neat trick. Find what other people find intriguing but silly, and then try to write a serious story about it.

Exceed the expectations of the reader.


The one thing I'm doing right is constantly writing.  Good, bad, or indifferent, it produces results and keeps me learning. I'm astonished as anyone to look at the stack of books that's been published in the last year and a half. I'm coming up on 8 new and 3 old books in paperback.

I've more or less gotten the go-ahead for 2 more.

That's not counting all the first drafts I've written, and a few that are further along than that.

I'm hovering over The Last Fedora even though I like it, because I've come to the conclusion that all my books could benefit from one last rewrite.  No hurry to publish it, I guess, as long as I have other books in the pipeline. Gargoyle Dreams and Blood of the Succubus seem like complete books to me, as soon as I'm ready to let them go.


 I'm also thinking that I should write to my strengths.  I love fantasy, but I don't really enjoy world-building.  I love mysteries, but don't like being grounded by police procedures and other real world elements. I do like pulp horror, and I can see continuing to write that.

But my strength seems to be historical. I love pulling real events and blending them into a plot. I love being able to create characters and dialogue that may not work in current storylines, but which are just off enough to work in historicals.

I don't know. It can be hard for a person to see his own strengths and weaknesses, but I'm thinking that I enjoy doing that, so that's probably where I should go.

I really want to write The Darkness You Fear, which is the third 'Virginia Reed Adventure' so as soon as I've finished the Tuskers saga, (I'm thinking it will be four books).

I think I should go there next.

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