Keep on Keeping On

I’m not gonna lie, gang. 2019 has gotten off to a rocky start. It’s been tremendously hard to keep it together. There have been some family issues that I can’t share here. The death of my brother’s dog. And most recently the implosion of a writing community that I hold dear.

Too many people have weighed in on that last bit, so I don’t really feel the need to add anything (though I’m sure, like most things in my life, parts of it will bleed into my fiction). All I’ll say here is that it’s been a difficult few weeks, full of decisions I didn’t want to face. I watched people I love say absolutely loathsome things on Facebook (I’m not really on Facebook, but I do lurk every once in a while). I’ve seen friends treated unfairly. I’ve seen people who aren’t even involved in the scene speaking out to make themselves look good. I’ve witnessed people use the suffering of others to sell more books. I’ve seen outright lies held up as truth and attempts to reveal facts branded as “mansplaining.”

So, yeah. It’s really sucked this week. Now for something completely different.

We’ve added a new guppy to the fish tank. His name is Bruce.

The cover of Saint Sadist continues to generate buzz.

I got my author copies of We are the Accused. Reviewers have gotten their copies as well. The book even got its first review from Ian Muller (a bright up-and-comer in his own right). He calls We are the Accused “A bleak, ultra-violent take on small town horror that will appeal to both fans of Peter Straub and splatterpunk. “

The Crossroad Press edition of Engines of Ruin also seems to be doing well. In fact, it’s ranked higher in its category than pretty much anything else I’ve put out before. Dunno what that actually means, to be honest, but it sounds good.

I’ve also got 65% of Extinction Peak, my gory dinosaur novel, finished.

So, all in all, it has been rocky. But I’m moving forward.

Sometimes I think moving forward in the face of awful things is strength. Other times I think it’s foolish and cruel. I doubt I’ll ever really know either way. What do you think?

Fever

Finally got a good night’s sleep last night. It required forcing myself to stay awake until after midnight. I’m sure I dreamed, but I don’t remember many details.

It’s been a weird week. If you’ve been following this blog, you know my novel We Are the Accused was released on Tuesday. Release weeks always stress me out. Maybe it’s because I’m still fairly green, but damn, I found myself engaging in unhealthy obsessive behaviors. I refreshed the Amazon page for the book every hour or so. I constantly checked Twitter. I re-read the book and noted everything I would now do differently. I ate lots of candy, chocolates, and a massive piece of cheesecake. Last night, I finally managed to talk myself down from the ledge, hopefully averting a potentially extended manic episode.

It’s scary putting yourself out there. Once a book is published, it really is the point of no return, and We Are the Accused was such a personal book in which I took many risks and plumbed some really dark places, it frightened me knowing that it now lives in the wild and has to fend for itself. I imagine it’s something like sending a child off to college.

I wonder if this anxiety will decrease with each subsequent book release. Let’s hope so. My sixth was accepted by a publisher last Sunday (still can’t give details), and I now have a seventh and eighth lined up. At least this time I managed to call myself out and remind myself of what I can control. This list included writing a blog today (check), writing 1500 words on book 7 (getting there), finish cleaning the upstairs (this afternoon), and acquiring books for classes next week (also this afternoon).

We can only control so much. Reminding myself of this works wonders on my mental health.

Now I just need to kick this cedar fever. What’s cedar fever, you ask? Move to Texas and you’ll find out real quick. Just prepare to hate having sinuses.

In closing, I just wanted to let y’all know that my friend Josh Blakesley interviewed me over on his blog. We talked about writing as a spiritual practice, books that made me cry, and my newest releases. You can check it out here.