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Not dead!

I’m not dead! Really! The Hugo nomination did not kill me! It’s just been a whirl of trying to get crap done, murderous allergies, appalling taxes—I owed more than my CAR cost! And when did the state suddenly turn into a starving wolverine?—and more trying to get crap done. I’m in the death march stage of art for Book Eight, I have to start writing Book Nine–by which I mean I should have started it a couple of weeks ago–and I am trying to come up with a new project for Life After Dragonbreath, which is tricky and involves returning to the rejection circuit. (If you thought that once you had a successful series, you no longer got rejection letters, think again. You just get a better class of rejection letter, which generally boils down to “This one isn’t for us, but since you can obviously sell books, send us the next thing!”)

And we had our driveway re-graveled, which means that there are suddenly large gaps in the wooded area, and if I want any control over what goes there, I have to put the plants in the ground NOW, because disturbed dirt = weedtopia. So I am getting up every morning and dropping seven or eight plants into the ground, which involves digging holes in miserable ground. (Shrub sized holes, some of ‘em.)  Then I stagger in and shower and compose blog posts about how overworked I am, and now I have to go write on Book Nine, codename Toothbreath.

Whew. But not dead!

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.


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Good luck! (Also, good luck with Regency Ninja... Your loyal fans have NOT FORGOTTEN! ...you could probably ransom chapters to us, for that matter.)

Heh! I haven't poked it in awhile...maybe one of these days I'll get a patch of free time and kickstarter it or something.

That's what every published author I've ever spoken to (just about) has told me to expect about the publishing business. Like...one of the stories I've heard involved one major, respected author coming home from an award ceremony given in his honor to find a rejection letter in his mailbox. XD

Just wanted to say, though, I have been slowly collecting the Dragonbreath books (I'm up to book 4), and cannot even begin to tell you how much I love this series! (I'll actually be a little bit sad when book 9 rolls around, and I won't have any new ones to look forward to.) I'm currently a student in graduate school, studying to be a children's librarian, and I actually used one of my classes as an excuse to start reading them. ("NO, it's not me frivolously spending money on books again...I'm RESEARCHING. The fact that it happens to be written by one of my favorite webcomic artists is just one of those really strange coincidences.")
So, I just wanted you to know that WHEN I get a legit job, I swear that this will be one of the series I push to get added to any collection (if it isn't already there!).

I only have two of the books so far - but one way, when my Godson was bouncing off the walls, and driving me nuts, and refusing to do any of my suggested activities... I grabbed one off the shelf and just started reading aloud, and he settled down behind me, and I was able to read in peaceful silence for several chapters - until his mother came home.

So - definitely a good thing to have on the shelf!

Glad that you aren't dead. Good luck with the taxes, and the rejection circuit, and the planting. Hopefully you'll get a break (as in resting, and also as in non-rejection) soon!

Does this mean that there might be a "Taxman: The Return" print coming? :-)

I hear ya on the taxes. I got a nice little refund on my federals, only to owe the *exact* amount on my state. Technically, it was mroe than I paid for my car - I got my car for a box of chocolate truffles, true story.

That sounds like a great story. I once almost sold a car for $500 plus two pounds of smoked salmon, but the deal was withdrawn while I was mulling it over.

No state income tax here, but that just means I end up paying more in sales tax...and there's no guarantee from year to year that state sales taxes will be deductible on federal taxes. So on the whole I'd say it's not a great tradeoff.

Too bad you can't claim the studio beagle as a tax break.

Curiosity prompts me to ask, isn't your agent responsible for sending manuscripts out to potential markets now and if so, shouldn't she be getting the rejection letters, not you?

Oh yes, she gets them! But she forwards them on to me (at least some of them) if they're a market we've talked about, and if there's some feedback in them.

Fingers crossed for Regency Ninja and Little House...

I've been dying to tell you that I really envy you your Worm-eating Warbler. That is my nemesis bird. I have actually stood right next to someone who had one in his binoculars' view and failed to see it. I have chosen the wrong group when a group split up. Etc. So good on ya'.

That was the very first bird we spotted at High Island--and if it makes you feel any better, I have NO luck with orioles. Whole flocks leave town when they hear I'm coming. "Man, there were tons here yesterday..." is a cry I have heard too many times.

Man publishing is scary stuff.

Out of curiosity, are you aiming for another series as your post-Dragonbreath project, or are you firing off ideas for lotsa standalone books with the vague idea that you might tell more stories in their worlds if they get bought and they present themselves to you?

We're trying to pitch another series, for the most part. Publishers like series, particularly with kid's books, since if you can hook 'em somewhere, hey, subsequent volumes are printing money as far as the publisher is concerned.

And honestly, I like serieses (seriesi?) because it's job security and keeps me off the trying-to-pitch-a-book stage for a couple of years. Although I might not go ten books on the next one...that's a long time to spend with a set of characters.

The House of Red Fireflies.


Or All Creatures Huge and Hideous: The Adventures of Sings-To-Trees, A Reluctant Elf.

Or the one about the girl's alter ego making her escape from the asylum.

Or the one about the soul-eating tattoo.

Or the one about the ex-Dour Brother and his bluebird.

Or another one about Nurk, or the Little Creature, or the Happy Little Capybara...

(Why yes, I have been rereading the archives of your blog!)

Just a reminder of some of the ideas you've already had...

from Sue

What I would give for anything in print about Sings-to-Trees - I read that over and over on dA....

Please write more about him :)

Hey.. is there a tax man print this year??

Regarding WeedTopia

I hear plain ol' straight white vinegar does wonders on killing weeds dead.

Hah! Seen the Woot shirt your icon is from!

Ah, I was thinking that once a series passed X amounts of books, you could keep milking it until you were sick of it. Then again, if you're writing for an age group, you'd have to start making it more mature as the audience ages, kinda like Rowling and the flak she got for going dark in her later books.

I am ashamed to say that I'm still planning on trying to buy Dragonbreath once the nephews are old enough to try reading it, and finances are hopefully better. At least they can inherit my copy of Nurk since while it's good, I don't have any exceptionally good reason to keep it handy.

Well, the books do keep selling for awhile, so I can expect royalties (tapering off eventually) on the DB series for awhile. But lord, who'd want to keep writing the same books with the same characters in perpetuity? Ten books is as much as I can imagine doing--even if they drove up a dump truck of money, I'm running out of ideas, and I get tired of rehashing the same ground. Definitely time to move on to something new, before the books start feeling forced.

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