Tuesday, September 24, 2013

On Being Thankful In Spite Of It All

First, a couple news items. Lamplight Volume 1 has hit Amazon as a paperback, featuring my serial novella "And I Watered It, With Tears" as the lead story. It's one of the stories I'm proudest of, the most personal story I've ever written. I hope some folks will check it out, and with fiction by Ron Malfi, Kelli Owen, Bob Ford, Elizabeth Massie and tons of other folks, there's more than enough reason to snag a copy.

Second, the times and guests have been confirmed for the ninth annual Halloween Book Signing at the Wilkes, PA Barnes & Noble. This year boasts quite the list, especially with Brian Keene and Mary Sangiovanni joining us. Those two themselves makes this worth the trip.

Also, the first official review of my first collection of short fiction has popped up, and as first reviews go, it's quite the snapper. Here's a nice snippet:
In Things Slip Through Kevin Lucia has done a masterful job of weaving a common thread through a series of brilliant short stories. Though each tale could easily stand alone he has brought them together into a collection that’s as disturbing as it is captivating. He will delight you with a touch of the creeping horrors of H.P. Lovecraft and a giant handful of his own devious mind power.
Now, I'm not sure how much "devious mind power" I actually possess.  But I'm grateful for the kind words, hope to hear more, and it leads right into today's blog: that in spite of all the anxieties and conflicts and worries I expressed in Sunday's blog - about whether or not I'll ever "make it" or break into a larger audience or sell a short story at a "professional rate" or land even a mid-list novel deal, I'm intensely grateful for whatever little success I've achieved so far.

However, I decided to switch the title of this blog from "Being Content" to "Being Thankful" because I'm not content, yet. I'm not done. I've got more writing to do, more stories to submit, more markets to target. BUT, I am totally thankful for how things have turned out so far.

A box filled with my author copies of  Things Slip Through arrived last week. The cover is beautiful. The formatting of the book looks clean and smooth. Even the SIZE of the book blows me away. It's not that awkward trade-paperback size (so often found in the small press) that's too big to read with one hand. It's almost the size of an Angry Robot mass market paperback. This doesn't look like a small press book at all. It looks - it IS - high quality, professional work.

And I'm grateful that I landed with Crystal Lake Publishing. I've had the idea for this collection bouncing around the last three years or so. But I wanted to wait. When Crystal Lake approached me about publishing a collection of my work, I took a little bit of a risk. They were new. Only had two titles to their names. But I saw the authors they'd signed, and thought the venture worth the risk.

Seeing whose short fiction collections they've picked up along with mine - of both Gary McMahon and William Meikle - coupled with the wonderful end product and how preemptive editor Joe Mynhardt has been in marketing this book and putting up with me, I'd say this risk has turned out to be worth the taking, even without selling a single book. 

Things like profits and contracts and readerships are hard to control on the writers' end - maybe almost impossible to control. You have to be smart and aware when judging opportunities,  be wise in the choices you make and remain true to your voice and values, but in the end the ONLY thing you can control is what happens when you sit down every day and WRITE YOUR ASS OFF.

For the past year - roughly one year ago - I've done that with Things Slip Through. I collected the stories, drafted the collection, edited, edited, edited, and edited some more. I agonized, excised some stories, edited, added another story back in, edited it one last time...

And here it is.

A beautiful product. And the best part? I read it through the other day, and I don't hate it. For me, that's saying something...