Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Book Is Here; Time To Celebrate But Also Keep An Eye on the Prize

It's finally here. Things Slip Through is available in paperback for a limited time on CreateSpace, and November 15th it'll be available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon. My first short story collection - which has gotten lots of nice blurbs and reviews thus far - is out in the wild. And in fact, here's another nice review, my favorite snippet being:
In Things Slip Through, Kevin Lucia is like a mad scientist; throwing everything he’s got to create an utterly singular, pulse-pounding tale that you just can’t put down. Using a literary and evocative voice, the reader finds their heart-beat jumping in sync with the characters as they scramble away from the ancient evils that hide in the darkness like a stalking butler.
So here we are. I love the cover, I'm proud of the collection and Crystal Lake has done a fabulous job promoting it, even putting together a launch page.  Believe it or not, I think it's already sold more copies than Hiram Grange ever did, and reader feedback has been great so far. Of course, even with all that, I'm still plagued by all the usual writer anxieties...

Will folks really like it? I mean strangers, not just my friends and colleagues?

Will it sell many copies? Or will it just get good reviews from reviewers?

And...

Will it sell many copies? Or just go pfffft?


Now, these nice little anxieties bounced around in my head all day long yesterday until I saw some great news on Facebook about one of my favorite writers and guys, Ron Malfi. Here's the announcement from his agency, but the long and short of it: Ron has signed a deal with one of the "big boys," Kensington. That's awesome news, and I can't think of any writer who deserves it more.

And this news really speared a hole right through my little anxiety storm.  See, I've watched Ron closely the last few years, have looked at his career, along with reading his work and becoming a fan. And while it's a mistake to try and imitate or copy a writer's career, I think it's important to draw as much inspiration and information as possible from writers we associate with. 

Ron's journey is one that resonates with me. His first novel was published 13 years ago, by PublishAmerica. For the next several years he sold several novels to small press publishers until 2009 and 2010, when he debuted with Medallion and Leisure. 

The last several years have been quite a ride for Ron, releasing titles through Dark Fuse, Medallion, Samhian and Cemetery Dance, and a slew of foreign translation deals, leading up to his current sale to Kensington, one of the big boys.

And let me tell you, Ron has WORKED his way there, writing his heart out, also remaining true to his instincts and passions. He writes what he feels and doesn't compromise. He doesn't play the "popularity" game at Cons, he's open and honest and humble, and he's a class act all the way around.

And he's been doing it, fighting the good fight, for 13 years.

Now, by no means do I think I can imitate Ron's career. But three years ago, a more experienced writer, in a moment of counseling, asked me what kind of career I wanted. Foolishly, full of myself, I said: "I want Peter Straub's career."

Let's be honest, even when I said that, I probably realized how ridiculous it sounded. And it wasn't long afterward that I realized that, and also realized that Ron's career is not only one I admire, but one I aspired after, also.

So when I saw his good news on FB, all my anxieties about Things Slip Through and whether or not anyone will like it or buy it pretty much dissolved. I love my collection, feel proud of it, and will put my shoulder behind it (hopefully without spamming too much) like I do with everything else.

However, I'm still so early into my journey. Only about five years in. This is only my second publication. It's foolish, it's silly to hang my entire literary future on this. I hope lots of people will buy Things Slip Through, I hope folks love it, and I hope it will grow some legs and run places. I'm also going to try some marketing things that are FUN as well as experimental.

But it's only one step along the way. In his recent blog about the TOC of Chiral Mad 2, editor Michael Bailey very kindly called me a writer that was "going places." I have no idea where those places are. But to get there, I not only have to enjoy what I've done so far and share it with the world...I need to push on instead of just hanging all my hopes and dreams on one thing.