2014 is nearly over–a bit more than twelve hours of it left, here–and that’s a time when a lot of folks think back over the ending year, and maybe spend a bit of time being hopeful for the coming one.
Usually I look back and think, “Really? Pretty much like most years.” Maybe there was some single big (even life-changing) event, but by and large things are pretty routine. I’ve always been a kind of slow writer, and so lists of how many stories completed or subbed or number of rejections didn’t necessarily make me feel like I’d accomplished a whole lot, excepting the occasional Years Best reprint. But, you know, it’s good to look back and see what you’ve done, because so often (at least, for me) it seems like I generally underestimate what I’ve done, and so even if the actual list of stories completed etc isn’t that impressive, it’s generally more than I thought without looking up the numbers. This holds true for non-writing things as well.
So, how was my 2014? Well, basically, my first novel won All The Awards. Well, all right, it didn’t win the PKD, the Compton Crook, or the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (the novel one, not the “not a Hugo” Campbell, for which I haven’t been eligible for several years). “Triple Crown” was a phrase that kept coming up, but really it was way more than three.
I seriously thought I would never sell Ancillary Justice, or if I did it might ultimately sell a few hundred copies. I had folks who had reason to know agree with my assessment. I went ahead and wrote it anyway, and submitted it anyway, because that’s what you do, when you’re a writer. The outcome is never guaranteed.
There is fanfiction. There is fan art. This is right up there with the awards, in my mind. In some ways, it’s even better.
In October of this year, my second novel came out. It is, of course, impossible that its reception would equal the first. It is a very different sort of book, and some readers are pleased by that and some not. Which is as it should be. I think my favorite compare/contrast pair is still “this book is like Sense and Sensibility in space. BORING!” vs. “This book is like Sense and Sensibility in space–it’s AWESOME!” Paraphrases, but both namechecked S&S, which I thought was hilarious. Actually, Ancillary Sword isn’t very Sense and Sensibility-like, but I knew what they meant. Maybe more on-target (and I suppose retaining the Austen connection) was the friend who emailed me that it put them in mind of Patrick O’Brien. Hah! Guess what I did between turning in the final ms of AJ and beginning AS in earnest? Yep. Read the entire series, one right after the other.
Anyway. I’m tremendously pleased with reactions to Ancillary Sword so far. Now I’m in a struggle to the death with Ancillary Mercy, and Mithras willing I’ll be victorious soon. Then I’ll have time to read some of the books people have sent me hoping for blurbs! The ones that haven’t already been published so it’s too late now, I mean. Sorry! Turns out struggles to the death with book three of your trilogy don’t leave you much reading time.
Once AM is turned in I’ll need to spend some time thinking what’s next. I’ve been living with these books for a long time, and I’ll need to find some way to switch gears. It should be interesting!
So, that was my year, and who knows what next year will bring? Nothing like 2014, for me, but that’s all right, because, wow. The awesome from 2014 is going to last me a while.
Happy new year, everybody! I hope your 2015 is full of wonderful surprises for you!