It’s been a month since last I posted here, and that month was an eventful one for me. THE KILLING KIND came out September 15. By October, it seemed as if the promotional cycle was winding down. Then, to my astonishment, Benjamin Percy of The New York Times Book Review weighed in with a doozy of a review. Here’s a taste of what he had to say:
“Chris Holm’s THE KILLING KIND is my favorite thriller of the fall lineup. Here’s a solid gold premise: an assassin who only kills other assassins… The cat-and-mouse game that follows is pure joy…This novel is so fast-moving, so expertly arranged, every piece fitting together with a well-oiled snap, that it feels weaponized. Read it. Or else.”
As if that weren’t enough, the following week, The New York Times Book Review named THE KILLING KIND an Editor’s Choice. Nobody tell them, but I would’ve been delighted with an “Also out this month…” mention.
I’m grateful this book has struck a chord with readers, because there was a time when I wondered if it would ever see the light of day. In fact, come February 2013, I thought there was a chance my writing career was over.
I didn’t talk about it publicly at the time—in part because I’m not one to wallow in misfortune, and in part because I didn’t have the necessary perspective to do so without it coming off like sour grapes. But recently, the editor of The ITW’s The Thrill Begins, Ed Aymar, asked me if I’d share my story. He thought fellow authors might find it useful, and I agreed. You can read the piece I wrote for him here.
That piece was difficult for me to write, but I’m glad I did. Since it went live, I’ve spoken to loads of writers struggling through career setbacks and self-doubt who said it was exactly what they needed to hear. When I was down and out, my friends in the writing community helped pick me up and dust me off. The least I can do is try to pay that forward.
The fact is, I can’t guarantee your next project will be your breakout—but more importantly, you can’t guarantee it won’t… unless you never write it, that is.