Happy July 6th! Bruce Robert Coffin checking in. I hope you’re all enjoying this fab summer weather. It certainly took long enough to get here, right? But not everything takes that long. For example, John Byron #2, Beneath the Depths, is due to be released on August 8. Book two? Seriously? How can that be? How in hell did we get here already? Why it was only two years ago that I was beginning to think I’d never be published. Not traditionally, anyway. I couldn’t even find a publisher willing to take on my short story Fool Proof. The one I thought was my best to date. It seemed totally crazy to imagine publishing a series of novels when I couldn’t even get one piece of short fiction off the ground.
And then it happened. Sandwiched between two spam emails was the electronic communication of which I’d been dreaming. An email from Level Best Books congratulating me on the inclusion of Fool Proof into their Best New England Crime Stories Anthology, Red Dawn. Which reminds me, if you haven’t checked out the latest Level Best Anthology, Busted: Arresting Stories from the Beat, you should! In addition to my latest story, Bygones, you’ll find a tremendous collection of new crime fiction to feast upon.
Every published author has a similar story. The road to publication is a long and twisty affair. Full of potholes and detours. Half of the time we don’t even know if we’re going the right way or if we have enough gas in the tank to reach our destination. But like the lost spouse who refuses to stop and ask directions we press on, continuing to write even when it makes no sense. Why you ask? Because we love to write. We love to tell stories. Spin yarns. Take those ‘what ifs?’ and slap ‘em down onto the page. In short, we love taking you on the ride with us.
You may wonder why publication is so important, if it’s the writing that truly matters. Well I’ll tell you. It’s as simple as validation. The idea that a publisher values what we’ve written as much as we do. And values it enough to package it into a book and put it out for all the world to see. But beyond validation is the dream that the masses will pick our story up and read it. And not just read it, but devour it. We want them to love what we’ve written so much that they can’t wait for the next. It’s the reason we drew on cave walls. I think the dream of any serious writer is that someone will wander into their cave and begin reading.
Am I excited to see my second novel in print? Of course I am. I’m already working hard inside cave number three!