(This post is brought to you by the marvelous new scheduled-post option Blogger has added to their free service, which allows posts to be saved and published automatically by a preset date and time. I am actually off somewhere trying to comfort a very miserable man.)
Back in 2001, just about the time the gilt began to wear off publishing for me, I picked up a book at random in the store. As I remember it, I chose it because I liked the cover art, and the title intrigued me. It was such a great read I immediately recommended it to my small circle of readers, and promptly went back out and bought everything else the author had written.
That's how I discovered author Patricia Briggs.
The Hob's Bargain was a quiet landmark in my writing life. Just as I was really being trampled by the indifferent hooves of publishing's herd and hoopla, it reminded me that this is what writing books should be about: creating great stories to delight the unsuspecting reader. It was also the first book I put on what would become my writer's writers shelf.
There are books that inspire us, and then there are books that save us. This one did both for me. The Hob's Bargain told me I needed to work harder to become a better writer. It also assured me that the effort would be worth it. It dared to whisper that writing a great story was the only thing that mattered -- and this at a time when everyone was screaming the exact opposite at me.
My original edition of The Hob's Bargain is a little worn; I've re-read it a dozen times for pleasure, or whenever I needed another reminder. I suppose I've treated it more like a talisman than a novel. If you'd told me in 2001 that someday a quote from me would appear on the cover, I'd have laughed myself into the hiccups. In what parallel universe could something like that ever happen?
I think the new cover art is beautiful, and having my quote on there, well, you can imagine how that feels. There are a hundred more popular and important authors who would have fallen over themselves to have that space, and yet somehow my words are there. Mainly I'm grateful to see The Hob's Bargain returning to the shelves because I love this story. Thank you for writing it, and for enchanting all of us, Patricia.