Friday, January 20, 2012

6-1/2 Weeks

Since wrapping up the StarDoc series back in 2010, more folks around the biz than I can count have let me know that they were a silent, unknown part of my readership. The mentions range from You should write more SF to God, I loved those books. Often the way they tell me (usually a quick aside in an e-mail or during a phone chat) seems like a confession of bad behavior, like we're discussing something that has to be whispered so as not to be overheard by others.

In a strange way it reminds me of that weird interval following a bad divorce. After it's all over, people you know who have never once commented on the situation begin confiding how happy they are that you're free of the jerk, or the many reasons why they disliked your ex, or even how they knew he was cheating on you but never said anything because they didn't want to hurt your feelings. It's nice that they want you to know, but . . . why tell you now?

It's also difficult to know how to react to these confessions. Of course I say thank you, and I am grateful (who wouldn't be?), but for me personally it's history. This is because for the readers StarDoc came to an end in August of 2010, but for me it happened in 2007, when I discussed wrapping up the series here. While back then I still had a couple of books under contract to write, I knew I was heading down the same road as I had with the first five books, and I couldn't put my readership through that again.

It's been five years since I made that very difficult decision, and while I will always love StarDoc and the readers who kept me writing the series, I've moved on.

Now that I'm returning to writing Darkyn novels, I do wonder at times if history might repeat itself. For the second time in my career I've revived a series that my publisher killed but that the readers wanted me to keep writing. I have three new Darkyn novels under contract, and if these do well, I can certainly write more after this trilogy concludes. Since this has been my bestselling series to date, and readers have been very vocal about wanting more books, I think I have a fairly decent shot.

That said, I can't take anything for granted. While how well the new trilogy does is 99% dependent on things beyond my control, I know I can make more of an effort to do what I can for the series and its readership. So this time around I'm trying to approach the problem differently. Primarily I'm focused on selling all the books that share a storyline under one contract; this should keep me from getting entangled in a series that I may or may not be able to end. I think this works better for the readers, too, as from what I've observed most of them don't seem interested in following lengthy series any more.

I'm also getting more involved and taking some new directions with promotion and marketing for this trilogy. That's been more painful -- I'm always going to be better at writing than self-promoting -- and I don't know if it will actually make a difference. I figure if nothing else I'll learn from it.

Nightborn will be hitting the shelves on March 6th, and as part of my do-more effort I'm also trying to make myself more available. So: if you have a weblog and would like to interview me, get some info about the book, or have me write a guest post for you, and you can post that between now and March 6th, please e-mail me at to let me know. I have a few ARCs of Nightborn left that I can offer as giveaways (not many, so this will be first come first served) or signed copies of my other Darkyn novels. In late February I should have the final edition author copies of Nightborn if you'd prefer those as prizes.

If you were one of the readers or a reviewer who got a Nightborn ARC (either from me or my publisher), and you have the time and inclination to post a review on your site or at one of the online booksellers' pages before the book is released, that would also be great, and much appreciated.

I'm also going to put one last signed Nightborn ARC up for grabs here, so if you'd like a chance at winning it, in comments to this post name a novel series that you wish other people would read (or if you can't think of any, just toss your name in the hat) by midnight EST on Saturday, January 21, 2012. I will choose one name at random from everyone who participates and send the winner a signed ARC of Nightborn along with a surprise (and no, I won't tell you what that is, but my surprises are always good ones.) This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something here at PBW in the past.


  1. I want it... *G* and I tell people to read the STARDOC books all the time.

  2. Lesley M3:28 AM

    De-lurking to admit that I'm one of those sneaky StarDoc fans, but I'm glad that it ended. Series that go on and on seem to lose their way somehow, something that won't happen with the Kate Daniels series written by Ilona Andrews. It's going to end and I will be able to look back at it fondly rather than cringing.

  3. This is great news! So exciting! Kresley Cole's Immortal After Dark series is good.

  4. One series I love (and think others would love too) is by Megan Whalen Turner. The four books are:
    The Thief
    The Queen of Attolia
    The King of Attolia
    A Conspiracy of Kings
    Every time I read them I get something more out of them.

  5. The Ender's Shadow series by Orson Scott Card.

  6. The series I've most recently recommended are StarDoc and the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire.

    I noticed the comment from Shiloh Walker above- a mention from her is how I discovered StarDoc, and consequently all of your other books.

  7. The Dreg City series by Kelly Meding (urban fantasy where the heroine is so courageous), the bloodhound series by DD Barant (alternate universe and very clever and gritty), the Faye Longchamp mysteries by Mary Anna Evans (archeology and mystery together, so awesome) and the St Augustine Vampire series by Nancy Haddock (fun but not campy, very original).

  8. Joey W Hill's mermaid series. Its erotic bdsm but she does such a great job on the romance and the characters. Its the one series out of about 3 I think that the publisher isnt requesting contracts for I guess.

    (love the darkyn)

  9. The Alien series by Gini Koch. It's an awesome sf series that incorporates comedy with science fiction.

  10. I think when people whisper about loving StarDoc, it's less because it's a guilty pleasure than a respectful lowering of their tone for the loss of a good friend. Or at least that's how I feel. I came late to the series, but I really loved it. And I'm one of the people who would love it if you wrote more SF - just not in that world. You ended that too beautifully. Maybe something along the lines of Afterburn. (hopehopehope)

    I wish more people would read the October Daye series - so Seanan can make more money and write more books. ;o)

  11. I'm not sure if the Tortall books by Tamora Pierce are considered a series? Each quartet, trilogy or two-book-story is set in the same world, however, and although the main characters of each series are different, they know each other, or are related to each other, and appear as side characters, or as references in the other books. And I just *love* Tortall and those stories. They are written for young teenagers, of course, but that is a while ago for me, and I still adore the stories and re-read them all the time.

    My greatest problem with series is that I dare not read one until I'm sure it's finished. If I start one that isn't finished yet, I'm too anxious that something will happen (the author has a mysterious accident! the publishers run out of money!) and I will never know how it all continued/ended. What an absolute nightmare...

  12. Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series. OMG, love it!

  13. Anne V.9:28 AM

    The Parasol Protectorate books by Gail Carriger. They are funny and unique. Her voice in this series just tickles me because under all the proper behavior there are naked men and all kinds of hijinks!

  14. The Maisie Dobbs Series by Jacqueline Winspear is memorable. Congratulations and best wishes.

  15. A series which I enjoy and look forward to is Adriana trigiani's Valentina books.

  16. I am currently hooked on two series which I would call Regency Detective. The first is Lady Julia Grey mysteries by Deanna Raybourn and the second is the St. Cyr series by C.S. Harris. Both are excellent. I am also anxious for Sherlock Holmes, Season 2 on PBS Mystery. I really do like series to end. I am almost caught up with Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series which I believe may be coming to an end. It is nice to have closure.

  17. I have told many people to read your StarDoc series, and the Darkyn series. I've also recommended Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series.

    Thanks so much!

  18. Keri Arthur's Riley Jensen series.

  19. Tammy S11:04 AM

    Oh wow....uh Jim Butcher's Dresden series and Patricia Briggs's Mercy Thompson series.

  20. I'm a broken record ... I wish other people would read Sara Donati's Into the Wilderness series and Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series so that I'd have some folks to geek out with.

  21. That is good news, more Darkyn books! I do love this series, and the Kyndred as well. I have not read your other books yet. And perhaps I am one of the few who love a long series. How about Laurell K. Hamilton with Anita Blake. Yes I know many people hate it, because of all the sexscenes. But the story is what counts. Christine Feehan and her Carpathians. I don't love all the books, but I will keep reading them. And JD Robb and her In Death, there are 35 or so out now! So if the series stays fresh and good, why not keep writing if you still have inspiration.

    Someone not often mentioned: Susan Sizemore and her Primes. Worth reading.

  22. Anonymous2:17 PM

    I loved the Stardoc series, but found it hard to get copies of all the books and I loved the darkyn series and was pissed that it was cut short!
    I finished the Kyndred books and I really want Nightborn now!
    I don't think I can wait till March! :)

    Tara B

  23. Anything by Lois McMaster Bujold by I like so many series.

  24. There are a lot a series that are coming to an end or already has. My favorite was rachel caine's weather warden series. Another favorite is Christina Dodd's wilder series.

  25. Oh yes, I did enjoy the StarDoc series. And, I have enjoyed your Darkyn series as well. Whenever I need a romance fix, I look one up. ;-)

    I noticed when I was getting my English Literature degree that genre reading especially Romance and Sci-fi/fantasy was considered a nasty habit. However, many of the lit grads loved reading Romance after a hard session of reading the classics. And yes, they would whisper about their favorite characters in the romance genre.

    I found no reason to be embarrassed about my reading material. Why should I? So it was amusing to watch this behavior.

    Good luck in your publishing,

    Yours, Cyn

  26. I wish more people would read the Barbara Hambly Benjamin Janview mysteries. Sorry, no paranormal. Although she does have a vampire-hunter mystery series that is just as good.

    Sandy L

  27. Anonymous7:14 PM

    The Philippa Gregory Tudor series. My favorite is The Other Boleyn Girl.

    Also, Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas and Frankenstein series.

  28. Anonymous8:56 PM

    Fewer people should read Thomas Covenant, the Twilight books, and a number of other things-not to put too fine a point on it--I suspect the Darkyn books would be more popular if more people had access. More people should read the Destroyer series. The name alone put me off for years.--Midhir

  29. I love both of this series. And one I'd love for other to read is Shiloh Walker's viel series. I need one more book from that series and it more people would read it I might get it lol.
    I'd love to have you do a guest blog on my blog. whenever you wish.
    scrtspal at yahoo dot com

  30. Oh, I *loved* the STARDOC series, the first person and Cherijo's attitude and personality. Though it's sometimes hard to slog through the pages and pages of details, I do like the relationship that Honor Harrington and Nimitz enjoy in David Weber's series.

    And Ann Aguirre's Jax series, too.

  31. I was recently reminded of "The Dark Is Rising" series, which I first read back in the mid-90s. It's a five book series of children's contemporary fantasy novels by Susan Cooper, published 1965–1977. From Wikipedia: "The series is based on Arthurian myths and Celtic and Norse legend, and is written primarily for older children and young adults. One of the books won the Newbery medal, and another was a Newbery honor book."

    Need to find these again for a nostalgic re-read!

    — Bonz

  32. I really really really loved your Youngblood novel and cant wait tod the next one....i pulled a 48 hour for it. I cant wait for the next darkyn chapter!!!!!

  33. Lara Adrian's Breed series.

  34. Harper Connelly series by Charlaine Harris. So Good!

  35. Nicole11:32 AM

    Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniel series.

  36. The one that comes to mind is the Okal Rel series by Lynda Williams. I like how the physics is fairly consistent.

  37. McCullough and her Rome. Iggluden's reckoning of the Mongols.

    Richard Morgan's Kovacs trilogy along with his A Land Fit for Heroes trilogy in progress.

    Sawyer and his WWW trilogy is a transcendent piece of work.

    And quite a few more, really.

    I have read most of the StarDoc series, but it is Blade Dancer that I will carry with me forever.

  38. I also love the StarDoc series, and I'm not afraid to show it. BioRescue, Afterburn, and Blade Dancer are still some of my all time favorite re-reads. I'm hoping that even though you've put StarDoc behind you, that you haven't completely written off Science Fiction altogether (for purely selfish reasons on my part). I'm hoping you'll find your way back to us Sci-Fi'ers.

    Book series I hand out to my friends are: Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, Naomi Novik's Temeraire series (dragons + dragonriding + Napoleonic era = awesome), Jeff Sommer's Avery Cates series (dystopia + explosions + attitude = awesome), and Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series (tea cozies + werewolves + Victorian era = awesome).

  39. I wish everyone would read Piers Anthony "Incarnations of Immortality" series!! Its a great one and one that I have read over and over again.

    Toss my name in the hat!!!!!

  40. I wish everyone would read Lois McMasters Bujold's Vorkosigan series, also Imogen Robertson's Crowther/Westerman series. And of course I love the Darkyn, so please put my name in the hat, too!

  41. clairecherven9:03 PM

    I loved Marjorie M. Liu's Dirk & Steele Novel series, which you introduced me to. Some of her story lines are very close to news headlines and I like the strong female players.

  42. I love Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series and wish more folks would read it. But those books are so darned thick, it intimidates a lot of people. But if they'd just start the first book, they wouldn't stop until all of them are read!