03 June 2018 by Published in: Uncategorized 11 comments

It was seven years ago today…

Seven years is a long time.

Over half many dogs’ lives.

Little over 2500 days.

During which time I’ve written something like…five million published words. Not counting blogs, or Facebook posts, which probably total a few million more (note to new authors – stay the hell off social media if you want to be productive).

Never at any point when I started this amazing journey did I see into the future where I’d have sixty-something novels in the can, have co-authored with a living legend, been on the front page of the WSJ and been featured in a trove of international pubs, landed a top agent, been republished in a bunch of different languages, interviewed more than one literary idol, hung out on boats in Cuba and beaches in Mexico and vineyards in Argentina, and had some astoundingly prosperous years. Truly an embarrassment of riches.

But most importantly, I’ve been fortunate enough to make good friends along the way, and to have been able to help some climb the mountain with me – because any peak is kind of lonely if you’re the only one there.

Each day I’ve tried to improve at my craft, but I don’t feel like I’ve reached my potential yet. Not sure when I will, but it gives me something to wake up for each morning, and that’s a good thing. When I go back and reread parts of my first novels, Fatal Exchange and The Geronimo Breach, I smile – they weren’t as terrible as they could have been, for which I’m thankful. I always open them on my publishing anniversary as a humbling reminder of where I started, and they serve their purpose well.

I’ve also been fortunate to have worked with a pro team – Dorothy Zemach editing, Pauline Nolet proofreading, Stef Mcdaid formatting and editing my first several dozen tomes, Ares Jun and Elizabeth Mackey on covers (with Jason Gurley having done the Assassin covers). These folks tolerated my peccadilloes and eccentricities and I’m a better author for it. I count them all as friends, even if they won’t pick up the phone when I call (they aren’t stupid, after all, and know I’m given to drink).

But, you ask, what have you done for me lately? Well, I’ll be releasing a techno-thriller I’m quite proud of, titled Quantum Synapse (cover below), which is the first book in a series set a few decades in the future that pushes the envelope on the genres I’ve mined (think Da Vinci Code crossed with Crichton, seasoned with Blade Runner and Total Recall and you might be close). I’m currently working on the fourth Drake Ramsey adventure, set in the Philippines. After that I see another JET, a cooperative project with one of the top sellers on Amazon, and two or three more novels to finish out the year. All while delivering some amazing custom homes I’ve designed and built in the Los Cabos area – work I’m exceedingly proud of.

And of course, still holding my breath on Hollywood making me an offer I can’t refuse.

So a full plate, which has kept things interesting.

I began this writing journey after turning fifty. For some, that marks the autumn of a career. For me it marked the start of a new one, and the continuation of another.

I just wish there were more hours. There are never enough. But I don’t want to be lying on my death bed thinking “I wish I’d tried that.” Part of what I’ve learned, if I’ve learned anything, is that trying is half the battle and almost all the reason – that creating meaning by taking on challenges, whatever they are, fills one’s cup and keeps one in the harness instead of dwelling on the past. That will be for when I’m 90. For now, I’ve got a lot to do before I sleep, and I hope I get the chance to give everything I’ve imagined a try.

To you, dear reader, consider this a kind of love letter. You’ve been a blessing, and your support of my work has been gratifying at countless levels. I realize how fortunate I am to have been accepted by you as one of your reading choices, and I’ll continue to try to get it more right than wrong – maybe for at least another seven years, although probably not another sixty-something novels.

That would be kinda nuts.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Sun 03rd Jun 2018 at 10:36 pm

    Thanks for all the books. I’ve enjoyed them and hope to read many more through the years!

    Reply
  2. Janet
    Sun 03rd Jun 2018 at 11:22 pm

    Thank you! I appreciate your efforts, and enjoy the results of your travail. Here’s to another 7 years and 60 more tomes. More Black would be nice. 😉 ha ha on they won’t answer the phone because they know you drink….ha ha!

    Reply
  3. Patricia Wilson
    Mon 04th Jun 2018 at 12:56 pm

    You have a talent for capturing your readers imagination while hanging on with a vice grip. You can be very good, when you want to be, as the series, Day After Never, bears out. Some of your best writing is contained within those volumes.
    I hope I live to see what, and where, the next seven years brings you.
    Happy anniversary, Russell.

    Reply
  4. Mon 04th Jun 2018 at 5:33 pm

    I always look forward to your posts – this one I especially enjoyed – to read about all of the descriptive details of your successes. I have one unanswered question though: do I remember correctly that once upon a time you mentioned that you wrote at/on a treadmill desk? If that’s a correct memory, how the heck did you do that? I have tried but, like a lame horse, there was way too much bouncing going on to justify all of the typos it produced.
    Congratulations! Keep the great stories coming!

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Mon 04th Jun 2018 at 5:41 pm

      I still use it, and it’s miraculously kept 25 pounds off me for about 5 years. The trick is to walk at 2 mph or so. You get used to it within a couple days. At that pace you’re barely bouncing, but over a few hours you’re clocking four miles a day you otherwise wouldn’t have.

      My friend Melissa Foster swears by hers, and CJ Lyons, who first turned me on to the idea, still uses hers, too, far as I know.

      Reply
      • Dianne Greenlay  –  Mon 04th Jun 2018 at 5:45 pm

        To do exercise (weight loss!! Yay!!) and writing at the same time sure appeals to the time-management gremlin who nags me constantly. Thanks for the tips!

        Reply
  5. Terry Parrish
    Mon 04th Jun 2018 at 7:19 pm

    No matter how many books you write, The Geronimo Breach will always be my favorite book of yours. Don’t know exactly why, it just is. Frankly, wish you would write more in that way.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Mon 04th Jun 2018 at 7:45 pm

      I try to write to market. Geronimo did okay, and still sells a few copies here and there, but nothing like DAN or JET. So I follow the market.

      Reply
      • Terry Parrish  –  Mon 04th Jun 2018 at 10:03 pm

        I don’t. Maybe that’s why I like it so well.

        Reply
  6. Mon 04th Jun 2018 at 7:23 pm

    Excellent! I started writing just after fifty as well. I’ve not been as prolific as you have. Alwasy great to hear from you and about your success. It’s most inspirational!

    Reply
  7. Wed 13th Jun 2018 at 12:38 am

    I haven’t quite been with you seven years… it only feels that way. 😉

    The Black series is still my favorite, but I’ll happily work with anything you write.

    Reply

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