10 June 2015 by Published in: Uncategorized 16 comments

June 11, 2011. A day that shall go down in literary infamy. On that day, I pressed publish on my first novel, a little ditty titled Fatal Exchange. Little did I know it would change my life.

~ ~ ~

Having just typed “the end” on Emerald Buddha, the sequel to Ramsey’s Gold, it’s fitting to me that tome’s my 40th book. Counting my blog, I’ve easily clocked 5 million words over that four years, and probably closer to 6 million if I throw in all my message board posts.

So what’s changed during that time?

Everything. I’m about 25 pounds lighter, thanks to my treadmill desk. I’ve gone through five keyboards (the lettering worn off the keys). I’ve broken my third and fourth metacarpals and written half of Ops Files one-handed. I’ve been featured in notable publications like The Wall Street Journal, The Times, The Chicago Tribune, and Forbes, and my work’s been translated into four languages, with more to come. I’ve sold a shit ton of books, and some seem to like ’em enough to come back for more.

The business has changed, in that when I started, self-publishing was generally considered what you did if you weren’t good enough to make it as a traditionally published author. I’d like to think that after a couple of co-authored novels with the legendary Clive Cussler, I’ve done at least my small part in helping dispel that myth. Certainly, I’ve surpassed any reasonable goals I had for income from the book business, and I’m delighted to report that I haven’t tired of making shit up, so we can expect more from where that came from.

Perhaps my greatest satisfaction, though, comes when I get periodic emails from other authors, who report that my blog posts and views have helped them become bestselling authors, or achieve financial freedom, or both. That my approach has helped my peers is humbling, and that it’s replicable with some predictability is validation of a kind I’d never hoped for. All along, I’ve posted what I wished someone had told me when I was starting out, and it’s reassuring that I’ve spared many worthy talents some of the bumps in the road.

So what’s next? Well, I have JET going live as a Kindle World with Amazon at the end of July. I’ve just finished up a treatment for a dystopian trilogy titled Water I plan to shop, and if nobody gets it, I’ll write it anyway because it’s a wonderful saga I’d be proud to have bear my name. I’m plotting the next BLACK, and have a pretty good idea how I’m going to end the Assassin series in the final installment. And of course, I have the ninth volume in the JET series hitting at the end of this month.

During four years, I’ve become friends with a host of notable, and some disreputable, folks, none of whom seem to have the good sense to avoid me. I’m happy with how I spend my days, I look forward to tomorrow, and I wouldn’t be doing anything else with my time but this.

Not sure what more one can expect out of life. I’ve been blessed, which I remind myself of every day when I sit down to hammer out prose.

So raise your glasses high and join me in a toast. Four years gone by like nothing.

Ain’t it funny how the time flies…

 

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Comments

  1. Thu 11th Jun 2015 at 12:49 am

    Many congratulations, Russell. Well-deserved. Raise that glass high.

    Reply
  2. Thu 11th Jun 2015 at 1:05 am

    Congrats, Russell!

    Thanks for writing so many great books. Can’t wait to see how the Assassin series ends.

    Reply
  3. Thu 11th Jun 2015 at 1:12 am

    Well done.

    Reply
  4. Thu 11th Jun 2015 at 1:20 am

    congrats my friend, you rock!

    Reply
  5. Thu 11th Jun 2015 at 1:33 am

    Bravo…Bravo.

    Reply
  6. Thu 11th Jun 2015 at 2:37 am

    Congrats!!! Here’s to many more good years!

    Reply
  7. Thu 11th Jun 2015 at 5:09 am

    Congratulations on your success. Although I have never read any of your books, I have enjoyed your blog posts. I started self-publishing in 1989 and will continue to do so for many more years. I am sure you will do the same, perhaps eventually longer than I have.

    Reply
  8. Zarayna
    Thu 11th Jun 2015 at 6:08 am

    Sincerely hope you are doing whatever brings you joy on this special day.
    Just wanted you to know, that you are my Roger Bannister – for younger members of your tribe, the first man recorded to run a sub-four minute mile. Before he did that, some thought it impossible – defying the laws of physiology blah, blah. After he broke the record, a flurry of others followed suit. What had been impossible became possible for those who were dedicated.
    Thus, you write well, prolifically and with ethical insight. It can be done so thank you.
    I shall continue to lurk and stumble in your wake.
    Kindest.

    Reply
  9. Lynda filler
    Thu 11th Jun 2015 at 12:12 pm

    And you’ve saved the lives of many of us who turn to your stories to ease the pain of loss and heartbreak, and escape. Love you for your talent, your sense of humor and your spirit. So happy to have discovered you and your passion. Thank you RB

    Reply
  10. Thu 11th Jun 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Congratulations, Russell.

    As a solely non-fiction author so far (I write fitness and nutrition), you’re one of my inspirations to write the ‘other half’ of what I love (fiction, of course).

    Thanks for inspiring by your writing and blogging,

    Roland

    Reply
  11. Thu 11th Jun 2015 at 12:20 pm

    I recognized your ability early on, buddy, and I have to admit that witnessing your success over these 4 years led me to get back on the horse and give it another try. You matter.

    Thanks for you.

    Cheers!

    Reply
  12. Thu 11th Jun 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Good on you, my friend. Well done!

    Reply
  13. Fri 12th Jun 2015 at 12:01 am

    I’ve gone through five keyboards (the lettering worn off the keys)

    You need a Model M or CODE Keyboard.

    Both have the keys lasered in, IIRC.

    Reply
  14. Robert
    Fri 12th Jun 2015 at 4:30 pm

    Well done. Top man. Always look forward to your stuff. Keep cranking out the crap!

    Reply
  15. Fri 12th Jun 2015 at 11:25 pm

    Cheers to you, Russell. You are an inspiration.

    Reply
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