13 December 2015 by Published in: Uncategorized 12 comments

Actually, two days ago makes 54 months. But still.

*** NEWS *** I just did a podcast with Joanna Penn for The Creative Penn, wherein I was philosophical and pragmatic about this crazy writing business. Authors might find it of interest. Interview starts at about the 18 minute mark. ***

I published my first tome four and a half years ago. Little did I know that writing would become my full time gig. For which I’m enormously grateful to my readership, which seems willing to humor me and consume my books at the rate I produce them.

If it gets much better than that, I don’t know how.

I mean, sure, I can imagine better. Twins. A big boat paid for by a recently deceased uncle. More money than the Vatican. Eternal life. My enemies and detractors crushed beneath my boots as I mock their misfortune. I can dream pretty big.

But this ain’t half bad.

A lot’s changed for me over that four and a half years. I’ve appeared on The NY Times and USA Today lists at least a dozen times. I’ve penned close to 50 novels, a few of which are even readable, depending upon whom you ask. I still enjoy getting up in the morning and getting to work. All except the getting up part. Why lie?

A new year is coming up fast, and it’s sure to be filled with surprises. The business will probably get even tougher. New names will hit big and will spawn a host of imitators. Trads will release hundreds of thousands of books that do zip. Indies will do the same. Nobody will see the next big thing coming until it hits, and then will nod sagely and assure everyone they completely understand why it went parabolic. The world will keep turning, and much ado will be made about what, in retrospect, will turn out to be nothing.

In other words, not much different than usual.

I’m slowing my production to 5 or 6 novels in 2016, taking more time to smell a few roses (code for problem drinking and helping women of loose morals see the error of their ways). Whether I manage to do so is unknown, but it would be a pretty frigging boring trip if we knew the outcome to anything in advance. Except the lottery. That would be totally metal.

So that’s the state of my union as we near egg nog season. I keep pounding the keys, and my joy at turning a phrase or plotting a twist has never been greater.

Which is one of the best rewards I can imagine.

Except, maybe, the twins. Or the lottery.

Or both.



  1. Sun 13th Dec 2015 at 2:12 am

    Always the best now apin the season of cursed mistletoe, and always. Love the wrap-up and future cool books on the horizon.

    • Justin Bog  –  Sun 13th Dec 2015 at 2:13 am

      Apin simply in…but monkeys foil every plan…

    • Russell Blake  –  Sun 13th Dec 2015 at 11:58 am

      Not getting the apin thing. Must be the kids. Or the clowns. Shrug.

  2. Sun 13th Dec 2015 at 11:20 am

    Yes, as Justin said, apin… Perhaps even two pins. Time will tell.

  3. Sun 13th Dec 2015 at 4:30 pm

    I can relate to everything you said. I’m a 2 and a 1/2 year dude and my head is spinning at the schizoid indy/trad nature of publishing. I think you’re right…the future will be exactly what is occurring now (hopefully without the zombies, vampires and dystopian hot chicks). Much success…!

  4. Zarayna
    Sun 13th Dec 2015 at 5:35 pm

    54 months – seems such a long time but it’s just a breath or two if the experiences have been rewarding.
    And I do hope your next tranche will bring you as much pleasure if only for my own selfish reasons – love your FB page with e.g,. the typing cat and your sparky community.
    Congratulations and thank you for being a beacon of light in a dingy world.
    (I know I sound like a creep but that’s one of my best features).

  5. Sun 13th Dec 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Well, honey bun, keep on keepin’ on. Since I can’t do math all I can add is that my beginning was April of 2010. How many months is that? I feel like an old timer. Seen a lot of changes. Some good. Some bad. Some eggnog-ish. I’ve grown fond of Bourbon. Forget the Scotch.

  6. Tim Stevens
    Sun 13th Dec 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Great blog, apart from the outright lie about ‘5 to 6 novels in 2016’. I mean, how many times are you going to trot out this ‘slowing down’ hogwash before the penny drops that we’re all laughing at it?

    Congratulations on your success, and may it last forever.

  7. Sun 13th Dec 2015 at 11:40 pm

    Love your work, your words and wish you all the best in the New Years. Keep on writing. And keep on stirring up the troops on FB. You always make me smile~
    Your biggest fan!

  8. Jackie
    Sun 13th Dec 2015 at 11:49 pm

    My goodness… that’s an inconceivable amount of writing in that amount of time!! My mind is boggled. Just discovered Jet on Amazon Kindle… I’m officially addicted and will work my way through all your novels in no time I am sure 🙂
    Take a well deserved break!

  9. Tue 15th Dec 2015 at 2:39 am

    Hi Russell,
    I listened to the podcast and I want to say Congratulations on your success, and thanks for sharing so many tips and truths over the years.
    You said something to Joanna about the way you outline your books… with an excel sheet, names of characters, and chapter by chapter summaries. Would you care to share more about that? Thanks.


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