25 April 2016 by Published in: Uncategorized, Writing 17 comments

I’m asked fairly regularly why I continue cranking out books like the devil’s on my tail. I have a sufficiently large backlist that sells steadily enough to earn a more than generous living, so why continue the pace?

Fair question.

The truth, like most truths, is complex and nuanced.

I lied. It isn’t.

I do it because I love writing. I also do it because I wake up every day afraid I might not have another good word left in me – that it was all a fluke, and I’ve written my last readable book. So I write, in part, to reassure myself that I haven’t completely lost it (in a literary sense). Whether I ever had it is certainly debatable, but tentative as any gift might be, I don’t want my last book to be my…last book.

Additionally, I’m constantly afraid that the market’s going to change and I won’t have a business. Then it’s back to the male burlesque gig at Jalapeno Heat.

Also, some part of me needs a pursuit. I require something to keep me stimulated or I get into trouble. Like a nervous herding dog, if I don’t have a project, I’ll create one, and it’s not always what’s in my best interests. Researching a new book, working on the outline, gives me a sense of forward motion, which helps with the hallucination that any of this really matters – a comfort for me as my peers drop around me (mainly from alcoholism and sexually transmitted diseases, but hey).

There’s also the matter of craft. You’re never good enough, so that gives me something to aspire to. Maybe the next one I’ll finally do something I feel is amazing, rather than close, but no cigar. I’m not talking about polishing the work until every word glitters like a diamond – I’m talking that miraculous convergence of ideas and words that, when you get it right, takes your breath away.

So there’s your answer.

On the new book front, sales of my latest one, The Day After Never – Blood Honor, have been brisk, and it continues to hold in the low hundreds on Amazon. Reviews have been glowing, which is heartening. I love that story, as well as the way the novel turned out, and it’s probably my best writing to date. I’m getting ready to start the third in the series, which I thought would be a trilogy, but is turning out to require four books for a complete arc unless I want each novel to be War and Peace length. Anyhow, I’m thrilled that so many have enjoyed my entry into the dystopian/post-apocalyptic genre, and am especially delighted that authors like Hugh Howey, Steven Konkoly, Tom Abrahams, Toby Neal, and Nicholas Sansbury Smith said such amazingly positive things about the book

If you haven’t read it yet, you should. If you think it sucks, return it for a refund. At $3, your risk is pretty low, and you never know – you may find that my take on the genre is something you enjoy.

Thanks again for the support, and for allowing me to continue working the best job in the world.

Rear view of businessman looking at ruins of city

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Comments

  1. Janet
    Mon 25th Apr 2016 at 11:20 am

    You are too funny. Yes, that is exactly how I thought of you. A border collie. Driven, energetic and highly likely to get into trouble without a job. 😉

    You have mentioned living through Odile, have you written more about that experience somewhere? Would be interested to read it.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Mon 25th Apr 2016 at 12:11 pm

      My novella for Steven Konkoly’s Perseid Collapse Kindle World is loosely based on the experience.

      Deadly Calm.

      Reply
      • Janet  –  Tue 26th Apr 2016 at 10:32 am

        Gracias! I wondered if it was.

        Reply
      • ken010107  –  Tue 03rd May 2016 at 12:38 pm

        Yup, loved that one too. Didn’t realize it was a Kindle World thing though. “Day After” picks up the genre. Book#1 went too fast, per-ordered #2 and glad to hear you’ll do a 4th. Lov’in your work!

        Reply
  2. Tim
    Mon 25th Apr 2016 at 2:48 pm

    I’m going to read your new book!

    Reply
  3. Mon 25th Apr 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Keep writing so I have good stuff to read.

    I enjoy giving you money for books, not dancing. Although I can’t say for sure since I’ve never seen your routine.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Tue 26th Apr 2016 at 10:44 am

      Many go blind afterward.

      Reply
  4. Tue 26th Apr 2016 at 1:13 am

    I loved this so much. You rocked it harder than ever, Russell, and continue to inspire me to get to the page and follow the muse (and a publishing schedule!) Mahalo for the advance peek at your foray into a depressing future. I’ll saddle up with Lucas anytime.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Tue 26th Apr 2016 at 10:44 am

      Too kind.

      Reply
  5. Tue 26th Apr 2016 at 5:37 am

    Hi Russell,

    Would you mind sharing who does your website? I like. 🙂

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Tue 26th Apr 2016 at 10:02 am

      A buddy of mine. He doesn’t do it commercially. But this is WordPress, so anyone should be able to pull it off.

      Reply
  6. Tue 26th Apr 2016 at 8:20 am

    This causes me to wonder hoe the future will best remember Russell Blake. As author, blogger, humorist, or inspiration for others to do likewise?

    Bravo, dude, and thank you. You ARE the man!

    Reply
  7. Mon 09th May 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Russell:
    In the middle of Day After and loving it, man. Great writing, great pace, I’m really hooked. Lucas’s world is very likely a flu bug or solar flare away and it really has me thinking about what if. I think this is a great niche for you as it brings your work much more mainstream. Just my $.02. Keep bringing them!

    Reply
  8. David
    Wed 11th May 2016 at 10:10 pm

    Didn’t hear anything about the fans. Is no part of this because you think you make people’s lives better?

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Thu 12th May 2016 at 11:02 am

      Well, not really. I don’t write to make people’s lives worse, or better. I write to entertain them. If their lives are better for it, super. If not, they can still be miserable pricks, but have had a few hours of diversion.

      Reply
  9. Caliche Kid
    Sat 21st May 2016 at 10:27 pm

    Enjoyed your book and am looking forward to reading the others in the series.
    My hometown is Carlsbad, New Mexico & I grew up on a farm near Loving, so the locations mentioned in the book made it a more interesting read.
    Sometimes while reading I thought you had been to the towns you mentioned, then other times I wasn’t sure. And your mention of Hal’s 50 acre ranch is, to say the least, laughable since ranches out here in this part of New Mexico would be more likely to be 20 sections in size.
    Anyway, I’m looking forward to the next books in the series.Thanks for a good read.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Sun 22nd May 2016 at 7:26 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it.

      Hal was a nonconformist. What can I say? Walked to a different drummer and all that.

      Reply

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