PonyBoyHappy New Year! 

I guess it's time to take down the decorations. Maybe tomorrow. Today I spent a lot of quality time with stories. On Ms. Roundy's advice, I've cracked open one of the books on my stack. I didn't get a ton of reading done in 2015. I was always busy doing a poor job at proofing one of my own books. But it's necessary to read other novels. Just seeing the way that other people put together a story is crucial. My favorite book of last year was probably The Martian. I loved that I could trust Andy Weir to get all the science right. Even if he didn't get everything perfect, it was all good enough to fool me.

The forward of a book used to really turn me off. I wanted to dive into the action. I really enjoy them now. I like to form an image of the author sitting down to tell me the tale. I want to get a sense of their voice as they warm up to the story. Yes, they should disappear and leave me with the impression that the story has always been there and will always be. But even if I can't see the strings, it's good to know that there's a kindhearted puppeteer behind the scenes. 

With my next book, I'm going to try to make sure that the ending has the same heart as the beginning. When the world is new, and we're just getting to know everyone, I think I paint a much warmer picture. By the ending, everything seems fatigued and flat. Perhaps I should do another edit out of order and see if that helps. I like that idea. But, I also need to make sure that I keep my pace up. Last year was good to me (especially the second half), but only when I kept a good pace of releases. As soon as I stop putting out books, everything begins to go cold. If sales decline too far, I'll have no choice but to live out of the freezer.

I won't put a forward on my next book. I'm not that kindhearted of a puppeteer. I've tried to write them before, and it felt phony. It's all I can do to put a note at the end. 

Take care, and Happy New Year.



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