So here we arrive at another A. LEE MARTINEZ APPRECIATION DAY!! Kind of sneaks up on you, right? Doesn’t help that it’s so close to an already overcrowded holiday season, but that’s just the way it worked out. Who are we to argue with the capricious whims of the universe?
As tradition dictates, A. LEE MARTINEZ APPRECIATION DAY!! is a day to spend watching monster and / or superhero movies, playing a tabletop game or two, and (most importantly) foisting my books on people. It’s self-serving, sure, but just think about all the cool stuff I’ve done for you in the past and all I’ve ask for in return is that I somehow make a living telling people stories involving space squids and minotaur women.
Really, whether we want to acknowledge it or not, we live in a generic universe. We like what we’re familiar with, and for the most part, we’d rather play it safe than take a chance. Nothing terrible about that, but it can be frustrating at times for me as a writer to know that my career would be in a much stronger place if I didn’t like to write about moon monsters and raccoon gods. It’s not that anything I write is that weird, but in today’s world, where we are constantly being fed a steady diet of safe and predictable media, even small chances can have a hard time finding an audience. If I was on my tenth Gil’s All Fright Diner novel, I’d probably be a lot more popular than I am now, just by virtue of giving the audience something they were familiar with. I’m cool with that knowledge. I’m happy with my career (though I could always be happier with more success, financial and otherwise).
The truth is I only do this because people care and are willing to pay me to do it. In fact, if I wasn’t so eager for praise, I’d be tempted to rename A. LEE MARTINEZ APPRECIATION DAY!! into A. LEE MARTINEZ FAN APPRECIATION DAY!!, but I spend most of my days sitting alone, writing stories I’m never really sure anyone wants to read, and so I’m sticking with the original title. It’s nice to be told that people care every now and then.
As I move to a new publisher, Simon and Schuster, with a new trilogy on the horizon and new possibilities, I wonder if this will finally be the thing that pushes me toward more wide acceptance. I honestly can’t say. I just write what I write and hope for the best. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to thank all the people that made this possible. Without these people, there would be no books to read and it’s highly unlikely anyone would be here, checking out this blog.
First and foremost, there’s always Mom. She’s always believed in me, and there were times I probably (okay, definitely) would’ve quit if it wasn’t for her emotional and financial support.
After that, the most important person among many has to be Paul Stevens, my first editor at Tor. Paul is the guy who went to bat for me on my first book and while getting your first book published is no guarantee of a career, it is the biggest obstacle an aspiring writer faces. It’s no exaggeration to say that Paul is the entire reason I have a career at all, and I’m grateful every day for everything he’s contributed to my success.
Then there’s Sally Harding, my agent. She’s brought so many opportunities my way, I can’t even begin to describe them all. A good agent makes a writer’s job that much easier, and, as a fairly lazy person, I’m always happy that there’s someone working in the background, taking care of all the technical stuff I really don’t claim to understand.
Devi Pillar and Orbit Books, my second editor and publisher, helped me move a bit from obscurity. Believe me, every bit helps.
Of course, there’s also my lovely wife, Sally Hamilton, and my writer’s group, the DFW Writer’s Workshop. There’s the support of friends and family and really, too many people to list. Nobody succeeds on their own in this world.
Lastly, there are all the members of the A. Lee Martinez Action Force. I have no idea how many of you are out there, but I’m glad you are. In the end, all the above people don’t amount to much if you aren’t willing to throw your financial support behind my books. That’s the truth. Money makes the world go round, and that you think enough of my work to pay for it means pretty much everything. Oh, sure, I’m very happy that you like the books and for all your kind words of encouragement, but it’s your money that keeps me going. In a world where there’s plenty of competition for your dollars, I’m eternally grateful for anything you throw my way.
What’s on the horizon?
2015 will most likely be a quiet year. The first novel of the Constance Verity trilogy will be out in 2016. In the meantime, I’ll be here, playing video games, watching Finding Bigfoot, and –oh yeah– writing.
Thanks again, Action Force.
And happy A. LEE MARTINEZ APPRECIATION DAY!!
Fighting the good fight, Writing the good write,