Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Little Practicality, Cherie: Anne Rice to Release Next Vampire Chronicle

First of all, points to the vampire-loving fans who know what movie this title comes from. Hint:

"You think vampires sparkle & attend high school for eternity?"

       If you still have no idea what the Queen of the Damned I’m talking about, clearly you weren’t alive in the 80s and may not remember when vampires didn’t sparkle, but instead tore out your throat and left you to bleed out in swampy marshes at the edge of the 4th circle of Hell (aka 18th century Louisiana)--
       But I digress. The point of this post is to praise the bravery of sequels. Just a day ago Anne Rice announced that there would be a new book in the thought-to-be-abandoned Vampire Chronicles, featuring lovable rogue Lestat de Lioncourt. For those of you who have been living under some sad, cold rock, you have until October to catch up with the series before the latest novel will be released.
       So why do I think this is courageous? For the same reasons that I thought Stephen King releasing Doctor Sleep was courageous.
       Wildly successful books like the Vampire Chronicles or The Shining have a lot of pressure placed on them. From a writer perspective, I can only imagine that I would be paralyzed into a severe case of writer’s block, or at the very least terrified beyond measure on the eve of my sequel’s release, if I had to live up to that standard.
     Just think about it: most people will either expect your sequel to be unrealistically AMAZING, or really, really bad. There will be a lot of expectations and criticism waiting to happen.
     Most writers know that once you finish a book and send it out into the world, it becomes the property of the ravenous mob known as readers. They will either chew it up and declare it delicious or spit it out in a mangled half-digested heap!
       So for these writers I have to point out the insanely admirable act. First, that they have the writer cojones to keep their mind focused long enough to complete a sequel novel without all the self-doubt and panic creeping it— do I even need to speak volumes on the difficult task of completing a novel—and second, the brave act of releasing said sequel into the world knowing that there will be people who hate it, who deride it, and claim it ruined an otherwise perfect story and that the sad excuse for a writer should just retire already!
       And meditating on the courage of sequel-releasing veterans is good for novice writers, because it is a fine reminder that we have a long, long way to go. That if we are lucky, we will get to a place where enough people have read/care about our work to try and make us feel crappy about ourselves.

That's success, baby!

So whenever we start to feel like the writing, the publishing, the editing, promoting, and all of that is too much, we might want to remind ourselves of all the brave writers who did it before us. And that perhaps it is better to just sit down, buckle up, and make that page count--come hell, or failed sequel.

P.S. Don't forget to check out my guest post on Joe Wikert's Digital Content Strategies blog and if you're into free books, my latest giveway is happening here--as well as my character giving me a piece of her mind ;)

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