Screaming in Fear of Success (8/12/09)

Today is publication day for Der Drachenthron[1], The Adamantine Palace auf Deutsch. The mad fools at Heyne who bought the rights before I’d even finished chapter 7 (from memory, and bear in mind the book has 70 chapters) are about to find out whether they’ve bought a piece of the next Wunderkind or the next Wunder-turkey. I fully expect a room full of long faces, shaking heads and a general demeanour of never again

But maybe they weren’t so mad after all. The Adamantine Palace is doing rather well, it seems. Not awesome, but well enough. I find it hard to believe, but slowly, this possibility is being bludgeoned into me as a fact. Being in a list of someone’s ten most anticipated books of 2010 boggles my mind; at least, given that the list wasn’t written by my publicist or my mum. Most of me assumes that it was some sort of freak accident, a moment of insanity brought on by the fact that there’s no new Pat Rothfuss, no new Scott Lynch or Joe Abercrombie coming out in 2010. I mean good grief – on the same list as KJ Parker? As the mighty Al Reynolds? Hoy! I feel so not worthy.

Still, this is all thing, right? Of course it is.

It’s also terrifying. Grand vistas of uncertainty and possibility threaten to open up before me. And they’re all good, but WHAT IF THEY GO WRONG? Eh? What if I embrace the dream and it all turns sour, eh? EH? What if I quit my well-paying stable and secure job to hop onto some wild roller-coaster ride to oblivion and ecstasy only for it to crash? What if I end up watching my family starve, living in rags, eh?[2] What if they all end up hating me?

Don’t be fooled – in the occasional moment when I’m not chain-smoking and quivering with fear, I’m stricken with delight. Fortunately, King of the Crags is done, edited, re-written, ARCs printed, finished all bar the proof-reading. King of the Crags is all good. If you liked The Adamantine Palace, I reckon you’ll like King of the Crags. If pressure-paralysis is going to set in, it’ll be the third book that suffers, but I don’t think it will. Writing stories is an escape from all that.

There’s a diem out there, just out of reach[3] but tantalisingly close. If the chance comes to carpe it, it will be a quivering unsteady hand that reaches out, but seize it I will. Because that’s what you have to do.

Thank you, all of you who bought TAP. Thank-you very much indeed. Now please excuse me; I have to go binge-eat on Ben and Jerrys.

[1] Complete with a map (Entschuldigung – Landkarte).

[2] Yes, I know, realistically the worst that will happen is probably that they’ll have to put up with not having access to the latest console games technology, but kids can be harsh, man.

[3] That’s right Mr day-job, we’re not done yet. Not yet.

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