Okay, so, if you think you guys are having trouble waiting, I am going to freak out from having a whole month to go before you all really get to know Marcia and Claudia and Cassie, and meet the rest of the Tinsley family, and Irene, and Jacky, and... well, I've become deeply invested in my characters, is what I'm saying. They're not complete until you all know them, too.
But, while I wait, I got this message on Goodreads from a writer named Andrew Seiple. I've never gotten anything like this before, and it really moved me. I asked, and he's fine if I share it. So from here forward, His Letter:
Good afternoon, Richard. Or do you prefer Rich?
I just wanted to tell you thank you. But now I suppose I should tell you why...
few years ago I was kicking around an idea. A roleplaying game I'd been
planning had collapsed, due to time constraints, and I was left with a
superheroic world that I'd painstakingly constructed and a whole slew of
characters. Including one villain, which I was pretty sure would make
an awesome protagonist.
And the idea occured to me... well, why
not write about her? And the rest of it? There's enough material there
for ten or twenty books.
It would mean writing "for realsies."
Hitherto then, all my efforts had been for private roleplaying game
sessions, and fanfiction. But this seemed like a way to step up my game,
maybe get read by more than just a few friends and some forum buddies.
was on the fence about it for a while. Tried a few false starts. Never
could quite find the right way to build up... it was frustrating. I had
the characters, I had the setting, but I just couldn't get it to gel.
what's more, it really didn't look like there was much of a market for
original superhero fiction that didn't involve a visual medium. True,
"Soon I will be Invincible" had done moderately well back in the day,
but that was more due to its uniqueness, I thought. There had been a few
stabs at other superhero fiction, but most that weren't backed by
established universes and characters and companies flopped.
Could I make this fly? Would it be worth the effort? I agonized over it for days.
Then, right at my moment of doubt, you went and released the first Inscrutable Machine book.
was the first Kindle e-book I ever bought, I kid you not. And not only
was it beautifully written and a fun ride, it was doing great!
It seemed like a sign. So I buckled down, and tried various techniques, and researched writing...
I wrote Dire:Born, as well as a few pieces of shorter fiction which I
quietly put out there, and experimented with to pave the way for my
Dire's first book. It took a long time, and things didn't end up coming
out in the order I expected, but c'est la vie.
on Black Friday, 2015, and it's been doing pretty well. Not
set-the-world-on fire well, but well enough for a no-name indie
self-publisher's first book. Reviews are good, my friends and family are
pleased, and I know that the sequels are going to be well-recieved. It
will take me time to build the world of words and images I see in my
head and get it to published paper, but I know I'll get there now. And
by the end of it, it'll be pretty damn epic so long as I focus on doing
my best throughout.
I know how to do this, now. There's things I
need to learn like marketing, mailing lists, and websites, but the
foundation has been laid, and I never would have taken those first steps
if you hadn't published a superfun supervillain book when you did.
Wanna know another funny thing?
expected a post-Christmas slump in sales, but the opposite happened!
It's been steady sales throughout, and a ton of KU reads. I poked around
a bit, trying to figure out why...
And then I noticed, in my book's Amazon listing among the also-boughts, there's the third Inscrutable Machine book, right THERE.
man, you couldn't have helped me more if you planned it. Here's to that
"Supervillain" keyword! May it ever grow in usage.
That's why I want to thank you.
Oh, and also for "Sweet Dreams are Made of Teeth." That book was freaking awesome. But anyway...
I'd love to send you an autographed copy of Dire:Born, if you want one.
On the house, naturally. Your call, and I'll not be slighted if you