I’m an introvert by nature. People who’ve met me in real life often find this description a bit confusing, because in real life, I don’t generally strike people as shy. But introversion is not synonymous with shyness. I like interacting with my readers. Actually, let me rephrase that. I like interacting with readers for whom reading is a lifelong obsession, because that pretty much describes me, and it’s something we have in common.
But interaction, when I’m overwhelmed, takes thought, focus, and energy, and when writing is particularly difficult, that’s where all the mental energy goes – and it leaves me with very little left over. When I am in that state, it resembles this, except with more writing, less going outside, and no video store. Given that I am working, and that work frequently involves wholesale removal of the thousands of words I worked on with such hair-pulling difficulty the day before, I begin to feel like a bit of a fraud. If you are here because I’m a writer and I am obviously writing so badly that I need to throw out thousands of words repeatedly, how entertaining can I be?
Intellectually I know I will wrestle the book into shape. I know that four years from now, I won’t actually remember which words were the product of multiple attempts, and which words came naturally and effortlessly. I know this because that’s what always happens. Because I know this, I don’t want or need sympathy, and frankly, you are not coming here to pat a pathetic person on the head.
I think, a decade ago, it was less obvious when I underwent the inward-focused work collapse – but with online social media and its prevalence, it’s become much more obvious when I become entirely overwhelmed and have to shut down anything that’s not writing. I apologize for my absence; my New Year’s resolution is to make a daily attempt to gain control over an overflowing inbox, among other things.
I’ve noticed, as I’ve tried to catch up here, that there’s a sample of Skirmish on google books. It’s available to North American residents because DAW owns North American rights for this series, but a UK reader emailed me this afternoon to ask that I make it available for non-North American readers who are waiting on copies to arrive. I’ve now added the Skirmish sample, for those who couldn’t read the Google version. It’s the prologue and first chapter.