…without you, my friend. And I’m finally able to sit down and tell you all about it. I actually haven’t told you anything since August and actually, the final act of 2018 was such a whirlwind that I can’t even remember what happened to throw me so off the rails. Suffice to say Fall and Winter have tag teamed me into social media silence, but now that things are slightly calmer (barring anymore upheavals) I’m ready to take 2019 by the horns. Or the snout, as the Chinese zodiac would say.

The Chinese New Year is upon us, and 2019 is the Year of the Pig.

In Chinese mythology, the pig represents wealth, good fortune and prosperity. I believe in signs and omens, dear reader, and I choose to believe that this is the year that I will find my way, writing-wise. You see, I last published a full novel in the summer of 2016. That’s two and a half years that I have let my creative muses lie fallow and untended ground won’t yield. I’ve let too much distract and dissuade me, let too much negativity convince me that the merit I gained with The Spirit was a one off and I would never continue to write to that level. Worse, that I can’t write to the level of so many authors whose talent I admire and envy in equal measure.

However, one cannot improve one’s craft, if one abandons it.

I’m setting out in 2019 to prove to myself that I truly am an author. It’s not about sales rank or profit. For me it has always been about the story and that’s the fundamental purpose that I’m going back to. I refuse to let critics convince me that my work is sub-par, because I needed to be reminded that I don’t write for the critics. I write for me. I write for you and for anyone else who just wants to get lost in another world for a little while. I’m moving away from the marketing, algorithms and networking that seem to be vital in hitting those little orange flags. I’m moving away from the incessant cacophony of vitriol and condemnation that blasts from every social media site at every click, sucking me down into a whirlpool of “why even bother?”.  I’m going to hone my craft in The Tribe world and in other genres. I’m going to quietly submit to the judgment of traditional publishing houses as I work to tell my stories the way I damned well want to tell them.

It’s the Year of the Pig and the wealth I seek is in knowledge, self-confidence and skill. The good fortune I seek is in time without distraction to create the stories that I know I’m capable of. The prosperity I seek is the peace of knowing that I put words to paper, preserving the worlds that came from my heart in some tangible way, that you, dear reader, might one day want to read them.

It’s the Year of the Pig, and I’m ready for all it has to offer. For all of us.

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