So everybody knows the story, how ‘way back in twenty-aught-oh-six our publisher of dern near a decade stopped paying us and we were Forced to Improvise like mad, improvisational things. It is well here to pause and recall that writers are people who live by their wits. For good or ill.
So, the combined wits of Steve and myself revealed that Maine gets damned cold in the winter and that we would object to living under a bridge in Maine winter conditions almost as strenuously as the cats would object to the loss of their floofy blankets and penthouse catboxes. This meant that we needed — anyone?
We needed A Plan.
In fact, we needed A Two-Pronged Plan, and Four would be better.
The prongs we came up with were: (1) Write a Liaden story and give it away on the web for free, while asking those who had a little change jingling in their pockets to donate, and (2) Get a day-job to keep the cash flowing and the health insurance covered.
That met the minimum, Prong-wise, and so we started.
A couple months into 2007, Madame the Agent produced Prong the Third — a contract for two dark fantasy novels, Duainfeyand its sequel, Longeye, to be written on really short deadline.
Nothing we had discussed between us said that the Plan had to be easy, and, we knew that, if we were going to rescue our careers as writers, we had to start building a new backlist right now, so we took the contract, and we wrote the books, which made three in 2007 — insanely quick for us.
Baen did its part by editing, promoting, publishing — all those things that publishers do, and in September 2008 Duainfey hit bookstores in hardcover, followed by Longeye, in April 2009.
The mass market edition of Duainfeywas published in February 2009, and today I see that Amazon is shipping the mass market of Longeye.
And there we are. This is the backlist that we started growing anew, right now in 2007.
Raises a glass to Becca and to Meripen Longeye.
Fair seeing, the both of you.