At the last OCC meeting, I received two roses for selling two more books in the Wing Slayer Hunter Series. When I went up to get the roses, I just gave a brief line about the next book and got off the stage.
My friends were annoyed with me. They said I should have talked more about all the books, and the series, and the sexy huntersâ€¦but that isn’t exactly what I would have wanted to say.
This series is about magic, and the witches and witch hunters who wield the magic to fight against evil. The first book, BLOOD MAGIC, is truly the book I always wanted to write and, interestingly enough, it was the hardest book I’ve written. I drew on everything I had, and when that wasn’t enough, I drew on friends: Marianne Donley, Laura Wright, Michele Cwiertny, Maureen Child, Kate Carlisle, Mindy Neff, Michelle Thorne, Sandy Chvostal and some that I’m sure I’m forgetting. They never let me lose faith in the book or myself, and they stepped in when I was in a panic. During revisions when I was so lost I couldn’t eat or sleep, Marianne said, “Send it to me right now.” And they got right back to me with suggestions that were dead on.
Friends like that? Priceless.
And my ace in the hole? I love my editor. I clicked with her from the first time I talked to her. She worked hard on that book, pushing me to do major revisions, always there to answer questions or brainstorm. We have a genuine respect for each others talents, and a trust that we each will do exactly what we say we will. She made BLOOD MAGIC a better book, and me a better writer.
Then the economy tanked. My publisher restructured and laid off employees.
I was trying not to panic.
My editor called to assure me that my place at Random House was secure. Oh good! My editor still had her job! The book was still on track to publish. I turned in the second book and wrote the proposal to sell more books in the series and was feeling pretty good.
Six weeks later, my agent let me know my editor had been laid off.
I was devastated. Losing an editor who believes in our work at such a critical time, particularly when publishers are tightening and cutting, meant the series could be dead before it even got started. My agent swore it was okay. I tried to believe her. (My agent and I were both very sad for my editor, who was simply a victim of the economy as a last hire.)
The weeks of waiting were endless. I did revisions on the second book, and kept trying to believe that they would buy more books.
It was getting harder.
Then I got the call from my agent that the publisher had offered for two more books.
Selling two more books under these circumstances is amazing, incredible and makes me feel very lucky. In spite of the tough economy, BLOOD MAGIC is doing well and the series is starting off strong.
So the one thing I want to get across is that this business of publishingâ€”it’s always a struggle. But doesn’t that make success so much sweeter?
And the friends we make along the way? Priceless!
Jennifer Lyon always wanted to be a witch. When her witch-powers didn’t materialize, she turned to creating magic in her books. BLOOD MAGIC is the first book in an enchanting, passionate and supernatural series. Visit Jennifer Lyon at www.jenniferlyonbooks.com
Thanks Marianne! But you all did more than just hand holding!
Nice blog, Jen. BLOOD MAGIC is a great book and it was your hard work that made it so. We pretty much just held your hand.
Kate, talk about superstar! You went from 0 to NYT Bestseller! I’m impressed and awed!
Thanks on Blood Magic, I’m so happy you’re enjoying it.
Me too on the monthly lunches!
Hey, you superstar! Nobody deserves this success more than you, my dear!!
BLOOD MAGIC is an incredible, magical adventure!! I’m halfway through it and I love it. I’m so impressed with the world that you’ve built and I’m in love with your characters. I just can’t wait to read more books in the series!!
P.S. I live for our monthly lunches! 🙂
Michele, thank you! I appreciate your good wishes, and they are coming right back at you. You have amazing talent, and as soon as things smooth out, you will be showing the world your talent!
Thank you Maureen! That means a lot to me, but your friendship means more! I’d never have hung on without you guys!
Jen, BLOOD MAGIC is a fabulous book and I can’t WAIT to read the rest of the series!!! 🙂
Yep, it’s been quite a ride for you, I’m sure… but we all believe in YOU and this series! Like Maureen said, you soooo deserve all the success this book is garnering, and, of course, here’s to the success of the future books, too!
Jen, BLOOD MAGIC is just the first in an amazing series that is going to take off like a rocket!
That was a terrific post, by the way and you’re so right. We have to hang on when it gets tough, so we’re right where it counts when it turns around!
You deserve every bit of success you get and yes, you should have given a longer speech! (And I shoulda been there!!)
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