There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a finished product being enjoyed by the population. It doesn’t matter if you’re an artist, an author, a parent or an actor. To see people appreciate something you’ve put so much energy and effort into is rewarding unto itself. But a good artist, author, etc. knows that one should not rest on one’s laurels. Indeed, the worst thing anyone can do is to think “That’s all I need to do”.
Everyone has a book in them. I truly believe that anyone can write a book. One. Uno. Ichi. Ein. The trick to seeing just what you can do is writing that second book. Or, heck, even a third.
Yeah, I’m rehashing something I talked about a year or so ago, but think about it. Would J.K. Rowling have been successful if she just stopped at one book? Imagine, if you will, if Harry Potter had just been “Harry Potter”. Harry saves the day at the end, end of story, no more stories. People would have said “Oh, that was an okay book, but have you tried the Artemis Fowl series?”. Because really, on its own, the Sorcerer’s Stone was not a good book. It was cute, but not really that deep. It was paced well enough, and had some fantastic characters. But what would have happened had Rowling simply said “Book has sold well, I’ll buy a house and enjoy raising my children. I shan’t write any more books.”
Well, my guess is that the current craze with urban fantasy wouldn’t be a craze and steampunk might actually be on the decline since it would have taken off back in 2000. Twilight wouldn’t be such a huge deal (…okay, I can’t really put that abortion on Rowling’s shoulders…) and children would still be struggling to find a series of books they actually want to read.
I wrote Corruptor in the winter of 2005, between Halloween and Christmas. I had never written a long book before (110,000 words, which is a lot), just a bunch of novellas. Afterwards, I was so mentally exhausted that I set the book in one of my folders and ignored it for months. Really, I just wanted a recharge. There was no second book in me, and I was looking more like the guy who was a “one and done”. I fiddled around with other ideas, sold Corruptor to Twilight Times Books, and talked with a few people about collaborating on some projects. Two whole years passed before I wrote Vindicator, which (might be, not sure) is the second book in the Warp universe. Again, it was a Halloween to Christmas thing. But afterwards that mental exhaustion wasn’t present. I wasn’t relieved that I had finished the book, I was annoyed. There was so much more I could do…
I wonder, at times, if other authors go through this? While you muse this over, I’m going to the League for Animal Protection over in Fincastle to play with some puppies.