And Then The Author Lost His Cool

It used to be amusing.

Back when I was first starting out, I kept people more up-to-date with what was going on in my every day life. Between reviewing books (and we reviewed a lot of them over at Shiny Book Review), working 100+ hours a week, maintaining some semblance of sanity in the home life (ha!), and writing books, you could say I was a busy guy. Occassionally I’d get a message of “you should be writing” whenever someone would see me online. It caused a good chuckle, a message to the person telling them to bite me, and we’d chat for a bit before I’d disappear offline once more to go do whatever it was I was doing.

Fast forward ten years, add in a much larger fan base, and now it’s a pain in the butt.

Nine times out of ten if I’m online, it’s because I’m researching something for a book. Or drawing up marketing plans for a book. Or checking the sales numbers of a book. Or talking with a publisher about a book. Or messaging a co-author… of a book. You see a pattern here? I don’t get to do the online stuff for fun anymore. As I’ve become a full-time author, everything I do online seems to be geared towards work.

So I’ve started to rebel a bit. I’ll spend some time online where I’m not working. I’ll simply scroll through messages and chuckle. I’ll actually play videogames online again (though I’m still bitter at EA for wasting my time with their latest SimCity abomination) and virtually hang out with old friends.

But then… in the midst of the night… when I am finally unwound enough to start enjoying what I do again… a message pops up.

“YoU sHoUlD bE wRiTiNg!”

(warning: bad words to follow)

Motherfucker, who the fuck do you think you are? I’ve just written for 10 straight fucking hours and I’m taking a break for the day, and you come in here with your smarmy fucking bullshit, thinking you’re cute and all, and tell me I should get back to work? Do you tell your wife this when she gets home from work? That she should get back to work because you felt like being cute with her?

Of course you wouldn’t. You don’t want to die.

I used to laugh when other authors would ask their fans not to say certain things. I mean, who wouldn’t want hundreds and thousands of fans buying their books and sharing their thoughts? It means an active fanbase, right? I never understood why it bothered big name authors when their fans made demands. Hell, I’ve even joined the jeers at George R. R. Martin to finish the damn series. And you know what? Sometimes, inadvertently, it’s a bit of a dick move.

(Disclaimer: I’m not excusing him, mind you. He was the one stupid enough to tell people they could lock him up in a cage if he didn’t finish the book. Don’t make promises you know you have no intention of keeping.)

Look, even back in the day, guys like Asimov and Heinlein would take breaks from writing to be involved in the world around them. Be it writing letters to other authors, reading their contemporaries, or even running a editorial or a magazine, they found other outlets besides creating novels and stories to take some of the stresses and burdens off. Fast forward 70-80 years and we’re much more technologically advanced than they were. We can surf the web and do all our research in a matter of minutes (cursory research, mind you… for historians, when we go down the rabbit hole, we typically lose the entire day). So when we’re on various social media platforms unwinding, it means we’re probably not working.

The last thing we probably need is someone telling us “You should be writing.”

It’s worse when they attach the Avengers meme of them pointing. You know the one.

If we’re online, don’t bug us about our writing. Instead, maybe ask us how our pets are doing? If we want to talk about how much we should be writing, we’ll tell you.


WINTERBORN is pretty much wrapped up. It’s the longest Kin Wars novel to date. After edits and whatnot it should get down to 100,000 words or so. There’s some stuff in there I might move to the next book, not sure. HAMMERFALL is definitely going to be more intense than WINTERBORN, though, and some unanswered questions from HOMEGUARD will finally be answered.

In other news, sold another short story to an anthology coming out this year. THE GHOST WOLF OF DEEP ELEVEN is my take on the old “moon’s haunted” joke, only on a space station where it’s pretty much Jayne from Firefly meets the Dukes of Hazzard. It will be in the And Then It Got Weird anthology edited by Jamie Ibson, being published by Blood Moon Press this October. That raises my publication count for the year to four, though no novels in 2021.

That’s because the plan right now is to have something like 7 new novels (at least) come out next year. Yes, 2022 will be the Year of the Cordova. If I push this winter, it could get up to 10 novels, and that’s not counting the short stories I know I’ll be writing as well. Speaking of, I have a Dec 31 deadline for one of them. Plenty of time.

Pleeeeeenty of time.

There also could be a move in the near-future, but we won’t know more about that for a bit longer. A move would definitely derail the 10 books in 2022 plan, but I could still manage the 7 books.

Yeah, that would be my luck. Finally get a new roof and then it’s time to move.

Cats are doing fine. Still not fully understanding why Charlotte and Curly hate each other. I never thought Casper would be the peacekeeper in the house, yet here we are. On the other hand, I’m very, very tempted to get a puppy just to cause chaos and havoc in the house. If I was certain about the move, I’d make a decision.

Getting a Great Dane puppy right before a move, however, would be bad.

And now, a word from our sponsors…

From the creative minds of Jason Cordova and Jamie Ibson…

Before Hr’ent Golramm became a legendary Enforcer for the Peacemaker Guild, he was a mere candidate. Granted, he was a particularly unusual candidate—only six Oogar had ever successfully graduated from the Peacemaker Academy on Ocono, and Hr’ent would be the seventh. Every candidate must pass a commissioning mission in order to graduate, though, and Hr’ent’s is unsolvable.

The Pushtal of Vorrhurna were once one of the Mercenary Guild’s 37 races. After a series of disastrous contracts, the tiger-like aliens lost their status as mercenaries, and the MinSha seized their home world for defaulting on their debt. Eighty years later, the seven Great Clans are but a shadow of their former selves and have resorted to piracy to survive.

For his commissioning mission, Hr’ent and a small team of bounty hunters must find a way to put a stop to their predations. No one in the Union has figured out how to herd cats to this point, but Hr’ent is a particularly unusual Peacemaker candidate, who isn’t afraid to resort to a bit of gunboat diplomacy to get the Pushtal to listen to what he says, once and for all.

Pick up your copy of GUNBOAT DIPLOMACY today.

9 thoughts on “And Then The Author Lost His Cool

  1. I expect a lot of it has to do with people assuming a closer relationship with you than they actually have. People like to presume personal relationships where none exist. If someone only knows about you as “The Writer” then all they can talk about with you is your writing. It’s kind of like going out with co-workers after work–you may have a very cordial relationship at work, but at the bar you find you’ve got nothing else to talk about.

    I tend to have very productive and involving relationships based on my professional life, but I try not to make the mistake of assuming that that level of closeness carries over into other aspects of our lives.

    • There’s a lot of truth there. With co-workers, I always took the “friendly but not friends” approach with them to maintain some sort of distance so I could keep my personal and professional lives separate.

  2. I think a Great Dane puppy would give the cats something to worry about besides each other. But I’m prejudiced in favor of the big galoots.

  3. Oh my god, that Cordova guy is talking again. He must be online. I need to annoy him before he disappears into his dark dank writer’s hole again.


    And agreed. If I’m online, I’m doing exactly like you said. Researching, marketing, checking stats, talking to other authors, etc. Honestly, if not for the writing and publishing, I don’t know that I would bother with any of social media.

    As for the puppy.

    1. Puppy…… yeah…… 2, Great Dane…. Get ready to lose your bed.



  4. As an author starting out, I know that just because you or other authors I befriended are online doesn’t mean I tease about ‘you should be writing’

  5. I don’t care what authors do with their time. If they want more money, they will write more. If they want more sanity, they might write less and relax more. Which might just mean the next thing written will be better reading in the end. I can kinda tell when authors like Mercedes Lackey are just throwing a book together to meet a deadline. It’s never not worth reading… but there’s a sensation of “this could have been so much better if some time out for reflection had occurred.”

    In the end, it’s your writing. Do it at your speed and in your style or it is not yours.

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