Those of you who follow me on social media probably already saw this announcement, that tor.com has acquired THE FRACTURED GIRL in a three book deal.
It’s been a long and tough road to get to this point, with the original novel going through seven drafts over three years. Some of you have heard me read from the book at various conventions, or at the Twitter Fiction Festival last year in New York City. Others have heard me talk about it, at times with hope, at times in frustration. Suffice to say that I’m over the moon that the book (books!) have finally found a home, and that tor.com is that home. I have written extensively for them in the past, and have always thought their innovative approach to publishing may be the thing that pushes the industry into a new age.
I’m not sure what the publisher will be releasing, so I’ll go light on descriptive details, but suffice to say this: THE FRACTURED GIRL is a much more traditional fantasy – with the medieval setting and bleak tone I had so long admired in the “grimdark” sub-genre of my favorite authors Peter V. Brett, Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence, Scott Lynch and George R. R. Martin.
And that’s the thing I wanted to talk to you about.
I started my publishing career with CONTROL POINT in 2012, and I was thrilled to find the book praised for its military authenticity. The years and the books rolled by, and the interview questions and reviews constantly returned to this military theme. The books were “authentic,” I had really nailed the military tone. I was a pioneer in the sub-genre of “military fantasy.”
And that’s great. It is wonderful and affirming to know that my life experience is positively influencing the page, that through my words, I am exciting interest and participation in the military that I love so much.
But I’m a writer, and writers are neurotic as fuck. So with that affirmation and delight came doubt. What if military fantasy was ALL I could write? What if I was a one-trick pony, condemned to churning out book after book in the same mode for the rest of my publishing career? Suddenly, my pioneering sub-genre began to feel like a ghetto, and the need to prove to myself that I could be a writer with a capital W grew stronger every day.
The truth is that there are no guarantees in this business, and as I wrestled with THE FRACTURED GIRL, the very real possibility that I wouldn’t be able to cobble it into something saleable grew more worrisome. Over three long years, that worry grew into something neauseatingly close to terror.
But like all good stories, it’s always darkest before the dawn. THE FRACTURED GIRL has a home and I can check that box. I *can* write more than military fantasy, and I can do it well enough that a publisher is willing to put skin in the game.
And that’s amazing.
Because, not only do I get to prove to myself that I am more than a one-trick-pony, I get to share my second trick with all of you. And you get to tell me what you think.
If there’s a better reason to write, I can’t think of it.