Here’s what no one told me about being published: sometimes you’re Harry Potter after he got the golden egg from the dragon, and sometimes you’re Harry after a run-in with a dementor.
Well, that’s not true. Someone did tell me. Once, a very long time ago, Dr. Seuss warned me that sometimes I’d play lonely games too. In fact, he told me all the things I could expect, but I never thought to apply them to what I’m doing now.
I’m beating around the bush. That’s not what I set out to do here.
Losing Streak, for one reason or another, hasn’t done so well. Sales for Wild Ones, buzz for Wild Ones, was decent. Good. Enough to make me hopeful. Maybe enough to make my publisher hopeful. I thought, for once in my life, things might actually go right without having to fight for it. That maybe, just maybe, all those times I had to bloody my hands fixing things that had gone wrong was gonna pay off here. I’d spent a lifetime in the labyrinth of suffering and this was my reward. A great perhaps of a career.
It wasn’t. Which sucks, but that’s life. Maybe it was my book itself. Maybe I did a poor job marketing and promoting it. Maybe it was early reviews which were on the meh side. Maybe it was the timing of my release. Maybe it was all of those things or none of those things. Maybe it’s just a thing that happens sometimes. Books flop and it sucks when they do but you can either wring your hands and pace your floors, or you can focus on the road ahead. I did a little of both. Some wringing, some pacing, then I gritted my teeth and moved on.
Unfortunately, my publisher decided to move on too.
Before I go any futher, I’d like to say, for the record, that while I’m saying that, saying it like that, “my publisher moved on,” there’s no bitterness there. This is a business. My second book didn’t justify spending money on any more. Like how some books just flop, it happens. I didn’t take it personal, because it wasn’t a personal thing. It burned a little, yes. There’s the sharp, metallic stab of disappointment that I went up to bat and struck out, but I swung my hardest and aimed for the bleachers, and I can walk back to the dugout with my head held high for that. And I can’t, and don’t, blame my publisher for asking me to ride the bench. Because despite swinging, I still struck out and they want their best players on deck. I’m always gonna be grateful that they did put me on deck. That they put me in the game at all.
But I’m not done with the Lane. It’d be easier, probably, if I was. Maybe I should be. Maybe I, like my publisher, should edge away from the Lane because this is a business and Rosie didn’t do so hot when it was her turn to run the show. But I rarely do things I should, how I should, and when I should. Neither do my Lane kids.
And Jax won’t shut up.
So before I part ways with the Lane, before I move on off those bricked sidewalks and boozy streets, I’m making one last trip down it with Jax. We’re gonna see some familiar faces. We’re gonna meet some new ones. We’re gonna chase some demons and shadows because it’s the Lane and that’s what happens there. I’m aiming for a summer release, which I realize puts nearly a year between Rosie’s book and Jax’s, but a lot is gonna happen in his book. A lot has to happen. And I want to make sure I do it right. I want to make sure, when I’m done and I’m wiping the sweat from my brow, I’ve wrapped this up in the best possible way to wrap it up. When I walk away from the Lane for the final time, I want to be confident everyone on it is gonna be okay.
There’s not a lot of other info to give right now. I don’t have a cover or even a blurb to give you. I don’t have a solid release date nor do I have a firm title (but I do have a soft one. Kingdom Come.) Maybe I should wait to announce until all those things are set in stone, but, as I said, Jax is a boy who won’t shut up and I’m really stoked to be able to say that, actually. To be able to say that his book is being born from his persistent voice.
Thanks to those of you who already stopped by and hung out for awhile, whether it was with Bri or Rosie or both. I hope you come back one last time with me. I hope you give Jax a shot. I bet he’d give you a couple free ones for it. I bet you won’t even have to persuade him too hard.