Reaching a Point of Rest

Readers of this blog and Facebook friends might’ve noticed that the frenetic pace of my creative and professional life hasn’t really let up in over two years. Vacations have helped a little, travel for business has even helped in terms of getting me out of the house, but in general my brain hasn’t been able to turn off for a long time. It didn’t help that the beginning of this year I was supposed to be able to take a break, and then couldn’t because a NY publisher whose passive-aggressive editorial staff I hope rots in hell (the only time in 25 years I have felt this way–I generally love editors) managed to wriggle out of a contract-on-my-desk book deal that would’ve given me some space, doing so in a dishonorable way that burned more than a hundred hours of time I could’ve spent on other projects and thus income.

Luckily, though, that book deal, for what’s now called The Steampunk Bible, came back from the dead with a new, awesome publisher and editor at Abrams. Since then, my general situation has continued a marked upswing. Booklife and Finch are off to the beginning of excellent launches, the Endurance book tour is going to be amazing, and other opportunities like teaching at Clarion next year have very much put the bloom back on the rose.

Even better, it looks like I get to take a break next year–a real break. Like, a break of several months. Why? The point I’ve been working toward is finally here: Finch is almost out, and that drives a multiplicity of other book deals, like the lead ship in an armada. British Commonwealth rights have sold to Nic Cheetham at Atlantic’s new Corvus imprint, giving me a major UK publisher once again–and with an editor of exceedingly fine reputation. Additional foreign deals for Finch and my other books are in the works as well. It’s this “found money” for books already written that allows a full-time writer to get ahead, and now, barring mischief and mayhem, I will indeed finally be way, way ahead for the first time since I started freelancing almost three years ago.

I turn in The Steampunk Bible in May of 2010–in itself a relief, because I will have to concentrate on it and it alone for the first part of next year. After a month of taking care of loose ends, it looks like we’ll be traveling to Europe for a few weeks, followed by teaching at Shared Worlds and Clarion. Right after that, I’ll be taking a well-deserved three to four months off…from everything. That may seem like it’s a long way off, but to me, used to thinking in terms of the lifecycle of a book, it seems like it’s just around the corner. Just knowing it’s there makes everything else easier.


  1. says

    That’s awesome. I’m really glad you’re finally getting to pause in that madness of a schedule you’ve set for the past three years (and don’t think we readers haven’t noticed the ubiquity of VanderMeer).

  2. Jason Uresti says

    A well deserved rest. Merely reading about your schedule and all the projects you’ve been juggling, its easy to imagine how exhausting it must be for the man who is actually living it.

  3. Transfiguring Roar says

    Good to hear that you’ll be getting a break. You’ve earned it, and rest is very important. It lets you recover and come back twice as hard! So your next stint is gonna be for 6 years straight, right?

  4. Mike "Ankorite" C. says

    <> I, along with the everyone here, do really appreciate your working so hard in the literary mines, picking away at the rough stone to produce some of the most precious and valuable gems, shaping them so beautifully that it brings a tear to the eye. And, in addition, teaching others tips on how to hold the pick and where the best veins are. But working for three years, without rest… you, my friend, do deserve, ten-fold, a good nap-at the least. So good luck on the tour and rest well when you get back.

  5. Hellbound Heart says

    good god, man, you of all people deserve a spell…..all work and no play maketh jeff a dull boy…..

    peace and love……

  6. Juha T says

    Happy to hear you’ll be getting the chance for a rest. I hope you stop by Finland on your European tour.