Welcome, subscribers No 101 and 102. Feel right at home.
Big news here. "Dark Soul #1" has made the Dear Author Recommended Reads List. The review is here.
The reviewer Sunita pretty much nails my intentions with the first piece when I wrote it, and I look forward to answering the open questions with the fifth and last installment (I say "last", because I'm pretty sure it's the last one, but as it's not yet written, whether it IS the last one becomes clear when it's actually down on the page, because then *I* will actually really know for sure that it is. Books and characters have tricked me before.).
But of course the review is significant all by itself. Once you've written that novel (which is a road full of milestones, anyway), you face a new set of milestones. In the m/m genre, that would be:
1) Getting a review from a stranger
2) Getting a review from a blogger who actually has a clue (not everybody out there does)
3) Getting on m/m specialist blogs, like Jenre Wellread and Jesse Wave
4) Getting reviewed regularly on all the main m/m blogs
5) Getting reviewed on Dear Author
6) Getting reviewed by Publishers Weekly, I assume?
Dear Author is special because it's for the whole romance genre (including the much larger het part) and has a much wider remit in terms of what forms and formats it reviews. It's also very selective, and the reviewers use the whole range from A to F. Often enough, I'd wish we had more Dear Authors around to call bullshit.
So, having seen friends savaged on that blog, and sometimes agreeing, sometimes disagreeing with reviews of books I've read, I opened the link with a certain amount of trepidation. A bit like getting my first review from Mrs Giggles - you just don't know what's under the link, but you can't NOT click.
So, extremely pleased to get a good one, which is really in part my validation, but also that of my editor and Riptide as a business that's focused on quality. Making the Recommended Reads list first time is another huge step. It's great and I keep re-reading the review. No pressure on the sequels, right? (Then again, I can trust Rachel as my editor to tell me when the quality drops. Can't have that.)
On a side note, interesting things are happening on the RL job front. I have a second interview with a Big Rating Agency, and the Biggest Shark in financial reporting has also taken a nibble. I expect an interview invitation from them, too.
Some people have a very mapped-out career plan (I'm looking at the finance people who are like: "Start as analyst, three years later, I'll be a Director, five, Vice-President..."). I don't work like that at all. I know my market and my skills and what's important, I have some really good - very colourful - experience, but I don't have a Master Plan (I don't even have one for writing). I just happen to come across great opportunities that are all working in tandem to create an interesting, pretty well-rounded skill set and enable me to write.
Or, as my partner said yesterday: "You remind me of Wintermute in Neuromancer. You're not great on the initiative or very proactive, but when it comes to responding to anything, few people can beat you."
I'll play black, then.