Friday, November 09, 2007

My Birthday Present

As of tomorrow I will no longer be an editor. At least not a professional one. The only editing I will be performing is on my own work, the next Henry Parker novel, and whatever may come next. As of tomorrow, I will be a full-time writer.

(Cue hushed silence. Ok, maybe not)

This was not an easy decision to make or one I came to lightly. A little over a year and a half ago one of my lifelong dreams came true when MIRA books bought my novel THE MARK. This summer I was offered a new deal that forced me to make a choice. The amount of work that my new contract calls for is significant. And anyone who's worked in publishing knows how much time and effort is needed to properly shepherd a book through all stages of production. It was coming to a point where I simply could not perform both without each suffering to some extent.

And as I took a more active role in promoting my work, going to conferences and speaking on panels, it became incredibly difficult to wear both hats. While as an editor there's always a professional barrier (no matter how slight) between you and your authors, I began to view many authors as friends. The double-edged sword was that some of these friends had books submitted to me by their agents. Some of them I was forced to pass on. As an editor it's the nature of the beast, as I turn down literally hundreds of books and proposals a year. Yet as I made the rounds more I realized the line between personal and professional had been blurred, perhaps permanently. There are other editors who write, have worn both hats for years, and worn them well. Right now, though, only one hat fits me. Of course I do want to leave the door open in case I want to try the other one back on in the future.

So I've decided to make a go at it, to try writing for my career and livelihood. My family has been more than supportive, since between professional obligations and personal obstacles these last few months have been difficult. Not to mention the incredible grace support from everyone at my employer. I'm beyond thrilled to have the opportunity for write full time, and I thank my publisher for giving me the chance to do just that. Now I have to live up to my end of the deal and keep writing books to be proud of, that people will hopefully want to read.

A few years ago, my boss and mentor told me an author only gets only one, maybe two bites at the apple. Hopefully I have the time and focus to make mine count.

Tomorrow also happens to be my 28th birthday. And today is Wilson's 1st birthday. To celebrate, here is a picture of Wilson in his Halloween costume:

And since I'm a writer now, I gots ta plug my warez. THE MARK is available at bookstores everywhere. THE GUILTY will be released on February 26th and is available for pre-order. And if you see me on the street please say hello, since odds are I've been cooped up inside, hunched over a computer for hours on end. Ok, so maybe my work day won't be changing that much after all...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck, congrats, and Happy Birthday.

10:57 AM  
Blogger JT Ellison said...

You're gonna rock, man! A wise decision.

Happy Birthday!!!!

6:08 PM  
Blogger Spy Scribbler said...

Happy Birthday! And congratulations on biting the apple with both teeth ... I mean ... jumping off with both feet ... I mean ...

I meant to write you a couple weeks ago and tell you how much I enjoyed reading The Mark. I'm betting your first bite of the apple is going to give you a long and successful career!

11:28 PM  
Blogger Amie Stuart said...

Congrats Jason! And what a cutie you have there. Happy Birthday to you and Wilson

1:01 PM  

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