Wow… what a weekend!
I sold a lot of books, though not the ones I intended to sell. It seems that when you’re an obscure author in an environment hungry for new talent and you write a sequel to your first book that made mediocre sales as a one-shot, it actually attracts a fair bit of interest in your earlier work. I ended up selling quite a few copies of the first book I published (arguably the best sales we’ve had of that title since its debut 4 years ago). I actually sold several copies of the first novel I wrote (the one I started when I was just 19 and took 5 years to write, published years later) even though this particular book has always been a tough sell.
More importantly, it feels strangely familiar and comfortable to be a slightly freaked-out SFF writer. I can kind of start to believe I might have been Phil a little more wholeheartedly when I realize how much in my element I am in that role. That being said, it’s not proof of anything. I also have to be mindful of not letting the similar shortcomings I still have in this life turn me into a carbon copy of my former self (I feel sorry for anyone who lives in imitation of him because he was deeply flawed in many respects).
Also, I find I’m attracting other creative types, including musicians and artists who are also making a mark on our enclave. There’s no telling how we’ll be remembered, but it seems a lot of writers, artists, and composers knew each other and fed off each other creatively (much like many 20th Century American sci-fi authors or 19th Century English romantics often knew each other). Maybe some of us will go on to leave a permanent mark on the culture, or maybe we’re just masturbating our egos, but it’s nice to have a set to belong to. The convention I went to had really good music (performed by a musician friend of mine) and excellent writing panels.
By and by, things are getting more interesting as I find a literary voice and a platform that suits me, and my confidence is really surging.
Let’s see where I am in 5 years and if I can keep this trajectory up. Maybe I’ll snag a Hugo by then, knock on wood.