It seems hard to believe, since it’s only been a year since Darktown came out, but next month will bring the publication of my new book, Lightning Men. I know there are plenty of writers who manage to write a book every year, but this is the first time I’ve pulled it off.
So before I start deluging people with notices about the new book and the book tour, I wanted to take a moment to issue a long overdue THANK YOU to everyone who’s read Darktown, talked about it, reviewed it line, and/or pushed it on their unsuspecting friends.
Book writing is a tough “business,” and I feel incredibly fortunate to be in the game 12 years after landing my first book deal. Darktown was particularly gratifying in that it followed a long, 5-year dry spell, 5 years that included a failed manuscript, an editor leaving the business, an agent switching jobs, and even myself switching jobs. So I’m super-grateful that the book spoke to people and that I still get to sit here and daydream stories that, hopefully, help people make sense of an often insane world.
In the last year, I’ve traveled to book events from Washington, DC, to Anguilla, British West Indies, meeting readers from all walks of life. I finally visited Oxford, MS, the home of Faulkner, and made another stop to Los Angeles, home of Chandler. I got to talk about the book on National Public Radio, meet booksellers and librarians at conferences in NY and Orlando and Atlanta, and attended a gala for the LA Times Book Prizes, where I got to shake hands with my Congressman, John Lewis, a Civil Rights hero whose work is as resonant as ever. And I got to meet writers I’ve long admired at book festivals in LA, Nashville, Savannah, and my adopted home town of Decatur, GA.
Writing is a solitary, often lonely endeavor, so it’s been a great thrill and a privilege to go as many places and meet as many readers and writers as I have in the year-plus since we started promoting Darktown.
This is a fun, challenging, and really weird job, and I absolutely love it. Thanks for letting me continue onward. I look forward to sharing the latest book with y’all, and continuing the story.