2014 in Review. As It Related to Me.
It was a good year.
I’m not just saying that. I wouldn’t say that about every year. 2011 for example — 2011 was no oil painting. But in 2014 a lot of good things happened to me.
The Magician’s Land came out. We made a video about it, with some of my writer-heroes in it:
And the book did well;. It got some good reviews. It went to #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. That is an incredible gift for a writer. It makes you unbelievably happy, and it means you sold a lot of books, two things that are great enough all on their own, but it also becomes this precious professional asset that you can lean on forever. From now on all your books will have that fact on them. Every time someone types up your bio, that it goes in there too.
It’s a gift, and you guys gave it to me. I’ll never, ever stop being grateful for that.
I wrote a lot of journalism this year too. I wrote some cover stories for Time. This was also the year that I got serious about writing (and actually publishing) personal essays. I wrote about being a father and a writer and about my disastrous first years as a writer and about how I found my voice as a fantasy author.
And as if all that were not already more than enough, something else totally unexpected and excellent happened, which was that Syfy ordered a pilot of episode of a Magicians TV series.
What?! I know. But it’s true. They shot it in New Orleans—it “wrapped,” as we say in Hollywood, at the end of December. Sometime this spring we’ll find out whether the network wants to order a full season, but whatever happens it’s been incredibly fun and exciting. Plus they sent me a really nice Brakebills scarf for Xmas. So that’s something else I will always have.
This year has not been all good. In fact in some personal ways it’s been really strange and difficult. In June, not long before The Magician’s Land came out, my father died. It was not unexpected, but it was still shocking. One day I’ll write about that and all the feelings that came with it, but I don’t think I’m ready yet.
I don’t know much about what 2015 is going to be like. It will contain more Magicians stuff, including more about the show, and a paperback tour in June. I’m hoping to maybe see The Magician’s Land on an awards ballot somewhere. (None of the Magicians books has ever been on the ballot for any major award. Cue tiny, basically nano-scale violin in the background.)
For now I’m going to Australia, where it is summer, for the rest of the month, so my wife and I can visit her family. I’m also working hard on a new book, but I haven’t announced it yet or shown it to any publishers.
Because you know what? It is slow, slow going. It’s been ten years since I started the Magicians books, hence ten years since I tried to write something completely from scratch. I forgot how God damned hard it is.