Monday, January 5th, 2015

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.

10 comments on “2014 in Review. As It Related to Me.

  1. Tim says:

    Congratulations on the fine year and for adding such wonderful stories to the world.

  2. Blake Fraina says:

    Enjoy your well-deserved time off down under. And thanks for giving us, your loyal readers, the wonderful gift that is the Magicians trilogy.


  3. Jaimie says:

    There is something about January where I give up writing stuff from scratch and start writing Star Trek fan fiction, probably because (1) December is exhausting, (2) I don’t have to do any fucking character development, (3) built-in readership and (4) people I don’t know say nice things. The siren’s call. Writing from scratch solidarity, brother.

    I’m really looking forward to your next one.

  4. Jason says:

    Lev: I’m impressed by your ability to see the future. The subject of this post is “2015 in Review.” I know it might be a lot to ask, but could you tell me how my 2015 is going to go? I have my debut book coming out in October. Could you give me an idea of how well it sells? 😉

    Congrats on your 2014 and most-likely-assured 2015 success!

  5. Dave says:

    Have to say this, reading the third book of the Magician’s trilogy was like getting into bed with an old friend! A great read, terrific tying up of loose ends and more satisfaction from a book than I have had in a while. Really hope, and positive vibes, that the Magician’s series for SyFy comes through. A belated very best to you and your family for the new year and heartfelt thanks for such a great literary ride…

  6. Steven Axelrod says:

    A great year, and long awaited by your readers. I just gave The Magicians (plucked from my boxed set! But I like living dangerously) to a birder friend, on the strength of the lovely trip to Brakebills South. She’s always wanted to be a goose. This is her chance!

  7. Little My says:

    happy new year! You can put your number one-ness on your web site Bio, for a start; right now it says “The Magician’s Land, will be out in August 2014.”

  8. Brian says:

    That is great news about the tv show even if it is syfy. At least they will have a good story to work with this time. Enjoy some well deserved time off.

  9. Eric Hoffman says:

    I just finished magicians land. I feel a little childish and a maybe a little martin-esque in wanting to go back so badly already. Read the whole trilogy in a week and a half. Maybe spending more time in the real world would have been a more balanced approach. Thanks for the stories and the magic!

  10. SF says:

    Thanks for finishing The Magicians Land in the way that you did. As a fan of the series, you gave me what I wanted without it being cliche or completely predictable. I thought it would happen, and it did, but in a better way than I had anticipated, and it felt like it was earned by the Coldwater. P.S. Penny is such an asshole.

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