I Just Fired Myself
As you may have heard if you follow the play-by-play at Mercury Retrograde Press, I’ve made the difficult decision to shut down normal operations over there. It changes everything, and it changes nothing.
First, the nuts and bolts: as of today, Mercury Retrograde will no longer publish work other than my own. The rights in all the other books we’ve published will revert to their respective authors by January 17, 2014. I am absolutely confident that all of those authors will have rewarding careers going forward, and we have all parted amicably. But, as you may have noticed if you’re waiting for the sequel to The Shadow of the Sun, it’s grown practically impossible for me to get my own creative work done while trying to do justice to Mercury Retrograde. Something had to give.
I am very proud of the work we did at Mercury Retrograde. I remain passionately convinced that publishers who ensure quality for readers, who provide the support necessary to achieve art without sacrificing quality of life for the artists who create it, are absolutely necessary; and I see small press as the place where that can and must happen. I remain committed to helping writers, editors, and publishers achieve their visions of work that is not afraid to reach for the best it can possibly be. I will continue to edit one or two projects per year: some for self-publishing authors, others for publishers. But first, last, and in big chunks of the middle, I’ll be developing my own creative work.
Closing Mercury Retrograde has been a difficult and emotional decision for me. But I can’t express how excited I am to be coming back to my creative roots. I feel liberated by the choice; I presently anticipate finishing The Heart of Darkness in the next few weeks, and even though I’ve meant it every time I’ve said that, this time I have confidence it’s actually going to happen. Because for the first time since 2007, there isn’t someone else waiting whose creative needs outweigh my own.
Other things I’m going to work on over the course of the coming year are very nearly as exciting to me, and I’ll be talking about them as I’m able. I’ll still be participating in SF/F cons around the country, and I’m looking forward to sharing some of the things that can’t be conveyed on the web there. And, of course, to seeing my friends, and fangirling over artists I admire, and meeting other lovers of SF/F. Additionally, for the first time in half a decade, I’m going to:
* read books just for fun
* play more with my friends
* do more Tai Chi and yoga
* do things that aren’t even on the schedule
I may even get my many, many CDs set up in my iTunes. And buy an iPod. sssshhhh!
In short, this is the beginning of a new phase, and a new direction I’m hugely excited about. I harbor no fantasies that I’ll go down to anything like a “normal” work week, whatever that is; but I’m already having more fun than in a long time. Hang on tight, friends: this is where the real fun starts.2.0
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