One year ago today, I worked my last day at the bookstore. I can’t begin to describe the mix of terror and excitement I felt. This was only a week or two after the Wool Omnibus came out. I had yet to hit any bestseller lists; I hadn’t yet signed with an agent; there was no film deal, no foreign deals. Just a handful of 99 cent and $1.99 titles selling well enough to replace what I was making shelving books.
The demands on my time were starting to grow, which was why I put in my notice. I decided to give this career a shot. For the three years prior, I’d been writing and publishing at a furious pace but working a day job on the side to pay my meager bills. Working in a university bookstore meant interacting with a lot of authors; a good portion of the faculty wrote. We had a visiting writers program, and I worked most of those events. Everyone I knew who wrote had a day job. There just isn’t much hope of paying the bills by the pen alone.