By Alex Segura
If you're reading this - and celebrate Thanksgiving - I hope you're stuffed with tasty food and surrounded by those you love. As I get older, Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday. It combines so many great things - the warmth of family, good food, friends, conversation and sometimes a decent football game. While it's gotten commercialized like anything else, there isn't much stress about buying presents or decorating, at least in my family. We just gather, eat, hug, smile and enjoy a few quiet moments. Anyway, I hope you're enjoying your day - and that you're not on the Internet reading this for too long.
Thanksgiving is also an opportunity to look back on the year and beyond to give thanks for all the good, middling and bad that's come to pass and recognize that it's that blended pot of circumstances that makes us who we are. Though, I for one want more good than bad. Luckily, I can say that was the case in 2014.
It was a transitional year, sure - I started learning how to be an author as opposed to an aspiring one. But it was a great year, most importantly. Silent City came out last October and 2014 was a whirlwind of events, readings, growing pains, conventions, comics, panels, signings and so much more. I won't try to list everything I'm thankful for - there be dragons. You always end up forgetting something. But I will take a minute to say thanks for some things that I think most authors can relate to, and then put down the mic so you can all join the party in the comments section.
I'm thankful, first and foremost for my wife, family and friends. Self-explanatory. I don't think Silent City or much of anything I've written would exist without her. She's understanding and patient when I'm typing away into the night and she's the first set of eyes on my writing before it goes out into the world. There's a reason the book is dedicated to her.
My fellow authors. I said this a few times while at Bouchercon last week, but damn - is the crime/mystery writing community friendly or what? Whether it's a pep talk, an invite to an event, a moment of sage advice or a cheerful note/call/email - I feel constantly supported. You know who you are, and thank you for being kind to a newbie. I can only hope to return the favor.
My agent. For making my books better and being an advocate for my work. My publisher, for deciding to put the book out and supporting me throughout.
Readers. Bloggers. Fans. Marketers. Book People. The lifeblood of this whole operation. We write to be read, and it's so great to hear from people - ideally when they like something, but even otherwise. Writing is a solitary endeavor, and the anxiety you feel before you set your work free and let the outside world engage with it is insane. I should amend my earlier statement about mystery/crime writers - it isn't just authors, it's the entire network, from the person moderating your panel to the guy tweeting about enjoying your book – the entire community is full of supportive, friendly, helpful and kind people. They just like to read about terrible things happening – they do the opposite.
Indie booksellers. Thank you for stocking my book. Thank you for hosting my events. Thank you for being welcoming and supportive to a first-time author finding his way. Buy indie.
That’s all I got. What are you thankful for?