Friday, June 29, 2012

The Red Church - Ten Years After

Ten years after.

This month marks the tenth anniversary of the release of THE RED CHURCH, my first novel. And although I had some short story sales before then, I generally consider THE RED CHURCH the start of my professional writing career as well. Ten years. A lot of books. I'm torn between feeling like a worn-out geezer and a guy finally figuring out what he wants to do with his life, but the reality is I am probably in the "middle age" of my writing career.

Today, with the whirlwind of digital books, foreign translations, eBookSwag.com, and basically running a tiny enterprise as a mad-emperor/demi-god, I have a hard time remembering the freshness of that feeling of accomplishment. I can still remember receiving the phone call from the year before, when the editor told me he wanted to publish the book, and the subsequent search for an agent. I remember the careful planning I put into preparing for the book's release (which I outlined in a monthly series leading up to the book's publication--boy, how times have changed!) I can't remember much about my life at the time, although it was fraught with self-inflected personal troubles.

But the thing that stands out clearly is that feeling of writing the book, the way I entered that fantasy land and followed the story from beginning to end, walked in Ronnie Day's shoes (and ran, in some cases), meeting the peculiar folk of Whispering Pines. The book felt fresh when I typed it, felt fresh when it was published, and still feels fresh today. Perhaps that is why it is still my bestselling and most popular book, even after 10 years.

I'm not even sure how many copies have sold, but it's probably around 80,000 now--not a knockout bestseller but the Little Engine That Could (well,  it was out of print and not on sale for half of its life...but that's another blog post for another day). It was a Stoker Award finalist (lost out to The Lovely Bones!), and an alternate selection of the Mystery Guild and in the Doubleday Book Clubs back when mail-order was a force more powerful than Amazon. It's been translated into Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Polish, and soon Portuguese and German. It's been around the block. It's been equally slammed for being a Christian novel disguised as a horror novel and a horror novel disguised as a Christian novel. It's inspired theological essays and critical analysis and a Bentley Little blurb, and the heady but rather commonplace Stephen King comparisons. Perhaps its greatest feat was impressing my daughter when she saw THE RED CHURCH on the Kindle charts ahead of Stephen King and C.S. Lewis...

THE RED CHURCH. Ten years, and I can still smell the dusty hay when I open that creaking church door...

I still feel the chill of the river fog laying low over the Appalalachian valley...

I still hear the rustle and slither of that shadow in the belfry...

Ten years after, I still live in THE RED CHURCH, and I always will.

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DIALOGUE Blogtalk interview: Audio Archive, June 28

Free Scott Nicholson books on Kindle:
June 28-30: Creative Spirit (UK edition only)
June 29-30: Scott Nicholson Library, Vol. 5 (Amazon UK only)
June 29-30, July 1: Mad Stacks (Amazon US Amazon UK)

7 comments:

M.Folkesson said...

The interview with Scott Nicholson was very realistic and interesting. Thank you for sharing. All the best!

Author Scott Nicholson said...

Hi M, thanks for coming by! I'll pretty much say anything. Never quite sure what I'm saying!

Moses Siregar III said...

Bravo! Here's to many more.

DANI HARPER said...

Not sure whether to say congrats or happy anniversary, but it's a milestone either way! You've been really prolific as a writer in the years since too.

The Red Church is the first book of yours that I've read and it hooked me. It's a classic!

Christine said...

The Red Church was one of the first novels I read on my Kindle. That was nearly two years ago, now.

Happy tenth anniversary:) I have to say I LOVE the top version of RC. Is that the paperback cover, or new digital version?

Either way, it pops.

Linda Acaster said...

Congratulations, Scott. You show others what diligence and good writing can do.

Rabid Fox said...

Ten @#$%ing years. Well, congrats on that milestone. Perhaps you've sold as many copies as developed gray hairs in that decade--accounting for all body hair may make that a truly impressive statistic. :)