5-18 Powell's City of Books, World's Largest Indie Bookstore by Judith Ashley and Sarah Raplee

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

How Christmas Launched My Writing Career!

...and became my favorite season of the year.
by M. L. Buchman

No one could be more surprised than me about that. I grew up in a household that, while not run by the Grinch, celebrated Christmas in such a dysfunctional way that I have done my best to purge those memories. It took years before I would even visit friends on that day.

Then along came my first Christmas with my new family. My wife has a way of making the season magical. That she begins finding the perfect gifts in January and never stops certainly adds to the charm. My stepkid was bathed from birth in the concept that it was a joyous, fun, magical time of giving and family. I won't say they were Hallmark moments, because that would be too much of an understatement. To be welcomed into that world was a gift beyond imagining. Twenty years on, it still is.

The Christmas of 2012 was particularly memorable for a wide variety of reasons, but the total change one book made in my writing career stands out.

In 2010, after 15 years of writing and rejections (except two minor releases from a very small press that had the decency to go out of business before the third one became an issue), I sold my Night Stalkers series to a traditional publisher. In 2012, The Night Is Mine introduced the world of Emily Beale, Mark Henderson, and Michael Gibson to the world. Also in 2012, I Own the Dawn, introduced the rest of the team: Archie, Kee, Dilya, Big John, Connie, Tim...

So I had begun. The first two books were successful and two more were already slated for 2013. The publisher was eager for more and I was on my way. Except the income from traditional publishing would never replace my day job, which was a pity as (courtesy of the recession) I no longer had one.

While my corporate career was in dire straits, in the evenings of late 2012, I would escape to a world of happy people, beautiful Christmases, and true love. Shortly before Christmas I released a cheerful little book entitled Daniel's Christmas. That title bolted out the door. Fans swept it up. They told other fans. Soon it was outselling any of my traditional books.

As I loved that world, I have returned to it for two trilogies, totally four Christmases and two Independence Days.

Then the members of the good ship USS Peleliu joined in the celebration.

And finally, this year my Delta Force team jumped into the sleigh.

To say that I find joy and a new definition of Christmas with each story is an understatement.

To say that they have brought my writing career so much more to life and kept it so fun, that is the simple truth.

Wishing you and yours the merriest you can imagine.

Booklist has selected his military and firefighter series(es) as 3-time “Top 10 Romance of the Year.” NPR and Barnes & Noble have named other titles “Top 5 Romance of the Year.” In 2016 he was a finalist for RWA's RITA award. He has flown and jumped out of airplanes, can single-hand a fifty-foot sailboat, and has designed and built two houses. In between writing, he also quilts. M.L. is constantly amazed at what can be done with a degree in geophysics. He also writes: contemporary romance, thrillers, and SF. More info at:


Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for sharing what a leap of faith can bring when we are surrounded by love and the support of others who believe in us. So glad you took that leap!!!

Sarah Raplee said...

Wonderful journey, Matt! I must read Christmas in Peleliu Cove. My dad was a pilot who flew to the Trust Territory Islands of Micronesia in the 1960s.

Maggie Lynch said...

That's a lot of happy Christmas stories. I'm so glad you and your wife found each other! So, is the rule now to put out a new Christas story every year?

Barbara Rae Robinson said...

Happy stories for a happy day. So glad you made that leap of faith, Matt. You're having a fabulous career. And you're working hard for it and inspiring a lot of other people. Like me.

M. L. Buchman said...

Thank you all. Yes, Maggie, a Christmas story at the very least every year. And not only because the fans like it so much, but I must say that I do to. It reminds me of the fun and joy that is possible in a place I had never imagined could be filled with such light.