Uber-prolific writer James Reasoner, author of 177 books (probably 178 by the time you finish reading this post) answers some of my questions about how he works on his blog today. But get this:
Over the course of my career, I’ve averaged about eight books a year. Last year was my most productive year ever, with twelve books and about half of another written. If I keep up my current pace I may beat that by a little this year.
Wow. And I whine about how hard it is to write four-a-year.
10 thoughts on “The Book-A-Month Man”
I can’t even fathom how it’s possible.
I’d like to know what kind of coffee he drinks. There has got to be large amounts of caffine involved here….
I almost hate to mention this, Lee, but you forgot to ask James how many short stories he wrote during that same time period.
Question is, though, are they any good?
Even writing 12 crappy books in a year would be a feat… Considering, though, that he gets them published by major publishers, they must be at least halfway decent.
I think he says he’s been averaging 8 a year… let’s see, he’s done 177 in a 25 year career, so that’s an average of 7 a year.
Still, that’s a book every six weeks. That’s a hell of a clip.
As for whether or not they’re good, they’re good enough to get published.
Holy productivity, Batman!
When I read something like this, I think … I am unworthy! Of course, intellectually, I know that’s silly. Creativity is a highly indivudual thing. And it’s not as if it takes me as long to write a novel as…
Considering, though, that he gets them published by major publishers, they must be at least halfway decent.
Doesn’t necessarily follow that they’re good…the publisher clearly thinks they’re sellable, but then I browse through bookshops (there are no shortage of bookshops in London) around once a week looking for something which will be at the very least an entertaining read and am constantly shocked by the amount of rubbish which sees print. If the contents of the bookshop shelves is the cream of the cream, I pity the poor editors who have to read slush piles.
Rommel, I’ll get back to you. I picked up his “Manassas” Civil War novel at the library. Like you, I’m curious about the quality of his work.
I did the same with Paperback Writer. She wrote a good alien pregnancy scene (excerpted on her site), and “Darkyn” is decently written, although I’m not up on vampire novels — not my cuppa blood — to give you my clenched-sphincter critical appraisal of it.
It’s not inconceivable, really. Write 1000 words a day. Hey, five pages, give or take. You can’t do that in an hour or two? Be more agressive. Go 2000 words a day. About 10 double-spaced pages. Start at 8:00 in the morning, get your 10 pages done before lunch. Take a nice lunch, come back and re-write the 10 pages. Don’t even work weekends. How long to a 100,000 word manuscript? 50. 10 Weeks, no weekends. Spend a few days on the re-write. Okay, that’s 5 books a year. It’s productive, very. But it doesn’t blow my mind.
William Styron? “Sophie’s Choice.” What, 23 years in the making? Yeah, it’s a masterpiece, and sure, clinical depression slows you down, but what, a sentence a day? Come on.