Great expectations

By , 6 November 2006 7:45 pm

As previously noted, the books came out last week: The Shadow and Night and Dark Foundations in two lovely hardback volumes. Unleashed on America, delivered by post from Amazon and even available in one or two Christian bookshops in the UK (apologies for the sarcasm). And…

Silence.

Well, almost silence. All writers of popular fiction, I imagine, have somewhere in the back of their mind, the hope that the phone will immediately ring or the publisher will e-mail you to say, ‘fantastic news. It’s already selling in the thousands, we are reprinting already, you’ve got rave reviews coming up, Oprah Winfrey is going to plug it, the White House is buying copies or the First Church of Purity and Eschatological Truth is going to have a public book burning.’ What you don’t want is…. silence. That utterly deafening public yawn that says ‘oh no, not another book in an already crowded market’.

In some ways, of course, authors are right to have such hopes. As the saying goes, ‘blessed are those with low expectations, for they are rarely disappointed.’ But a small fanfare or two would be nice.

Actually, it wasn’t quite as bad as I have painted it. Within days, there were two rave reviews on Amazon.com (and if you wrote one of them, many thanks, and bless you) and people who finished it have made the comments about it being ‘a real page turner’ and ‘when’s the next one due’. And it is early days yet.


Of course, I could take the ‘my time will come’ stance or adopt the ‘hey who needs fame?’ pose. I’m holding them in reserve.

For the moment.

8 Responses to “Great expectations”

  1. Josh says:

    Just wanted to let you know that I picked up the first book and can’t wait to read it. I’ve got about 4 or 5 books in line ahead of it, but I’m reading faster now so I can hurry and get to it. I happened to come across it at my local Christian store and picked it up on the spot.

    I understand how you feel. Having released a few books myself, I know how tormenting the ‘silence’ can be. Hang in there :)

  2. Kendall Lane says:

    Hey Chris, I bought The Dark Foundations on Tuesday at around 6 pm and before the night was out, (i unfortunetly had to get some sleep to work the 9 to 5), i had read over half of the book. I love it! i’m not a writer but i am an avid reader and this is deffinetly one of the greatest series i have ever read. i’d even go as far as to say that this is better then the Lord of The Rings. I cannot wait for the final book to come out, and, i hope, this wont be the last trilology that you do. God bless!
    Kendall
    (p.s. i live in Brewer, Maine of the good ol’ USA)

  3. Chris Walley says:

    Kendall and Josh, bless you both.

  4. theplainstate says:

    Oh boy, fans are allready sharing names :).

    Yes, this is turning out to be one of the greatest series ever. The characters are some of the finest I have ever seen . . . read, but I think “seen” is better because I can honestly see their faces. There is deepth everywhere I turn, from the maps, characters, to how the differant societies opperate.

    PS. Women sniper teams? . . . someone has been studying up on the history of the Red Army havn’t they? Very efective they were in world war II.

    -Josh/Shasta

  5. Chris Walley says:

    Hi Josh/Shasta

    Some nice comments. Why not post them on Amazon?

    And talking of Amazon(s)(what a segue!)I can reveal I knew nothing of the Soviet forerunners of the women sniper teams. But I can also reveal that, in the first drafts, (following UK custom), women were not front line soldiers (but were pilots etc). My editor however persuaded me that the US readership would want women up there in the battles. The sniper teams were the compromise that resulted but I think they work.

  6. Linda Ellis says:

    Hi Chris, I loved the first two books and have been waiting eagerly for number 3. It’s now sitting in pristine splendour being gloated over as a future delight whilst I re-read numbers 1 & 2. I loaned them (sorry!) to a non-Christian friend who also loved them – he might just find a copy of number 3 in his christmas stocking…

    I was telling a blind friend about the series yesterday and said I would see if there was an audio version available. Is there, or any plans for one?

    Bless you and the Lord for such an anointed gift.

  7. Andrew Mellum says:

    I love your books. I ordered The Dark Foundations so I could read it right away. I stayed up till about 5 that night so I could finish it.

    Your books along with another authors work have inspired me try my hand at writing.

  8. KB says:

    Thought you’d like some further feedback. I looked at your first two books on the shelf at the bookstore for six months before deciding to buy them. Boy was I rewarded! When it was time for The Dark Foundations to come out, I couldn’t get it at the bookstore fast enough.

    I liked the first two, but TDF really drew me in on a whole new level. I found myself repeatedly describing the philosophical aspects as ‘fascinating’ to friends and family, and was deeply disappointed when I closed the cover because I loved my time in the story so much I didn’t want to leave… test of a good book there!

    I’m still chewing over what I read — another good sign — and am really coming to appreciate how the plot structuring allows for discussion of sin as an integral part of the story instead of just an after-thought or a pseudo-Christian reference. I like the intelligence of your approach and how it so completely differs from the one extreme of cheesy Christian works and the other extreme of assuming quality writing must needs be stripped of any solid belief structure beyond what the general market finds acceptable.

    I did think of Lord of the Rings with the eagles reference, and at a particular point where the Envoy plays a special role (don’t want to reveal anything here!), but more in terms of how a bibliophile enjoys the connections between favorite books. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series!

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