I have been watching the husband for a very long time. In fact, we met thirty years ago this year, which, when you think about it is a very, very long time.
The husband began writing, and I mean seriously writing, long before I did. He’s written and published over forty novels and he’s been a New York Times bestseller in three categories and he’s hit the Nielsen. There is much to admire.
I don’t believe that anyone can teach a writer to write, but proximity to a writer does teach all sorts of other things, and my proximity is very close.
Today, I have the very great pleasure of running edits for the husband’s latest novel, “Pariah”. It is the first book in the third Inquisitor trilogy, “The Bequin Trilogy”, so book seven in a series of nine. If you haven’t read them already, I would urge you to seek out “The Eisenhorn Trilogy” and “The Ravenor Trilogy”; you won’t be disappointed.
As a writer, reading is invaluable. All writers should read widely, but how many writers have the fun of being editors and the privilege of seeing the work in its raw state? It’s an education, I can tell you. I don’t know how many books I’ve edited over the years, but being the husband’s first editor got me other jobs, and I’ve been privy to any number of writers’ work.
It’s all grist to the mill, for a writer, and it’s good discipline, but it isn’t the whole story.
Living with a writer who has established a career over a couple of decades has shown me much more than how to arrange words on a page.
I watch the husband work hard to do better, to do work that is fresh and new, to hone his craft, to please an audience. I watch the husband work under pressure of deadlines, putting in long hours while maintaining a standard. I watch the husband research any number of subjects on any number of levels, from a quick wiki check to reading a hefty reference book from cover to cover. I watch the husband weighing weapons in his hands, and clearing a room so that he can choreograph a fight sequence. I watch him pacing. I watch him making notes or flitting off to find something in the middle of what is supposed to be down-time.
The husband is very good at what he does... very, very good.
What’s more, he’s a very good example of how to go about being a serious, professional writer. For that matter, he’s a very good example of how to go about being a serious, professional anything.
Today, I set my own writing aside to work on “Pariah”, and it will probably be the most fun I have all week. I wouldn’t do it for anyone else, because, somewhere along the way, the husband helped me to learn that I could write to.
It’s been a long apprenticeship, perhaps the longest in history, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.