Lifetime Achievement Award Ė 35+ Years of Books
Huge THANK YOU to readers and
others who submitted me for an award for distinguished contributions
in writing & American Letters. As a past recipient of awards for
excellence in writing, merit and distinguished accomplishments, I'm
honored to be nominated. Iíve written over 250 full-length works
since I completed my first novel in 1986, but it wasnít until 1995
that I had a breakout hit that established me as a bestselling author.
I wrote those early books for Macmillan and have since had books
published and/or distributed by Random House, IDG, Simon & Schuster,
Hachette, Time Warner, Microsoft, OíReilly, McGraw Hill, Pearson and others. My
books have sold nearly 20 million copies worldwide and been translated
into 57 languages.
That type of success is the stuff of Willy Wonkaís wildest dreams.
Still, as I wrote about in ďHow I Made This Crazy Thing Called
Writinga CareerĒ, wild success doesnít always mean riches for the
writer. Although bookstores, publishers, agents, Uncle Sam and others
got the Lionís share of the wealth, I remain tremendously grateful to
my publishers and everyone else in the business who made the dream
In my career one of the things Iím most proud of is
my work to give back and to support my fellow writers. Giving back to
communities across America and the world is something Iíve written
about in ďItís GivingTuesday!Ē. It took 20 years but my goal to give
away $1 million in books to libraries and schools was finally achieved
In the early days, I gave back to writers through
Writerís Gallery and other outlets I maintained online, including
Internet Daily News (one of the earliest online dailies). In 2007, I
launched Go Indie to support independents (writers and bookstores).
Other resources include #AmBlogging #FreeToday and the Read Indies
As I look back at my career, Iím also very glad that from the
beginning I did something for myself by starting a publishing company.
That company began operations in 1995 and I used it to learn about the
publishing side of the industry, which is very different from the
writing side. By 2004, I knew enough about the industry and was ready
to spread my wings and go into self-publishing. I hired a great team
and put them to work running my business.
In the beginning, we had quite a large team, that team has whittled
down to a few core members, but remains in the business of bringing my
works, and the works of a select group of other writers, to the world.
They've helped get dozens of translations for my fiction works, which
are now available in nearly 100 countries around the globe.
I couldnít even begin to tell you how much my traditional publishers
and those I worked with in the industry hated (loathed, really) my
self-publishing efforts. But my efforts were wildly successful from
the start with Keeper Martin's Tale quickly becoming a bestseller at
Amazon.com (2002) and The Kingdoms & the Elves of the Reaches
rocketing to #1 in Fiction at Audible.com (2005) where it remained a
Top 10 Kids & YA bestseller for over 180 weeks (2005 - 2008).
Today, the industry has changed so much that without self-publishing I
donít know where Iíd be. Strange how things can turn around so
dramatically. What was once forbidden fruit has now become one of the
best ways for writers to earn a living.
Thanks for reading,
Remembering My Long-Time Friend Brian Jacques on His 80th Birthday
As I write this, today June 15, 2019, my
friend, Brian Jacques, creator of Redwall, would have been 80. Of all
the writers Iíve corresponded with over the years, from Raymond Feist
to CJ Cherryh to Mercedes Lackey in the hey days of CompuServe, Brian
was the wittiest and most fun. It was the highest of honors to host
Brian when his fall 2005 book tour of the Western USA brought him to
my adopted home town of Olympia, Washington. At the time, I wrote
about Brianís visit on a tribute page to him and his books, which I
posted to share with my readers @ http://themagiclands.com/brianjacques.htm.
The page is still there, hasnít changed in 15 years.
One of the best things about Brianís visit was that my son, Will, who
was 13 at the time, got to meet Brian and get all of his Redwall books
signed. Will was, and remains, a Redwall fan, having read all of
Brianís books multiple times. My two youngest were also at the signing
and they enjoyed getting their pictures taken with my friend Brian.
I had promised Brian, I also gave him copies of the children's
editions of my books, The Kingdoms & the Elves of the Reaches, which
are set in my fantasy world of Ruin Mist. Brian and I enjoyed swapping
stories of our created worlds, having bonded over our similar
experiences with Catholic school teachers beating us with rulers.
Brian was a hoot to listen to at author events and book signings. He
loved his characters and got into the role of his characters actively
in the telling. Brian loved a good feast as well, as any attentive
Redwall fan knows.
Brian also challenged me to give back to readers and the writing
community, to share my personal skills and experiences with others.
Brian always spoke fondly of his days working with blind children and
how he got his start. Early conversations with Brian were key in
inspiring me to dedicate many hours and years to give away one million
books to schools, libraries, community centers and others, though
especially to teachers in classrooms who needed books for their
students who otherwise would have no books at all as well as to
schools for the blind, like the one in rural Scotland where students
had access for many years to my entire catalog of books, including
many educational and learning titles in the Bugville Critters, at no
To say Brian Jacques loved the written word
is an understatement. Brian lived for the written word and I think the
only thing he loved more was bringing his stories and ideas to life
with spoken word. Brian and I had running conversations about digital
audio and in particular Audible, where my books had been runaway
bestsellers--#1 Fiction, #1 Fantasy, #1 YA/Childrens for many weeks in
spring and summer 2005. Brian was more familiar with traditional audio
on tape and hesitant about the digital world--ebooks, kindle, audible,
and such. I don't know if my words on the subject swayed his thoughts
on the subject, but I'd like to think so, as his books did start to
become available for both kindle and audible.
In the fall of
2005, none of us could have known that Brian would be taken from the
world just a few years later. I was, in fact, looking forward to his
promised next West coast USA tour and another visit with my long-time
friend. For me, Brian Jacques will forever remain one of the true few
who could paint pictures with words.
We all miss you, Brian,
though it is perhaps fitting that the final Redwall book is about
rogues. As a rogue scoundrel who worked many odd jobs in his life,
this was perhaps Brianís last wink and nod to the world.
Goodnight, Brian. Goodnight, Redwall.
Thanks for reading, Iím William Robert
Stanek, Microsoftís #1 author for nearly 20 years, and author of over 250
RA Salvatore's Fall 2003 book
tour took him across the West, through Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California and Washington.
The tour was talked about in the Robert Stanek forums as RS
and RAS fans discussed their favorite stories and characters. RA Salvatore is
a favorite author in the Other Authors section of the boards.
As Salvatore's tour was winding down the
two Roberts, Robert Stanek and RA Salvatore, met at a book event where RAS
spoke at length about how he started writing and how his many books and
characters were developed. RAS also talked about playing Baldur's Gate and
coming upon his own character, Drizzt Do'Urden. Apparently, when RAS tried to
get Drizzt Do'Urden's scimitars, Drizzt attacked and killed his entire party.
Later a friend told him how to defeat Drizzt (using wands of monster
summoning and filling the screen with monsters to use as decoys while you
fill poor old Drizzt with arrows. With Drizzt dead, you can take his
scimitars and armor and whoop butt. Watch out if you kill Drizzt and try to
import a character with his gear into Baldur's Gate 2, Drizzt will hunt your
party down and kill you.
But if you really want to play
as Drizzt you need Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance for PS2 or XBOX. Beat the
Labyrinth at the end of the game, while playing in extreme mode and you can
play as Drizzt Do'Urden, dual scimitars and all.
Salvatore's latest book is The
Lone Drow, Book 2 in the Hunter's Blades Trilogy.
In The Lone Drow,
featured on the right, Drizzt Do'Urden has become an orc's worst nightmare: a
lone drow with nothing to lose and nowhere to run. As the North spirals into
chaos and war, one dark elf has decided to take it personally, and it will
take an army to stop him.
Do'Urden has drawn his swords, drawn blood, and drawn a line in the
snow. (Get The Lone Drow
final book in Hunters Blades Trilogy is Two Swords, which will be published
in October 2004. For those who haven't read the series yet, start with The
Thousand Orcs, featured on the left. (Get The
Thousand Orcs at Amazon.)
or send an
email. Hope to
hear from you!