Happy Days To Everyone!
I am always buoyed up and energized when I get home from a book tour, and that is doubly so with this last one. Judine and I did it on our own dime since it was a Grim Oak Press publication and we couldn’t very well call up Del Rey and ask for money. But Del Rey did help us with reservations and suggestions on the publicity and marketing end and were endlessly patient with my efforts to make this work. After all, they have invested forty some years in me and my work, so they could have put the blocks to this effort if they were so inclined.
Street Freaks was a labor of love, written at a time when I just needed to do something different from what I had been doing for almost all of those forty-some years. As was true with the books that diverged from the Shannara series – Magic Kingdom (6 books to date) and Word & Void (3 books so far) – I needed to do something different from epic fantasy. Street Freaks is what I call a futuristic thriller. Some will call it science fiction, which isn’t totally misguided, but at heart it is more of a thriller story than it is anything else. A bunch of street kids who are not like you and I try to save a 17 year old boy who is being hunted by almost everyone for reasons unclear to the boy but not so to the kids who are trying to save him. What adds to the mix is that the street kids are not entirely – or ever remotely, as some will argue – human. They are constructs born of genetic stews, AI enhancements, composite formations and test tube experiments to become human. What complicates things is that the boy they are saving may not be what he seems, either. And what happens when this boy, trying so hard to stay alive and find his missing father, falls in love with a beautiful synthetic – who insists he is wasting his time.
Those readers who came out to hear more about all this and to give the book a try were almost universally excited to discover I was trying something outside familiar territory and were supportive of the effort. This is the sort of thing that makes me feel I am not wasting my time trying new projects in different fields and supporting my belief that what matters when you write a book is that you give yourself over to the writing effort and treat the book as if it is the most important thing you will ever do again. Then, you can be reassured that when you go back to work on the usual that you will feel as if you haven’t been standing in one place.
So to all of you who came out to say hello and support the book, my deepest appreciation. The stories you have to tell about how you first read The Sword of Shannara or one of my other books and were won over are humbling and indicative of how we all feel about the books we love and the writers who write them. I never cease to be amazed and grateful. We traipsed from Seattle to Bellingham to Leavenworth to Wenatchee to Spokane to Richland in Washington State and ended in Portland for the first leg. On the second, we flew to Denver and Boulder in Colorado and Phoenix in Arizona. I would have done more, but we ran out of time. My promise is to tour again with the third book in The Fall of Shannara series in June of 2019 and to try to visit a few places we haven’t been to for a while and catch up with those of you who remember better than I do when I was last in your neighborhood.
So much to do in so little time. I need another 75 years.
Be well. Be safe. Be kind. Always, be reading.