On April 30th, 2013, The Lives of Tao was released upon the world. Today is officially my one year anniversary of being a published author. To be honest, this date crept up on me when I sat down to write this post. So much has happened. How could it have only been a year?

Not gonna lie;I feel like I’ve been playing this writing game for a long time now, as if I was living dog years or maybe fruit fly lives or what not. I couldn’t quite figure out how the past year felt so different from the ones before. I asked Twitter why, when looking back at the past year, that it felt like four lifetimes ago? Here were my responses:

Uh…Thanks Ilana.

Butterfly twist
Bullet Time! Pew Pew

Then I realized what has happened. Being an author has turned me into a time traveler. Okay, not so much being able to jump into the future or visit the past kind of time travel, but it has allowed me to slow down the days as if I was living my life now in Bullet Time. Yes, my entire life right is Max Payne without the messed-up-but-awesome storyline or that damn crying baby. (Yay to no crying babies.)

Anyway, yes, I am now a time traveler. Before, when I worked at these soul-sucking large financial institutions, my twenties flew by like a blur. One moment I was a fresh-eyed optimist coming out of college ready and willing to do whatever it took to succeed, the next I was a self-loathing corporate drone sitting in a six-by-six cubicle with red-walled shag rugs built during the Fifties. I felt like I was trapped in a giant hamster wheel and I couldn’t figure out how to get off. One day, I woke up and was thirty years old. The next day, I was thirty-five and discovered that I needed to start trimming my bushy eyebrows.

Hear that suction? It’s your soul and you only have one.

Now I write full time. It’s a huge pay cut from the financial industries but damn it, I remember my days now and I don’t go to bed wondering what the holy hell I am doing with my life. I wake up looking forward to going into the office (fifteen steps from my bed) and am completely happy working overtime. There are still days when I want to smack myself (just not in the face) to make sure I’m not dreaming.

The best part of all this is that it’s only been a year even though it’s felt like four. I get to go to war every day with my manuscripts, dine in Valhalla at night, and then do this all again tomorrow. Forever. And It’s awesome.

In 2013, I published The Lives of Tao and The Deaths of Tao. The Rebirths of Tao is dropping Dec 31st, 2014. My first Tor book, tentatively titled Time Salvager, is coming out July 2015 with the second in 2016.

I’ve been nominated for the 2014 John W. Campbell for Best New Writer. The Lives of Tao won the Alex Award and was a Goodreads Choice Awards finalist for best Science Fiction, and I’ve sold about six times more books than I thought I would. I’ve signed three book deals since I’ve started this journey and have five total books under contract, and it’s all happened in the past 365 days. How batshit crazy is that?

I am hugely grateful to all the people who have helped me along the way: My publishers Angry Robot Books and Tor Books, my agent Russell Galen, my wife Paula and my supportive family, and all the readers who have helped make my fledgling career such a wonderful experience. So THANK YOU all for making my dreams come true and turning me into happy Max Payne. You guys rock!

Winning the Internet