Thursday, January 11, 2007


Today I wrapped up my 200th book, which happened to be a house-name Western, like #100 (although in a different series from that earlier milestone). When I started out in this business, I didn't know how many books I'd be able to write, of course, let alone how many I could sell. I thought fifty would be a lot. That goal got revised upward to 100, then 150. Now I don't really worry about things like that anymore. I'm just going to write until I can't anymore. Included in that 200-book total are a few that I wrote, sold, and got paid for, but which were never published for one reason or another. I didn't include the adventure novel that I wrote on spec but failed to sell, or the fantasy novel I ghosted for a fairly well-known author in that genre who never paid me for it. That one was never published, either. I looked back in my records and discovered that it took me seventeen and a half years to write my first hundred books. The second hundred took ten and a half years. No wonder it seems like I've been busy lately.

Some of this book was written under difficult circumstances. On January 3rd, my mother suddenly developed a heart problem (atrial fibrillation, for those of you who know about such things). She had to spend that night in the local hospital, but she responded well to the medication she was given and her heart rate got back to normal pretty quickly. I took her back to the assisted living center where she lives the next day. Then, on the morning of January 5th, she had a massive stroke and was taken by ambulance to one of the hospitals in Fort Worth. She was there until yesterday, when she was moved to a rehab center/nursing home, where she'll be for the foreseeable future. Her left side is mostly paralyzed, but each day since the stroke she's showed signs of getting back a little feeling and movement on that side. Of course, we don't know how she's going to do in the long run. She's 90 years old, so recovering fully from such a serious incident is going to be very hard, but at the same time, she's pretty stubborn. I've been going back and forth between the computer and the hospital, grabbing writing time whenever I could. Sitting in the hospital room, I've been able to get more reading done than usual, but that's not quite the way I would have picked to get more reading time.

I finished David Goodis's novel BLACK FRIDAY. Comments on it tomorrow, maybe.


Cap'n Bob said...

Very sorry to hear of your mother's illnesses, James. I hope she can bounce back.

But you're to be congratulated for reaching 200 books. I can't imagine being able to have such output, and at such a high level of quality. You are truly amazing.

Juri said...

I also hope your mother is able to recover.

And congrats on the 200th book!

Is the contract on the ghosted fantasy novel such that you can't use it anymore under your own name?

mybillcrider said...

As I've said before, I'm in awe of your abilities.

My best to your mom, and I hope she makes a snappy recovery.

mybillcrider said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James Reasoner said...

Thanks for the kind words, guys. They are much appreciated.

Juri, I never even had a contract on the fantasy novel. I know, stupid business practice, but with the short deadlines in this business, I've written lots of books before I ever got the contracts, and I know other writers have, too. This is the only time anybody has backed out on a deal with me after the book was written. This book was based on the other author's plot and characters, and I wouldn't feel right about marketing it as is, even though this person seems to have fallen off the face of the earth and may not even be alive anymore. (Health problems were involved in the other author not being able to write the book.) Rewriting the manuscript to the extent that would be necessary might be more trouble than it was worth. But who knows, maybe one of these days . . . I still think there was some good stuff in there.

Charles Gramlich said...

Sorry about your Mom. I hope she does keep her recovery going. My mom just turned 90 and is still in good health at present, although she had a pacemaker put in a few years ago and I was worried about that for a while.

Anonymous said...


Just curious if you have a list of the 200 books you've written. I know some of them you can't discuss due to contractual issues, but I'd be curious in seeing a list of your works (even the house name novels).


James Reasoner said...


I have a semi-complete list of my books (minus the ones I ghosted and a few others that have to remain a secret) that I'd be glad to email to anyone who wants to see it. It has a lot of the house-name books on it.