According to the site records, it was just two years ago that I began posting "The Art & Science of Love" here on SOL, December 2, 2011. I posted my first blog entry here that day as well, and according to the site rules, posts are deleted after two years, so my first blog entry will be vanishing on Monday. My stats say that my blog has been viewed nearly 34,000 times.
I'm not going to dwell on stats in general, though. Thank you for reading my stories, for rating them well, for the thousands of emails I've received--most very positive and a few critical. I've learned from and appreciated all of them. And not every story I've written has been a winner or universally popular. That's the breaks. I like to write in a wide variety of genres and styles. I hate to even attempt to predict how my next story will be received. I've been fooled before.
I've enjoyed moderate success as an author and even better success as a publisher of other authors. I adopted a pen name when I came to SOL so that people who read my thrillers and mysteries don't get hold of something they aren't prepared for. I use the name Devon Layne for books that contain adult or explicit sexual content and Nathan Everett for standard mysteries, thrillers, young adult and literary fiction. I never expected that the books by Devon Layne would be more findable and sell more copies than those by Nathan Everett. Go figure!
When I started writing erotic romances, I was in a very dark time of my life. I'd come in off a 30-day, 7500-mile book tour at the end of September. In November, I wrote the prequel to my 2009 mystery, "For Money or Mayhem" and proceeded to kill off any chance that my detective would have for a happy life with his lover. And then my own lover/wife delivered a death-blow to my 23 years of marriage by telling me that no matter how hard I tried, she just wasn't interested. I was pretty much at rock bottom and I just had to write a story that ended happily ever after.
It took several months for me to climb out of the black hole I'd buried myself in and the people on this site were significant in giving me a lift. The second story I posted on the site was a miserable flop because I forgot my fundamental premise of having a happy ending. Nonetheless, that story ("Art School") will soon be the inspiration of a new series called "Pygmalion Revisited." I love stories about the art world and this one will be about sculptors.
Your support is why I'm committed to continuing to post stories for free on SOL. In the past two years, I have written over a million words to post here on SOL. (There's 100k in the next story that will start posting at Christmas and still around 15k in "Ritual Reality".) Of course, I'm trying to get paid for some of these stories by publishing them as well, but they will continue to be available here on SOL. I have another million words just bursting to get out in the next two years!
Now, I've finally pulled up stakes and hit the road. I've been gone for 118 days and see no end in sight. I'll be traveling back to Seattle for most of December and then will pick up my tour of the Southeast in January, moving from North Texas toward Houston, then following the Gulf Coast to the tip of Florida. I'm thinking March would be a good time to be at Key West!
If you are on the way, let me know. I'd love to meet for coffee or a beer as I travel through.
And thank you all for the great reception you've given my stories here on SOL. You're great!