I am Lazarus, come back to tell you all

My last post on this blog was June 22–June 22, for crying out loud. That’s almost two months. I didn’t INTEND to lose two months of blogging time, but the truth is that I lost two month of pretty much every kind of time, shoved onto the back burner in favor Three Big Things that I had to do first. And now I’ve done them, and I’m back.

The First Big Thing was the launch of THE HOLLOW CITY, my newest thriller from Tor, about a man with schizophrenia caught in a web of monsters, conspiracies, cultists, and murder. It’s one of my favorite books I’ve written, precisely because it was the hardest book I’ve ever written, and I’ve been delighted byt the positive response to it. People really seem to love it, which is awesome. If you haven’t read it yet, check it out. I toured with that book for three solid weeks, and it was nuts, and it broke my brain in half, and it was very hard to think of anything else, but I totally had to anyway because of:

The Second Big Thing was the major revision of FRAGMENTS, the sequel to PARTIALS, which I completed WHILE TOURING for THE HOLLOW CITY. That sentence contained A LOT OF CAPITAL LETTERS. Usually a book tour is a very hard place to get any meaningful work done; you get up in the morning, usually pretty early, pack, drive to the airport, fly to a new place, land, go to a new hotel, unpack, go to a book event, go back to the hotel, go to sleep, and in the morning you do it again. Every day for three straight weeks. I actually got to spend four days in San Diego for ComicCon, right in the middle of the tour, which gave me a nice break from the travel, but it was still crazy. Nevertheless, the revision had to be done, so I did it, and managed to finish it two days before the final drop-dead due date (I totally missed all the earlier due dates). It was hard, but you guys are going to love FRAGMENTS when it comes out next Spring. Huzzah! And then when I finished my book tour I came home and immediately left again for:

The Third Big Thing was, by far, the biggest and craziest of the big things. I packed up my family and moved to Germany. Why? Why not? People keep assuming there’s a business reason, or that we’re moving here for relatives, or something like that, but you know what? We moved because we could, and my wife is the kind of awesome person who says “yes” when I say something insane like “let’s move our family of 7 to a foreign country where we don’t speak the language, just for the hell of it.” I write full time, so I’m not tied to an office or anything like that, and I can email my editors from pretty much anywhere, so we decided to take a year and do something nuts that we might never again have the time or money to be able to do. We got here on July 26 with pretty much nothing: all the clothes we could fit in our luggage, some of the kids favorite toys, and that’s it. We had rented a house, but we didn’t have any furniture to put into it, and all seven of us slept on the floor for the first couple of nights as we started the slow process of procuring beds and couches and so on. We have most of that stuff now, which is good because most German homes don’t have carpets and sleeping on the floor was pretty crappy.

Those are my three big things. There was no room in my head for anything else. Just to really hit home how big those three things were, I had surgery in that same time frame and IT DIDN’T EVEN MAKE THE LIST. I had my tailbone removed right before I went on tour, and let me tell you how awesome it was to sit on an airplane every frakking day while still recovering from butt surgery: pretty awesome.

Last week I started writing again, back to work on my cloning book EXTREME MAKEOVER, which I love and which I hope to finish in the next three months before I have to drop everything and write the final PARTIALS book. Today, my writing urges somewhat sated, I started blogging again. I intend to blog much more often now, even more than I used to, as a sort of chronicle of my family’s adjustments to living in Germany. This is a ridiculously beautiful country. I live two blocks from a forest, their bread is even better than their sausages, and if you ask them they will put roasted lamb kebabs on a pizza. Almost everyone I’ve talked to is a board game player. Where has this culture been all my life?

12 Responses to “I am Lazarus, come back to tell you all”

  1. Joe Zieja says:

    Exciting move, Dan! I just shot you an email; I lived in Germany for 3 years and would be happy to help you out if you want some advice. There are a lot of things I wish I knew.

  2. *jealous* I lived in Germany for 18 months. Love it there. My oldest son was born there. Bratwurst. Wonderful and a bit different wherever you go. Like the beer. I hear, since I’m not a drinker.

    As for The Hollow City, are there plans to make it an audiobook? Partials came out in audio right away, but not THC.

  3. Tyler Jolley says:

    WOW. So in addition to being an author I’m an orthodontist. When you said you had lost two months I could totally relate. My summers are crazy. Then I read your blog. You win. What summer.

  4. Timothy Morris says:

    I am so glad that you moved to Germany I have lived in Germany for about five years. Is there any chance that you will come to the Ramstein/Kaiserslautern area.

  5. Nice to have you back. Those are three big exciting things! No wonder you’ve been away so long. You’ve been busy!

  6. E.J. Wesley says:

    Welcome back! Happy news to hear your family and is safely in nestled in the land of beer, sausage, and honey (?)–and that your surgery was a success. Hope the recovery continues to go well, and glad to be reading your posts again. :)

  7. Brent says:

    Pizza kebabs are awesome! I used to get those when I lived in Paris on my mission. I’d love to hear more about your experiences moving with a family to Europe. It’s something I’ve considered doing.

  8. SeekingPlumb says:

    I’m so jealous & so excited for your year in Germany!! I’m very much looking forward to reading your blog entries, even more than normal. So happy for you! What an adventure!!!

  9. Mindie says:

    Good luck to you and yours. Hopefully the end of the world doesn’t happen and everything turns into a war zone and you never come back because the world died and everything in it. Just saying……

  10. Raphael says:

    Welcome to Germany, and welcome back online! May you have a great time in either realm.

    +1 for Ramstein/Kaiserslautern. Lots of Americans here, and at least one non-American fan (now *that’s* a strong reason!).

  11. Amy Alice says:

    I fully support moving abroad. When I was a kid we moved to Paris–twice–and it changed my life.

    If your kids are old enough, make sure they go exploring on their own. Some of my favorite memories are walking around Paris with my siblings but without my parents.

  12. Thomas Elbel says:

    Wow, I can’t believe you did this. When I just read a few tweets of yours I first thought you were here on vacation or for business travelling.
    I am a big fan of the John Cleaver series which was given to me as sort of a piece of reference when Carsten Polzin of Piper Verlag took me under his wings 2 years ago and published my debut. I am an avid follower of Writing Excuses since mid-season six and just yesterday started listening to the older episodes one by one. Though Stuttgart is far away from Berlin (at least for German purposes) it is an exciting thought that we now are fellow Germans, so to speak. I wish you and your family all the best and a great start. Let me know if I can be of any assistance. Yours truly, Thomas

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