Giving You the Best Books Possible

library-of-lightNot long after finishing my first mystery (about 8 seconds, I think) I realized I could do better.

Not long after finishing my second mystery, I knew it. Not just that I could do better than my first, but that I could do better than the one I’d just finished.

You may already see the pattern.

I have strong perfectionist tendencies I’ve spent half my life working to control. The pursuit of perfection is pointless, a burning of energy without value.

The pursuit of excellence is a different matter.

I want my books to be excellent. Each has been better than the last.

Sitting with Best Beloved at a James Taylor concert in San Diego the performer announced “I’ll be doing some of the old stuff tonight” and the crowd roared, “and some of the new stuff” and, all excited about October Road, I stood up and hollered. Alone.

Ask any artist what their best work is, and they’ll either mention the one they just finished, or the one they’re about to release.

I know folks love my Irish mysteries, and never fear, I’ll keep writing them.

But they’re going to get better.

As are all my books.

Because I want every one of my books to be a mind-altering life-changing un-put-downable gem.

The pursuit of excellence is asymptotic: it can grow ever closer, ever closer, but it never arrives, like one of Zeno’s paradoxes, but not the one about Achilles and the tortoise (and nothing at all about the hare and the tortoise.)

Some days, I spend hours carefully pruning, trimming, fussing with the plant to make it beautiful.

Other days I throw on a shovel full of what the horse left, kick it around with my work boots, and call it a day.

I continue to seek out the best possible constructive criticism for my work in order to make that journey, in order to deliver to you, dear reader, the best book I can write.

Until the next one.

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