The Cipher is released

So yesterday, actually, my latest book The Cipher was released.  I can’t tell you how much fun this book was to write.  I wanted rompy, fun adventure and I think I nailed it.  It’s getting fabulous reviews and I couldn’t be happier about it.


Well, you knew there had to be a but, right?  Here’s the weird sort of translocational feeling.  I finished this book a year and a half ago.  And then I did the revisions and the copy edits and proofs, and then I pretty much haven’t read a word of it since nine months ago.  It hardly feels like my book.  Since then, I’ve written another entire book and am deep in the middle of those revisions, and I’m planning another one.

So why I’m wildly happy to see the book out there finally, I’m also in this weird place that says, ‘big deal, move along, things to do . . .’  I’m an idiot, I know.

So I’m wondering . . . does anyone else feel this odd disconnected, dislocated feeling when something wonderful and grand that you’ve been waiting for for a really long time comes to fruition?  Other writers have the same thing going on?  Or am I just a really odd duck?

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  1. 1. S.C. Butler

    Having just released my second book last week, I’m still living in a world of continual rapture. Perhaps, once I’m as seasoned as you are, the rapture will be toned down to a dull joy. But I can’t imagine anything less than that.

  2. 2. Diana Pharaoh Francis

    Yeah, I know, I’m a fruitcake. Not news there. But I envy you the rapture. Sigh.

  3. 3. Bran fan

    So, as a newbie, I’m wondering….when does the rapture wear off? Third book? Sixth? I’m really hoping the answer is “never,” but then again, I want this to be my day job, and having published novels be just part of the routine would be awfully sweet too.

  4. 4. Diana Pharaoh Francis

    I think part of it for me is that I’m always trying to run to catch up. I never have a breather between books, the day job, family, and so on. There’s always pure joy in getting to touch and feel the book and that never wears off for me. But for now, I’m so worried about the next things and getting them done on time that I am not giving myself time to wallow in the moment. That’s probably stupid though. I should give myself time. I think I”m babbling now.

  5. 5. Kelly McCullough

    I think a lot of it also depends on where you are in relation to your writing and submission history when you make the break. I was rapturous over the first couple of short story sales back in the dim mists of the 90s. With the books, quite a few years later and after having written 8 of them I didn’t feel transcendent joy so much as a sense of enormous relief. With two out and two more confirmed on the way I’m starting to shift from there to a deep and (hopefully) abiding satisfaction.

  6. 6. S.C. Butler

    Diana- Wouldn’t call you a fruitcake, just overworked. Sorry I didn’t get a chance to say hi at WFC, but then we were both busy being the first programming at the con!

  7. 7. Diana Pharaoh Francis


    I had this same anticlimactic feeling when I graduated with my PhD. I’m very strange I think.

    S.C. I know. I saw you several times at WFC and was working my way there and then poof! something happened. Sigh. That’s why it’s important to keep coming back, right? I can tell my wallet that, right?

  8. 8. S.C. Butler

    Diana – You can tell your wallet whatever you want. But will it listen?

  9. 9. Kelly McCullough

    Diana, I should have factored you being an academic into my response. My wife’s a physics professor–we started dating when she was in high school and married the year she finished her undergrad. I split my time between hanging out with F&SF writers and academics (plus a few who are both) and the post-PhD collapse of relief is exactly how I describe my book sale experience to the academics because every one of them gets it and says something to the effect of “oh, now I understand.” So, exactly that.

  10. 10. Sarah Prineas

    Congratulations on your book birthday! I’m REALLY psyched to read this one. Magic, adventure, grumpy sea captain romance? Oh, yeah.

    Best of luck to it!!

Author Information

Diana Pharaoh Francis

Diana Pharaoh Francis has written the fantasy novel trilogy that includes Path of Fate, Path of Honor and Path of Blood. Path of Fate was nominated for the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award. Recently released was The Turning Tide, third in her Crosspointe Chronicles series (look also for The Cipher and The Black Ship). In October 2009, look for Bitter Night, a contemporary fantasy. Diana teaches in the English Department at the University of Montana Western, and is an avid lover of all things chocolate. Visit site.



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