Back From the Grave

Lord, I don’t even know how to start this. After a while, apologizing for not blogging becomes meaningless, especially when it’s followed by six months of radio silence.


So here’s the deal. I had to take a break from essentially everything to deal with some things. Some of it was health-related, some of it family-related, all of it personal. I will say no more, except to say it’s dealt with now and I’m back on track and so far behind schedule it’s almost inspiring.


Thank you to everyone who took the time to write and ask where I was and why I was gone and if I was okay and if I was dead. That last one tickled a little. Sorry if I scared you. Blogging may come naturally to some people and goodness knows, there are plenty of people out there who keep the whole world posted whenever they stub their toe, but I am not one of those people and never will be. My desire to sell books is constantly at war with my desire to brick myself in a basement and never come out. Any basement. Your basement. Have you checked your basement lately? Am I there? Tell me to come home and work on my damn book.


The Land of the Beautiful Dead is done with its first draft and going through its first set of revisions. As you may or may not know, I do one round of edits, then a read-through with my betas, and then a final edit. When will the book be complete? Hell, your guess is as good as mine these days.  I really thought I’d have this book out last Halloween. Then life happened. And it’s still happening, so…we’ll see. Hang in there with me.


42 responses to “Back From the Grave

  1. Welcome back. So happy to read a blog from you. Can’t wait for an R Lee novel. Can you tell us roughly how,ling LOBD could be? I’m hoping for a good long read.

    • It’s 330 pages as of today and likely to grow before the last round of edits is done. Keep in mind, those are computer pages, as in, formatted for a 8 x 11 paper. The Last Hour of Gann had something like 480 pages in that format, which turned into 780-ish when it got squeezed through the bookilizer. I have no idea how many pages that translates to in one of those newfangled tablet reader things the kids today use. Kids today. With their hair and their music. Always on my lawn…

      • I read that as squick for some reason. I’m here thinking, ‘What on Earth did I write that squicked her out? Honestly, my readers have to have the highest squick-thresholds in the universe.’

      • “squee” was the way I chose to expressed my extreme happiness because I am really bad at translating my thoughts into words. Think of a tea kettle filled with everything I was thinking about, maybe?
        I do have a high squid factor. I like realism… even if it makes me think wtf at the time. lol

  2. Hugs to you. Glad you’ve popped your head out to say hello. And I hope life is going more smoothly for you! I’m happy to read what you publish, whenever you publish.

  3. Welcome back, R.Lee! My heart is lighter and I can breath easier knowing you are still with us. I have a basement. It is nice and quiet and you are welcome to hang there anytime.

  4. So glad that you and your family are doing ok, or at least back on track! Your books are inspiring, so please take as much time as you need. Glad things are hopefully looking on the up and up. 🙂

  5. You live! Yea! I did a full basement check, and didn’t find you down there. Even baked cookies to see if a lure was needed to draw you out (seriously, the devil himself would crawl out of the dark for my cookies). Hopefully this means you have gone home and are working on your damon book! 😊

  6. I’m so happy you’re back! Will wait impatiently for the next book and re-read the Arcadia series in the meantime

  7. I’m going to go out on a limb here and sound like a complete stalker for possibly the first time in my life: I’ve checked your blog at least once a week for the last… oh, four months or more, to see if you updated. I AM SO HAPPY YOU’RE ALIVE. Personally, I’d wait three years for a new release from you. You’re my favorite author (yeah, I said it), and I wish I was half as talented as you are. I rave to my readers about TLHoG and Cottonwood every chance I get. Anyway, psycho-stalker session over, do what you need to do, and I will gladly lose my shit when the time comes.

    • Thank you so much for your concern and I am so heartily and sincerely sorry I worried you. The Land of the Beautiful Dead is coming along, slowly but surely, and my health is on an upswing, so all is well and only getting better here in the land of R Lee. Keep watching my WIP bar for an idea of my progress as edits continue.

  8. I just finished reading COTTONWOOD and had to write a few words or I would have probably burst with all the painfull and woderfull emotion you just put me through.
    I understand from your posts you´re in a complicated health condition. I might not understand truly what that implies in your daily life, but I do know what you´re capable of. You have created the most detailed, realistic worlds, inhabited them with complicated and reliable characters and made me recognize myself in them.In their strength. In their pain and their courage and their weaknesses.
    You have taken a heavy burden from my own daily life, not only for the time I spent while reding your stories, but for a long time after that. Because you worlds stick and so do your characters.
    I wish you the best. Be healthy and thank you. And if you please and find that spark in you, keep the amazing work going, because you are extraordinary.

    • Wow. Thank you. You know, it’s one thing to see sales online and know that people are reading my books, but it’s something else entirely to read something like this and realize that PEOPLE are READING my books. I’m so glad you enjoyed Cottonwood. It’s one of my favorites–hell, all of them are favorites for some reason or another, but Cottonwood and The Last Hour of Gann hold a special place in my heart because I wrote them the last time I was at death’s door health-wise. I genuinely believe living in those worlds were a big part of what kept me in this one.

      Thank you for taking the time to leave this comment. Reading it and others like it…well, I can’t say they keep me writing, because I wrote for years before I ever started publishing, but they ARE the reason I write for a living. YOU are the reason I get up in the morning (or, you know, the late afternoon. Kind of a night owl here) and turn on the computer even when I feel like shit.

      • Thank you for your answer. I´m actually reading THE LAST HOUR OF GANN….I´m in love all over again. And suffering, oh, how I´m suffering.
        I will leave you to your life and I will put mine on hiatus for a while longer and return to Amber and Meoraq.
        Thank you again for your wonderful world building and character development….And for your “special” heroes….Never thought I would say this, but I find them so enticing…

      • I´m so sorry for double posting but part of my comment just “puff” dissapeared.
        I just wanted to send you a hug and wish you the best. Be healthy and take care.

  9. I am so glad you’re back!! Hope things have settled down for you and you’re finding some comfort with writing or revisions. I’m so excited for Land of The Dead, whenever it is released! Just let me know the date to preorder!

    • Thanks for your well wishes! Things are plugging along, both in work and in life, so I’m happy with my progress on LoBD. Keep watching the WIP bar to keep an eye on me.

  10. Happy Happy Joy Joy! I can still send that fruit basket you know if you want it , but I have to warn you I will prob pick through the good stuff and you’d end up with apricots ( seriously who likes apricots?) and some barely edible apples:)

    So glad your back R Lee! As I said before as much as I love your books ( almost more than my husband…. There’s marriage in a nutshell) , I was worried about ya being my fave author and all. ( ha, Meg gotta admit this is making me sound all Kathy Bates) , now get in my basement R Lee!

    I hear ya on the personal probs and life and how annoying keeping up with blogs could be cause I could never do it. The only people that would worry thinking I was dead are my dogs ( cause I feed them, semi-regularly) , my hubby ( cause I feed him too regularly ) , and my mom ( so she can harass me about everything in the universe) .

    The older I get the more I understand that we need to be more epathtic over peeps issues and mind our own business while also being caring about whatever business is going on. It’s a tricksy hobbit conundrum ‘ cause I’m pretty bossy and loud and obnoxious. So I hope, despite those above adjectives that probably come out a little in my responses here, that you know how much you are loved mon ami! Even by peeps that have never met ya personally.

    Keep on keeping on and I’ll cease freaking out between blog posts 🙂


    • thanks so much for the hugs and the virtual fruit basket. I love apricots, by the way. They’re like little baby peaches and who doesn’t love to eat babies? Er, peaches, I mean. Yeah. Peaches.

  11. Ps: totally gotta mention if your ever short a beta reader , my hand is raised in the air ( like that punk ass kid you remember in school that raises their hand alllll the time even though they aren’t that smart and usually get the answer wrong )

    • I prefer not to use fans as beta readers. I prefer to use people who don’t even like to read horror/sci-fi, because I’m more confidant in their abilities to read for errors and not get lost in the story. However! Once the book is ready to go public, I do plan to give away some freebie copies, so watch this space (well, not this specific space) for that announcement!

  12. So glad you’re back and ridiculously relieved that you’re okay. I’m not ashamed to admit I stalk your blog on a weekly basis.

    I completely get what you mean about blogging difficulties. As I’m currently working on my first manuscript, everyone and their uncle’s telling me to start blogging and embrace social media. Let me tell you, for someone who is introverted, it’s all very unsettling.

    Anyway, I can’t wait for LOBD and Pool. So excited. You’re my favorite author. You never disappoint.

    • That’s half my problem right there: I am so introverted, I was born with a tinfoil hat. I don’t even own a cell phone. Or a landline, come to think of it. I live with people who have phones and if someone wants to get a hold of me, they know to call those people. My sister has been nagging for three months to at least post something here that says I’m on hiatus and not dead. Now it looks like I owe her a coke because people seem to have been legitimately concerned I was dead. I feel bad.

      Also, congratulations on joining the ranks of the writers! Your first manuscript! May I ask if it’s a novel, screenplay, or what?

      • Thanks! I’m working on a fantasy novel. **bites nails and eyes the mountain of world building that lies ahead**

        Don’t know if you have me beat in the introversion department though. I’ve don’t have Facebook, have no idea how Twitter and Instagram works. My husband’s been bugging me to replace my dinosaur cell phone(it has real buttons) in favor of one with a touch screen. If it wasn’t for my job I’d never leave the house. The life of a hermit sounds fabulous to me. lol

        I keep thinking I’d be lousy at blogging since I do all of my speaking through story writing. Sigh… I guess these days it’s not enough to write great books. Authors also have to market themselves.

      • I have Facebook, but I only use it for casual gaming and to keep in touch with distant relatives. I don’t do Twitter or snapchat or any of that other stuff, and it does suck chrome ones because all the self-publishing market guides urge you to have everything and post on everything every single day. Like, when do those people write?! It’s no wonder most self-pub books are only 60 pages long.

  13. I only have Facebook for family and twitter to follow authors and book blogs I sometimes pay attention to. Twitter is how I first heard about Gann, which was just the gateway drug to the rest of your books. Lol I don’t mess with the others because I’m blind and don’t take many pictures. I honestly cans fathom how other people keep up with it all… much less other authors. I think it is a case of quality over quantity.

  14. OMG! You’re back. I just took a random chance at checking your blog just in case and here you are!! I’m so totally doing the happy dance right now. Snoopy has got nothing on me! 😛

    I was getting concerned something had happened but I usually don’t voice such worries in case I jinx it. So I’m glad to hear things are getting better for you on the personal and health front. I’m also super stoked that things are progressing well on your book despite all that. For what it’s worth, while I love when authors interact with their fans, I can see how that can eat away most of your writing time. So thank you for taking the time to say howdy to us.

    Here’s me hugging you (and the draft of your book *giggles*) and running off to read that deleted scene you posted! 😀


    P.S. I don’t have a basement but you can have my guest room! I swear my name isn’t Annie Wilkes…

  15. Yeay yeay yeay! You’re back! I normally religiously check your blog for updates but I took a break to have a kid and now I’m finally emerging back into the real world and looks like you are too! Can’t wait to read about your zombies. I can’t belive it’s been a whole year since i met you last summer in nola!

    • I know, right? It feels like it JUST happened. I still can’t believe I can’t just walk down to the corner and get a cafe au lait and beignet. Gosh, that was just the best vacation ever.

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