Novelist Eyre Price, a former Clarks Summit resident, found success when he published his debut novel, Blues Highway Blues. Nearly six months after the book's initial release, the novel's sales have picked up some steam, owing to new recognition.
The website Blues 411 published a glowing review in September. The review calls the novel a merry musical jigsaw puzzle with a well- crafted set of characters that make the merry way all the more merrier...Price has created a very rare bird with ‘Blues Highway Blues.' This month the website named the novel the best blues book of the year.
Amazon.com named the book to its list of 100 Kindle books for $3.99 or less for December. Price said both the award and the Amazon listing led to an uptick in sales for the book.
That was a huge boost, he said. It's kind of been a nice one-two punch for the book.
Price, who now lives in central Illinois, has received recognition from another quarter as well. Writer's Digest interviewed Price for a story on debut authors for its January edition, which is available now.
The author can't rest on his laurels, though, because he has a three-book deal with his publisher, Thomas & Mercer. But he's not that kind of writer. Price is a bit of a literary workhorse, writing five to six nights a week. Plying his craft, he said, is the only way he knows how to be successful.
He has already finished the second book in the series, Rock Island Rock, and he plans to begin work on the third installment in the series in January—after he completes another, unrelated novel.
We just knocked out the second book of the three-book series, Price said. We're ahead of schedule.
There was not a lot of sleep for the last couple of months, he said. We worked hard to get it out on that timetable.
Price hopes to achieve even more success with his follow-up efforts. The same characters from Blues Highway Blues populate Rock Island Rock. The supernatural elements from the first book begin to intensify, he said.
It's the same characters, it picks up two weeks after the action of ‘Blues Highway Blues,' he said. The problems that they had in ‘Blues Highway Blues,' it's hard to outrun those kind of problems.
The writer talked a little bit about his experience of writing the second installment in the series with his audience's reaction lurking in the background of his mind. Most of the reviews were positive, but as with all novels, there were naysayers.
It's been an education just seeing how the book's been received, he said.
I think writing the book was infinitely harder because you knew straight off that people were going to read it. It wasn't a private endeavor.
He said some of the critical voices began to dog him as he began work on the second novel. But after a speech he gave to his son about his writing assignment for school, Price realized that he should take his own advice.
In writing you can't be concerned about what people will think of it, he told his son.
The lifelong writer said he's very happy and feels fortunate to be writing for a living.
Right now I'm making money for my writing, he said. In these times and in this changing industry, if you can do that, it's a beautiful thing.