For those of you keeping count, this is the 50th one. Of course, this holiday only really rose to national prominence with the publication of my first novel Gil’s All Fright Novel in 2005. I’m not saying there weren’t celebrations before that, but they tended to be small affairs instead of the sweeping parades and extravagant fireworks displays we get these days.

Simpler times.

I’ve been a professional published novelist for 18 years now. Counting the years I was only an aspiring writer I’ve been doing this job–in one form or another–for roughly three decades. In that time, I’ve written a lot of books, most of which have not and will never be published. I’ve had 13 novels published, 3 different publishers, one Chinese language film adaptation, dozens of TV and film options that have never quite made it across the finish line, and currently five or six other options in various stages of development–some more promising than others.

There have been ups and downs, but I’ve managed to pay my bills these last few years. To paraphrase a sentiment I’ve heard before: “I’ve been doing this for 30 years and it’s been pretty rewarding these last four or five.”

I’m not complaining. We’re all just trying to figure out how to get by. We’re all just doing our part and waiting for that lucky break. I’ve been luckier than many. Not just in my writing career, but in the support I’ve had from family and friends. It took me a while to find my wife, but she was worth the wait. And even being a mostly obscure writer is something a lot of talented and hard-working writers will never achieve. Not for lack of effort, but just because they didn’t have the advantages and good fortune I’ve had.

That’s not humility. That’s just the truth.

But on this special day, it’s okay to acknowledge that I’m kind of a cool guy who has done some cool stuff. Am I a writer for the ages? I’ll leave that for the ages to decide. But right now, I have a career. I have readers. I’d like to be more successful than I am, but I’m also doing pretty well at the moment. So all things considered, it’s good to be A. Lee Martinez on this A. LEE MARTINEZ APPRECIATION DAY!!, and what more could I ask for?

I’d really like a Readers Nickname. King has his Constant Readers. Tolkien has the Ring Heads. Meyers has the Sparklers. I think those are right. I don’t know. I didn’t feel like googling. All I know is that every cool writer has fans with a cool nickname for themselves. So we should get on that.

Personally, I’m partial to the A.Leegion, but I’m open to suggestions.

In the meantime, I’ll keep fighting my procrastinator tendencies and doing my best to write more books. In fact, I’ll be sharing the first chapter of my current work in progress. No contract on it yet, but we’ll see.

One book at a time, right?




  1. Congratulations on this, the 50th Anniversary of A. Lee Martinez Appreciation Day! Words do not begin to show my appreciation for this day. And yet here I am using words because it’s easier than using tuna fish. Before I discovered your first novel back in 2005 my life was dull, meaningless and without purpose. I was working for Radio Shack. Now I am retired and it’s still dull, meaningless and without purpose but now I have your books to read, as well as your blog and your words of wisdom to guide me. Speaking for your legions of fans we await for your next novel, short story, pamphlet, whatever. Please take care and know that your efforts are not invane.

  2. I discovered Monster first. Excellent read! Then the rest came one by one.
    Nothing witty comes out! Just tons of appreciation in this Appreciation day.
    Maybe we could be the Appreciators?

  3. I have to admit some curiosity which story was used for a Chinese language film. I’d definitely be interested in watching it.

    Happy birthday, by the way.

    1. My novel Monster was made into a Chinese language film under the title Monster Run. It’s still available on streaming on Netflix USA.

        1. Certainly. That’s why they say “Based on…” in the credits. But it’s closer than I ever expected any adaptation to be, and I got paid for it. I liked the movie, too, so I don’t have much to complain about.

  4. Well, I typed up a big, long, happy A. LEE MARTINEZ APPRECIATION DAY comment, and then when I hit post, I got a website unavailable right now warning, and my comment disappeared. Of course it might show up later, but this time I’m just going to say I hope you had a great A. LEE MARTINEZ APPRECIATION DAY, and suggest a readers nickname. How about A.LEECOLYTES ?

  5. I’m just here to say that you’re one of my favorite authors, and THE AUTOMATIC DETECTIVE is my favorite book of all time. It just makes me happy from beginning to end.

    Thanks for doing what you do and sharing it with all of us, and happy five-oh!.

    (I’m not wedded to it, but I could see something like the A. LeeViators.)

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