Why? I've written other things more recently. I've certainly written better things. But that first novel had a magic I've lost. I think I know where it went. I think I can make a comparison to a certain garden and a certain serpent and a certain apple.
While I wrote that book, I had an audience in mind, but this audience was easy-going. It wanted a completed book and it wanted a good story. So that's what I wrote. This was the first novel I edited and submitted to agents, and was accepted by an agent, and sent to publishers. This is the first novel that had contracts associated with it, and might have ended up in a bookstore somewhere.
And after it had been all those things? It wasn't published. Many of my illusions about the publishing industry were blown away (thankfully) and my writing skills improved. The better novels I've written since were written for a very different audience. Less easy-going, it lives in a world where we still don't know how the agency model of publication stands, whether the word ebook will eventually vanish in favour of Kindle, and if anyone in the UK wants to publish a novel that isn't based in the UK, and so forth.
At the start of the revised edition of Raymond Feist's Magician he says:
"I hesitate to admit this publicly, but the truth is that part of the success of the book was my ignorance of what makes a commercially successful novel. ...After a decade in print, my best judgment is that the appeal of the book is based upon it's being what was known once as a 'ripping yarn.' I had little ambition beyond spinning a good story"
I completely understand, and I think this describes what I felt when writing (and having written) that first novel. Realizing this, it inspires me to perhaps forget some of what I've learned about a commercially successful novel--at least while I'm writing the next story I want to produce. Even if I have to be naive for a while, I want that magic back.