Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Taking Note

This Saturday I went to my first Orange County Chapter of RWA meeting in a looong, looong time. Best selling author, Robert Crais spoke about his childhood - he grew up behind a drive-in theatre reading comics - and his adventures in Hollywood and publishing. He did a good job, signed a ton of books and in all, I think everyone was happy.

As a member of OCC RWA, I've seen quite a few big-name NYT best-selling authors take our stage and realized that the only difference between a little fish like me and a guy like Mr. Crais is that he makes a lot more money than I do. So perhaps the true secret to success in publishing is to wait for the big fish to die or retire.
However, here's my list of what I have in common with a New York Times best-selling author:
  1. No matter how many copies of books in print and sold, authors still count and remember their rejection letters.
  2. Even if their latest book debuts high up on the NYT list, best-selling authors still envy writers whom they think are (a) more talented than they are or (b) get more money and attention from their publishers.
  3. Best-selling authors always talk about how during their childhood, they were the family mutant. Only when we succeed do our families look at us in a different light. (Usually to see if we used them as a character in the book, or if we've made enough money to spring for lunch.)
  4. Best-selling authors always walk into the room looking a bit bewildered by everyone's awe and reverance. Wait, that's not true. Jackie Collins once paid a visit to OCC RWA and she made an entrance. Then again, Nora Roberts struts around RWA National like she doesn't notice everyone staring at her so maybe it's a guy versus girl thing.
    Moving on...
  5. Most best-selling authors - actually I should say that the ones who are still good and aren't paying other writers to write their stuff - never lose that sense of awe that they get paid to make stuff up.
  6. No matter how many millions they've acquired (and that their publisher will fly them first-class and not put them up in a haunted hotel), best-selling authors still want us to feel sorry for them when they tell us how they struggled in the early years.
Hey man, I feel your pain. So when are you thinking about doing something else?
(Me, bitter? Nah!)

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