Thursday, August 21, 2008

I chatted with someone famous yesterday...

Famous and very successful in his field. Which happens to be my field.

Have you ever talked to someone who's made it, and gotten sound, unabashed advice that you just know will change your life forever?

That's what happened yesterday.

See, there's this writer who's books I love. He's hilarious and smart and crazy (good crazy). Lots of people love his books. That's why he's famous.

Anyway, yesterday I found that he and I had included in recent stories the same strange idea (Something that's not at all uncommon in this business of writing. Once you start talking to other writers, you find out that a lot of the time, you're working on very similar things.) And I off-handedly wrote him an email talking about it. I told him no one was buying my story and marveled at how his was most likely sold before he began writing it. I didn't expect him to answer me.

But he did.

He told me stuff that I needed to know about what I'm doing with my writing career. Really smart stuff. He basically told me how to go about becoming successful. He was totally cool about it, too. Not a single condescending word. He gave me succinct, direct advice. Something that, coming from him, I'll listen to.

And so.

I've decided to finish the novel I was working on two years ago when I thought I should start selling short stories to build up a fanbase and a platform and develop a name for myself and all that stuff I thought I should do. I'm going to give short stories a rest. I'm sure a flash or two will work their way into life, but the majority of my time will now go toward finishing that book.

I have some short stories out there in circulation.

I have some that never sold. I think I'll leave them alone for a while.

Here's what I plan to do now: Finish my humorous urban fantasy novel. Find an agent based on my novel's greatness. Get it published. (While that's happening, write another. Then another.) Make a living. Become famous. Make a fabulous living. No more small dreams.

Encouragement is welcome.

Discouragement will be ignored.

THANK YOU, famous, successful writer. You'll get a signed copy of my first novel. Hell, you'll be in the acknowledgements, for sure.

THANK YOU to the two years I spent honing my writing, getting my chops. Thank you to all the stories that sold, and all the ones that will stay saved until after I've got some books out there across the world.

THANK YOU to all the stories in my head that would have been shorts, but will now be novels, or at least bits of them.

THANK YOU.

7 Comments:

Anonymous M.Sherlock said...

Oh Fuck...you mean i HAVE to pay to read your work now.


Damn you Mr Shamel


Damn you!

3:15 PM  
Blogger Gay Degani said...

Michael! You crack me up and Kevin: WOW! You go. Get that novel written and I'll pay you to send M a copy and me too. For real!

So glad you had that encounter just when your old computer was screwing with your mind. It's the refocus you need so again ma boy, WOW!

4:15 PM  
Blogger Shameless said...

Ha ha, M! You read more of my stuff than anyone. Stuff that's not yet published. Who's to say that'll stop?

Totally right, Gay. And strangely, my missing drive is there today. Got ALL my stuff onto the new one.

I'm absolutely recharged about writing the novel. If it's rainy tomorrow...

4:52 PM  
Blogger K.C. Ball said...

Good things do happen to good people.

I had the opportunity to talk to famous people, from time to time, when I worked as a reporter, and almost always they were decent folks who remembered what the climb was like and enjoyed passing on some of the good luck when they could.

And I will be pleased to buy a copy of the novel. :)

7:30 AM  
Blogger Shameless said...

Thanks, K.C.

I think it's so cool that he first repsonded to me, and then gave me free, GOOD advice. So cool. It's something to aspire to, for sure, being like that.

I'll be pleased to invite you to the party I have when the novel comes out. ;)

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Erin said...

Ooo... exciting! What an awesome e-conversation to have with someone. Good luck on that novel!

8:53 PM  
Blogger Shameless said...

Thank you, Erin! So far so good. Though I did just send a short to Escape Pod... But that's already been published, it's nothing new. And subbing something is easy to do with kids in the office. Writing a novel, not so much.

12:28 PM  

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