Brown River Queen cover art

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Five Deadly Questions

The Magic Rock. Batteries not included.
As soon as people find out I'm a writer, they look up from the police booking photo monitor and start asking the kind of questions that led to my charges for simple assault and destruction of ornamental waterfowl in the first place.

I used to tell people I had a magic rock that provided me insights into the mystical world of publishing, because they didn't seem to believe me when I said the secret to getting published is to A) write and submit, and B) keep doing A. I suppose it's human nature to wish for a short-cut past all the drudgery, even if that means believing in magic rocks. Which, by the way, used to sell for 20 bucks a throw.

I still get questions, all the time. Most are genuine questions asked by intelligent people with a keen interest in the subject. Nobody, not even me, minds those kind of sincere questions.

Today, though,  I'm talking about the other sort of queries. The spiteful questions, usually asked by people who are actually intent on issuing a veiled insult. Maybe they once fancied themselves writers, but quit. Maybe they don't like my genre. Maybe they're just nasty by nature, and they enjoy the odd bit of passive-aggressive insult. For some reason, I've gotten several of these lately, so I thought I'd collect them all here, while I wait on the bail bondsman to show up.


Q: How much do you spend publishing your books?
A: I'll demonstrate by smashing this elegant plaster reproduction of a goose over your pointy head. Seriously. Publishers pay writers, not the other way around. If money goes anywhere but to the author, then you're doing it wrong. I'm not doing it wrong.

Q: If your book is any good, why don't you send your book to Hollywood and have it made into a movie?
A: Gosh, yes, why don't I? Because that how movies get made, isn't it, you just shove a book in a bloody envelope and mail it off to Warner Brothers and three weeks later a new Harry Potter movie hits the theaters! Why didn't I think of that before thank you so very much now let me apply this cement flamingo directly to your forehead.

Q: I've got a great idea for a book but I'm way too busy to write it why don't I let you write it instead and we can split the profits?
A: That's so generous of you, Mister I Don't Know Fiction From Formica! I was just standing here wishing I could spend the next six months sweating blood over some idiot's half-baked mumblings, let's get started right after I introduce you to my little friend Mr. Heavy Iron Owl Reproduction!

Q: Writing is easy, aren't you just making things up and typing?
A: Having a concussion looks easy, aren't you just lying on the floor and twitching?

Q: My cousin's old room-mate's fiancee's plumber's mechanic told me that getting published is all about who you know, so who do you know?
A: Yeah, that's how the industry works, because rural north Mississippi is a freaking hotbed of literary powerhouse figures who secretly control New York publishing houses from inside Cooter's Creekside Bait-N-BBQ. You deduced my secret, Sherlock. Have a whack of golden eagle statuary and a swift kick in the groin as a reward.

Thanks. I feel better now. Let's post bail.


The new book is under consideration. Will post special blog entry when there is news!


Made some progress this week. Hope to continue the momentum and get this book banged out as soon as possible. If there are any wealthy philanthropists reading this while looking for a worthy cause, please consider sponsoring me so I can write full-time without having to crawl out here exhausted and try to write like a man who isn't chewing raw coffee grounds just to stay awake. Thanks.


The author astride his mighty Honda Rebel. Photo courtesy Karen Tuttle
Went bike riding for a bit this afternoon. To take this photo, I had to set the timer on my camera, throw it ahead of me, and then catch it as it fell after taking the pic. What the photo doesn't show is the shark-tank I was jumping over at the time, or the hoops of flaming napalm I flew through during my landing.

Wow, it turns out making stuff up and then typing it down isn't so hard after all.



Hey, you can uncover your eyes, it's not me in the video. I promised not to do that again without posting a warning.

Instead, have a look at this week's blog by Elyse Salpeter, a fellow (former) Cool Well Press author who has a great blog and some cool books. She did a video blog this week I think you'll enjoy, check it out!

Publishing is Like Growing Pumpkins


Another friend of mine, the inimitable Fanny Valentine Darling (which is one of the coolest names ever), just landed a spot in WHEN THE HERO COMES HOME 2, an anthology of short stories featuring works by the likes of Mercedes Lackey and Jillian Boehme. Fanny's story is entitled The Last Perfect Heart, and it alone is worth the price of admission.

That wraps things up for me, this week. Time to get back to work!

1 comment:

  1. First, thanks so very much for the shout-out and second, you are so on-point with things not to ask writers. I have some statuary I can lend you if you run out. :)