Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Being an Author Person

So I just got back from the Snowpocalypse in Chicago. I was attending my first writer's conference as a genuine, book in hand, published novelist (see the evidence to the right there) . . . but really, the snow was more fascinating.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the conference very much. I met some talented new and new-to-me writers, and I had some genuinely fascinating conversations, mostly wine- or coffee-fueled, about books, and writing, and The State of The Industry (which has passed the critical stage and is now in some mutant zombie rebirth stage worthy of a Stephen King novel, complete with marauding pitchfork-wielding peasants and prophetic doomsayers).
 
That's a wordy way of saying, the times they are a'changing, folks.

Joe Konrath made $40,000 dollars last month selling his own e-books.  You can read all about it here. He stopped doing everything he didn't like about writing and publishing. His list includes interviews, travel, and helping everybody who asks for help. Mine would include synopses.

But that's the business of the business. It can catch you off guard, like a mugger. So what's a writer to do?

I know what works for me, what keeps me sitting at the desk, pulling words from the air and putting them on the page. It's my friends, the ones who laugh and cry and share their chocolate. The people who maintain their integrity, their heart, and their sense of humor no matter what the industry flings at them, or tries to snatch from them, or offers as a shiny bribe.

Like my fellow Mojito Literary Society members. You are all awesome. And if you're reading these words, you're totally awesome too. A friend of mine was eulogized as a "keeper of the word." And yes, these are my people. Those who savor, those who share, those who keep watch and keep faith.

Thanks for everything, y'all. A virtual toast to each and every of you.

7 comments:

Katrina said...

"It's my friends, the ones who laugh and cry and share their chocolate. The people who maintain their integrity, their heart, and their sense of humor no matter what the industry flings at them, or tries to snatch from them, or offers as a shiny bribe." This is one of the best descriptions of the kind of friends I think we all want that I've read in ages, Tina. Thanks. And, congratulations again. I am so proud of you, you author person, you :)

Tina said...

Thank you, Katrina -- I think this description suits you to a tees, which is why I am proud to have made your acquaintance.

Susanna Ives said...

On the white water rapids of publishing, I'm glad you're in my raft. We've got our oars in the water, trying to avoid the rocks. This was a fabulous post, so very honest and kind. Thanks for your words and friendship.

BTW - synopsis suck.

Tina said...

Thank YOU, Susanna, for making my reputation as a person who only hangs out with iconoclastic, rocking awesome, totally take-no-prisoners literary geniuses who also happen to be top-notch, Grade A, all-the-way, human beings.

Watch out for that rock. Oh look, a beaver. Now say WHEEEEE! and over the edge we go.

dscorleone said...

Congratulations! Will you be making it to Bouchercon this year?

-Doug Corleone

Liz Fichera said...

Wonderful post, Tina!

No matter how the publishing world changes, writers still have to write great stories. Otherwise, why bother reading them? (And I'm totally with you on synopses!)

Laura Valeri said...

I just started using paradigms for novel structuring and I found them to be good tools for discovering plot holes before you write page 156 and realize you have to start over. However, I do feel that there is a microcosmic apocalyptic battle between subconscious instinct and critical mind that takes place every time I sit down to write a good sentence.