Life Interrupted, an Author’s Journey

Posted on Saturday, July 16th, 2011


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Wednesday, June 22, 2011. From Corporate America to Poverty with the Stroke of a Pen
It’s not easy being famous, but, then, of course, I wouldn’t know, because I’m not… What I SHOULD say is that it’s not easy being an author, especially if you need to eat on a regular basis.


I mean, it’s not quite as difficult as slopping hogs for a living, but close. No, for those of you reading this, I have NOT lost my mind (I have to find it first before I can lose it). I once was little Miss Sales Person, all dressed in her pumps and her tailored suit when I got the crazy urge to write full-time. After all, my ninth grade teacher, Miss Hazel May, told me that I would be miserable if I did not pick up a pen and write full-time. So, in 1991, I got off the fast track, dumped the briefcase and the attitude, and said, by God, I’m going to write. It was a crazy moment. That was when I probably DID lose my mind… I set out with my rose-colored glasses and picked up my pen and began to write.

Picking up the pen to write wasn’t the problem. The problem was getting someone in the elite world of publishing to actually READ what I wrote (more about that at a later time). So, I wrote and naive little thing that I was, I sent a crackerjack synopsis and first three chapters to an agent for a really good novel I was writing. Oh, my God, I forgot to tell you – I’d only written the first three chapters and I didn’t HAVE a book. A few weeks later, still fat from my sales commission checks, I danced out to my mailbox and there was a letter from THE AGENT (they are to be revered, after all – remember that if you are looking for one of them; adhere to protocol because if you don’t, you might be discussed over dinner or worse, talked about as some scuttlebutt in a bar somewhere – probably Manhattan). Well, I had to adjust my glasses when I looked at the letter. I already thought I was seeing things. He actually liked the idea and wanted to see my entire manuscript. I almost peed at the mailbox… I didn’t have a manuscript, so what was I supposed to do? I did what any aspiring novelist would do. I sat down, calculated, very methodically, how many pages I could write in one day and multiplied it by the number of days I would have to write in order to produce, well, the hmm, manuscript. Six weeks later, I had a completed manuscript. Eager to get it to him, I almost ran over the postman trying to get it to the agent…

Flash forward to two months later. And thus, the journey began… “Dear Friend, We’re sorry but while this shows promise, it does not suit our editorial needs for the marketplace, etc.” What miffed me more than anything was that a man I had never met me dared to call me friend.

I would learn later that in the publishing industry, you escalate from “friend” to “writer” when you’ve published a few things and later, when you’ve REALLY sold some work, they’ll even wine you and dine you because they see dollar signs all over your pen… Now, here’s the good part – you create it, and let’s go to one of those casinos, play some Black Jack and see who gets the higher percentage off your creation. I’d love to hear your comments on that one…let me know!

So, next time, I’ll tell you more about all that scuttlebutt in a bar…

This post was written by guest blogger Larnette Phillips. Thanks for this great post, Larnette!



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Tagged as column, Fiction, humor+ Categorized as News
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