Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Hunt Is On

Okay, this is my one blatant self-promo for the day . . . The Hunt is out.

Now back to your regularly scheduled blog . . .

I've come across some fabulous blog entries over the last few days that I wanted to share with you. (Actually, I had a great idea for this article but sometime between midnight last night and 5 am this morning it disappeared in the mush that's sometimes known as my brain.)

Tess Gerritsen is one of my all-time favorite authors. I've never been disappointed in anything she's written, from HARVEST to VANISH. Every book has been not only a satisfying read, but has stuck with me.

Yesterday, her blog really resonated with me.Sometimes It Takes Fairy Dust talks about the luck factor, then segues into being nice. (I've never met Tess, but I can tell from her blog and word of mouth that she's one of the nicest people in the writing world.)

The whole blog is worth reading, but here is a excerpt:

But I've come to the conclusion that niceness isn't enough. Bitterness doesn't do it either, nor does being a nasty cutthroat.

What it comes down to is plain old good luck.

Yes, there are some things you as a writer can do to help along your success. You have to write a good book. Then you make sure you hook up with a great agent. . . . You insist on a great cover and a great title. You make yourself available for media. You plow into the publicity circuit with a can-do attitude.

Romance writers, in general, are the most generous writers of all. I have met many, on-line or in person, who exemplified that positive, can-do attitude Tess talks about, even (and perhaps most importantly) when things aren't going the right way in their career. I, for one, will never forget the help, advice, and generosity of certain writers who went above and beyond, even before I was published, before I had an agent, before I even knew what I was doing.

Next up is Miss Snark. Yes, I'm a snarkling. I love her posts, I agree with 90% of what she says, and she says it with style and, well, snark. I've been busy writing and with the kids so I haven't been by daily, but I think every unpublished author could learn a lot from her advice. I wish I knew some of it before I got started! (Oh, wait . . . I think I just remembered what my blog idea was for today. I might be posting something a little later . . . )

She got a letter the other day from a frustrated writer asking when she (the writer) should just give up trying to get published. I loved Miss Snark's answer:

When you're standing at the Pearly Gates and St. Peter is busy discussing his novel with Miss Snark.

She went on to give an inspirational pep talk that was so not snarky it was fabulous, and just what the writer ordered.

No one said it would be easy. Sometimes it is. Someone commented recently to me that I "had it easy" because I got published so fast. "Fast" doesn't mean "easy" . . . I (nicely--remembering Tess's rule) reminded this person that I wrote every night from 9-midnight or later, seven days a week, to produce five books, only the last of which sold. Fast? Maybe. Easy? No. Worth it? Absolutely.

I've often said that anything you value, anything that is worth having, is worth sacrificing for.


Jeanne said...

Allison herself is an extremely generous writer, sharing her knowledge and thoughts on many lists where published and unpublished wirters gather.
And it truly can be luck. I found my present publisher because of the dogs I own!
Long story...

L. Faye Hughes said...

Well said, Allison!

Now, as for that person who told you that you "had it easy" because you'd sold fast, I'm going to share with you a time-honored Southern expression for occasions such as these.

You smile ever so sweetly and say, "Bless your heart."

I remember once, when I was in college (Mississippi University for Women), I'd said that to a friend whom I was majorly annoyed with - she'd said she wouldn't spak to me again until I apologize. Ah...such a nice expression it is, too. *giggling*

And congrats on The Hunt's release!


Allison Brennan said...

Jeanne, you are going to HAVE to blog about that story someday! (And thank you for the compliment! I believe in that adage what goes around comes around, or what I learned in church "do unto others", etc. Makes life a little easier, IMO.)

Faye, great line (I wish I had the southern accent down!) My grandfather and his family are all from Alabama and when we visited in the summer (probably why I hate humidity), I remember my aunt and grandmother dropping "Bless your heart" or "Bless her heart" at the end of virtually every sentence.

Allison Brennan said...

Okay this is just a test of my new cover image!!!

Colleen Thompson said...

You sent me on a very rewarding hunt as I checked out both Tess Gerritsen's and Miss Snark's blogs. Excellent reading!

Another really good one, recommended by Tess, is Joe Konrath's writing blog at http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/

I love the "Are you a Hack?" quiz.

Allison Brennan said...

I like Joe Konrath's blog, too. I scored "9", but I didn't answer some of the questions because some things aren't so black and white. Maybe I took it too seriously, LOL.