Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘ben parker’

Okay, so maybe I’m guilty of a little hyperbole: “Success” is like the mechanical rabbit that dogs chase around the track and never quite catch, so maybe claiming it is a bit premature. However, as a principle … well, let me explain.

I put The Killing Scar up for pre-order a couple of days ago, and when you do that Amazon sends you a nice little email confirming that the site is live, so people can actually, you know, pre-order the book. And in the email, it says if you want to see how things are going, you can check the “pre-order” tab on your private author site. So, being as anal about these things as all authors are (regardless of whether they admit it), I checked the “pre-order” tab, on a lark. After all, even I hadn’t known the site was live, so no one else was going to know…

And there it was, my first pre-order. I did a double-take. Somebody had gotten to the site even faster than I had. (Whoever you are, thank you!) At first I thought it must be a friend, but when I checked I saw it was from a foreign market, in a country where I don’t know anyone.

Oh my gosh. I have a fan. There is someone out there who has read the first two books and is so eager to read the third that he/she/they jumped on the pre-orders as soon as it was possible to do so. How cool! I thought, then: Oh, wow, what a responsibility.

As Ben Parker famously said: “With great power there must also come great responsibility.” Now, I’m not going to claim that writing adventure novels is a great power, but it is a great responsibility. There is someone out there (and I hope a good many someones) who has put faith in my ability to write an entertaining story, to the point of reserving my next book before it’s available. There is someone out there who is looking to me in the same light (although not in the same way) as I look to Jim Butcher.

That’s a lot to live up to. Not that I am comparing myself to Jim Butcher (you may laugh), but we share the same burden: We both owe our readers the experience that we ourselves have set them up to expect. We both are responsible for producing the best product we can, every time we sit down.

And with that being said, I’m sure that when I sit down tonight to write, there’s no reason to believe that I will suffer from terminal writer’s block. Really. No reason at all.

Help…

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I was going to call this article “Loscon Post-Mortem,” but that sounds like a real downer; I mean, the con is over, but it’s not dead… So then I thought, “What do you call it? I can’t call it a ‘post-Loscondom’…” So never mind. It is what it is.

It seemed to go very well. I had three panels, one per day (unlike some who had back-to-back panels, which is not fair), and I participated significantly in all three. Only one time did a question set me back, and I managed to make a joke out of it while I organized my thoughts and came up with something tangentially related to the subject under discussion. People even took notes, which I found gratifying.

The convention itself was typical of its ilk, small but enthusiastic, and I thought the programming choices were above average. The age range extended further than normal, with more younger folks attending–always a good sign.

Personally, I was surprised to find that being on a panel made me feel more like a professional than actually selling stories. When you sell, you may see the numbers, but there are no individuals attached to them. When you’re a panelist at a convention, you are face-to-face with people who paid money to see you speak (or as one of my peers put it, “paid money to see Tim Powers speak,” but you’re part of that package). And when they come to see you, they pay attention and take notes and ask questions as though you have some authority on the subject.

To paraphrase Uncle Ben, “With authority comes responsibility.” Those folks are there to learn from you. That means you’d better be professional and prepared. You may think you’re a nobody because you haven’t published 10 novels with New York houses, but those people in the audience? Most of them haven’t published the 35 short stories you have, and they want to be you. I should have realized that earlier, because it wasn’t long ago that I was just like them (still am, but with loftier goals), but until I sat in one of the chairs behind the table, I didn’t really know it.

I was mostly prepared this time, and when I wasn’t, I extemporized. Next time I’ll do better.

Because that’s my job.

#SFWApro

 

Read Full Post »