An old prof of mine once said about my work, "Two things are certain: You're going to get you book published and you're going to get laid."
Sitting here on the slope end of sixty, I have serious doubts about the veracity of that two-headed proposition.
I can certainly say this about some visitors to this site, one, in fact, who just only recently got his book published after twenty years of writing and very nearly another ten years of flogging. Rejected by every last agent in New York, the West Coast and Canada, my new friend finally scored with Monkfish publishers, a small house out of New York.
Thirty years and more in the wilderness and final success. What tenacity. Had my writer friend known my professor, there would be no doubt in his mind at all about the certitude of eventually getting his book published. As for getting laid, well, that's another story.
The man is an absolute fanatic and even after some five thousand rejections and more, he has absolute faith in his work and absolute contempt for agents and publishers, whom he considers stupid money-grubbers who wouldn't know a good book from a Dr. Phil show.
To talk to my writer friend one would be convinced that this is one more no-talent punk whose ego is about the size of Prince Edward Island and what appears to be a whole lot of hubris to go with it. Enough hubris for the classical Greek aphorism: Pride goeth before a fall.
But he has not fallen not, neither has he flinched. He has succeeded.
The story of my correspondent's publishing travail easily equals any number of British and American boys' books of the early part of the last century, the ones about lame kids with names like Archibald Arbuthnott and their eventual success in a cricket or baseball team against all odds, puny frame, incongruous name and all. Sort of Horatio Alger with an athletic bent. Or an idiot with a mechanical bent.
In an age of extreme cynicism, hardly anyone believes in heroes anymore, save perhaps for Spiderman, and Harry Potter, but how else are talented homosexuals going to communicate with each other?
We'll call the book GG. Who the hell wants to get sued?
When I first chanced on my writer's website, I saw a very angry man, who, in revenge for the rejection (I swear) by six thousand agents and publishers, listed every last one of them and called them fools, morons, dunderheads who only knew how to grub for money and just didn't have the intelligence or sensitivity to know when a work really had the snap once known as genius. "The more I was rejected, the more I was convinced that I had the talent and they had dick," my friend more or less says. And then he lists every one of his antagonists, a boon, really, for writers who need to know real publishers and agents.
Myself, I really had doubts about anyone publishing my Light over Newmarket; I had doubts about getting laid.
But now, having had a google at "Everyone Who's Anyone in Adult Trade Publishing", I know that the job can be done.
But six thousand rejections? Thank god for technology. My friend had his novel up on a private website and he caught a fish, Monkfish.
In my own sneaky way, I was able to access the book known as GG.
Carramba! What the hell am I doing writing?
Yeah, yeah, I'll probably get my poor book published. But all I've got is high-tech typing, it seems.
GG is Writin' .
I wrote the author, telling him how good the book was, how I'd loved what he had written in the few first chapters that I'd read, and with characteristic disdain, he seemed to tell me that he didn't need any money-grubbing sycophants to tell him how good he was. He knew.
Well, at least after coming in contact with this author, a real author (the rest of us grub for money), I now know for sure that I am going to get my newer novel published. And even getting laid, but I'm sure my friend wouldn't want to talk about that.
Publishing miracles happen only once or twice in a decade.
You will get your book published. And you will be laid.
Happy New Year