Tuesday, April 12, 2011
J is for Janette Rallison, James Dashner & Jeff Savage
Over the last few years I've had the exquisite opportunity to get to know other authors better. I can truly say that my perspective has improved thanks to these three people, and many others too.
Janette, James and Jeff are all lucky enough to have J names.
It all started with James Dashner. Before I knew anything about him or the thought of writing ever crossed my mind, I had read all of James Dashner's "Door in the Woods" series. And it turned out that my now 14-year-old son (then 9) thought that those books were super cool.
He used one of the books for his school project. Naturally, the name James Dashner stuck in my head.
Eventually I made the decision to write (which wasn't due to hitting my head, although now I'm wondering what in the world could have gotten into me) and like all writers, I got to the end of my book.
I had no idea.
Oh yeah. Edit. So I did. Join a writers group. I did that too.
Uhm, now what?
Sell the thing. Okay, knowing that I knew nothing and had zero experience in the book industry, I decided to go the safe route and submit to a small traditional press.
Then the fateful day came when I got a contract.
I had no idea what I was getting into. I was scared. Sounds kind of stupid, I know. So what did I do? I e-mailed my complete stranger pal, James Dashner. He's an author. And it turned out that the whole "Door in the Woods" series was with the same publisher which more or less made him the expert in my opinion.
The strangest thing happened. He e-mailed me back. Without knowing me at all, he not only answered my questions, but was gracious enough to do a blurb for the back of my book.
James Dashner is a great guy, and to me that's even more important than all the success he's run into since I first met him.
And since then, I've had the pleasure of meeting Janette Rallison and Jeff Savage, who also gave of their time to someone who was a complete stranger to them.
Don't underestimate the power of being friendly. Take the opportunity to get to know others. If you're a writer like me, get out of your comfort zone and take a chance on other authors. It turns out that most of them are really nice. And then you have someone you can turn to to ask questions that almost no one else you know could have the answers to.
Thanks to all my J friends. And all my other friends too. You are what makes life a happy place.