Southern Scotch

Southern Scotch

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The all-important starting question: Who is the enemy?

It's important to remember this:  when I first began to publish, the market was nothing like it is now.  My publishers, Tor/St. Martin's and Dell were putting out anywhere from two to four horror novels a month.  And it seemed those days would last forever.  The general wisdom being tooted then by some established pros was that the writer's worst enemies were either the agents or the editors.  I was advised by one now forgotten Wise Old Hack to tell my editor to be a good little girl and publish what I'd written as written...or get lost.  And what about my agent?  His language can't be printed here.  Essentially he advised to find 'em and forget 'em once we got our checks.  Where is he now, I wonder.

No, the agents aren't the enemy and neither are the editors.  However brutal the industry's gotten, it is still peopled mostly by men and women who love books and authors, men and women much like us:  fearful of the changed terrain and fighting to survive. 

Until about a week ago, I might have answered my question like this:  the situation is the enemy.  But that too would have been wrong.  Dead wrong.  The situation is our friend, though its claws and teeth are frightening.  The situation is our friend if we allow it to push us as we've never been pushed...if we're willing to think till our heads hurt about new strategies, new possibilities, new ways to connect.

So, let us say this morning:  Hellllllloooo, there, you scary friend, you toothy situation!  Meet your match in Reb MacRath, the Electrifying New Internet Sensatsion!

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