June 20, 2010
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The temptation is always there. Every rejection letter, every “This book doesn’t meet our criteria”. Every single time a publisher tells you that your baby, your tome, your painstakingly crafted work of art isn’t good enough, you want to throw it all in the trash and give up. Just retire from this charade and try to do things the normal, boring way? To put aside that creative spark and bury it beneath the everyday, mundane existence?
Look at what’s being published these days. Vampires. Vampires in love. Vampire hunters. Werewolf in love with an underage girl who in turn is in love with a hundred year old glittery vampire (I harbor no grudge, I swear). Oh, and zombies. But soon that will all change.
Everything in publishing moves in cycles. Back in the 50′s (That’s the 1950′s for the under-30 crowd), SF and Fantasy ruled the roost. Sure, contemporary literature was all about Hemingway and Salinger. But what was surprisingly selling were novels of the SF/F variety. They sold almost as well as contemporary literature while being awarded no Nobel Prizes, no acclamations, nothing. It wouldn’t be until thirty years later that the pure genius of the 50′s SF/F writers would become apparent.
Now we’re looking at an inundation of urban fantasy, specifically vampires. But what’s next? Nobody knows. And if you give up, three or four years down the line you may find yourself listening to an agent who is telling you that your six year old novel (who could be starting first grade) is ahead of the curve and wants to represent you, you’ll find your own foot planted firmly in your bum because you gave up.
So in the immortal words of Winston Churchill: Never give in.