This one time at Writer's Camp…
Go Jason, It’s Your Birthday!
In life, I’d be approaching middle aged (I think it starts around 35, not sure) and would start to have all these “crises”. However, as a writer I’m barely an infant. No, really.
Most authors who are “established” in their craft are typically in their late forties and early fifties. Well, I could be wrong, but I look at the Heroes in Hell writers and I see that most of them are much older than I am. Of course, Leo’s going to turn around and call me the old man, but his opinion doesn’t count (young whippersnapper). All my favorite authors are, well, old. Even the ones that don’t seem like it are well into their fifties.
How’d this happen? Does it really take that long to get into the industry (yes), or is it that people don’t really become publishable until a certain fermentation age (yes)? Or maybe we writers aren’t senile enough yet to submit our novels to publishers when we’re under forty? Hard to say, but it makes me step back and really look at things.
My dad turned 74 yesterday. Damn was all I could think of. I mean, how do you tell him “happy birthday” when, I’m guessing, it gets stale after 70 times already? I dunno, but he got his birthday present early. The card, a little late, so it all works out. He’ll like his card, I’m certain.
Joel Rosenberg died this past week. He was one of my favorite authors and I always liked reading his stuff. He also was a fierce advocate of the Second Amendment and an all around pain the butt for anyone who crossed swords with him. He was 57, still quite young. Of course, one of the reasons I liked Joel was that his first book was published when he was 29, a mere colt in the eyes of other publishers. Plus, my first freelance editing job was for his Mordred’s Heirs book, Paladins. Getting that right, as a first edit straight out of the gate, had been challenging, frightening and one hell of a learning experience. I usually try not to get too “into” a book that I’m editing, but Paladins really made me forget that rule. That could explain why it took me twice as long to edit as I had originally allotted for.
So yeah, I’m still a young writer. We need more authors who are young before the greats have moved on, or else everyone loses out.