A Blog Extra by Adam-Troy Castro
The next Remake Chronicles essay will likely not be up until early next week; it is coming, and so are several others in relatively rapid succession. As always, we offer the following as a gentle throat-clearer between acts. Posted for the first time, here and elsewhere, today.
I learned this lesson well, years ago.
These are the ten reasons no young writer just sent contributor copies of a new novel should ever, ever, happily show it around at the drudgery day job.
1 ) The immediate response from everybody is, “How much money did you get paid for it?” If you tell them it’s none of their business, they get upset at you. If you tell them, they walk away laughing derisively.
2) People with no intention of reading it, who are not even friends of yours, will demand free copies.
3) The book will eventually be wielded against you, in criticisms of your work: i.e., “You may be a big shot writing books, but…” This will go on for YEARS, if you stay there that long. Be prepared for it.
4) Some bosses will actually resent you pursuing a writing career on your own time — like it’s their business — and will demand that you stop. Yes. This happens.
5) The habitual non-readers who do pick up the book out of curiosity will later tell you that they got one page into it and then gave up, because it was “too slow;” or, if they’re abusive assholes, will tell you “it sucks,” also after reading only one page.
6) You will get called fun names like “Poindexter.” Of course, you get this for just being spotted with a book you’re *reading*, but admitting to *writing* one gets the same abuse, doubled. I’m told by older writers that decades ago co-workers would have mockingly called you Steinbeck or Hemingway or Shakespeare, but not any more, as this would require your co-workers to even be able to summon those names, and those times are long gone.
7) You will be asked how come you’re not as rich as Stephen King.
8) “I have a great idea for a book: a bank robbery. Now all you have to do is write it, and we can split the money…”
9) Some people will offer total incomprehension of what this object is, and what your contribution to it might have been. They will flip through its pages, find no pictures, then stare blankly at it, unsure what they should do. They will ask you great questions like what the word “novel” means or whether you painted the cover. When they put it down, it will be with substantial relief.
10) The worst: there’s a very real danger that some psychopath among your co-workers will immediately run to their lawyer and claim either that you stole their brilliant idea or that “everybody knows” the cellar-dwelling serial killer in chapter seven is a libelous portrait of themselves.