In a world where the type of books written is often dictated by publishers, it is sometimes best to break from the pack and go your own way.
For several years I dealt with an agent and a publisher, and it was a struggle each time I submitted a new manuscript. “It’s not what’s selling today,” they told me. “Can’t you write the type of novels everyone else is writing?” “You’ll never make it onto a bestseller list writing this kind of story.”
I could have taken the easy route, written the type of story they were looking for, and perhaps I would be on a bestseller list somewhere by now, but I have never been one to follow the pack. I have always gone my own way, both in my writing and in my life. So I bid the agent and publisher farewell and struck out on my own. it was the best move I ever made. No longer am I stressed when I sit before my computer to work, worrying if the story will be accepted because its plot it not mainstream, if the phrasing suits the editors rather than sounding as if I wrote it.
Every author has his own writing style. It may not always conform to the rules of formal grammar, but it is what distinguishes the writing from other authors. This has always been a prickly point between myself and my editors. One of my favorite authors whose books gave me the courage to write my first novel, threw in more than a few passive verbs and fragmented sentences in her writing. It made sense to use it to set a mood or make a point. Yet, when I submitted a manuscript using the same technique, it came back with editorial comments longer than the story itself. It made me wonder if my hero had the same problem with her editors. Probably not, since more than one of her books made it to the New York Times Bestseller list.
So, as I start work on my latest creation, a collection of short stories that will be entitled “So Close”, do not look for me on the shelves of your local bookseller but rather in the hallowed cyberspace of eReaders.