Tuesday, 6 July 2010

My mate Jodi Picoult.

Actually, I promised Jodi that I wouldn’t stalk her, so I hope that comment doesn’t trickle back to her and have her placing a restraining order on me.

However, she did email me the other day. Yes, really. And yes, it was her, not her agent. She's emailed before as well. Also, Nathan Bransford - the renowned literary agent – dropped me a line today.

The purpose of telling you this is not to show off, but to reiterate my point that you need to have guts to get on in this game. I emailed Jodi because I hoped that she would provide a quote for the back page blurb for ‘Simon’s Choice’. She declined but bothered to come back to me quickly and with great charm. Jodi is a lady.

Nathan emailed as I had brazenly contacted him to inform him that I now had a blog. No, I’m not kidding. What was the worst that could happen? He might have sniggered into his Starbucks frappe and hit delete, or he might have taken a look. As it happens he sent me an email promising to check it out.

Nathan has one of the most successful blogs in publishing. If he takes a look at a blog and mentions it in his blog, you’re potentially looking at thousands of hits on the back of his recommendation. It was worth a shot. Whether he actually likes this blog is another matter – the point is, I thought it was worth a go and guess what? He doesn’t bite.

I’d just like to add at this point that I absolutely, expressly, definitely, did not contact him because I fancy him. Nuh huh.

Er, I digress.

The point is, it’s always worth asking. The very worst that can happen is that you are snubbed – and then you can spend the next few months dreaming of the day you snub ‘em right back when you’re a big shot.

It strikes me that it’s the people with guts that get on in this life. We’ve all heard of the guy who lucked out when he stuck his novel through Richard and Judy’s postbox. (For our friends across the pond, think Oprah). Barbara Taylor Bradford sat on the doorstep of her future publisher’s offices for hours until they’d agree to see her. These authors didn't give up and didn't let a little word ('no' for those who don't keep up) get in the way of their dreams.

So let’s hear your war cry. Tenacity! Audacity! Persistance! Guts! Want Stephen King to read your book? Write to him. You never know, he just might.


  1. Spot-on. How many of us scupper our chances by fear of failure? It's that old adage, as applied to the lottery, you have to be in it to win it. I cringe sometimes when I post something about my stuff on Twitter or the blog - or pitch an idea to a paper or magazine, but hey, sure as eggs is eggs, if you DON'T do it, nobody is going to come and winkle you out of your shell (hmm, have a feeling I'm mixing my metaphors). Good for you.

  2. I am a master of mixed metaphors. Just ask my editor.

    And I love the idea of being winkled out of ones shell - you're right. It's not going to happen. I'm not sure how to carry on the winkle analogy though. Put your winkle where people can see it? Er, probably not. You might get arrested.