Mark Terry

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


A couple years ago I thought it would be fun to put together an anthology of crime fiction and self-publish it. I put out an open call for stories and what happened, for the most part, was that writers or aspiring writers that I knew through years of blogging and reading other writers' blog came forward with short stories. The anthology, in case you were wondering, was called DEADLY BY THE DOZEN and if you're into short fiction, you should go buy it. I'm proud of the damned thing, which is not the point of this post, and it makes no money at all, usually selling only one or two copies a month at the most, but hey, there it is (which is also not the point of this post).

The point of this post is that I've noticed over the last two years or so since I pulled together that anthology, that some of the contributors who were to-that-point unpublished, have gone on to get their novels published. Some have been remarkably successful. (I'm specifically thinking of Jude Hardin, Travis Erwin, Merry Monteleone and Betsy Dornbusch, in that, as far as I know, their books were published post-DBTD rather than before). Others in that group, Natasha Fondren, Robert Weibezahl, Lise McClendon, Keith Snyder, Erica Orloff, Mary Reed & Eric Mayer, and Simon Wood, have continued to publish, write, edit, and remain in various stages of the writing life. I've got to include my buddy Steve Parrish here, too, who has continued to write and publish novels, as well as publish The Lascaux Review, an online literary magazine. Lise McClendon recently launched a new series under a new name with PLAN X by Rory Tate.

Alas, I take none of the credit. But I'm very proud of them.

Another aspiring writer friend of mine, someone I'd been bumping into over the five or six years in his capacity as a book reviewer, nonfiction book author, and writer for ITW's The Big Thrill, recently got his first novel published. (Long Overdue by Jeff Ayers).

Again, I don't get to take any credit. But I'm proud of him.

Which IS the point of this post. I've come to understand, slowly and not all the time as it refers to my own career, that breaking in no matter how IS a big deal. STAYING IN IS A BIG DEAL. Hell, just completing a novel IS A BIG DEAL. Continuing to write, to edit, to publish, to pursue your passions, regardless of the obstacles, the difficulties, the lack of commercial success (or in some case because of the commercial success, life is weird that way) IS A BIG DEAL. I know how hard it is to break in. I know how hard it is to stay in. I know that some days I just want to throw in the towel and go get some regular job that gives me a paycheck every two weeks with healthcare insurance and paid time off, even though it would make me miserable.

So to all my friends who have broken in, who are STAYING IN, hey, congratulations! I'm proud of you! Keep up the good work.