Thursday, November 8, 2012

Be a Star!

So you mean to tell me that while you’re flattered that I suggest you get into show biz, it’s just not for you? With all the fast pace, fierce competition and demands of your whole life that pretty much enslave the stars, you just can’t take that chance? Sure, it’s nice to dream about it. Maybe your book will be adapted into a movie. But short of that, you’re quite content to sit at home and weave your plots on the keyboard. The closest you’ll come to performing is when you’re trying to think like the character you’ve created in your novel.


Nice try, but wrong. You’re in show business, baby.

Retreat to your word processor all you want to. But if you’re serious about getting a contract for that book, please allow me to offer up some perspectives that will help you to fully realize what you’ve gotten yourself into. Forgive me if I’m a little presumptuous. More than likely, many of you have already made the connection. But I must confess, it boggles my mind how many writers act shocked when they begin to unveil how difficult it is to get published.

By the way, it’s not like I’m some celebrity big shot. I’ve done bit parts in local plays, a handful of unpaid stand-up comedy gigs, and I used to make a modest living playing music. Perhaps through some of the disappointments I experienced in those disciplines, I now notice similarities with what I’m doing as a writer. Besides that, I love behind-the-scenes stories about the biz.

Consider this: roughly 75% of the blockbuster investments cranked out by Hollywood are adapted from…you probably already know this one…bestselling novels. The executives apparently think: the book sold, so the movie’s got a good chance of making bank too. This joint at the hip between movies and print, I think, is a nice place to segue into the rest of the parallels.

Bob Saget told a story once about his mentor, Rodney Dangerfield. When Bob was down in the dumps about one of his ‘failures’, Rodney said something to the effect of, “You got to be a tank, kid. Just run right over them. You can’t listen to ‘em. Do what you know is best and stick with it.”

How often do you hear similar advice as a writer? They tell you to keep at it. They tell you to grow thick skin. You’ll learn from the rejections, right? Keep submitting.

So, I’d like to impart the spirit of Rodney’s words on to you with my own embellishments. Believe in your work. If you love what you’re doing and feel rock solid confidence about your manuscript, you’re bullet proof. Every one who knows me will tell you that I’m a cocky, stubborn hellion, but really, it doesn’t originate in just my personality. It’s because I know my work is as good as many of the hits out there. Join me and stand behind your art come hell or high water. Then you will have taken your first step to nail this book deal.

I plan to write this as a series, comparing more similarities between the rocky roads to publication and other achievements in the entertainment business. We’ll look at icons like Willie Nelson, Lady Gaga, and Jamie Foxx just to name a few.

gusTO dAve is an urban fantasy and YA western steampunk author represented by the Belcastro Agency

3 comments:

Julie Luek said...

For me-- and probably a lot of writers who aren't performers-- there's a bit of the "fake it until you make it" and "never let 'em see you sweat" that comes with the swagger. Good advice.

Liane Carter said...

Love the tank. Roll right over 'em. Love it. Happy writing. :)

AM Lyvers said...

I love hearing advice like this because it's so true and it really has to be said. Not everyone is going to like you out there so what are you going to do? Cry and retreat into a life of chocolate binges and Ryan Gosling marathons? Oh no you're not! You take it and move on. Go you.