Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Luck, No. Two

Talking about Luck again. Two names.

Jean M. Aurel and Barry Eisler.


Jean M. Aurel wrote a book you are undoubtedly familiar with. At least with the title. Clan of the Cave Bear. A tome that is over 1,000 pages in length and hasn't a word of dialogue in it. Straight descriptive writing. A tour de force walk through of the Neolithic world where Cro Magnon man meets Neanderthal.

Her luck? First book--first attempt to find an agent; a done deal. Agent found and agent sold the book practically on their first attempt. For a stupendous sum of money.

Do you know the odds for this happening to a first-time writer on their very first book? Forget about getting hit with an asteroid; laugh off the idea about winning a 100 million dollar Lotto ticket. Think more along the lines of resurrecting the comedy group, Monty Python.

Barry Eisler.

Writer of spy/adventure thrillers. A very good writer. A writer who works hard at his craft. Eastablished. But so established as to say NO to a big time publisher who is offering him a half-million dollar contract? That's what he did. Firmly believes he can make more money self-publishing. Doing it on his own.

And he may be right.

But that's stretching the munificence of Lady Luck a bit, if you ask me. There are thousands of self-published writers out there trying to do exactly the same thing Barry is doing. Writers just as talented as he is. But they'll be lucky enough to buy a cup of coffee and a donut. If that much.


Does it come like a thief in the night and decides who she will bestow her graces sight unseen? Or do you make your own luck? If you make your own luck then I'm doing something wrong. Very wrong.

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