Sometimes, the greatest art lays hidden, because the people who create it are born too early, or because they’re misunderstood, or because they simply do not fit neatly into what categories came before. We have seen this often enough. Van Gogh. Melville. Sometimes, brilliance is lost to wrong-time, wrong-place. John Kennedy Toole. Emily Dickinson.
I am fully cognizant of how this letter must sound, the late-night ramblings of a delusional, desperate writer. You’re not far off. But what you do not know is that I am 41 years old, and that I queried my first novel at 14. That’s not a typo. After nearly 30 years of following the formula set by the Writer’s Market and getting nowhere, what am I to do? There are no guidebooks for someone like me. And, quite frankly, what have I to lose? You can do nothing more than ignore me.
If you haven’t tossed this letter out yet, let me guess what you must be thinking: learn to write a decent story, Nick, and maybe you’ll have a chance. But teachers, students and family have all marveled at my creativity since I was six. I know how to engage people with a story. But you’re not looking for me, are you? I am not famous, and my books do not fit the Twilight/Fifty Shades mold. Let’s be honest with each other, shall we? You print what sells. I get that. I can be realistic. But every now and then, something comes along to shake up the market which nobody can quite predict. Trends come and go, but what never goes out of style, is great fiction.
OK, maybe I’m bullshitting you, or just bullshitting myself. But what I can say for certain, is that I have dedicated 35 years to mastering the craft of storytelling. This must account for something. At the very least, a little faith.
I am offering more than just a book, though I have two I’d weigh against anything on your shelf. Instead, I am offering you myself, my life, everything I have given to the written word. It’s not about approval. I’m far past that. No, I ask that you take a journey with me. The destination is greatness.