Canning River on a steamy summer day

Books That Beat the Odds

Canning River on a steamy summer day

While my last blog Write Through Rejection didn’t score any public comments, my thanks to the readers and authors who contacted me privately. We’re all short of time and I very much appreciate your input and feedback.

And given your response I know you’re going to find a great deal of hope and solace in this contribution from my old boss Jim Shaw now in Kentucky. In the late Seventies and Eighties, Jim was editor of Off Duty – the premier military magazine of its day with a stable of editions throughout the world and a massive circulation – and we worked together for five years in the Hong Kong office.  Many memories from the Hong Kong days and Off Duty, but here’s one I’ll never forget from my few first days on the magazines. One of my first briefs was to write a ‘catchy coverline’ for the lead story of the next Pacific edition. Determined to do a good job, I sat up all night working over those darned few words. But the catch was in the ‘catchy’. When it was rejected, I worked at it again, and again — 46 tries in all — only to have the first accepted. But I have to admit that the training stood me in good stead. Handling rejection is a big part of the game — ‘the game’ not only being writing/getting published, but life generally.

Meanwhile, here’s the link to ‘the books that beat the odds’ — with thanks, JS:

Or we could make things easier for ourselves, our publishers, our readers (and our loved ones) and gain fame and fortune along the way if we followed Shed Simove’s lead — see this excerpt from UK literary agent Andrew Lownie’s February newsletter: “Shed Simove’s blank book What Every Man Thinks About Apart From Sex has entered the 2015 Guinness Book of World Records”Andrew is one of UK’s leading literary agents and his website is well worthwhile taking a look at:

So, the message is keep writing and/or innovating. Or both.

A short blog from me this month as the outline for my next novel – working title Kloof – begins to take shape and guzzle time.

Again – as in my prior novels A Break in the Chain and Out of Place – this story will have an historical setting with most of the action taking place in quite a different part of the world from the last two – this time on a farm in the Limpopo area of northern Transvaal during the heyday of the professional mercenaries or Soldiers of Fortune.

Happy reading and writing.

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