Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mega-Buck Dreams

Dianne Emley, here. I’m your guest Blogger today! Thank you, wondrous Criminal Minds for allowing me to post on your space. Special thanks and massive hugs to Kelli Stanley for donating her Thursday post day!

Comment to enter to win a copy of Love Kills. On Saturday, May 29, I'll randomly pick one of the commenters on my post to receive a signed book.

So, if I won the lottery, would I quit writing or change how or what I write?

I second what C.J., Rebecca, and Graham have already eloquently said on this topic. I am a writer. I can’t excise or exorcise that part of myself. After all, I named my Blog: I Write Therefore I Am.  

My answer to the first part of the question, would I quit, is nope. Wouldn’t quit, because I can’t.

Would a stream of endless big bucks change what I write? I’m already writing what I want to write. I love crime fiction. My answer to the last part of the question is, nope again.

Now, the murky middle. Would I change how I write? Money wouldn’t change my writing style, but change of location, setting, toys… Yep. In a New York minute. Let’s start with that private island in the Caribbean and let your mind wander.

Before we hop on my Gulfstream jet, let's first be practical. I could use a personal assistant to help me run this writer’s life of mine. Actually, I sort of have an assistant. His name is Sam. Here he is helping me with editing.

Sam is awfully cute and in the unconditional love department, he’s hard to beat. But he’s not too great at running errands. I’ve tried to teach him to drive, but it just won’t take. I need an efficient, professional manager who's not just effective, but who also has a bit of Sam's loyalty. Sort of a Mr. French with an MBA.

The first thing I’d like my manager to do is to hire a bunch of smart, hard-working folks and set them up in a nice office. My manager will know how to contact me on my Caribbean island, where I'll be working on my new book and maybe indulging in an occasional mai tai.

Next, my manager will tackle marketing, because how my books are marketed is another “how” that would change in the shiny, rich, blue sky writing world of my dreams. We’re talking first class, major author, full on marketing machine, baby. If it promotes my books in a fabulous way so that every book lover at least knows about them, I’m investing in it.

You see, there’s another aspect about being a writer for me--I want my stories to be read. Even if royalty checks are out of the equation, I’d like my books to find their audience, whatever size it may be. I’m not there yet.

I think all of us writers who either are published or want to be have a craving to have our works read by others. That’s why we went down this public path rather than squirreling our manuscripts away in dusty attics. What do you think? Are we writers addicted to that little burst of love or ego gratification that comes from knowing that your book is being read and enjoyed?

The moral of this story is, money would change how I go about the business of writing. As far as the writing itself, no changes there. Being paid to do what I love is priceless.

Don't forget to comment to enter to win a copy of Love Kills.

About my books--I write the bestselling Detective Nan Vining series. The fourth, Love Kills, is just out. "Emley masterfully twists, turns, and shocks."  --TESS GERRITSEN. 

The third, The Deepest Cut, was just released in paperback. "Relentless suspense... Compelling characters... A supremely satisfying read."  -- Booklist (starred review)

The other books in the series are The First Cut and Cut to the


Unknown said...

Thank you for a charming and fun post with a very wicked question -- are writers addicted to reader's feedback?

Some of us, I think. Like some actors, some movie directors, and more than one marketing executive. Narcissism runs rampant in America today :)

There are, perhaps, other reasons as well. I remember reading Shakespeare for the first time, and being blown away that someone who lived and died centuries earlier (a century is MUCH more impressive when you are 15) could have written things that still resonated with people, emotionally and intellectually.

So I'd say that for some of us, it's about the conversation, the compare and contrast of poetics between writers, and the *sharing* of ideas and feelings between reader and writer -- each as important as the other. Which is why readers and writers love to meet up, to test the experience of the book against reality.

I think writers are the camels of minor celebrities. A little dose of love can last a long, long time.

Dianne Emley said...

Thank you, "Hard Boiled." (It was fun just writing that!). I agree with your comments and love this one: "Writers are the camels of minor celebrity." A little love does last a long time for us.

Tomato Mama said...

Wow.... Good post!

Yeah, I think you are right on target. You cannot change who you are, just how you go about it. Still, at the core, who you are will inform what you do AND how you do it.

I have often thought that even if I did win a mega lotto, it would not change what I like ( or where to do, to be, to go ). It would only change the tools that I use to accomplish that.

What would that be???? For me, cooking and teaching - not necessarily together. I cannot refine it any more than that.

Love Sam BTW. Don't know if I ever realized you had a feline furred friend. Should have known. People who have cats (note I did not say "own cats")always have at least one perverse thing about their natures. A perfect accompaniment to writing about murder, mystery and mayhem. LOL You can always excuse yourself and blame it on your cat. hee hee

Dianne Emley said...

New Kidd, I fear I have more than one perverse aspect to my personality, but I'll never tell! Just read my books...

Yes, two cats deign to share my husband and my home. Sam is a tiny guy. The perfect size to tuck on my lap while I'm working. And what's not to love about that face?

Kelli Stanley said...

Wonderful post, Dianne--thank you so much for joining us on CM today!!

I think we should all get a Sam, personally ... far less expensive than Becky's Kevin, and he'll still love you even if you don't give him a raise! ;)


MaryOrndorff said...

If I won the lottery would I buy copies of your books for all my friends? You bet!! I have really enjoyed reading about Nan Vining!
Now, about that position of a manager.....I'm preparing my resume!

Becky LeJeune said...

Excellent post! I love your plan on how the lottery win would change how you write and market the books. Wouldn't that really be every authors dream? To have an endless amount of money to devote to a great marketing plan?

Dianne Emley said...

Thank you, Kelli! This has been a bunch of fun. Yes, dear Sam asks for little and gives much.

I forgot to mention that our other cat is the imperious Sophie. She tracks me around cyberspace and I fear I've already gotten crosswise with her. Oh dear...

Mary, you are so sweet! Thank you!! I'm headed out to buy a lottery ticket and if I win, you can be my "Ms. French." Absolutely.

Dianne Emley said...

Thanks, Becky! A big marketing push is this author's dream. Sigh...

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Wonderful post, Dianne! Thanks for joining us!

Sam is definitely cuter than Kevin. But Sams cannot be made to do our bidding, like Kevins. I'll take both after I win the lottery.

Love your quote Mysti: Writers are the camels of minor celebrities.

Terry Stonecrop said...

Yes, the Caribbean is nice. You might also check out Mexico's Baja Penninsula. An infinity pool is another must have.

I'd like people to read my book but I would hate even a hint of celebrity. They can't get away with anything.

Great post!

Craig Faustus Buck said...

Delightful post, Dianne, but seriously flawed in that if you're living in the Caribbean, how are you planning to maintain your drinking schedule with the gangbangers of the SoCalMWA?

Dianne Emley said...

Thanks, Rebecca! I'm honored to have been invited to hang with the Criminal Minds. Yes, Sam is not easily ordered around. So, a Kevin too. Definitely.

Terry,Baja is great,too. But I love that warm Caribbean water. Yeah, celebrities. That lifestyle is tough. But writers are forgiven for being a little slovenly. Gad, I hope so.

Craig, I'll send my private Gulfstream jet to transport my MWA posse!

Gabi said...

Sam is cute for an assistant but he is a cat. Think assistant with attitude regardless of the grandness of his milk allotment.

Congratulations on your new book.

Dianne Emley said...

Gabi, I had to cover Sam's eyes when reading your comment. He doesn't know he's a cat. He thinks he's human. :D

Thanks for having me here at CM!

Shane Gericke said...

And your cat could cough up hairballs on your manuscript, giving you an excellent preview of the editing process ...

Terrific post, Dianne. Thanks for joining our little tuna boat o'love.

Shane Gericke said...

Mysti, that IS a great line about the camels. You're so cool.

Dianne Emley said...

Thanks, Shane. It's been a blast! Editors and hairballs on manuscripts... What an image.

Tracy Dressner said...

Of course the fact that the author of an acclaimed mystery genre series won a big lottery will itself generate a lot of publicity which will inevitably lead to more interest and better sales for your existing and future books thus decreasing your marketing costs and leaving you even more money to hire assistants, drink, and take your friends to lunch! So ... hitting the lottery is a win-win for everyone.

Dianne Emley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dianne Emley said...

I like your thinking, Tracy! That's the big picture view.

Okay, I've randomly selected (via names in a hat) a winner of a copy of LOVE KILLS. Congratulations Mysti! I will email you via the address I found on your website.

Thanks everyone for reading and commenting. And thanks again to Kelli and all the Criminal Minds for letting me share the sandbox (Sam agrees re: the sandbox).