Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving thanks and finding a home

There's a Huey Lewis song that says "I finally found a home/where I'll never be alone/right here where I belong/I finally found a home here in this song."

I think for me that's the thing I'm most thankful for. I've worked jobs that I enjoyed - I've worked jobs where the only thing that kept me going was looking forward to lunch and the paycheck. I've worked jobs that bored me to tears and made me feel like I was 90 even though I'd just graduated from college. All I did was sit around, read the paper and watch the clock.

But I never felt like any of them were my home. During all of them I was writing. During all of them I wanted to be somewhere else. I never say that now - I don't even think it.

Which means I'm thankful for the readers who spend they're hard earned cash and take a chance that we might be able to transport them away from the real world for a few days. And I'm thankful for the editors who read a hundred manuscripts every six months and still find something they like in mine. And I'm thankful for all the writers who've come before me and have inspired me to love reading and writing. I'm thankful that this is a community where others are thankful.

Before I was even published James Rollins was cool enough to talk to a few of us want-to-be authors in the halls of Thriller-fest and he actually talked about his experience of trying to get published and all he emotions we were going through right then and there.

About a year later Steve Berry invited me to a retreat to talk about writing - we sat down and talked for hours - then David Morrell came along and the three of us and their wives sat and talked writing for hours. (I still didn't have a book out yet.)

And then of course last year out of the blue #1 NYT Bestselling Author Clive Cussler asked me if I would work with him on the NUMA files. I'm thankful that a guy who doesn't have to spend a minute of the day writing or working if he doesn't want to, was willing to reach out to me (and others) and say "hey, come be a part of my success." And in the midst of working with him he taught me more than I'd learned in a decade of studying writing on my own. On top of that it was fun. I'm thankful that it was fun.

I'm thankful for the readers who get it. It's great when people love what you've written but especially amazing when someone loves what you've written for the reasons you hoped they'd love it. A recent reviewer on Barnes and Noble just totally got what we were trying to do with Devil's Gate, in bringing out the character's more realistic traits and building a different kind of suspense. Another reader actually got what I was trying to do in Black Sun, pointing out how it was about the choices the characters made more than the events that forced them to chose and how different it was from other 2012 stories. So there, at least two out of two hundred thousand readers get me. Ha!'

I'm thankful for Kindle - because even if the worst was to happen and I couldn't stay with a publisher, I could keep writing and publishing myself. Don't want to go that route, will do everything I can to avoid going that route, but at least its there.

In the meantime I'm here, writing, because this is where I'm supposed to be. This is my home.


Rebecca Cantrell said...

Ah, Grant, you made me tear up before breakfast. I know just what you mean. It's been amazing, hasn't it? *sniff*

Happy Thanksgiving!

Graham Brown said...

Forgot to mention - that I'm thankful for you guys because when we get together I can pour out all my crazy fears and usually at least one person says "hey - I got that same problem."

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Graham! I can't believe I got your name wrong. It should be either Graham or Richard Hammond. Sorry.

Graham Brown said...

I will answer to either.

Gabi said...

They were lucky to find you to invite. They're all great but better for knowing you.