C.J. Darlington, co-founder of TitleTrakk, is running a great series on her blog: She started a series of blog posts in which industry professionals (editors, agents, publicists, authors, etc.) share their responses to this question:
"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"
Here's Tosca Lee! Okay, my advice to aspiring novelists:Don't do it.
There's too much competition already and I have a troubled Shar Pei to support here. So help me out and put down the pen.
But if you must write, please write encyclopedia entries. Or obituaries. Or anything that I do not write.
If you must write fiction, and must write well, and feel somehow compelled to be clever and brilliant and relevant, then I guess you should invest in a good chair, at least, for those long deadline days. You'll understand what I'm talking about soon enough. And please consider contributing to my dog food fund.
Seriously, the best advice I can give you is that as soon as you are done with your first book, get right on to the second, even before you've sold the first. Publishing committees will want to know what else you have. You'll also make it easier on yourself with that second or even third novel if you have something in the works, almost done, or complete to offer. I wish I had done this--it would have saved me a load of work, angst, and general paranoia.
--Tosca Lee, author of Demon and the forthcoming Havah: The Story of Eve. Visit her online at her website.