Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. Musings from someone who sees stories everywhere.

Friday, December 15, 2006

When Pigs Fly

How does one become a writer? Well, it often starts at some point when freinds giggle or sob as they read your letters and e-mails. And then, suitably agitated by some burning issue of the moment, you shoot off a missive to The Editor. And The Editor actually prints it for the world to see.

That's just how Bob Sanchez of our very own Internet Writing Workshop started out, with those first tentative stories, articles and poems in magazines. Today he's a real life honest to goodness published author of the hilarious novel, When Pigs Fly . Here's what he has to share about his writerly experiences and his opting for self publication.

"Years ago, I learned that my writer’s group enjoyed my colorful characters, and the more outrageous the better. I also learned that not only could I make people laugh, but it was very satisfying. Along the way, I learned that I am highly unlikely to become a best-selling author. But after retirement from a technical writing career, it seemed like a good time to self-publish my latest novel—it was tremendous fun to write, and I decided that it no longer matters whether some anonymous agent wants to represent it or not. Now that When Pigs Fly has been published by iUniverse, it’s up to me to do all the marketing and publicity—and so far, so good.

The evolution of the title might be interesting. At the beginning, I had a working title, Day of the Dead, which refers to a Mexican holiday honoring the dead. After a while it became obvious that title wasn’t fitting the developing story—What to do? By the end of the first draft, my story involved ashes from a cremation, and several absurdly stupid criminals riding donkeys into the Grand Canyon , a truly spectacular hole in the ground. So a clever friend suggested the title, Asses to Ashes, a pun based on a Christian biblical reference. But in the second draft a pig wandered into the story, sailed off a cliff, wore an Elvis Presley-style sequined jacket, and barged into a wedding. My iUniverse contact thought Asses to Ashes would rub people the wrong way, so I gladly changed the title. "


Atyllah said...

What a great success story. I think the simple truth is that writers must write - we just can't help ourselves :-)

monideepa said...

Well said, Atyllah. It's sad to see so many good books being 'rejected' by agents and publishers for purely commercial reasons. They seem to want a guarantee that the work 'will sell' and that's a tough demand upon a new author. With apologies to your cackling feathered relatives :-), it seems to be another chicken or egg conundrum.

gautami tripathy said...

Something compels us to write. And I ain't any great writer!

monideepa said...

Humilitiy is the mark of greatness, Gautami. Keep writing not just for a 'market' or to please agents, but to express yourself.

Lotus Reads said...

Being the book lover, no devourer, that I am, I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to every writer. Thank you for this great story, Moni!

p.s. What are your thoughts on self-publishing? It seems to have caught on like wild fire recently with lots of writers throwing in the towel when it comes to the big publishers and opting to do it themselves.

monideepa said...

your comment is so thought provoking lotus am putting a separate post with my tanswer