Monday, November 17, 2008
A Warm Welcome To My Guest, Mystery Author, Robert W. Walker - Intro by Morgan Mandel
Dead On Available June, 2009
I'm happy to welcome my special guest, Robert W. Walker (Rob) to you today. He's not only a nice guy and a member of Acme Authors Link, but also a great author whose number of published books may soon reach his age at the rate he's going! Why do I mention age? You'll see.
Another Heartfelt Growth Experience Year
by Robert W. Walker
Every ten years I go through the Crisis and am typically left devastated. It is part of who I am. My son asks me, "Dad, why don't you just call it a Growth Experience?" So I have worked at trying to put a positive spin on passing another decade. But there's no easy way to deal with it at times.
So...wish me well as I'm having another birthday falling on another year ending in a big fat cold numerical 0, and for a writer this means marking another year I've not seen my babies, my art, my books shoot through the freakin' roof and attain the stature of greatness or monetary reward I burn candles for. Another year I've not seen my titles reach the level of success I want for them, and to be counted among the authors I have worked my entire life to be like, and if that sounds sad and lonely so be it--but I know I am not alone by any means.
There are so many fine, wonderful authors of a vintage age--such as my age--working against all odds STILL after being kicked in the teeth by so many obstacles, both man made and natural from being ripped off by a publisher to being ripped by one's own health that it behooves the older among the writing crowd to warn off the younger who come in starry-eyed and taking on the world of publishing with a beautiful naivete that we miss, a naivete that is part and parcel of youth and determination and passion for one's own efforts. Some younger authors have asked me, "Why didn't you warn me about this so-called business?" But I digress.
Hell, I think I will be digressing this entire blog, and if it is true that the new middle age is 60 then I have many more chances at grasping the golden rings held out by this lottery we call the publishing industry and the book world wherein reefs are bestowed on the few while the many hundreds if not thousands of toiling writers go unheralded.
Now I will digress to recent sad news: The recent deaths of Tony Hillerman, Studs Terkel, and Michael Crichton display the rainbow of fine writing that is so absolutely different among these talented gentlemen, and the distinct number of years they were among us, also quite different. Crichton fascinated us with visions of the future; he delved into moral issues surrounding our scientific knowledge outstripping our social awareness and values and the clash of it all in such books as Andromedia Strain, Terminal Man, and more recently --well, you name it. He touched on the issues of the day and made us think deeply about them. And of course he brought us ER. I have always been a huge fan.
Studs Terkel, whose books were fascinating nonfiction that revealed the lives of so many otherwise hidden characters, has always been a huge idol for me growing up as I did in Chicago. I am reminded of Royko as well.
Hillerman too is a giant among readers and writers, a man who broke down so many barriers that it is undeniable he led the charge for understanding Native Americans through his fiction, and in the process becoming an author who enlightened the rest of us. I once got a piece of advice from Dean R. Koontz to slow down with the caveat that "You don't do your best writing until you turn fifty." That was a long time ago, I can tell you.
And with my more recent work, I certainly understand where Dean was coming from, but I gotta tell you, I think I am goig to do my best work "after sixty" now as I've done my best work "after fifty" already and I'm still working toward perfection which may come "after seventy", hopefully. That elusive butterfly, perfection.
I believe that Hillerman, Terkel, and Crichton--all mining different areas--achieved perfection. So on this Monday, November 17th send cards and letters and wish me well in my continuing quest to "do my best work" ever and to find readers who agree. I have been writing since age 11, meaning I have been penning novels and short fiction now for approximately fifty years, so by gosh and by gawl-ley, I certainly hope I make a worthwhile grab for the ring that I have set as a goal for myself--because it certainly has never been about money alone, despite my jokes to the contrary over the years.
Happy Reading and Writing,
new site, new giveaways!
Cheer Rob up by leaving a comment, please.