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The Other Side of the Bestseller List March 12, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Writing & Writers.
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Landing on the New York Times Bestseller List, a dream for many writers toiling away on their PCs and Macshas real repercussions, beyond the mere loss of anonymity. 

Just ask J.K. Rowling. 

Let’s take a minute to focus on the other side of the bestseller list.

On the plus side, best-selling authors travel to exciting and exotic locations, all expenses paid ~ a truly marvelous perk, until they realize that the sum of their media blitz experience to NYC, Dallas, San Francisco, London, and Paris involves being shuffled from limo to lime green room to limo to airport, with no time to take in the sights or sample the local cuisine.

At first, best-selling authors enjoy being center stage at book signings and readings, where they get to meet their fans face to face ~ the longer the line, the better.  Eventually, however, book signings lose their lustre and become  positively painful, due to the crippling effects of carpal tunnel syndrome caused by the endless, repetitive, and tedious autographing of book after book after best-selling book!  

Tips:  wear a wrist support to all book signings, and keep your handwritten notes brief:  “To you, from me.”  Even better, do what Rachel Ray did, develop a four-letter catch phrase (like “E.V.O.O.”) and stick with it.

Best selling authors are rewarded with ample doses of  publicity ~ including negative publicity designed to keep their egos in check.  Unflattering photos and stories based on outlandish lies and blatant rumors will regularly grace the covers of rag mags in grocery store check-out lines from coast to coast. 

Of course, writers who have received plenty of rejections early in their careers will have developed thick skins ~ that rhino hide will effectively insulate them from fictionalized invasions of their private lives, and protect them from drowning in a pool of their own tears.  

Now that we’ve covered the positives, let’s address the negatives . . .

As best-selling authors attract a growing fan base for their work, they also tend to attract negative attention from a sprinkling of stalkers, crazed fans, hangers-on, and jealous wanna-bes sending hate mail.  

Fortunately, due to advances in technology, many of these fan-atics will  limit their interactions to cyber-stalking via the world wide web, by infiltrating the author’s blogs, webpages, and Facebook accounts, rather than showing up unannounced on the author’s actual doorstep. 

Best selling authors attract other negative attention as well, which often  arrives in the form of law suits and  power suits worn by greedy lawyers retained to  challenge the originality of the work in question, or to claim damages for libel, slander, and defamation ~ despite the careful use of disclaimers and/or the obviously fictional nature of the work. 

Of course, the benefit of all the attention, both negative and positive, is that  best-selling authors no longer have time to write anything, much less  another blockbuster.  As a result, recently published  books by eager young  authors climb the bestseller list, pushing previous chart toppers closer and closer to the bottom.  

Once these new rising stars claim the spotlight,  attention on unseated bestsellers dies down, allowing those who have survived their fifteen-minutes (or more) of fame to return to relative obscurity ~ a little older, a little wiser, a little more jaded (perhaps), but with a new found appreciation for anonymity. 

Although every cloud has a silver lining . . . that silver lining often is tarnished.

No rules.  Just write!

What about you?  Does fame and fortune appeal to you . . . or would you rather steer clear of the spotlight?

Related posts:  “Stop Mocking Me!”Fun with Numbers ~ Publication Odds * The Thrill of Victory & The Agony of Defeat * What to do When a Publisher Rejects Your Novel (Global Mysteries) * Inventing the Artist & The Art * Society Does Not Value Its Artists (Zen & The Art of Tightrope Walking) * Toughen Up

Hunger in the Grass March 12, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Nature.
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Listening to the clouds roll against the sky, Elsa sniffed the air.  Rain soon. 

Hidden in the swaying grass, her three cubs, the pride of the pride, waited for breakfast, stomachs growling.  She felt their hunger as her own.  

Elsa scanned the horizon, flicking her tail in quiet agitation.  Her intent gaze  caught nothing in its grasp.   No movement.  

Even the keenest eyes cannot conjure breakfast out of thin air. 

No rules.  Just Write!

Related posts:  Sidey’s Weekend Theme (View From The Side) * Cross Aunts on the Horizon (The Only Cin) * Yellow Lioness (Adeeyoyo) * Wilderness (Kate Shrewsday) * Weekend Theme ~ Take One & Take Two (View From The Side) * The Lioness, A Photo Prompt (Yellow House Cafe)