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Monthly Archives: July 2013

I just read a fascinating article about making it in traditional publishing. It’s both illuminating and disheartening. And completely unsurprising.

The thing is, most of us have a good story or two (at least) to tell. Many of us would love the opportunity to tell them, especially if we made a few bucks doing it. And of these, there’s a pretty good percentage that actually sit down and make an effort of a draft. How many of these are decent writers, I couldn’t say, but the end result is an enormous number of unpublished works. I dare say that a fair number of these would sell, at least respectably, if promoted properly.

Some could see this as condemnation of traditional publishing, and supporting independent publishing. But the thing is, that this doesn’t solve the problem. We use publishers (even before the days of print-on demand and e-books) as much for marketing expertise as for gatekeepers. Trying to get your name out there and get published is no easier, and probably harder. Yes, you can guarantee that your book gets published. Maybe you can even assume that you’ll get a couple of sales. But there aren’t any more people “making it” this way than with traditional publishing.

In the end, no matter what path authors take, their sales are as dependent on luck as hard work and talent.

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I’ll admit it, I have a weakness for high school coming-of-age movies.

Why? I can’t put my finger on it exactly. I think I had a pretty typical high school experience. I wasn’t popular, but I was liked well enough by most of my classmates. I was bullied a bit, and picked on some, but that was more in middle school than high school, and I can’t say it’s more than any typical kid gets – certainly not enough to dwell on all these years later. But high school represents a crossroads for everyone. There are more opportunities to make older (and then younger) friends than you’ve had before. There are new freedoms and experiences commingling with being nearly an adult.  And at the end – no matter what path you choose, there is an ending.

In Perks of Being a Wallflower, Charlie (Logan Lerman) is just entering high school after a rough time in middle school.  His psyche, though, has more significant damage than the typical Freshman.  I won’t detail what to avoid spoilers.  There’s discussion throughout, though a key point of it isn’t revealed until the end of the movie.  He falls into a friendship with a group of Seniors, and it’s his relationships with them that really drive the movie.  Most everyone in the movie is messed up in one way or another, but it isn’t over-emphasised.  It just serves to make them seem human.

In the end, Charlie is able to face his demons.  And although his new-found friends are all leaving for college, things will be all right.

The cast does a superb job, making you forget that they are anyone other than their characters – not an easy task for a movie starring Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), Percy Jackson (Lerman), and Tinkerbell – voice (Mae Whitman).  Watson debuts her American accent with ease (though if you listen closely there are just a couple of places where her normal British enunciation tries to sneak out).

I’d certainly recommend this for anyone who, like myself, has a soft spot in their heart for high school movies, and I’ll definitely be looking for the book.

My oldest daughter (who is seven) wrote a story over the weekend entitled, “The Alien and the Princess.” I’ll give away the ending: After gazing into each others eyes, they live happily ever after.

I love it!