Sunday, November 11, 2012
After that, Red Lobster became our celebration spot for publication. With each new article we'd go back, and Mark was the guy at the head of the table.
Even though we usually sat at a round table.
But you get the point.
I was not jealous. Actually, I was the opposite. It was very cool to be able to go to a newsstand anywhere and pick up a magazine and say, "Here's one of Mark's articles!"
After a while Mark getting published became so routine that the Red Lobster thing stopped. I mean, who could afford to keep that up?
Meanwhile, I kept writing.
And meanwhile, I kept getting a steady flow of rejects. ("We're sorry, this is not right for us at this time. But please, think of us again with your next project.")
After years of this, Mark's magazine issues and copies of his two non-fiction books threatened to squeeze us out of our office / bedroom / library / nursery. (It was a 400 sq. ft. rental, so yeah, I'm serious.) And after years of all his articles and those books creating a lopsided teeter-totter of success, I know Mark was praying that something of mine--anything of mine-- would be published. There just comes a point where you can't enjoy your own success when someone you care about is deluged with failure.
So when I finally got the acceptance for my first novel Mark was at least as happy as I was.
And Red Lobster never tasted so good!
But with each new book of mine that got published, the teeter-totter shifted. And since Mark had started off as a writer of fiction, he was now the one wishing for a different sort of publishing success, and his focus shifted from non-fiction to writing novels.
He wrote a really long one about terrorists.
He landed an agent.
The idea garnered interest.
And then 9/11 happened and nobody wanted to touch it.
Onto the next novel.
And the next.
Well, the advice is the same: Patience, Grasshopper. And keep hopping forward.
As you know (unless you're new, and if that's the case now you will know so the next time I say this it will, in fact, be true that you knew), Mark is my first reader. He's brainstormed plot with me through 28 books. He's generous with ideas and has a sincere enthusiasm for my work and my area of work.
So (about 4 years ago) when he came up with the idea for a YA novel featuring a teen on the road with a band, I thought it was a great idea. After all, they say write what you know, and Mark--having spent a good deal of his youth as a drummer on the road--knows a thing or two about the subject. (He's also been writing for music magazines all these years, so music has continued to be a big part of his life.)
And this may seem out of the blue, but I know that really what it is, is about darned time...I'm ecstatic to share the news that Mark's stack on the teeter-totter will have a novel added to it. ROAD RASH will be published by Knopf in Spring 2014. I can't wait for you to meet Kimber and Zach and the colorful members of the band Bad Money and their rock 'n' roll adventures.
Meanwhile, you can find us at Red Lobster!