Cabbages and Kings

A diary by the authors of the Louis Kincaid series

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Location: Fort Lauderdale/Elk Rapids, Florida and Michigan, United States

We are the New York Times bestselling authors of the Louis Kincaid series and other stand alone thrillers. We have taught writing at major conferences for ten years.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Twelve things we LIKE about this crappy business.

My friend Joe Konrath sounds a little down over at his blog today, talking about the twelve things writers won't admit. (For the record, he's absolutely right about most of them). But Jude Hardin sez he got depressed reading it and wants to hear some things writers LIKE about the business.

My coauthor sister Kelly is sitting across the room this morning, banging out chapter 35, so I asked her. Here is what we came up with:


1. You can drink on the job and no one makes you pee in a bottle.
2. You can write off trips to New York.
3. You don't have to wear a bra at work.
4. You get to kill people you hate and not go to prison.
5. You can have mindblowing sex with whoever you want and not worry about rubbers, disease or your spouse leaving you.
6. You get to read fan letters (we love and answer every one we get and save them forever like old love letters. Honest.)
7. You get to be in the Library of Congress. (In 1983, I went there and asked for the librarian to bring me a copy of my paperback romance. She did. Quite humbling.)
8. You get to walk into a tiny bookstore in Moose-Butt Maine and see your book on the shelf. And then find out the old lady behind the counter has read your entire oeuvre and remembers each character better than you do.
9. You get to live inside your head for day, weeks, months, at a time and not get carted away.
10. You get to find a note taped to your bathroom mirror from your spouse or kid saying, "I'm proud of you."
11. You get to do something that gives others pleasure.
12. You get to do something that gives you joy.

Now I have to go write because we are up against a nasty deadline and Kelly is giving me dirty looks. Deadlines are one of the things I DON'T like about this crappy business. But no complaining. I am a lucky dog. And I know it.

7 Comments:

Blogger Mark Terry said...

Yeah, I think Joe was having a rough day. I posted on my blog yesterday, The Konrath Response. I guess I'll post here The Parrish/Montee Response.

1. You can drink on the job and no one makes you pee in a bottle.

I'd never considered this, actually. Hmmm...

2. You can write off trips to New York.

I suppose I could, but my publisher isn't in New York. Might complicate things.

3. You don't have to wear a bra at work.

Ah, but I never do. It's the kind of guy I am.

4. You get to kill people you hate and not go to prison.

How true. And in my upcoming novel I killed a lot of the Executive Branch of government. And for my next trick...

5. You can have mindblowing sex with whoever you want and not worry about rubbers, disease or your spouse leaving you.

Research, research, research...

6. You get to read fan letters (we love and answer every one we get and save them forever like old love letters. Honest.)

I don't save them--okay, there haven't been that many, but I do save the contact information!

7. You get to be in the Library of Congress. (In 1983, I went there and asked for the librarian to bring me a copy of my paperback romance. She did. Quite humbling.)

Hmmm. Hadn't thought of that. My presence in Washington, D.C. is finally known.

8. You get to walk into a tiny bookstore in Moose-Butt Maine and see your book on the shelf. And then find out the old lady behind the counter has read your entire oeuvre and remembers each character better than you do.

Don't know about Moose-Butt, Maine, but I do from time to time run into people that seem to have a more intimate relationship to my characters then I do.

9. You get to live inside your head for day, weeks, months, at a time and not get carted away.

How true, how true. Of course, they could just be biding their time before they cart you away.

10. You get to find a note taped to your bathroom mirror from your spouse or kid saying, "I'm proud of you."

Funny, my notes usually say things like: Take out the garbage, or, Turn crock pot on low 8:30, or, Ian ortho appt 3:30--don't forget to pick him up at school!

11. You get to do something that gives others pleasure.

Well yes, I suppose. Would they be happier with a foot massage and a round of drinks?

12. You get to do something that gives you joy.

Yes, we always prefer the self-indulgent, masturbatory aspects of writing. Go away! I'm playing with my imaginary friends!

1:18 PM  
Blogger Bethany said...

Hee, hee. SO true indeed. Especially the bra thing. Think it works for underwear too? Oh hell, does it matter? No one will know!

2:14 PM  
Anonymous J. Carson Black said...

Mark, *you* got to kill off the Executive Branch? Darn, *I* wanted to do that!

Another great thing about this gig, if you live in Arizona, is sitting on a chaise lounge on the terrace with your laptop.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Julia said...

Number 1--yeah I can relate.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

This is great, Kris and Kelly. Thanks! It made my day.

8:03 AM  
Blogger Bryon Quertermous said...

Don't forget the people you meet in this business. I've met a lot and most of them have been the most charming and fun people I've ever met. And then there was this duo who used to be from Michigan...

10:13 PM  
Blogger PJ Parrish said...

Bryon:

USED to be from Michigan?
Once a Michigander always a Michigander. Got Win Shuler cheese between my toes, dude!

7:50 PM  

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