With Fans Like You
Posted On July 5, 2016
“Hey, Big Bro, what’cha up to?”
“Workin’ hard, how about you?”
“The same. Got a few minutes thought I’d call and see how you’re doin’.”
“Really good, but swimming in work. Got a new book coming out in about four weeks. Trying to get ready for that.”
There was a perceptible pause on the phone and for a moment, I thought my brother and I might have suffered a dropped call. To my relief, he spoke again.
“Ya know,” he said, “that’s what I wanted to talk to you about.”
“Oh, what’s on your mind?”
“Well,” he said, as he slowed his speech as well as his pronunciation of the words.
“Far be it from me to tell you how to do your business, but I can’t help but wonder why you are writing all these entries into these contests. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy reading them, but why are you doing it?”
“Well,” I answered, “when I’m forced to write a story and I’m limited as to the number of words I can use, it helps me be a better writer. It forces me to become a wordsmith. I hope it will help me write better stories.”
“I see,” he said, and his tone told me he wasn’t impressed with my answer. There was another pause and then he asked,
“Doesn’t writing books help you become a better writer?”
The pause was now on my end of the phone connection.
“Well, yes,” I admitted, “writing books does help me improve.”
“Again, let me say, I’m not trying to tell you how to conduct your business.”
I smiled a grin he couldn’t see. It was obvious he was getting ready to tell me how to conduct my business.
“I just think,” He went on, “you should remember there are some of us out here that like what you write and we look forward to getting your next book.”
My smile got a little bigger, “Are you telling me to spend more time writing books and less time with flash fiction contests?”
“Well,” again he drawled out the words, “I guess you could put it that way, and stop writing all those blog posts. They take up your time. You need to be writing books.”
“You don’t like my blog posts,” I teased.
“I like them fine. I like your books better.”
I felt the need to come clean and I confessed, “I know this next book has taken a long time to get to publication. Believe me, I have felt the pressure, but to be honest, I’ve also had to focus on the business of marketing books and I’ve met a couple of people who are helping me. I admit it does take time away from the book writing.”
“You should hire someone.”
It was obvious my attempt to get sympathy didn’t work.
“You want the job?”
He laughed, “I train horses. You don’t want me behind your keyboard. You want me reading your books, most of them more than once, by the way, and I’m telling you, I’m hungry for a new one.”
“Can you give me another few weeks?”
“Do I have a choice?”
“No, I guess not. There is a process to publishing a book and it takes some time.”
“Then, because I really like your books and because there is nothing I can do but accept the time schedule, I give you another few weeks. But, no more.”
“I promise. I’ll get the new book out as soon as I can. But, I’m still going to enter flash fiction contests from time to time and I have to blog.”
“Well,” he murmured, “if you must. Just hurry and get the book out.”
I couldn’t help it, I laughed, “You sound like junkies I’ve known wanting their next fix.”
“Yeah, well, aren’t you lucky it’s your books I’m addicted too?”
He had a point and we both knew it.
“I gotta run,” he said, “I’ve got chores to do. Just wanted to call and pester you.”
“You did a good job.”
“That’s why I’m the little brother.”
He was gone and dead air was all I heard.
This might not be an exact replica of the conversation my brother and I had the other night, but it’s close, at least in the arena of literary license. The truth of the matter is, my little brother has been one of my most supportive fans since my first book was published in 2012. He is honest and straightforward with his comments and he’s not afraid to tell me when he thinks I’m taking a wrong trail. He helps me stay focused on the task at hand, writing. I think of that pest of a little brother, who during our childhood years got me in so much trouble and now, is one of my strongest pillars. Thanks Scott.
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