Because we're like you...
We know what makes readers tick (and ticked off) because that's what we do for fun and work. If you ask us what the last book it was we read, we will correct you by responding, "You mean the last books we read – and are currently reading." Fiction (name it: sci-fi/fantasy, historical, drama, horror, mystery) and nonfiction (pick it: biographies, history, cookbooks, pet care, sports) – poetry, plays, the label on a can of air freshener in the bathroom when there's nothing else available. If it is well written, engages and makes us think or want to take action (and some of that air freshener copy can be pretty compelling), we won't put it down.
Our mission, then – or your part of it, dear readers – is to give you the kind of works that have what we like and to which we respond: words that make you live, think, see, feel, hear and taste the story; characters about whom you care (whether you care to see them live happily ever after or get their just rewards); stories that, to paraphrase General George S. Patton, grab you by the nose and kick you in the behind; and writing that is stylistically savvy and grammatically gratifying.
If you’re a reader, you’re about to learn some “inside stuff” about writers. Or, if you prefer, this might be a good time to go and indulge in a snack and the beverage of your choice.
You – the writers – yes, you. We are writers (and editors) like you. We’ve worked with (or know) writers, editors, artists – pretty much the entire range of creative professionals – which is what makes this one of those times when saying, “We know how you feel,” is perfectly acceptable.
For the experienced writers, we know the maze you have to navigate to get your work(s) published – or ignominiously rejected, after unreturned phone calls, stalling or “Well, if you put in a singing vampire…” We also know about the cheese: By the time you get to it, it’s been nibbled down to nothing by others who, despite not having created what it took to earn the cheddar, nonetheless felt entitled to their share.
And you new writers? The ones with the solid ideas and talent? You’ve visited the websites of publishing companies big and small to read their submission guidelines – which ultimately come down to one: don’t call us, we’ll call you. As someone once said to one of us, “Somewhere ‘out there’ is the funniest person in America – the only problem is that he’s a bricklayer in Indiana and no one will ever hear of him.” Maybe you’re that bricklayer – the one with the voice no one will hear because no one is asking to hear it.
Well, we're asking.