Friday, October 2, 2009

To Write A Book

Obviously, all my friends and family anxiously await my next Twitter/Facebook update (yes, I refuse to say 'Tweet'...) regarding agent submissions....;)

In response to one such update, my brother wrote:

"God, I need to write a book."

To which I responded:

"It has to be a GOOD book..."

To which he responded:

"Oh, I'll write a GOOD book..."

To which I responded:

"Don't make me come down to Tennessee and break open something you can't even comprehend.."

To which he...oh, you get the point.

It's amazing how many long-lost friends I have, because many of them are coming out of the woods to share their books, their ideas, wanting to borrow five bucks - whatever. Because I think everybody (or at least a large amount of people) want to write.

Well, strike that - they want to be a writer. Or a novelist. All that, of course, means they wants to get paid. So, sometimes I don't know how to take comments like, "Oh, you wrote a book - I wrote a book!" Because my experience with writing has never been all, Whee! I'm a writer! While I love writing, it is hard work. Some days, staring at my laptop, all I can think is: "I should buy an Xbox 360." Because being creative, witty, awesome, amazing - that's hard work, right?

For The Legendary Days of My 17th Year I went beyond my normal routine (which usually involves crying and the fetal position.) I decided, to make it more realistic, I would try and immerse myself in various points of the book.

Of course, that meant learning to play Paradise City on guitar.

So, I learned it. And it was hard. But learning it opened up some avenues in the writing of certain passages of my book that I'm not sure would have opened if I didn't know how to shred like Slash.

I also did research. And by research of course I mean You Tube.

Check it out:

Let me just say, why does Axl Rose wear spandex and a leather jacket? It's one of life's mysteries. (In other videos he's wearing spandex and a fur coat - with no shirt, of course...)

So, research. I watched these videos and - admittedly - liked them. My wife kept wondering why I was swaying back and forth with my headphones on, why I kept giving her one these:

Like I said, research.


  1. I admire your commitment to the craft, Bryan, not everybody has the 'Patience' to learn 'Paradise City'. (Get it?)

    So what's your exact 'query-to-request' ratio? I need to know for a blog post I'm planning.

  2. Oh, I understand...I understand so very well.

    And the streets don't change but maybe the name
    I ain't got time for the game
    'Cause I need you


    Um, let me think....

    I sent out 7 queries.
    Got 4 requests for fulls
    1 partial
    1 rejection.
    Haven't heard back from 1 more.

    As of right now, I have 3 fulls out to agents.