Insert Foot into Mouth…

…my foot, my mouth. My foot spends a lot of time there, I’m ashamed to say.

A reader wrote this comment about my blog post "Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams" on Tess Gerritsen.

I’m a huge fan, both of Tess and her blog, and frankly, she’s given me, as a
new kid on the block, a lot of hope and inspiration.

The unpublished treat the published like ungrateful, whiny children should we
dare to even HINT that all is not Nirvana in our publishing journey.

Publisher didn’t promote your book?

Too damn bad, at least you HAVE a book. At least you HAVE a publisher.

Worries about meeting your sell through?

Too damn bad, at least you HAVE book. At least you HAVE a publisher.

Worries about revisions, or the fact your agent didn’t negotiate a small
enough reserve against returns, and now you have a $186 royalty check?

Too damn bad, at least you HAVE a book. At least you HAVE a publisher.

It gets to the point you just shut up and don’t say a thing because of the
jealousy. Now why would we, as other writers, do that to Tess? We know, or are
learning, the ropes. She’s open, she’s honest, and let’s face it, the bigger you
are (industry-wise, of course), the bigger the problems.

It’s refreshing to read a New York Times bestselling author willing to ADMIT

You go, Tess. Keep it up.

Reading that, I felt like a total schmuck. Why didn’t I see it that way from the get-go? Tess wasn’t at fault, it was me. I was way out of line. Tess, I owe you a sincere apology.

12 thoughts on “Insert Foot into Mouth…”

  1. Finally, a man willing to admit when he is wrong. Lee, you are one in a billion. I knew there was a reason I follow your blogs. Keep em comin.

  2. In this corner, coming in at #17, is Tess Gerritsen

    Tess Gerritsen touched off a mini-controversy recently by expressing on her blog her disappointment with how her most recent book is doing in paperback:So what’s the latest in the writing life? To start off, I’m sorry to report that I

  3. Hey kid…at least you are man enough to admit the mistake – unlike our quack president (definitely NOT saying that your crimes in anyway at ALL equal his).
    I am also a huge Tess fan. I have written a book that has as its protagonist a teenage white 16-year-old girl, while I’m a 30-something black woman with 2 kids and a mortgage. I also get questions of those who’ve read my book wondering how I could give voice to someone that seems to be so very different than myself. Her post titled “You speak good english” was funny as hell and I came away with greater inspiration knowing that well published and authors go through similar situations as I do.
    Hey, I love reading your posts as well! Sometimes I agree, sometimes I don’t, but it is great to experience what others in the writing world feel about their worlds – whether I can personally relate or not – its all a winner to me!
    Keep it up, kid. Love ya!

  4. I totally agree about the whole “but YOU are better off than ME, you have no right to complain” awkwardness.
    But seriously, seeing someone upset about “only” making it to number 17 on the NYT bestseller list? Even people more successful are bound to find that just a teensy bit odd. Writers are an insecure lot, goes without saying – I’m not good enough, I’m a fraud, what if they hate it, nobody bought it, etc etc – that’s perfectly understandable. But unless you’re regularly at number 1 on that NYT list, number 17 isn’t really that horrendous. Of course each stage of a career has its own problems. But surely being at 17 on the NYT bestseller list isn’t one of them.

  5. Being at #17 can be a problem (in addition to being a big disappointment) if your publisher expected you to hit #1 or #5 or even #10. It can definitely be a problem come contract time if they think you’re not selling where you used to or where you “should be.”
    #17 doesn’t make the bestseller box in the newspaper. It doesn’t make the front of the store.
    Would you tell the guy who came in 17th at the Olympics that he should be happy because he’s still a helluva lot faster than everybody else? “Who cares if you didn’t get a medal. You’re #17!”
    Forgive the lady for having high standards and expecting a lot of herself and her work.

  6. Very big of you to post this, Lee. I admire you for that. One day, I hope to meet you in person, if for no other reason than to find out if you really do have palm trees growing out the back of your neck.
    Only thing I want to add to your reader’s very articulate post is that I think we’d all feel the same way as Tess if we were in her shoes. As writers, I think we’re all smart enough to know that no matter how sharply focused we are on that elusive goal of a book deal, it’s not going to create a state of nirvana that takes root and never leaves. As magnificent as it feels to get that offer (and it IS sublime), the adrenalin eventually burns out, and we find ourselves focusing on the next goal–getting a movie deal or making the besteller list or selling the next book … or whatever. Ambition, don’t forget, is like hunger. It’s only sated temporarily.
    You have a cool blog, Lee. I’m glad I found it.

  7. I’ve debated going back and deleting my earlier, wrong-headed posts about Tess…but there are links to them from other blogs and I figure it’s better that folks see my mistake and the apology, rather than the apology alone.


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