Monday, October 22, 2012
As a Writer, Sometimes - You Just Need to Walk Your Duck...
Okay, to me that makes sense, but maybe not to you...yet. Let me explain. In the 'old days' of being a published author - you could only walk your dog. Publishers wanted things a certain way. They wanted authors to be mainstream...follow trends, but not too much. Don't think outside the box. I have to give my first publisher some credit, in that they were okay with me walking a goat, or maybe on rare occaisions - a cat. But still - no duck.
But the stuff I write is kind of weird. My series of humor/assassin books were just this side of outside the box. When I pitched the other stuff I wanted to write: Absurdist sci-fi humor, British nerdist romance, funny Ben Franklin time travel...well, they didn't like it.
It was like they were saying, 'Don't walk the duck. Why can't you just walk a dog like everyone else?' But I wanted to walk the duck.
I also wanted to remain published, so I put aside the weird stuff I wanted to write and tried several other ideas on them. They all foundered because my heart wasn't in them. Meanwhile, really cool, edgy stuff like 'Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter' and 'Pride & Predjudice & Zombies' were topping the charts.
It took 'firing' my publisher and the indie revolution for me to finally break out the leash and the duck. But even though writing that stuff makes me very very happy now, I'm still a little sad that it took me so long to do this. I felt like I should have fought harder...experimented with indie publishers...something.
Fortunately, the duck doesn't mind that this walk is overdue. He just slides his head through the leash, and off we go.
Did you have a duck you wanted to walk?
Leslie Langtry - Duck Walker