Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Post of The Day: Steve Hockensmith

I've never seen so eloquent an admission of career fecklessness as Steve has written here. And by fecklessness I mean working in three or four genres before you're well known in your primary genre. I've done the same thing so it's painfully hilarious or hilariously painful to see it laid out so well. For the whole shebang (and be sure to read the whole thing) go here:


Not that I got into this business to be known, heralded and rich. I got into it because I like to make up stories and write them down and have other people read them. Still, as a guy who likes to make up stories and write them down and have other people read them, I do sometimes wonder why more people aren't reading them.
I think I know the answer. It goes back to those seven habits I don't have. I'm guessing one of them is "staying focused." (I have to guess because I haven't gone to Wikipedia to see what's really on the list. In addition to being only Mildly Effective, I'm also Rather Lazy.)
I've written historical whodunits and horror/romance satires and middle-grade mysteries and sorta-kinda cozies. And my thought process about what to do next usually looks something like this:
8 a.m. (driving to work): You know what would be fun to write? A Western!
10:44 a.m. (daydreaming during a slow moment at my desk): You know what would be really fun to write? A screwball comedy about coke-snorting 1970s stunt men!
12:53 p.m. (daydreaming during lunch): You know what would be even better? A nostalgia-soaked YA coming-of-age novel!
3:12 p.m. (daydreaming during another slow moment at my desk): You know what I should really do? A sci-fi/thriller/"men's adventure" mashup!
5:55 p.m. (driving home): Why aren't I trying to write the Great American Novel?
9:37 p.m. (daydreaming while helping my son get ready for bed): You know what would be fun to write? That Western!
Then 10 p.m. finally rolls around, and for the next hour I know exactly what I'm doing: working on whatever's due next. But as of 11:01 --
You know what would be really fun…?
(Sidenote: I'm not joking about any of those ideas. Those are all projects I'd like to get to eventually. Well, maybe not the Great American Novel. But I totally want to write about those coke-snorting 1970s stunt men.)


Richard S. Wheeler said...

Mr. Hockensmith's fantasies are a luxury I never had. For me, there was only one motivating force: my declining bank balance, combined with a background as a failed journalist.

Steve Hockensmith said...

How flattering -- I pop by to see what Ed's been writing about lately and see a link to my own blog! Thanks, man!

Adding to the coincidence: Just a few minutes earlier I was ordering a copy of "Wolf Moon" online. I've been on a big Western kick the last few years and thought it was time to circle back to Ed Gorman Territory. The last time I was there I was reading "Relentless," a book I liked a lot because it was a gritty Western populated with life-sized humans, not larger-than-life archetypes. I'm guessing I'll like "Wolf Moon" for the same reason.

Ed Gorman said...

I've been a fan of yours since you started out, Steve. I had lunch today with a bookstore owner who follows my blog. He said he laughed out loud all the way through your post. I did too.