What’s a Real-Live Author? I suppose many of us, even those of us who fancy ourselves wannabe writers, tend to think of authors as the people with books that are published by Real-Big Publishers. In more generous terms, an author is probably anyone who writes stuff. Such a definition, of course, is a little feel-good. I’ve written a number of articles for magazines that have ISSN numbers and copyrights and contracts with a bunch of words. So I don’t hesitate to call myself a writer. I write. I’ve been paid for it (albeit in negligible amounts).
I’ve often wondered if I have the chops to have any fiction work published. Today at TEDxRaleigh I was pleased to see a Real-Live Author: Daniel Wallace. I had to cut out of the conference a bit early. I didn’t want to bother the guy, but when I saw him standing there I knew I had to ask say hi and ask a couple of questions. He couldn’t have been more friendly, and my questions, likely similar to questions he gets very often, were answered with genuine interest and sincere advice. There’s something satisfying about meeting a person who has had extreme success (Big Fish–a movie most people know–is based on his novel of the same title) who is just a real person.
My questions, naturally, had to do with how to get fiction published. Silly question, perhaps. I’m sure all published novelists get such questions frequently. Perhaps constantly. In any case, his advice was seemed excellent.