And Onward, Not Counting

By Holly Lisle

Dean Koontz did considerably more work to make WHISPERS a breakout novel than I have done writing this proposal. And that is, flatly, what I’m shooting for here. A breakout novel — something that transcends genre and the marketplace. I know it, and my agent and editor keep reminding me of it, and at last report, nobody said the job would be easy, nor did they say that a shot at the majors for a midlife midlister (that would be me) would be a walk in the park. It’s spring training, I have people looking at me thinking I might have a place in The Show.

There’s a stanza from the Rush song “Bravado” that is particularly applicable here:

And if the music stops
There’s only the sound of the rain
All the hope and glory
All the sacrifice in vain
[and] if love remains
Though everything is lost
We will pay the price,
But we will not count the cost

I have been guilty of counting the cost. If you love what you do, if people believe in you, if people love you, if you love them, you do not count the cost. You put your head down and you keep going because you remember that what you are doing, you are not just doing for you. You keep going for the people who never gave up believing in you, even when you did.

(Thanks, sweetheart.)

So with apologies for my lapse in professionalism, I will just shut up now, and get back to work. And if my editor hasn’t bought from me yet, but is still willing to read and comment on and encourage proposals from me 140,000 more words from now, I will still be pitching them.

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