Failing Writer #19

I’m flying to California tomorrow to meet with my agent, book editors, and publicists for the first time (or as my friend Jay calls it, “The New Curious George: Pete Goes to the Big City for a Business Trip”).

Honestly, I’m going to try not to look or sound like an idiot.

My editor has published some of my heroes (Anne Lamott, Wendell Berry, Gary Snyder), writers I teach, writers who are better than me.

Yet, I’m supposed to be part of that crew now, although it’s only recently that I’ve started introducing myself as a writer.  Mostly I hide that fact.  Who’s reading climbing magazines anyway?  No one’s heard of me.

In fact, who reads at all?

It is a funny thing to be trying to break into the book world as fewer and fewer people actually read books.  As my new book editor, Jack Shoemaker, said in an interview:

“This is an increasingly aliterate culture. Books are more and more an anachronism to large parts of the country. Sometimes you find yourself thinking you’re working in a museum of the past.”

I’m hoping people are still willing to buy museum pieces, book relics, when The End of Boys comes out in the late spring.


3 thoughts on “Failing Writer #19

  1. Congratulations on your book deal! I like to think that books will never fade. The medium for reading them will change, but I think people will always have a need for stories. Hopefully. I guess time will tell.


  2. Congratulations on the book deal! Standing O! Don’t do what I did w/ my first: walk around with the author photo facing outward, so people will ask: “Did you write that?” I gather from your posts that you’re a lot more level-headed than that!! Again, congratulations!!
    -LynnB @


  3. I’m dying to know what goes on at a business meeting with writers, editors, publicists and agents…

    “Your use of onamonapia and en medias res in your last submission was excellent.”
    “Thank you. And your addition of adverbs in Chapter 3 was a masterful edit.”

    And what do people wear to these kind of meetings? I’m imagining there are a lot of turtlenecks and pea coats. I’m not sure why I think that. Pete is the only writer I know and he doesn’t have a turtleneck or pea coat.


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