Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Published at 72

In all the hype, numbers, and money a lot of people are throwing around in the digital era, it's good to remember the basic act of communication that the entire dream is built around.

Case in point is Elizabeth Egerton Wilder's Spruce Gum Box, which she released on her 72nd birthday as her first novel. The work of historical fiction took her several years, and in the "old days" she might never have been able to fulfill her dream so easily. Sure, it doesn't appear to be tearing up the charts, but visualize the power of her work finding even one reader, much less several, much less more.

And that book should be online in perpetuity, finding the audience it needs and deserves. I haven't read it and can't speak to quality, and "quality" is a matter of great debate as writers chase some arbitrary "professional" standard. Is direct emulation of major publishing even valid and worthwhile anymore?

The only standard to which one should aspire is to tell your story as best you can, and then turn it over to whatever readers you are fortunate enough to find. Way to go, Mrs. Wilder.


author Christa Polkinhorn said...

What an inspiring story! Definitely on my "To read" list.

Neal Hock said...

That is a great story! Even if one reader connects with the story, I think it's worthwhile. That's what's great about this new era--folks connect in ways they never could have in the past.


author Scott Nicholson said...

..and with little overhead besides time!


Rabid Fox said...

That's very cool. And old gal in my hometown recently had her fictionalized memoir of his life published by a small local press. Just some trade paperbacks that are on the front counters of some of the local shops in the valley. I wonder if she'll throw it up on Amazon or some other site. Maybe not, since it's meant as a way to pass local history to the younger generations, but hey, stranger things ...

Nicholas La Salla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicholas La Salla said...

This is a very inspiring story. I am now somehow more thankful that I am not 72 and already getting ready to publish my own stories.

Ever since I was 5 I wanted to be a writer. Now I write in the evenings and go to work in the day. I feel like a weird writer superhero in a sense, only without the phone booth or the chiseled physique.

In any case...bravo to Mrs. Wilder, and may her book stay on through the ages and touch many, many lives. That's all any of us can ask for, really.

- Nick
Living In Fantasy: An Author's Journal