What I’ve learned from Dean Wesley Smith, John Locke, and Scott Nicholson
Here are three writers from whom I’ve learned so much – Dean Wesley Smith, John Locke, and Scott Nicholson. An eclectic bunch, no doubt.
Let me give you a breakdown of what I’ve learned from each, but first, I want to thank all three for their bodies of work and for their advice and support. They are each an inspiration to me as they should be inspirations to all new writers.
Dean Wesley Smith – Dean taught me first and taught me the most about self-publishing. He destroyed the myths I held about legacy publishing and showed me a step-by-step, cost effective way to self-publish. More than that, he drilled into my head that it takes more than one published work per year to become a successful writer.
I remember falling off my chair when I read an article by him where he stated that a fiction writer should write three to four novel-lengths per year. Another newbie writer left a sardonic comment saying, “That’s impossible Dean, have YOU ever written four per year?” To which he replied, “Actually, over the last 25 years, I’ve averaged over four per year.” That’s a man I’d follow over a hill!
When I finished my debut novel in January, I was so excited I wrote to Dean to tell him. His reply to me was, “That’s great, now write another!”
I love that man … and Dean, #2 will be out in September and #3 in December … thanks brutha!
John Locke – I only came across John fairly recently when I saw a few bloggers promoting his _How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months!_. I bought it, read it, and decided that the man knows his stuff when it comes to marketing! I can tell you this; the day after I read John’s book and implemented his advice - I IMMEDIATELY saw my sales numbers more than double, and my sales revenue jumped by a factor of 5! I wrote him to thank him and he replied that he’s there for me anytime. That’s not special to me though. John Locke replies to every email written to him. I admire him a lot for that too!
Scott Nicholson – I saved Scott for last because – well – I wanted to thank him especially for giving me the opportunity to write this piece and have it appear on his site – thanks Scott! He doesn’t know this but I’ve learned a lot from him too. For one – I learned about how to launch a blog tour. Actually, I learned the particulars from another writer-friend of mine, Jeff Bennington, but Jeff learned it from Scott!
I followed Scott on his last blog tour and found that you can be a prolific writer but still maintain your zaniness (Scott’s got the BEST hat collection of any writer – I can tell just from published photos of him). The man also puts me to shame. He launched a 90-date blog tour while continuing to write at a frenetic pace. In comparison, my blog tour has 45 dates. I’m only halfway in as I write this and I’m already seeing dead people. Then again, I think seeing dead people may be a normal day at the office for Scott.
Scott befriended me in the kindest way. He emailed me some encouraging words about _The Watchman of Ephraim_ and allowed me to place a link to it in two of his novels – _Liquid Fear_ and _The Skull Ring_.
I’m especially inspired by Scott every day, when I track my Amazon rankings in two of my genres – thrillers and political thrillers and see his novels peppered throughout, starting at the top of each ranking.
As far as prose and personalities go, Dean, John, and Scott are quite different but they have each helped me and inspired me a great deal. What these three successful and prolific writers taught me the most can be boiled down to this …
To be a successful fiction writer you have to write well, write a lot … and let ‘em know you’ve written it!
Now rinse and repeat.
Gerard de Marigny is the author of the geopolitical thriller, _The Watchman of Ephraim_, Book 1 of THE Cris De Niro series. The sequel, _Signs of War_ is scheduled for release in September 2011.
Gerard de Marigny resides in the beautiful foothills of Las Vegas, NV with his wife Lisa and his four sons. When not bending an arm with friends at the local pub, he's putting to paper the stories and characters that are alive in his mind.
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