On Support

It’s hard to make your “big break” in this business.  I know this all to painfully well.  I celebrated my 35th birthday just a couple weeks ago, and even at this point I would still have a failing grade on the Internet Celebrity report card.  A major reason I’m where I’m at is because of the professional and personal relationship I have forged with Fred Gallagher (a man who at this point doesn’t need his resume listed).  Our Endgames short story was no doubt one of the influences that earned me the contract writing Exiern, and the reason Amazon gave me a bit of an accelerated process to get my first book to print.  I would still be nervously scrawling my manuscript, terrified to show anyone, without his influence.

So, it felt like a low blow when I got this e-mail earlier today:

“I’ve followed your work for some time followed your updates, read your free content. Haven’t bought your book yet but I’m getting to it.  Don’t have much money.  But there’s one thing that kinda upsets me and I wonder if it upsets you.

Does it bother you that Fred Gallagher doesn’t support your work?

The Endgames story went nowhere even as people wanted more.  Was he scared that people liked it more than his solo content?  He hasn’t said anything publicly about your novel or your own webcomic; I had to learn about those from others.  I was at Youmacon when Mookie and Sonny Strait wanted you to join them on the webcomics panel, and it was your supposed patron who nixed it.  Now I get that you don’t want to burn any bridges, so you can just make it our secret.  Does it bother you?”

In short; no.  In reverse order –

Clearly, whoever saw this scene play out wasn’t close enough to the action, because they obviously didn’t hear my words to Ray Kremer, who was sitting right next to me.

“Bullet.  Dodged.”

Perhaps I should explain something about myself that people might have gotten the hint on based on how rarely I make posts here.  I have a mild social anxiety; not a crippling disorder, but enough that I can become unsettled in public, especially when surprised or put on the spot.  Mookie and Sonny didn’t know, and I certainly don’t want them to think that I am chastising them here.  Fred does, and knew that it would have been a bad idea to put this deer in front of those headlights without any advance warning.  The end result of me being on that stage would have been me clutching the table in fright, effectively deaf mute.  Entertaining for some, perhaps, but not for me.

As for not saying anything publicly about my other work, personally I prefer his actions.  At the convention last week that he supposed “nixed” my promotion, he was also giving me half of his booth space to sell the book that he supposedly wasn’t supporting.  That’d be a little odd, don’t you think?

Finally, the Endgames issue;  yes, I had a preview for the first full length light novel at Youmacon 2012, and that nothing came of it in the end.  It was an unfortunate set of circumstances; Fred’s heart trouble and recovery followed by the success of public funding the Visual Novel, which as a result has taken priority.  We are both very busy people, with other projects to juggle (and a full-time job in my case).  Would I like to go back to the Endgames world?  Absolutely… but it’s something that will only be able to happen down the road.

At the end of the day, I feel supported just fine.  Any “failure” for me to succeed is on my shoulders, not because I’m not getting “plugged” enough.  I’d been trying to get my voice and story out there for the better part of a decade.  Only one person listened, and that’s the guy who is getting snide e-mails sent to me about.  Maybe you should ask the publishers who started ignoring me those questions first.

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