Three o’clock in the morning. It’s quiet, and there’s no one around…
U2 “Stay (Far Away… So Close)”
Been on a weird schedule — going to bed at 7pm. Getting up at 1am to work. Around three this morning, I was filing my tax receipts in the filing cabinet and I came across a folder full of late Nineties correspondence. There were emails and letters from Geoff Cooper, Mike Oliveri, Mikey Huyck, John Urbancik, Tim Lebbon, Tom Piccirilli, J. F. Gonzalez, Mary SanGiovanni, Weston Ochse, Rain Graves, Regina Mitchell, Ryan Harding, Gak, James Newman, and dozens more — back when we were all young and naive and full of piss and vinegar, ready to fight whoever got in our way.
I also found a bunch of correspondence from Richard Laymon and Bentley Little and Brian Hodge and Ed Lee and John Pelan and others, as well — all offering a then newbie named Brian Keene advice and support and encouragement.
Sometimes I miss those days. I miss being a newbie. When the checks are late and the books haven’t shipped and negotiations break down and the signings become circuses, I envy today’s writers who are just starting out. They don’t have to worry about how much they’re getting paid and if it will pay the mortgage or what rights they’re signing away or whether or not their kid will remember them by the time they get back from the next signing/press junket.
They’re free to just write.
If there’s anything better in this world, I don’t know what it is. Well, okay, maybe sex, good whiskey and a fine cigar. But I’m pretty sure that writing just for the hell of it trumps even those.