Until one night in Sydney I decided to give it a shot, and wrote a stunted little novella called Moses. I only showed it to one person, but consequently realized that I actually had it in me to write novels–from start to finish, 90,000 words, all there on the page. Thrilled, I sat down and wrote Crude Sunlight–and rewrote it, time and again, until finally I got to Draft #7 and deemed it finished. I confidently queried my five dream agents, and got my first taste of the publishing world. I had, it turned out, a lot still to learn. So I did the only logical thing I could think of: I got a job at Penguin USA and moved to NYC.
Ostensibly I was their Online Content Manager, but in reality I was an undercover aspiring author. I became friends with editors, spoke with authors (the highlight was co-interviewing William Gibson for a podcast), sat in on meetings where editors pitched prospective novels to their bosses, or their bosses pitched acquired novels to the marketing department.
What did I learn during my year there? That some truly amazing people work in publishing, and that they work mostly for the love of books and not for the money. That the industry is growing ever tougher on new authors, and that unless you’re lucky enough to have an editor fall in love with your book, you’re liable to end up with a small advance (paid in three parts, minus taxes and agent fees), no marketing budget, no control over your cover, and ultimately enjoy a few brief weeks in the sun once published before dropping out of view.
I decided that wasn’t the approach for me. I began to research self-publishing, and realized that with the explosion in popularity for iPads, Kindles, Nooks and so forth, e-books were suddenly a viable means of reading books. People were downloading them by the millions, and self-publishing had in the course of one year gone from having a sketchy reputation to being a viable and respected means of reaching your audience.
So I quit my job at Penguin, left NYC, and began to self publish.
Why do I write? Because it’s my first and truest passion. My mind formulates endless stories, and when you catch me daydreaming, I’m probably brainstorming my next novel. Nothing gives me the same thrill, and my greatest hope is that one day I’ll be sufficiently adept at my craft so as to provide readers with the same magic that inspired and delighted me as a child.
Keep in touch! You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter handle is @pwtucker
Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/AuthorPhilTucker
Goodreads page is http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4100280.Phil_Tucker