A great story has come to light. It's been developing over the course of the last couple of months, I guess, but I only became aware of it a few weeks ago, when it became public knowledge. Stuart Neville, up until recently another one of us aspiring novelists who frequent a popular circuit of blogs for writers, agents, editors, and hopefully a few marketing people, has landed not only an agent but one of the preeminent agents in the business. A guy by the name of Nat Sobel. What this means, essentially, is that Stuart, who also goes by the blog handle Conduit, is about to experience the Big Time. In a big way.
I got my first taste of Stuart's writing when he posted a story on the Crapometer, titled The Last Dance. I liked his style right away. He tells a compelling story in an engaging voice, his use of imagery is tight, and his dialogue rings true. I had my suspicions then that he would make it to publication, and soon, but the magnitude of the breakthrough, I don't think anyone could have foreseen. Not to say it isn't deserved, because I believe it is, but for it to happen to someone who I consider an "internet friend", right here in my own circle, so to speak, is truly inspiring.
The cool part about Stuart's story is that The Last Dance played a significant role in his good fortune in landing the uber (pretend you see the little accent things) agent. Stuart submitted the story to Thuglit.com, an online magazine, and it was published in Feb/March 2008 edition. Nat Sobel happened to read the story on the net, contacted Stuart, asked for pages, and the rest is history. Nat initiated the contact, not Stuart. Go to Conduit's, blog and read it in his own words. It is an awesome story, and well told, as you would expect.
Stuart made one of the first comments about my writing when I submitted chapters to the Crapometer. In fact, it was his first comment, and Sex Scenes at Starbucks' comment, that made me truly believe in my writing and really want to get better and write good stories. I owe him more than he'll ever know. I owe lots of people, really, but when you get compliments from people whose opinion you've come to respect after months of lurking and reading comments, it truly boosts the confidence. That's what makes it so cool to watch Stuart's success, sort of from the ground floor. I don't claim to be part of his inner circle, he'll probably have lots of new friends, but it thrills me to be able to know the whole story and watch it evolve. And to know it's happening to a cool guy builds faith in The Good.
It's the kind of story that motivates me to get on with my own writing. Get this first draft finished, polish the sumbitch up, and start sending queries.
Get busy on the next story.
Polish up the short story I wrote last year; it would make good material for Thuglit.com. Who knows, maybe lightning can strike twice.
Cheers, Stuart. Here's to Hope and Inspiration.