|Kane Gilmour, Jeremy Robinson, and myself|
It’s a simple photo. Three guys sitting at a table with a handful of books in front of them. But the
context is so much more than that. Something awesome. Something life changing…at least, I pray, for some of you who read this blog. So what does this photograph represent? Why is it so important? How can it change your life too? The answer might sound cliched. Might sound goofy in our cynical minds. But it’s hundred percent true, and the photograph is the proof. Here it is:
DREAMS CAN COME TRUE…IF YOU WORK HARD ENOUGH AT IT AND MAKE IT HAPPEN.
There. I said it. This photo is proof that dreams can, and in fact, do, come true. But most of the time, these dreams won’t come to you. You have to take that first step and go to them.
Let me explain. I’ve dabbled in writing for years and years, but never seriously considered writing professionally (or even semi-professionally). Writing was just something I would do when an idea struck me and I wanted to pass the time. Then, around 2008/2009 or so, I decided to finally get serious, and began writing my first novel (which, by the way, was The Djinn…though Primal Thirst was released first). While writing the book, I came across a obscure little thriller called KRONOS that I started reading in my free time, and absolutely loved it. The author of KRONOS, Jeremy Robinson, quickly rose to the list of my favorite authors. As I continued writing my book, I started learning more about Jeremy, and in so doing, became encouraged in my publishing endeavors.
You see, from the very start, I had pretty much planned on pursuing my writing career by foregoing the ‘traditional’ route, and focusing on the indie front. I planned to self-publish. I had planned to use this little print on demand company called Lulu.com to get started. As I started learning more about Jeremy, I discovered our paths were going parallel in many ways. He, too, had used Lulu for example. This was a tremendous encouragement to me. It said that I wasn’t going in the wrong direction in a field I knew very little about.
However, I also had no illusions that I would ever reach Jeremy’s level of writing or creativity. I had pretty much resigned myself to remain in relative obscurity as an indie author.
Eventually, I published other novels and short stories. As I did so, I began getting to know quite a few authors of various notoriety. Among them, I ‘met’ Jeremy via Facebook, and he gave me a great deal of counsel along the way. I could finally say that the two of us were ‘friends’, as so far as social media and email allows people to be friends. Were we colleagues though? I’m not sure. I wasn’t sure the levels up and down the author ranking scales would ever allow that.
Then, one day, I received the most amazing email. Jeremy had read my book The Curse of One-Eyed Jack. What’s more, in his own words, he ‘loved it’! But that wasn’t the best part. He loved it so much, that he asked me if I’d be interested in joining his co-authoring juggernaut, and write the first Jack Sigler Continuum book, GUARDIAN! I jumped at the chance. And from the looks of the reviews on Amazon, most of you really seemed to enjoy it. This, invariably led, to Jeremy asking if I’d like to write the second Continuum book, which is what I’m currently working on (though I’ll let Jeremy be the one to break the news of the particulars of that).
So back to the above photo. This last weekend, Jeremy had his first annual RobinsonFest in Portsmouth, NH. Quite a few of his die-hard fans came out for a weekend of amazing festivities and tours of major places in his books, as well as an author event/book signing at the local Barnes and Noble. I couldn’t believe it when Jeremy asked if I’d be interested in participating…not as a fan, but as a fellow author. As a ‘special guest’!
What was more amazing to me was that when I got there, and started meeting his fans, there was one person in particular who gave the most wonderful look of astonishment to find out that I was there. Me! Here the guy was (I’m not going to say his name because I don’t want to embarrass him), coming to a weekend to spend time with Jeremy Robinson, and he was genuinely ecstatic to find out I was there too. He later told me that his wife was a huge fan of mine and that she had discovered me, he believed, outside of my relationship with Jeremy.
You can’t believe how amazing this made me feel. Though Jeremy Robinson is still light years beyond me in terms of notoriety, popularity, and everything in between, at this event dedicated to him, I was being held in equal esteem by his fans.
And that’s when it hit me. Dreams do come true. I was a colleague of an author that I had been a ‘fan’ of before even publishing my first book. In that one book signing event (the above photograph), I had finally ‘made it’ beyond where I had ever imagined myself to go. A milestone in my dreams had been reached. And I know that future goals can be just attainable if I keep pushing forward. If I keep working hard at it. If I keep improving my craft as a writer.
Work. Work. Work. And the dreams will come. No matter if you want to be a writer, an artist, a truck driver, or an astronaut. You can see your dreams fulfilled if you just persevere…no matter how cliche it might sound.