When I was a high school student, I wrote the government asking about summer employment. Not just any old job, oh, no, not me. I sought work that involved “travel”. Two years later I received a phone call. The Alberta government found my letter in a file. They wanted someone to tour an exhibition around North America.
Moral of the story—connect connect connect!
Years later, just starting out as a writer, my screenplay fell into the hands of another writer. He encouraged me to submit it to a prestigious competition in Hollywood. He liked it so much that he volunteered to tear it apart and help me put it back to together. Out of 4000 scripts, it became one of eight finalists. My phone rang off the hook for months.
Moral of the story—two writer heads can be better than one.
Later, I ran into a producer at a film forum. We knew of each other, so I pitched him my latest work-in-progress. He wanted it on his desk Monday morning. A cheque followed forthwith—$20,000 to write a first draft. I knew he was retiring soon and I suspect he wanted to do something for me
Moral of the story—people like to help other people.
Soon thereafter, another producer was considering a screenplay of mine. He didn’t want it but he said, “PJ, I’d like to read that story as a novel.” It became my first published book, Smoke That Thunders. Of course, he gets a mention on my Acknowledgements page.
Subsequently, a different publisher asked me to write him a novel. I don’t think he’d even read Smoke. He liked doing business with writers who liked talking “story” while doing coffee. We produced my next novel, ROXY.
Moral of the story—business people are often really people people.
I’ve run out of morals, but I have a tip: Story Cartel.
Story Cartel is all about connections. They’re building a community of writers who want to share their books and build their platforms. If it sounds suspiciously like competitors cozying up to each other, that’s exactly what a cartel is.
“Instead of acting like competitors, we choose to act like allies. By helping each other, [we] multiply our efforts.”
Story Cartel is offering a free course later this week—a primer for getting more involved in their dream of helping writers get published.
I don’t often say, “Trust me,” but if anybody in this business can be trusted, it’s them.
And let me know how it goes.