The Daytime Renegade recently conducted an interview with my friend and editing client, author Adam Lane Smith. Their discussion ranges over several fascinating topics that aspiring authors would do well to peruse. Adam’s background and his experience with traditional publishing struck a particular chord with me.
I grew up in Central California in George Lucas’ home town. When he writes about Tattooine and has Luke complain about how miserable it is, that’s what he’s talking about. When he writes about Mos Eisley, that’s our home.
I grew up poor in the ghetto. My mother came from a wealthy family but was disowned and disinherited for marrying a Christian man, and my father grew up with a divorced mother in trailer parks. No one helped us, and my parents each worked multiple low-paying jobs day and night to keep us fed and scraping by. Life was hard. Much of this is mentioned or hinted at in the afterword of my novel.
People died, friends were molested, I fought for my life several times against violence and untreated sickness, I developed PTSD, family members were abducted and raped by gangs, violence was ever present. One of the first lessons you learn is to lay on the floor with the adults on top of you so they die first and the kids might live under the corpses.I learned to love reading as an escape, and dreamed of being a writer. By the grace of God, I worked my way out with the help of my diligent wife. Now we live a life of relative comfort and safety on a farm.
Those who’ve read Making Peace probably see a great deal of my upbringing in the setting.
In a just and sane world, a man who clawed his way out of such crushing poverty and violence to enter a noble profession and write in his scant free time would be handed the publishing golden ticket and lauded by the custodians of culture.
But this is Clown World, as Adam’s dealings with his publisher demonstrate.
I’ll need to be careful how I word this answer to prevent legal troubles.
After that opening line, you can probably guess where this is going.
Initially, Making Peace was set in a fantasy setting created by a small writer/publisher company.
From my perception, my former publisher initially claimed to be apolitical in their dealings. Anyone of good moral character could enter and write.
From my perception, after the Trump election, my former publisher went full SJW. By my recollection, they posted a huge anti-Trump “the world is ending” blog article on the company website. By my recollection, they also posted strongly anti-Christian posts on various platforms.
From my perception and by my recollection, when I confronted them on slashing half of our potential audience, and told them I was (at the time) an Independent moderate who voted for Trump for his job-building and trade promises and that I was a Christian, I was verbally attacked. By my recollection, they stopped using my name in emails and referred to me as “Christian” in a derogatory manner, alluded to white male privilege they felt I relied on to live comfortably (poverty-stricken ghetto upbringing and continued poverty at the time not to be considered), then listed emotional crimes which they felt my kind were guilty of.
By my recollection, I was informed that I could no longer use the chat programs we used to share documents and setting information. That was now a “safe space.” I also would not be acknowledged in any personal conversations, it would be business only from then on.
By my recollection, I was informed that because I worked in health care and was a Christian, the publisher felt they should report me to numerous agencies as a danger to clients. From my perception, it was heavily implied that the company may begin a campaign to get me removed from my day job and blackballed from my professional field because of my religious faith.
Because I had been relying on them for help with publishing and marketing a book in their setting, which by my recollection I agreed to do as a favor to them, I officially resigned from all association with their company. With my perception that my day job was being threatened because of my religious faith, it felt unsafe to continue any association with them. I took my book and rewrote it into the sci-fi setting I’d wanted to create all along but had been told (by my recollection) that I could probably do AFTER writing this book in their setting as a favor to them. I didn’t feel my books would be given adequate representation with them, and I was uncomfortable with what appeared to me to be blatant racist, sexist, and religious discrimination.
I reached out to Nick Cole for help after reading an article detailing his own similar problems with his former publisher, and he kindly informally mentored me from there on. Very sweet man. I likely would have given up on writing if he hadn’t encouraged me after that debacle.
To any aspiring authors reading this post, run–do not walk–away from legacy publishing. You have all the tools at your fingertips to publish professional-quality books on your own. There is nothing, nothing a publisher can do for you that you can’t do quicker, cheaper, and better yourself.
I wouldn’t ask you to do what I’m unwilling to do myself. In fact, I just released my seventh book after doing everything but the cover art myself. It’s doing great, and every sale is free money in my pocket.
To any Christians who are reading this and who still harbor illusions that Leftists can be fixed, appeased, or reasoned with, let Adam’s persecution serve as a warning. The Left hate the Christ, and you who follow Him, with a blind, diabolical hatred. They do not wish to coexist. They will not leave you alone, and the thought of seeing you financially ruined or dead fills them with near-sexual ecstasy. They cannot be bargained with, only avoided in the short term and defeated in the long run.
I salute Adam for his perseverance and saintly patience, and I pray for his success.If you haven’t read his book Making Peace, do yourself the great favor of picking it up. The setting, story, and characters are excellent, though as the book’s editor, I’m admittedly biased.
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