Yesterday, Brian Keene wrote a touching blog post called "A Little Warmth Against the Winter Chill." In it, he writes about the pleasure of spending time with younger writers whose hearts had not yet hardened, whose enthusiasm blazes bright warms the people near them. Making art day in and out is tiring, and it's never easy when people repeatedly try to screw you.
I'll never be able to be objective about Brian Keene. He has, more than anyone else in this business, been a mentor to me. When I was starting out, he had a website called World Domination 101. It laid out the principles that any writer needs to follow in order to get anywhere. Write as much as you can. And value your writing. As someone who did not initially understand the value of his writing, this was excellent advice. And I pass it on to anyone who needs it. Do not accept bad terms for what you have worked so hard to create. Value yourself, value your work. He was the first professional to say that he thought I could make it to being a full-time writer. Which I haven't yet, but it's something I'm striving for. For someone who makes art, the good word of someone who makes good, successful art is huge.
Did I mention that his book Dark Hollow is one of the best books I've ever read? And now I have spent time with the man who wrote it, being interviewed for his podcast. I try to express my gratitude often. I have watched too many people go away, or have near-misses. Thank you for the inspiration, and encouragement, Brian. You have made a tremendous difference in my writing, and my career.
And yes, I will be continuing the Heap series.