As of today, July 1, 2013, my story The Armored Satchel is now in the top 30 of JukePop Serials. As recently as a month ago I never dreamed this could be possible, at least not so soon. I want to thank all my readers, all my friends and all my fans for making this dream a reality.
Success in writing is something that always seems elusive. You dream about it, you want it, you work hard for it, but you’re conditioned to believe that it will never happen because the odds are against you. I pitched The Armored Satchel to JukePop Serials on February 26 of this year, not expecting that it would be accepted. It was accepted. I began writing, figuring I had to make good on the commitment I’d made, but I expected the story would not find much of a fan base. After all, who wants to read about a gay spy during World War II? The idea itself is pretty preposterous.
But, astonishingly, people started to respond. Folks I knew on Twitter began asking me, “When is the next chapter of The Armored Satchel going to be out?” I got text messages on my phone from people commenting on the chapters. Someone else, intrigued by the premise of the main character and his sexuality, taunted cheerfully, “Bring on the gay super-spy!” My mother got hooked on the story and began asking me, every time I called her, how the next chapter was going.
There is nothing–nothing–in the world more gratifying to a writer than to have his or her efforts rewarded. Writing is a very hard job. It takes your soul, it sucks your free time away from you, it destroys your eyesight from squinting at computer screens, your back from sitting hunched over in a chair all day, and your wrists that are ravaged by arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. You don’t sleep much. More often than not your spouse and your family is driven to distraction by your idiosyncracies. Relationships are strained. Day jobs suffer. You look at younger writers wanting to break into the business and you say, “Why? Who would want this life? Who would want this to be their job? What do you gain from it that’s worth the sacrifice?”
It is days like today that make it worth the sacrifice.
There are some specific people I want to thank. Fellow JukePop writers Kevin A.M. Lewis, who is absolutely indomitable; Josh Thornbrugh and Naomi Birkenhead for their continual support; and Robbie MacNiven, who has been down this road before. Thanks be, of course, to the wonderful folks who established JukePop in the first place, and who gave writers like me a chance to shine. Thanks to Amy Turner, to Agisilaos Prasinos and “Miss Creeper” for their unending support. And thanks, of course, to my wonderful husband who is always there for me.
I also do not want to forget that The Armored Satchel didn’t come entirely out of my head. It’s based on a true story, on a real person who lived and (probably) died in the real world, that person being Karl Horst Max Wacker, whose picture appears at the top of this blog. Wacker was, without a doubt, on the wrong side of history; he served the worst, most evil and most detestable regime that ever darkened the pages of human history. But reconciliation with our enemies is part of the healing process after every war. The healing from the cataclysm that was World War II goes on. Perhaps, in some very small way, my story may have contributed to that process.
Thank you to everyone. The Armored Satchel will continue. I’ve still got a hell of a story left to tell, and I hope you’ll be along for it!