|The author, Dane F. Baylis|
Discuss Why I Became An Author
A little background here. My first attempt at publication was a book of poetry. I was fifteen years old and had discovered The Beats. My hero was Lawrence Ferlinghetti and close behind him came Kerouac, Ginsberg, Corso and Burroughs. I had become famous around my high school as the mystery poet. I would sneak into any unattended, unlocked classroom and cover the green boards (Don't worry, you have to be two days older than dirt to remember what green boards were) with incredibly esoteric and cosmic rants. C'mon it was the Sixties!
At one point I had accumulated about seventy pages of these ravings and decided to submit them to an honest to god publisher. Having grown up in Boston there were two holy grails, first there was the Atlantic Monthly, but I didn't have the patience for a poem or two at a time. Second was Little Brown and Co., one of the eminent old names in publishing. Why not? I had a vision! I was so going to get laid!
Reality comes in the form of rejection. My manuscript, which I had hunt and pecked my way through with loving care was back in a month. With it came a note typed on very high end, heavy cotton rag paper with the publishing house's letterhead prominently displayed. Their advice was that when I found a voice and style authentically my own I should resubmit. I was so not going to get laid!
Most teenagers would have swallowed their pride and avoided letting anyone know about such a defeat. I, on the other hand,have been described as having the tenacity of a pit bull with a pork chop and the common sense of a carp! I had just been rejected by one of the greats, BUT, they had read my work and hinted I should try again! So, from that point forward, my life became a string of open mikes, small journals, newspapers, international art publications and targeted anthologies. I have bombarded them with poetry, short fiction, and even the occasional essay, I have just kept on. It's a sickness really. No never MEANS no, just back up, rewrite and try again. Which probably explains why, until I got married, I had a constant string of friends with benefits without ever really settling down.
Along the way there have been some successes and plenty of opportunities to rewrite and try again. Why did I become an author? It's a mental illness really. I have this insane delusion that some day I'll get a call from the Atlantic and they'll want to know what ever became of that manuscript Little, Brown and Co. once had the privilege of passing over?
As always, I'm looking for short fiction to 1200 words, poetry to 25 lines, and carefully thought out essays for the Your Work/Your Love page. No pay, just the glory of exposure, but wear a mask so no one will know it's you. Love it if you wanted to follow this blog or subscribe. There are gadgets for those functions on the right of the page. Love the misery of company.
As always...live, love, write.
Dane F. Baylis