….but when it does, it’s usually memorable.
I’m reading an e-Mail I received. To boil it down, the e-Mailer is a fan of the Star Trek stories I (and Kevin and I) have written. Of course, he has his own ideas for a Star Trek book, and he’d like to have me (and Kevin, if Bubba is so inclined) collaborate with him on it, after which, said enthusiastic writer will be able to achieve his goal of getting a Star Trek story published. Of course, the arrangement would be that we would work to help get him “in the door” and assist with the actual writing of the book (he has lots of ideas, but can’t or won’t — I didn’t bother to seek clarification — do the actual writing because that’s not how he “sees himself”). Once the deal is all done and he’s paid by the publisher, he’ll cut a check for our contributions to the effort…a percentage we’ll negotiate if I decide to accept the offer.
Now, a lot of Trek fans have similar goals, desires, and dreams. Addressing this as the person approached is a fine line to walk. I don’t deliberately set out to hurt someone’s feelings or dash their hopes, but I try — as professionally and truthfully as I’m able — to explain to folks the realities of the publishing world as I understand them, and particularly the obstacles one must negotiate in order to land *any* publishing contract for a media tie-in work, much less a Star Trek gig. Most of the time, my advice is taken with the spirit in which it’s intended, I wish the hopeful fan/aspiring writer the best of luck, and we move on.
Then, there’s that small percentage of twits, whose lack of people skills are in direct opposition to their over-developed sense of entitlement, who have to be dicks about it.
I knew I was traversing a minefield when I responded to the original e-Mail, and I naturally received a terse reply in return, after which said fan declared he would never again read or purchase anything I write.
Well, you go, boy.
Anyway, this exchange reminded me of a thread on TrekBBS some months back where someone posed a similar question about hiring a writer to pen a Trek book for him. That individual did so in a much more polite fashion, and I think he was just asking in general terms, rather than having a story idea waiting to be written. That thread prompted me to craft a response which I now resurrect here because…well, I’m a two or three-trick pony and I excel at amusing myself.
So, if you’re ever wondering if you can hire a writer to help you with your Star Trek novel, I have this to say:
I am the very model of a Star Trek novel writer dude
You never know what twists and turns my newest story might include
I spend my days and evenings working in a state of solitude
Wondering if the plots I hatch will just completely come unglued
(He wonders if the plots he hatches will completely come unglued!)
You give me all your money and a story I will weave for you
It will conform to canon and just maybe fill a gap or two
With all your favorite characters and nasty foes for you to boo
If the check you write is bogus then you know I’m coming after you
(You write a bogus check and he will beat the crap right out of you!)
Yes, it’s a slow news day.