Well, at least I wasn’t the only one to find out late about Mur Lafferty’s Kickstarter novel funding project. The evening of the same day I posted about it, The Dead Robot’s Society interviewed “Mighty Mur” on their April 13th podcast (you can listen to it here). The interview was an hour of frank discussion regarding the ins and outs of Mur’s writing career so far, and covered everything from the history behind her “Afterlife” series to her reasoning behind the Kickstarter project that was such a phenomenal success.
Her advice to those who would like to emulate that success? Unless you’ve already garnered your listening audience, don’t count on being able to do the same. It’s the old story of working for years to become “an overnight success”. I’ve heard a few interviews wherein the writer is asked how it feels to be an overnight success and the obvious joke follows.
The bottom line here is that there is no magic bullet, no guaranteed get rich quick scheme, that will gain you fame and fortune with your writing. You have to have talent. You have to have tenacity. And it helps to have a little luck. Mur has the first two in spades, and seems to do a pretty good job of making her own luck.
Now, Mur’s project by no means makes her a giant financial success, and I don’t mean to imply that she has stated otherwise. I have found her to be very down to earth and pragmatic in her interviews, and a delight to listen to as a story-teller and vocal talent. She sounds like someone with whom I would like to sit down and share a drink, maybe swap a few anecdotes, and in all honesty, hope to glean some valuable “how-to” advice from. And it doesn’t hurt that she and I seem to share a love for the martial arts, either.
But my big take on all the hoopla around her Kickstarter project is this – with the publication industry changing so quickly and radically, today’s writer can no longer be ONLY a writer. Today’s writer must be an entrepreneur as well, willing to take the time necessary to put together a simple business plan, and then take some chances to put it into place. The technology is changing, the industry is changing, and it looks like there are more opportunities for the enterprising writer / businessman (or woman) to get their foot in the door than ever before.
Here’s hoping I can get my act together in time to take advantage.