In answer to the other half of the question, Pitch Black. A freakish accident of filmography that, as near as I can tell, produced a bizarrely subtle film. I don't actually believe it was on purpose, mind you.
eljaydaly: I actually quit writing for three years at one point. Not a hard, you know, oh, I quit. But I just didn't do it, or send anything out, for a loooong time. Maybe "gave up" is a better term.
So no, I never had a hunch I would make it, or any conviction. I wrote for oh, twenty years in the desire for publication, but without any real hope of success. Everybody tells you there is no hope of success. But in 2001, a series of traumatic life experiences sort of brought it home to me dramatically that trying to be a responsible grownup wasn't actually any safer than trying to write for a living, and I was out of work anyway. And there is only so much Montel you can watch.
So I started writing full-time. Nay, obsessively. And I fell in with a workshop group of very talented and determined people who pushed me hard. Several million words of crap later, I started selling things.
liveavatar: As a general rule, authors are not hot. suricattus is kind of a babe, however. *g*
etcet: I'm not much good at goofy plots. So far, the current book is the weirdest thing I've ever come up with.
stevenagy: That's between you and your Gods. And please don't send photos!
pabba: It's pretty much never safe to assume that authors are writing from personal experience. Well, until they hit the 27th identical book about tawdry affairs among the Yankee upper class (I'm looking at you, John Irving.)
taidhbhse: Lagavulin. Or Laphroaig quarter-cask.
birdhousefrog: I grew up here.
ratmmjess: I very rarely get angry at books anymore. I'm way too aware, first of all, of how hard the damned things are to write,and second of all, how completely readers can get a different end of the stick than I thought I was waving. I figure the least I can do is extend other writers the same charity.
I do fairly often have the "I would have done this differently" reaction, and also frequently the "I would have liked a different book" reaction, but differently is not necessarily better, and if I want a different book badly enough, I go and write it.
The last book I threw across the room was Karin Lowachee's Warchild, because I hated the way she handled some of the child abuse issues in that book, and I found it exploitative. Which is my, you know, squiddy reaction, and what I found triggery and cheap worked very well for an enormous number of other readers.
question post here.