So I Asked the Most Successful RPCV How Did It Happen

Luck played a large part. I only had one writing class, a C + in Creative Writing my sophomore year in college. I started writing a novel in law school because I couldn’t figure out how anyone could fill up 400 pages with words. My first novel was awful but I enjoyed the writing process so writing became a hobby. In my thirties a magazine published a short story I’d written and I got the self-confidence to try a serious novel but I had no idea what to do with it when I finished it because I’d never met anyone in publishing or anyone who had published a novel. I had five chapters and an outline written when a law school friend called from New York to say that he and his wife wanted to visit on vacation. I told them they could stay at my house and I would show them the sights. When he landed I learned that he was a lawyer with the largest literary agency in the world. I told him I was writing a novel but had no training and no idea if it was any good. I asked him if he would give my chapters to someone at his agency and have them tell me if it was worth continuing with the book or really awful. He took the first five chapters back to New York and sold it without asking me.

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