02 January 2013

The Sweet (Buttery) Taste of Success

A year ago this month, I received an e-mail from Big World Network saying that they loved my submission (what would become Babes in Spyland) and that they wanted to publish it as a serial story on their website.

I keep a journal, and write pretty much every day, so I pulled out last year's and took at look at the entry. There was an overabundance of Squeeing, as well as a great deal of shock that the silliest thing I've ever written is what they were interested in.

At this point last year I'd been querying my novel, New Sight, for about six months with no success. I sent Babes in Spyland to Big World Network on a crazy whim, with the plan that if they didn't want the story I would put an episode up a week on my blog. I'd always wanted to do a serial story, and this was, I supposed, my chance.

Now I haven't made millions of dollars from Babes in Spyland, but I have heard from a few people that I don't know who love the story. I even know a girl who is now writing her own version of it. And I have to admit that I'm jealous she used the name Agent TMI before I did. Oh, and the first fan art I saw made me cry,

Earlier this year I heard Kevin J. Anderson speak about his popcorn theory. To break it down, he told us that early in his career, he decided to dabble in as many areas in writing as he could—thus tossing a lot of kernels into the pan—and see where that got him. Well, go check out the guy's website and see for yourself where it got him. He's written in the Star Wars universe, the Dune universe, he's made several of his own universes and the guy just keeps on going. All because he tossed as many kernels into the pan as he could.

I feel like Babes in Spyland is that for my career—a kernel. It's nothing big. I love it, and have used it to learn how to keep a story down to a specified length while preserving good characters, humor and a plot that makes sense. If I'm not laughing as I write it, then it needs to be fixed. It reminds me that writing is fun, and that I'm here to entertain people. And if I cracked someone up, then my mission is accomplished—kernel popped.

Season 3 of Babes in Spyland concluded a few weeks ago. Season 4 begins in February. There will be 5 seasons total, and at the end if it I expect to feel like I've accomplished something. Sure, each time I read an episode that's already published I see things I could fix in it. And yes, there are a few subplots that I wish I'd explored more, but all in all I'm terribly grateful for Big World Network and their willingness to believe in me and my story. Agents Sugar Lips, Milkshakes, Bunnynose and Amphibian Queen thank them as well.

So this is a new year, what kernels are you going to toss in?

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