Thursday, October 13, 2011

Author Bumping - John Locke and Winslow Eliot

Virtual Bump – by Winslow Eliot
What’s it like to bump into a famous author in the air?
My own experience was like a fairy-tale. At the time of my first encounter with John Locke, I was lost in a strange, dark forest.  He was a knight in shining armor, who greeted me with a chivalrous smile and gentle greeting.
The gentle greeting was, of course, spoken in a strange language of 140 characters that I barely knew. Still, we understood each other. It was as though I patted his steed’s friendly nose, and picked up my dew-drenched skirts, and realized that now everything would be okay. Right from the start I felt we were kindred spirits in a world that was crazy, upsidedown, no-one-understands-me…
At the time, my agent was sending out A Perfect Gem to all the remaining traditional publishers, while bemoaning the fact of the hopelessness and strangeness of what was happening in the publishing world. She described editors and publicists being fired daily; she’d see them walking along the New York sidewalks, clutching their briefcases, their faces shell-shocked. Discouraging, as usual. She’d always been discouraging. She had a lot of confidence in my books though, and even after this one was rejected six times, she valiantly persisted.
By fall I’d had my twelfth rejection and I wrote my most-read-post ever: “Waiting for the Call that Never Comes…”
John read it too.
He told me my book was beautiful, which of course is enough to turn any girl’s head. He reminded me of my talent; he gave me courage.
Throughout the winter of my discontent, my brave knight gently removed my hands from the bloody brambles I was trying to climb through, and led me toward a sunny clearing: he showed me I could be independent of the messy, dark, and thorny old publishing world. He forged a path for me toward light and pleasure in creating the writing world I had been seeking all my life.
In a shimmery forest of virtual encounters, our fairy-tale-like bumps came and went, regardless of time of day, or weather, or the real distance between us. Our conversations, although spoken in Twitterese, were like two people bumping in a story and getting to know each other.
And so I followed my knight into the land of self-publishing. I’ve already published four gorgeous, exciting, romantic tales and, thanks to Good Knight John, I’ve found not just success but happiness in being in control of my writing destiny.
John stands for courage, truth, integrity, and has led so many of us – not just me – into a new land, and a new era.
It was a good bump, friend.

Winslow Eliot

Winslow Eliot is the author of (among others) Pursued, Heaven Falls, A Perfect Gem, and Bright Face of Danger (originally published by St. Martin’s Press 1993). Her WriteSpa - An Oasis for Writers welcomes visitors from all over the world and offers rejuvenating practices and virtual encouragement. She also teaches      high school, writes poetry, and loves belly-dancing,singing and playing guitar, Tarot, sacred places, reading, and people.

A Perfect Gem



  1. A wonderful story.

  2. Pj, Thank you. It is a lovely Locke story from a lovely author.

  3. Great story, Winslow! John Locke has been an inspiration to so many authors - I'm glad you're one of them! Your books look wonderful. And best of luck going forward!

  4. Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.

  5. What a beautiful post and well-drawn metaphor. I have a similar knight in shining armor, but since she's a woman, I guess she'd be a knight-tress? No, maybe she's more like my fairy godmother, and she's none other than the very same Barbara Silkstone of this blog. My story was almost identical: an agent was trying for almost 3 years to find The Time Baroness a publisher, and it was Barbara who led the way with e-publishing "Alice" and gently encouraged me to do the same. I followed her example and as I went, she shared with me every success and failure of her own, smoothing the way for me so I wouldn't suffer as many bumps and bruises. And, just like you and John Locke, Winslow, it was all done through the air, through bits and bites. If there's one person I have to thank for the success I'm now having (besides my husband who helps me in so many ways) it's Barbara. I can never thank her enough.

  6. Karen - I'm so glad you enjoy my novels. Let me know if you want a signed paperback copy of PURSUED (my latest)! I'll send it your way. I love readers who love me! And Georgina, your eloquence regarding Barbara's encouragement warms my heart. This world of virtual - but in my experience, much more REAL - friendship has been an extraordinary journey for so many of us. There's a wonderful song by Charles Brown: "You Changed My Life - I Thank You." A favorite.

  7. A lovely post, Winslow, but what else could we expect coming from you? I do love John's versatility and how whether he's a billionaire assassin, a gun slingin' sheriff or a knight, he always such a nice guy. :)

  8. Hi Winslow! I'm honored by your wonderful comments, but have to say in all honesty, I've gained far more from our friendship than you! Winslow is the first person on Twitter who befriended me, the first who took the time to read my books, the first author to encourage me. Those words of support were so important, and came at a time I needed them most. She is a wonderful person, a loyal friend, and relentless mentor (who still urges me to write to my ability!) I'm grateful to be her friend, humbled to be mentioned in such a kind manner. But to set the record straight, Winslow is the special one in this story!

  9. What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing that lovely story, Winslow! :)