“If you don’t give up, you will get what you want.
Keep trying — you will get there.”
I just love a great writer’s success story, don’t you? They’re so inspiring! The pain, the agony, the disappointment, the “are you sitting down?” call from an agent: John Flanagan’s tale has it all. I heard him speak at a library event and he was absolutely wonderful: funny, witty, down to earth, and so encouraging.
John is the best-selling author of the Ranger’s Apprentice YA series which has been published in 28 countries and 24 languages. The series is fantastically successful and John now makes his living as an author, but his path to success was anything but smooth. In fact, he wrote nine novels for adults — and all nine (that’s right: not six or eight, but nine) were roundly rejected by publishers.
When number nine was passed by, John seriously thought of giving up writing. But just a month later, his whole life changed: he got the call he’d been dreaming of from his agent. Instead of an adult novel, it was a YA fantasy he’d originally written as a series of weekly stories for his son Michael that finally brought him fame and fortune. More than twelve years after writing the stories, inspired by Harry Potter’s success, John dusted off his YA fantasy, submitted it to his agent, and hit the publishing jackpot.
Today, ten years later, the Ranger’s Apprentice series is going strong and the 11th book is about to hit the bookshelves. John also has another series in the works. His no-nonsense advice: “If you want to be a writer, write. The more you write, the better you get. My first book was rubbish….If there’s something you want to do, don’t give up. Stick with it and you’ll get what you want.” Great advice for us all. Write on, John!