Exclusively on Matt Kincade’s blog, D.B.B.M. LeConnard, bestselling author of the Dragon Elf Foundling Wizard Prince series, shares his harrowing story of persistence and overcoming adversity to become a successful traditionally published author in today’s challenging literary landscape.
Greetings, dear readers. Matt Kincade, the author of this little blog thing, has asked me to relate to you, his followers, the tale of my path to publishing success.
Let me begin by saying that saying that this is not an easy road. The path to literary greatness and adoration is not for everyone. You must be totally, completely committed to your goal. In addition, like me, you must be an utter genius and a literary savant. If ever you’ve struggled to find the right word, if ever you’ve written something and not immediately known that it was the best writing you’ve ever done, that anyone has ever done, you are not ready. This is not the path for you.
Luckily, being the inherent literary genius that I am, It was the path for me. I, of course, knew how to write before I knew how to talk. The whole of the Dragon Elf Foundling Wizard Prince series sprang, fully formed, from my brilliant imagination when I was seven years old. By the time I was eight, I had Book One: Foundling Wizard Prince Awakens to His Fantastic Destiny, finished, and was working on book two.
Of course, nobody wants to publish the work of an eight year old, even one as amazingly gifted as myself. And so I had a long wait, biding my time and doing my best to interact with the slower children in school, while unsuccessfully sending my manuscripts off to agents and publishers. I began attending every writer’s and publisher’s convention I could find, discovering my peers and my competitors, and intricately plotting their deaths.
At the age of nineteen, following a year in the mountains of Tibet—learning the ancient Shavukinasa Walakali meditation technique known only to a few monks high in the Himalayas—I returned to the United States and moved to New York City, determined to at last break into the writing industry.
I submitted my manuscripts. I was rejected. And I submitted. And was rejected. It was a low point in my life. There I was, alone in a studio apartment with my genius and my typewriter. (Yes I know most normal people use computers, but I am not a normal person. I am an Author, and only that firm analogue input, the indescribably feeling of my finger depressing a mechanical lever, pushing an ink-slicked stamp to leave an indelible mark on high-quality bond typing paper, can truly capture my artistic inspiration.)
I took drifts and piles of rejection slips and built things with them. A couch. A desk. A friend. But I was never deterred. Never once did I question the purity of my purpose, of my destiny. As the Foundling Wizard Prince was destined to become the king of the Dragon Elves, so too was I destined to become a bestselling YA fantasy author.
Still, I submitted. Still, I was rejected. In my free time, I stalked and murdered my competitors. I obtained work as a waiter at restaurants and cafes frequented by professionals in the publishing industry. (merely to further my literary goals, I assure you. I wouldn’t presume to debase myself by working such jobs merely for money, merely to pay the rent on my shoebox apartment.) I learned their names. I flattered and cajoled, making them the objects of my considerable charm. I casually mentioned my books. I “accidentally” left manuscripts at their tables. I offered sexual favors. All to no avail.
And so I devised a plan. Prior to a publisher’s conference, I infiltrated the hotel by pretending to be a bellhop. I was able to obtain a copy of the conference itinerary. Particularly of interest to me was a private luncheon, at which executives from all of the big five publishers would be in attendance.
On the day of the conference, clad all in black, with a ski mask over my face, I leaped from an adjacent rooftop to the roof of the Marriott Hotel, then rappelled down the side to a service entrance. I stripped off my black clothes, revealing a housekeeping uniform underneath.
I made my way, undetected, into the hotel. The conference was in full swing. My peers and competitors, those I hadn’t murdered or otherwise ruined, were milling around the conference floor, unaware that I was about to soar right over their heads to limitless literary success.
Because I couldn’t decide which of my brilliant plans I wanted to use, I then karate-chopped a UPS deliveryman in the neck and stole his uniform, dressing in his brown shirt and shorts, leaving him unconscious in a laundry cart.
I approached the conference room, casually nodding to the the security guards as I passed, a brown cardboard package in my arms.
I knocked on the door. They opened. “Delivery for Robert Dibbler,” I said.
They let me in.
At that point I slammed the door shut and jammed it with a chair. Either I’d get that contract or they’d all burn with me.
I stripped off the UPS uniform. underneath, I wore a handmade costume, depicting Ka’reth Muldgwanado, the Foundling Dragon Prince protagonist of my works. “Chalago Kal!” I screamed, which is the traditional greeting of the Dragon Elves. I set off a smoke bomb and shot roman candles from my sleeves, in imitation of Dragon Elf magick, and flung copies of my manuscript about the room, one of them striking the president of Simon and Schuster squarely in the face.
At the same time, I read aloud the prologue to my first book, Foundling Wizard Prince Awakens to His Fantastic Destiny, knowing that the might of my prose would win them over. Of course they said, “Please don’t hurt us, oh God it’s happening again,” but what they meant was, “I am transported to a faraway land by this Author’s sheer brilliance. Thank all the Gods he had enough gumption and moxie to find his way to us, and may those same Gods forgive us for leaving his manuscripts unread on the slush pile.”
Then, just as hotel security broke down the door, Margaret Robineaux, Vice President of Hachette Books, said, “Wait a second, LeConnard? Are you Ralph LeConnard’s kid?”
Turns out my dad went to college with Margaret Robineaux. So we had lunch the next day, and she signed me on for a seven-book contract, with a nice six-figure advance. Six months later, Foundling Wizard Prince Awakens to His Fantastic Destiny was on the front table of every Barnes and Noble in the country.
In conclusion, though the path to traditional publishing success is not an easy one, you too can do it, provided you are brilliant, naturally gifted, psychotically obsessed, willing to pave a road to victory with the broken bodies of your enemies, and have connections.
Happy writing, and Kipple Pagillo! (which is Dragon Elvish for “Good luck.”)