I planned to sit down today and write a new forward to my Sal Conte 80s horror novel, Child’s Play. I am bringing out my old Dorchester titles along with a new short for Halloween, and I thought a forward looking back would be a great addition. As I considered what to say, my mind drifted back to the 80s—the awesome music, the house parties, the fun I had at USC hanging with all the young would be writers trying to get our nascent careers going. It was a time of equal parts fear and exhilaration.
As I conjured up those halcyon days, my mind drifted back to my time in the South Bronx where I grew up. I started thinking of how I got here in the first place and realized it was luck. How is it that I’ve led the life I’ve led, have the career I have? Pure dumb luck. The police of the 41st Precinct dubbed my neighborhood Fort Apache. They felt any time they ventured outside of the precinct house into the streets, they were taking their lives into their hands. They even made a movie about it: “Where even the cops fear to tread.”
It didn’t seem so dangerous to me, but I was just a kid back then. It was all I knew, so what did I know.
It was back then,however, that my luck first kicked in. The tough kids in my neighborhood liked that I was different, liked that I had ambition. They looked out for me. When something bad was about to go down they’d insist I get lost. It was luck that after I graduated high school I had a friend going to Lehman College in the Bronx. She said I should check it out. It was luck that despite my terrible high school transcript they accepted me. It was luck that I was looking at the bulletin board outside the English Department office where I happened to see a poster touting the USC Professional Writing Graduate Program. It was luck I found a professor, George Blecher, to take me under his wing and nurture me.
It was luck that after arriving in Southern California (broker than I expected to be) I happened to read an article in The Writer about writing for romance magazines—which is how (after several tries) my professional career started. It was luck that I was standing at a newsstand thumbing through horror novels (I couldn’t afford to buy one), and I noticed a number of them were published by Dorchester.
Wow! Some days I can’t help but look at my life and wonder “how lucky am I?” Yeah, I know, somewhere in there comes hard work. But we all need a little luck to go along with the hard work, and I've had my share.
Okay, that’s it. That’s all I wanted to say. No deep meaning here. Before I write the Sal Conte forward I realize I have another post to write. In this one I will be thanking my role model. If you’d like to know more about Sal Conte he has his own page on my website. Check him out HERE. And my latest, Boyfriend from Hell, is still on Sale for $2.99. The price was supposed to go up on the 1st but it didn’t. I know it will be going up soon. If you’d like to read a few sample chapters click HERE and then click on Boyfriend From Hell Sample.
Enjoy your life. Take advantage of all the luck that comes your way. And remember to pay it forward. Peace.