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My Dumbest Career Move

Updated: Jan 2, 2023


I had just signed a contract to write my Jerusalem's Undead Trilogy. I had four novels under my belt, all pushing the envelope in my market. I was also still working full-time at FedEx Office.


Out of the blue, I got a call from my agent while on my lunch break one day. My publisher wanted me to write the novelization of the screenplay, Facing the Giants, which was a grassroots hit film. The catch: I had five weeks to write it. The carrot: I would receive six months worth of pay.


Thanks to a supportive boss, I took an extended leave from work to complete my 5th book, 280+ pages, writing 75 hours a week for the next five weeks.


The dumbest move of my career: I chose to write an overtly Christian story with a lighter mood and more pedantic style than anything I had done before, all under the same name of Eric Wilson.


I am not a market-minded person. I didn't realize I was muddying my brand, making it difficult for readers to know what to expect from me. Suddenly, fans of my darker fiction thought I had sold out. Fans of this lighter fare bought previous darker books of mine and felt blindsided by fiction which raised questions instead of offering answers.


I would spend the next fifteen years caught in this marketing nightmare of Light or Dark. It was an issue in every interview, every reader interaction. My publisher wanted to brand me as completely Light, "the Christian Nicholas Sparks." "Absolutely not," I told them. When I later wrote books meant to appeal to both groups, the stories often failed to find either.


I loved writing Facing the Giants, for creative, personal, and financial reasons. It paid for both my daughters' braces. I also loved collaborating with the Kendrick Brothers, and went on to do so for my next two books.


But I should have done it all under a pen name, creating two separate paths for my fiction. If I could go back and correct my dumbest move, I would've written my Dark fiction under Wil Ericson, and my Light fiction under Eric Wilson.


My website, WilsonWriter.com now provides signposts for both types of books. Feel free to explore one or both.


And keep your eyes open. Wil Ericson might yet appear.


Eric Wilson







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6 commentaires


Eric Wilson
Eric Wilson
15 août 2022

Lots of good thoughts and reactions there, Phillip. Thank you. I'm cheering you on in your continued endeavors.

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You bring up a great point. Weather its right to cave in and write something that is more Christian in order to get the money you need and deserve, but afterward is less rewarding and just a paycheck and not fulfilling at all. Or stick to your guns and write the cutting-edge books that are more authentically you, but if you stick to those, your wallet and your family will suffer.


This is the exact same scenario that many Christians, and non-Christians, face every single day. I love the TV show Shark Tank. On the show, there are very often people that are totally married to a concept no matter what. They present their idea to the sharks and all…


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James Nichols
James Nichols
12 juil. 2022

Never really thought about this but I can see how it could hurt. Since I like whatever you write it didn’t matter to me. I love the research you put into your books. I also enjoy the extra backstories you add to the novelizations.

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Eric Wilson
Eric Wilson
13 juil. 2022
En réponse à

Thanks for being a great reader and fan. I don't expect everyone to like everything, or even try everything, I put out there. I could be smarter, though, in helping make their choices.

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Vicki Redman
Vicki Redman
12 juil. 2022

I am so ready for more Wil Ericson. I wondered where you'd gone. Can't wait for more "dark" books!

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Eric Wilson
Eric Wilson
12 juil. 2022
En réponse à

If you need some Dark while you're waiting, my last book is one of my favorites...From Chains to Change is an intense read!

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