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Sometimes It Falls Flat

How did worldwide cataclsym, my grandma, and Amelia Earhart tie together?

I decided to find out in mid-2012.

With the Mayan Calendar predicting catastrophe at the end of the year, I explored the issue by writing a fun, fast-paced novella set in Guatemala. Alice Goes the Way of the Maya would be my 16th book.

Alice Brimble, a bestselling 70-year-old author, takes center stage as my main character. I based her on my grandma who is so independent, resilient, and lovable underneath a sometimes tough exterior.

Alice's sidekick is a young woman who first made her appearance in my novella about Amelia Earhart, a perfect foil to Alice's bristly character.

The book came out just before Christmas 2012. Turns out I was a little late to the Mayan party and missed the main buzz of the alleged apocalypse, but I had a blast writing the story. I loved the setting, loved the plot, and loved the thought of writing some sequels, Alice Goes the Way of the Eskimo, and Alice Goes the Way of the Celts.

In the end, readers didn't seem as interested in Alice as I was. This is always hard for a writer to accept. It seriously sucks.

Truth is, nobody knows or can predict how the magic of fiction, characters, and books occurs. Sometimes it works, the audience is ready, and it all creates synergy.

Sometimes, despite the quality, effort, and skill, it falls flat. Trying to make sense of it drives us creatives batty.

Alice is out there, though. Her story exists.

My story and your story, they also exist.

Whether or not the magic always happens, we keep moving forward, sharpening our skills, and putting ourselves out there. We do the hard work. We put our hearts into it.

That is life.

At the same time, the apocalypse doesn't always end up happening, the grim predictions prove false, and we get a chance to try again.

So that's what we do.

We try again.

--Eric Wilson

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