From: Shelly Li
Location: Omaha, NE
Dear Mr. Bear,
Hi, my name is Shelly. I recently finished your novel, QUANTICO, and it was just as the book cover promised me: frightening, and at the same time, thought-provoking. At first I was a little confused with the different characters and plot lines, but then they all tied together perfectly. Most of all, the characters were SO REAL. I loved the book, and I can't wait to read another one.
Currently, I'm 15 years old, and I just sold my first short story to Nature magazine. However, I'm having a lot of trouble selling another one. My friend Peter Watts tells me that you also sold your first short story around my age, so I was wondering if you could give me some advice: how do I continuously sell my stories?
From: Greg Bear
Hello, Shelly! Thanks for the kind words about QUANTICO, and congrats on the sale to NATURE--that's a great market! My only advice is to keep writing and sending out stories, and start on some longer works as your confidence builds. Don't be afraid of the usual things younger writers go through--unable to start a story, unable to find a finish for a story--because those are phases. They pass, and you may already be beyond them. Getting an early start means you'll have gone through most of the real difficulties about the time many writers just get started. So keep us informed about your progress, and feel free to ask more specific questions as you go along. Good luck, and give my best to Peter Watts!