During an interview at the annual four-day conference of bestselling thriller-authors from all across the globe, Thrillerfest, acclaimed science fiction and action author James Rollins admitted that his career may not have begun exactly as he’s stated in the past…
I reached my thirtieth birthday and thought, ‘well, if I really want to be a writer than I’d better start now,’ and that’s exactly what I did…google that story, you’ll see me tell it. I tell that story all the time…and it’s a lie!
Rollins then went on to explain that one night, around two AM, he was dolling out the payroll for the employees at his veterinary clinic, and was slightly delirious with fatigue. In the background, infomercials were playing on the television, that would alter the course of his life forever:
A booming voice asked me if I was ready to change my life…I turned toward the TV and started nodding…
As it turns out, that booming voice of God actually belonged to none other than infamous life coach, Tony Robbins.
So, Rollins did what any lost soul during the late-nighties would do; he ordered all forty of Tony Robbins cassette tapes.
The first tape said to take out a sheet of paper, forget everything you know about your life, close your eyes, and write down what you want to do…I wrote ‘I want to write a novel.’
Rollins flipped the tape over and Robbins’s voice was soon urging him to take that one, first step toward achieving that dream…and that’s exactly what he did!
So yes, I owe my career to Tony Robbins.
And, thus James Rollins began etching away at what would one-day become his breakout novel, Subterranean.
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I’ve had no formal training in writing…I joined a a writing critique group in Sacramento and, to this day, they still read all of my work before my editor does.”
It took Rollins just eleven months to finish his first novel. He then shopped the book around; sending the manuscript to one literary agent after the next.
And, much like nearly every other successful artist in the history of time, Rollins received rejection after rejection after rejection; forty-nine literary agents turned down his work.
One agent was kind enough to take the time and leave me a handwritten note on the manuscript, however…he wrote ‘this is unpublishable’.
Still, Rollins didn’t let these rejections deter him from his goal, and, luckily enough, the fiftieth agent he sent Subterranean to said yes, and the book became a wildly popular success!
It just goes to prove that all you truly need to succeed is perseverance, a steady community of support, the belief in your work (and yourself), and the booming voice of Tony Robbins.
Don’t tell Tony Robbins that…pretty soon he’ll be asking me for royalties!
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