On Friday, I was at a fundraising event for affordable housing. I've done these for 10 years now. Affordable housing is just one piece of the puzzle of getting some people's lives on track. They had two authors speak, as well as a woman who a few years back was arrested for making meth and had her kids taken away. This spring she is getting her associate's degree and plans to get her bacehlor's. Her kids are back with her. The group that offered her a place to live also helped her learn how to be a parent. She is happy for the first time in her life.
Another story about not giving up is Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel
, who was sitting next to me at the event. When I first got to know Garth, he was the author of two midlist books, one of which was out of print (and the other of which I loved, which led me to email him and started our frquaintanship). Then he wrote a book narrated by a dog and sent it off to his agent. The day before Thanksgiving, Garth was walking into the grocery store to buy a turkey when his agent called and said he liked it but there was no way he could sell a book narrated by a dog and Garth should write something different, something more typical.
Instead, he fired his agent.
And then he couldn't get one for a long time. He had an unexciting track record and a book about a dog.
Then he met another writer who had written a literary book narrated by a crow, and he suggested Garth contact his agent.
And that agent loved it, and there was an auction, and now it's selling in 25 countries, and they are making a movie with Patrick Dempsey, and Garth is going to Italy next month tour.
But none of that would have happened if he had given up.