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.