Courting Fame and Fortune

If I Were a Rich Man

By Jeff Salter

I chose the title of the song from Fiddler on the Roof, because I sometimes find myself humming it. Our actual topic this week deals with how my life (or typical days) might change if [when] I suddenly become a famous best-selling author with huge writing royalties.

Interestingly, I’ve thought of this fairly often. Let me explain. By itself, writing can be a rather solitary endeavor and writers can find themselves with relatively little feedback. So we have a lot of time to think. You know, “Should Character 123 do this?” And “Wonder how that scene would be in the villain’s POV?” And “What if Title ABC hits the bestseller list?”

Yeah, I suspect we all wonder how it feels to be Stephen King or Danielle Steele or JKK Rowling. Do I anticipate reaching those particular heights? No. But I do imagine one or more of my stories finally breaking through to critical acclaim and commercial success. I think we authors have to imagine some kind of success — how else can we keep banging on these keyboards and staring at these screens?


So how would I change? What would be different about my daily life?

The answer (as truthfully as I can imagine it) is: it wouldn’t change much. Oh, I’d probably upgrade our two 10-year old vehicles. And, of course, I’d pay off the mortgage and credit cards.


For a look at what I’d do with a million bucks (but no particular FAME), check out my blog from September last year:


My Model

But I don’t believe I’d go anywhere very different or change my schedule much. I like to think I’d behave much like the noted author Walker Percy, whom I knew in my hometown of Covington LA. He’d won national awards, international critical acclaim, and all his eight novels sold wonderfully (most into many printings). Yet he did his own thing in our little town and the few local people who knew he was famous mostly left him alone. He was subject of numerous national interviews and even had entire books written ABOUT him and his writing, but I honestly don’t think it ever went to his head. So Walker Percy is my model — I would not want any fame to go to my head.

Encouraging Kids

I’ve long dreamed of having the resources and the clout to sponsor writing contests and anthology publications — with a special emphasis on high school kids who have the itch to write. I’d also like to be a “visiting instructor” at a small college nearby, conducting occasional creative writing seminars for college kids.

What would the changes be?

With fame and funding, I imagine I’d have access to more resources, like fact-checkers, or assistance with things like filing and organization. I could probably afford faster internet and upgrade my hardware and software. Maybe I’d soundproof my study – ha – and add a window A/C unit!

Overall, when/if my writing ever achieves “fame” and fortune, I believe the primary difference would be that I would have slightly more confidence in my authorship status. I think I’d be in a stronger position from which I could lend assistance and/or encouragement to other authors who were still struggling in the muddy literary trenches.


What about YOU? Would fame and fortune change your life… your outlook?


About jeff7salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Twelve completed novels and five completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015, "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015, "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015, "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014, "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014, "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014, "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014, "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013, "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013, "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013, "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012, "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012. Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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6 Responses to Courting Fame and Fortune

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Now I have that song running around in my head! Your adjustments to being rich and famous are exactly what I would expect of you, Jeff! I suppose it helps to have a role model – I remember your post about him. Faster, more reliable internet would definitely be a plus – but having fact-checkers would be a real blessing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      yeah, wouldn’t it be cool to leave a few spots in your ms. with question marks and let your fact-checker do the research to verify or correct your info.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Since we covered what I’d do with real money when the topic came up about getting our hands on a million some time back, I will focus on the changes that I believe would happen in my life with real fame and fortune tomorrow.
    You sound like you have a real plan in place!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can see you teaching classes at a college and encouraging younger people to write. I think that would be a wonderful thing to do and would be perfect for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      I’ve taught 1st & 2nd graders … grad students… and adults (as a sub). I think college kids would be fun.


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