An author’s plea
By David Kowalski
Frederick III, Elector of Brandenburg, carried a cane for walking, but occasionally put it to other uses. As the story goes, one night, walking through the streets of a city, he saw a citizen flee at the sight of him. He ordered the man captured, and when the commoner was brought before him, he asked him, “Why did you flee from me?”
The hapless bloke replied, “Because I fear you!”
Frederick, dismayed by the reply, yelled, “You should not fear me! You should love me!” and proceeded to beat the man senseless with his cane, shouting “LOVE ME! LOVE ME, SCUM!”
Frankly, that’s kinda how I feel about all you guys.
I should know better. It’s just a book. I mean I put 7 years in to writing the darn thing but no one put a gun to my head. And no one forced the edits. Well, apart from my editor, and even then, Steve was fairly nice about the whole thing. (Love you, Steve…). This all started out as a short story and possibly a distraction from my day to day world, but, now that it’s out there, I care.
In my other life, I deliver babies. Now let me make this quite clear. They are all beautiful. All of them. And some are more beautiful than others. But they are all beautiful. And Company is my baby.
I nurtured the little bugger in my arms, and fed it and nourished it, and possibly I feel a little over- protective. Now that I’ve surrendered it, and cast it out to the world, wise friends inform me that it no longer belongs to me. Fair enough. And unlike babies, and girlfriends hairstyles (if you are sensible) and any piece of artwork displayed by an enthusiastic child (this may be a grey area), it’s open to criticism.
So here I am, lugging this laptop around, ostensibly for writing, but, like dear Frederick, I may put it to other uses. So if you’re reading this out of some curiosity as to why I wrote Company of the Dead, or what influenced me, or what I was trying to say, the thing is, (and you know this…) it doesn’t really matter. I wrote it for you, Citizen. (Gee, I feel like Batman all of a sudden.) Think of me as a philanthropist, with considerable delusions of grandeur.
It’s a big book, 750 plus pages. And that’s a lot of words and stuff. Use it as a doorstop, a baby seat, an ironic paperweight. But don’t fear it.
Love it scum. LOVE IT!