Why write books that may not sell?

HE SAT DOWN to write a book.

It wasn’t the first time.

It wouldn’t be the last.

He had a couple of characters tucked away in the back of his brain, and they intrigued him.

He told me about them.

Walter was his hero, and Walter was burnt out.

He had been a soldier.

He had been a cop.

He was tired of seeing men die.

He was afraid of dying.

Two wives.

Two divorces.

They were tired of being alone.

Now he was tired of being alone.

Candace was a socialite.

She had a rich husband.

He died.

Car wreck.

She married again.

She had a knack for finding rich husbands.

But, he ran off with his best friend’s wife.

He got the woman.

Candace got the money.

She loved the money.

It never loved her back.

What would happen, he wondered, if Walter and Candace got together?

Might make a pretty good book, he thought.

He sat down to write it.

“It’s a lonely job,” I told him.

“What?”

“Writing a book.”

“Not really.”

“But you sit all day in a dark empty room.”

“I have my friends,” he said.

“But they don’t come to see you.”

“They come every day.”

“I never see them,” I said.

“I make ‘em up,” he said. He grinned. “If I get tired of them, I simply toss them in the waste basket. No hard feelings. I go my way. They go to the dump.”

“How many books have you written?” I asked.

“Seven.”

“Novels?”

“Five of them were.”

“Sell a lot of books?”

“No.”

“You think this book will sell?”

“No.”

“I like the idea.”

“So do I.”

“Then why don’t you think it will sell?”

“Nobody has figured out how to sell eBooks,” he said.

“Then why go to the trouble of writing another novel?” I asked.

He shrugged.

His grin never left his face.

“I can’t help myself.”

“Why not?”

“I have a story to tell,” he said.

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