First, let us all take a moment to gaze upon Harrison Ford in his prime.
I've been watching a lot of Making Of videos recently and was struck by director Steven Spielberg's negativity when discussing MY favourite Indiana Jones film, The Temple of Doom.
I loved that film, but googling around I discovered long discourses about how it was too dark and interviews with both Spielberg and producer George Lucas sounding apologetic about it.
In fact the movie was so dark that the Motion Pictures ratings board had to invent the PG-13 certificate so that hardier young people could go and see it.
But didn't they set out to write a family friendly adventure, like the first wildly successful Indy, Raiders of the Lost Ark?
Apparently they did.
But, Spielberg explains, the process of creating the film was so long and so detailed that they just went with it - doing whatever was best at every step of the process.
It was only when the whole thing was assembled that they realized how far into the darkness they'd tipped (Indiana Jones slugs a kid, someone's heart gets ripped out, children get whipped - some critics called it cinematic child abuse!).
Everyone asks me, is your new book going to be like Tall Story? Well no. It's older. Darker. More intense. A friend read it and actually called it gothic. Gothic? What's that?
The short of the long is that I wrote the story that came. But I didn't really know what I was going to end up with.
(Short pause to pray that my publisher doesn't hate whatever it is I've come up with)
This must be why publishers like packagers. In case you haven't been attending any SCBWI conferences lately, a packager pre-plots a book and employs authors to write it to a strict template. That way, publishers know what they're getting from the word go.
Having said that - they know what they're getting but they DONT know if what they're getting is going to become a hit.
50 Shades of Grey. Twilight. Harry P.
Nobody knew these books were heading for the big time, least of all the authors who created them.
Until our work is properly out, we don't know what sort of relationship it's going to have with the wider world.
We only know a small part of the equation. The part about hard work, creativity, invention, story.
The part that means sales, riches, fame, opportunity, immortality - that's the part we don't know about.
We have no idea and neither do the publishers.
We should try not to care.