Since the first novel was published, we can be certain there have been many
incidents where a character or a story has changed the life of a reader or two.
Fiction is a window on other worlds as well. My German translator (and friend)
Peter Friedrich, has written to me: “Gambling on Magic inspired me to try online
gambling (no games of pure chance, of course). And meanwhile I'm winning about
300 EUR per month by playing just for fun. Thank you!”
At this rate Peter may leave translation work and
devote himself to full time gambling. I hope not. He’s one of translators
working in Germany.
Take a card? Or hold?
These are two of the
most important questions in writing a novel and in placing a bet. In reality
there has never been much difference between writing fiction and games of
chance. It comes down to probability theory. At least with cards, if you have
the technique and patience, you can count the cards and increase your chances of
winning. So far there is no equivalent of card counting to increase an author’s
chances of publishing success.
Before Peter increases his bets, it would
be wise to read Temple University math genius J.A. Paulos on Winning at Losing Games.