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.