Dear Fans, Followers, and Worshippers,

It is with great regret that I announce my retirement from writing. This decision comes after a great deal of soul searching and a long, public battle with apathy. It is now, while my first novel lies unfinished in my desk drawer along with the first drafts of some short stories, that I would like to retire. Retiring while I still have the sweet blush of promise and am still a sprightly youth of 32 is the best course. I have made this decision not, as some have suggested, out of a fear of failure, but rather from a fear of the impending worldwide fame.

For starters, I am not prepared to raise several tax brackets at this point in my life. I am not a great businessman! I wouldn’t know what to do with multi-book deals and movie rights and reprint rights and the avalanche of capital from being at the top of the bestseller list. I would have had to retain advisors. Who can I trust? Success will make me lonelier than ever. Business acumen and enormous artistic gifts do not always reside in the same mortal vessel! (See John Fogerty’s Wikipedia page for more information.)

Then there’s the time. I can’t say no to people. I’m a people pleaser! That’s why I started writing in the first place. I won't be able to turn down an interview. I’d be stretched so thin! You’d walk by the newsstand and there I am smiling back at you from the cover of People, Rolling Stone, Time, Forbes (see previous paragraph), and the National Enquirer (the haters will be a force) ALL IN THE SAME MONTH! You won’t be able to listen to a podcast without hearing my savory voice waxing about my childhood and process, right there between the Me Undies commercials.

The exhaustion will take hold, and pressure will mount for me to continue creating in spite of all this. I’ll then turn to substances. I’ll resist at first, but by the time 10 minutes has passed my new Hollywood friends will have worn me down. I'll start off doing the coffee, as soon as I wake up some days. The next thing you know I’ll be on the Red Bull and using it to take 6-8 Excedrins a day.

Next thing you know I’d be staying out every night until the wee small hours of the morning. Then one night at a wild party, wine spritzers all around, I’ll be propositioned. My wife is back home in Dubuque taking care of the six children we haven’t had yet, and here I will be about to rip up my vows like the first draft of my long-awaited seventh novel. Hopped up on the Red Bull and Excedrins, I’ll be ready to strip the Me Undies that I received as part of a seven-figure endorsement deal, and throw them on my guest chandelier!

A divorce will devastate me, I was barely holding it together with the pressure on me all the time. But now ripped away from my mansion in Dubuque, I find myself lonelier than ever before. I’ll be sitting in my beachfront condo. The caffeine is fading and I’m scrambling through empty cans, hoping for a fix. With no wife and children to keep me from the edge, I'm going to turn to cigarettes. I’m talking three or four a day. An endless parade of groupies who I think are sleeping with me, but only measure me by my spot on The New York Times bestseller list.

Then at about this time, my advisors will fail me. The brain trust that has been watching my money is going to embezzle themselves right into the Caymans. All that cabbage I'm going to make from endorsements and merchandising right down the tubes. Oh, I'll still be wealthy by some standards, but I'll be broken in other ways. At this point, I'll have nothing but a few million from my sweet, sweet movie rights, and my staggering amount of talent. I probably won't even know what's going on because I'm constantly in, what my sponsor calls, “A heavily caffeinated state.” That is until the tax man shows up and takes even that! Along with my mansions, all of them, even the little one with 19 rooms.

Weeping in the alley where I'll be ripping off the seal of a family-size bottle of Excedrin. I will look wistfully to the sky, I can remember when I had a family. Now I'll have nothing. Nothing but this million-dollar mind. Success wasn’t worth all this!

It is in this spirit that I am retiring. I’m going to take this time to focus on my work at the advertising firm. Spend time re-watching shows, see if Battlestar Galactia holds up. Thank you for all your undying support over the years. Please respect my privacy at this time.

Thank You,
Chris Duvall