Andrew Vacchs, not a man known for pulling punches, offers his opinion on the business of writing in an interview with Pulp Pusher:

TONY BLACK: You’ve described success in writing as a ‘crap shoot’, would you care to expand?

ANDREW VACHSS: Bottom line: this nonsense of “cream always rises to the top” is crap. Look anywhere you want: there are better musicians busking on the streets than you can find on major labels; actors who have ten times the talent as major stars, but you’ll never see them in a movie. And unpublished writers who are better than plenty of those who are published. Everyone knows some boxers who could put the current “champion” to sleep will never get that chance — that “sport” is all about connections. When it comes to the arts, it’s even worse… some of the most talented never even get to step into the ring. Of course “success” in writing is a crap shoot, because you can’t succeed if you’re not allowed to compete. Remember, just about everyone on earth believes they can write; and all they have to do is walk into any bookstore, nose around a bit, and they’ll find absolute proof that they can write better than someone who actually has been published. How else to explain the self-publishing empires that have sprung up? If I hadn’t caught lightning in a bottle, I never would have been published in the first place — equivalent to throwing the hard eight a dozen times in the same night, so what else would you call it?