|In the Beginning...
Raised and educated in Australia - the one with the roos, not the one with Julie Andrews singing on the side of a mountain he originally set out to become a network engineer, obtaining the required post-secondary courses and degrees in that direction.
After marked success towards that goal he spent nearly fifteen years in the profession, advancing to the position of Senior Network Security Engineer when an unfortunate industrial accident left him with a serious spinal cord injury resulting in a combination of paraplegia and Intractable Pain Disease.
Consequences being what they are - and the reality being that the successful career of your average network security engineer requires at the very least that one is able-bodied, as that was no longer the case, he found himself badly in need of a new career path.
After taking careful stock of skills and disposition, Chris concluded that he was left with just two obvious choices: become a nefarious hacker, or re-invent myself as a writer.
That path was discovered thanks largely to the iron-will and incredible wisdom of his wife Yvonne.
In addition to being a trained archaeologist and anthropologist, Yvonne is equipped with an impressive collection of stories which illustrate the fate of elders and disabled members of ancient tribes the world over and what happens to them if they fail to find a way to remain valuable to the tribe. Which puts a whole new twist on the concept of Publish-or-Perish!
The point to that lesson is simple: be part of the tribe and its support - or be gone!
Boots-Faubert decided that he would much rather be part of the support structure than part of the nutrients in the garden, and thus began a search for a new career.
In 2001, after carefully researching the writers market, and having realized that writing on the travel beat was the best bet for the short-term -- it being one of the more lucrative beats - he got to work.
Fortune smiled upon him in that he happened to live in a region (New England) ripe with subjects for that beat, and in a town on Cape Cod to boot, so it seemed like the perfect fit.
Oddly enough his first pitches met with failure. Editors were not interested in bed-and-breakfast reviews from an ex-Network Security Engineer it seemed.
His wife Yvonne was consulted and, after carefully examining the rejection letters, decided to give it another go but this time she wrote the pitch letters in her own name.
This almost immediately resulted in commissions.
Having cracked the code, Boots-Faubert proceeded to create a number of clearly feminine noms de plume, and thereafter did quite well once he mastered taking quality photos to accompany said review articles.
Having accomplished his initial goal of creating income, he then began trying to establish a position among other beats; areas of writing in which he felt he could write authoritatively, such as those on the tech beats.
The process went slower than anticipated, largely because the writer's market was far more competitive than he realized at the time, so he began to focus his pitching on features, and those to magazines, which both paid better (if slower), and appeared to be easier to close.
Delving into the "how-to" and info-piece market for the lucrative corporate newsletter beats, Boots-Faubert taught many a corporate bee what WYSIWYG meant, and how to really get value from Microsoft Office.
Eventually persistence and patience paid off with moderate success and with this new career well in hand, shortly thereafter Boots-Faubert obtained a variety of regular paying gigs, while still maintaining his efforts on breaking into other beats including the games and gaming beats.
While breaking into the tech beats was a rather difficult and trying experience, gaining acceptance and access to the games beats was ten times harder.
As with most beat-breaking however, persistence when combined with a sense of humor and very strong work ethics, pays off nicely.
Becoming expert on a very wide range of game genres also helps a lot.
With one foot in the door, he then revealed the pry-bar previously concealed in his wizard-like cloak and ripped that door wide open, opting to never look back.
The Video Games Beats
It is no exaggeration to say that the beats under the heading of Video Games and Gaming number among the most difficult to break into.
The reasons for that are complicated, but in the end come down to two essential facts:
1. Those beats are very popular and highly desired beats among writers - whether freelance or contract, and;
2. Breaking into those beats requires a writer to strive towards clarity and find their voice as quickly as possible due almost entirely to the massive and disproportionate ratios in signal to noise.
Happily once a writer manages to break into one of the associated beats, breaking into others becomes easier as long as they never lose sight of the fact that they must never violate the rules as they pertain to those beats.
The value of a reviewer in Games Journalism is found in their willingness to always tell the truth and be fair towards the games that they review - because that voice of honesty is the only value they bring to the beat.
The ability to actually play the games that a writer is either reviewing or guiding is also a key aspect of the craft on those beats.
Failing to properly follow the honorable path upon which these beats are founded is the fastest means of self-destruction ever devised by man short of suicide.
A Writer's Website
Many lessons can be learned simply by watching how others do the job, which is how the crucial importance of creating and maintaining a writer's website was revealed to him.
This website to be precise - and its very simple and very targeted contents, which include a simple structure based on the following:
His website was created to serve two basic fuctions - provide editors with a means to evaluate his writing in a manner that is useful to determining his value to their own projects, and providing his readers with easier access to the pieces he writes.
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