As you know, we’re about to embark on our #AROpenDoor2017 (yes, we’ve hashtagged it, go with us on this). So far we’ve told you what we want, what we don’t want, and given you some top notch, high quality robot GIFs, you lucky ducks!

But what about author experience of the process? Well right now, for your reading pleasure, we’ve a little blog post from our 2011 Open Door alumni, Wesley Chu. You may know Wes’ name as he now has three successful series under his belt, with one currently in development for TV and the another for the big screen. He is also co-writing novels set in the Shadowhunter universe, with none other than Cassandra Clare.

So you could say he’s done pretty well for himself.

Now sit back, relax and have a cuppa as Wes imparts some of the wisdom he learned from our Open Door process, and how it set him on the road to conquering the (book) universe.

Five years ago, the raging automatons and I made an alliance to take over the world.

With their massive droid army and worldwide distribution, and my Kung-Fu grip and bravely stupid bravery, we’ve embarked on a mission to conquer all mankind (dibs on New Zealand). Now with five books invading your bookshelves, we are on the cusp of total victory!

To aid in our conquest efforts, the Robots have issued a call to arms with the Great Open Submission of 2017. So attach your laser cannon droids, power up the vibro blades, get the latest firmware updates, and brush up those manuscripts! Prepare ready for total victory!

The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu

What is the Angry Robot Open Submission, you say? Here is my experience joining the Robot Army and getting my upgrades:

Oh great Angry Robot Open Submission of 2011, you were a sneaky punk-ass bastard. I shall fondly remember you for the sources of my upset stomachs, mild cases of syphilitic crazed episodes (without the syphilis of course—I swear), and extended struggles with insomnia, but you were so fucking worth it you little sweet, sweet pain in the life-changing ass you.

I know what’s going through your head. If you think syphilis and insomnia sound like a crappy time, you’d be right. I mean, not that I know or anything about syphilis being unpleasant. I’m only assuming it ranks down there somewhere between getting tickled and getting kicked in the gut. Wait, what am I talking about again? Oh yes, back to the great Angry Robot Open Submission of 2011.

Time Salvager by Wesley Chu

Hi, I’m Wesley Chu and I like to write, and through the gentle grace and heavily anodized fist of the mighty Robot Overlords, I’m the published author of the Tao and the Io series.

How has the open sub changed my life? There’s something about that first time you make the bookstore pilgrimage to see your little newborn baby sitting on the shelf in its punch-you-in-the-face yellow glory right next to Arthur C. Clarke (because Ch is next to Cl) that you realize that “shit just got real”.

To be honest, I can barely remember what my life was like before the open submission. I was just a squatter who spentcountless hours abusing the bottomless cup of coffee policies at cafes chasing a dream. Now…wait, that hasn’t changed. What has changed is that now I have a career doing what I love. Someone actually pays me to write! I mean, how ridiculous is that?

The Rise of Io, by Wesley ChuSo what’s the open door process like? Not gonna lie; it’s going to be long. You’re going to be excited. You’re going to have to wait. You’re going to lose sleep, then you’re going to wait some more. And then maybe, like I did, you’ll seek out others who have also submitted to the open sub as well (may we suggest the Absolute Write forum, run by another Angry Robot author, Pete McLean – Penny). You’ll commiserate with them and maybe form an online social group. Maybe they become your writing besties as you all eagerly hit F5 on your inbox every few seconds. Some of you will get rejected, some will be fortunate enough to move on to the next level. The numbers of rejections will eventually begin to pile up and people you grow to care about will drop out one by one.

In the end though, after you’re exhausted from the wait and the many nights of insomnia, when you’re least expecting it, you might get an email from the awesome Robots, telling you how much they enjoy your book and how they want to share it with the rest of the world.

Then you might suddenly need to sit down as you think to yourself “shit just got real”.