So I’ve been a little slow on things recently. Just four days after the death of my father-in-law, one of my aunts from North Carolina passed away. It never rains but that it pours I guess. But that’s why I like writing. (I know, rough segue there). I wrote quite a bit this morning on a novel that I’ve has been rolling around in my brain for a while. I didn’t get a lot of pages written, but it was good writing – very solid and absorbing. I love when that happens: when you get so lost in the world that’s being created you can actually lose hold of the world where you live. It’s a great escape that still manages to be productive.
Blogging is a bit like that, only not in a fictitious way. I know that there are real people out there who read this, and I even know who a lot of them are. I don’t kid myself that I’m only “writing for myself” when I blog. If it was only for me, I’d keep a journal. The very nature of blogging is that it is for someone else to read, otherwise, why post it? I’m sure it would sound very artistic and deep to claim that I blog for my own soul, but that’s just baloney. I blog because I like the connections that come with it. I like the cyber-friendships I have as a result of it. And I like knowing that there are people who read my words and find them interesting, even if they don’t always agree with what I might say. That’s one of the reasons my comments are open to anyone, not just a select few people who might say something nice. Blogging is an extension of my writing, and it reminds me that, despite the other “jobs” I have, I am first and foremost a writer.
That leads me to my next topic – agents. Evil spawn of Satan that agents can be, there are the rare few who actually have me convinced that an agent is a good person to know. I’ve had two agents in the past, one who decided we were not a good mix, and one whom I decided was not a good agent for me. I’ve sold all my books on my own, and for several years I’ve been convinced that this was the way I would keep it. Children’s writers don’t make all that much money to begin with (unless you have the initials J.K. in your name), and I couldn’t see the sense in paying ten percent of what little I did make to someone else for a job I was clearly capable of doing on my own.
I’m rethinking that now. A local writer I know was recently talking on one of our list serves about foreign rights. Another writer chimed in with a discussion of all the money he had made through foreign rights for a book that isn’t even his top seller. I know the book, and it’s a good book, but I wouldn’t identify it as one of my top ten all-time favorites. But I was stunned at the amount of money this guy is making in Europe. Heck, in Poland alone he is raking in a few thousand each royalty statement. He gave complete credit to his agent for negotiating the foreign rights.
I’ve been casually looking for agents for the past few months. I think I’m shifting from casual to semi-formal now. Especially with the next book coming out in a year. I’m very proud of this one, and I know it’s going to do well. And now I have a few new ones that are making progress.
So I’m dusting off the cover letters for agents, making a list of new ones I want to contact, and getting ready to file the requisite rejection letters in the appropriate folder in my office. There is a change in the air, though. I can really sense it, like you can smell the plum blossoms in April by standing in the back yard. It’s an exciting, nervous energy that floods me with a desire to spend more time working on my books than I can really afford, but I’ll do it anyway because I know that there is something good right around the corner (apologies to Dean Koontz for borrowing a good line).
The story that is bugging me most for attention is the s/f one. It’s a challenge to write, but I’ve always loved the genre, so I’m enjoying it.
Now, back to the list of agents.