I have to apologize for not getting this out yesterday. Suffice it to say that it’s been a long week. That said, I’m posting now in the hopes that people will see this and find some good information from the interview I did with Jennifer Pereyra.
This is a part of the author interview Jennifer so graciously gave me, and I hope you’ll find her insight helpful when you consider Tate Publishing. Following today’s post, I’ll be putting up another post tomorrow featuring Jennifer’s background and history. I hope you’ll stick around to read more about this budding new children’s author.
With no further ado, here is the Q&A session I had with Jennifer concerning her experiences with Tate Publishing. She was very thorough and answered all my questions with detailed information about her experience, and I think you’ll find it as informative and helpful as I did.
What process did you go through to finally find your current publisher?
A LOT! I did a ton of research to figure out how I wanted to go about publishing.
I looked at what the process would be to get an agent and to hook up with one of the big NYC firms. What I found, however, is especially in the children’s book genre, unless you are a previously published author or a celebrity with built-in marketing (think Tina Fey) where people will buy the book just because it was written by you, your chances of getting out of the slush pile are slim to none. I wanted to make sure that this book got into print during a timeframe when my daughters would still be able to enjoy it. It was, after all, for them that the story was written.
Next I looked at the vanity presses and also read a lot about self-publishing. The vanity presses out there offer little to no marketing support, they don’t have relationships with the major bookstore chains, and they will print anything as long as you are willing to pay. One can literally be nickeled and dimed up to the point of having to buy back your own work should you choose to sever the relationship. Going the self pub route didn’t seem realistic for me either as you are completely on your own. To be successful going either of those routes, one would need to be able to dedicate time as if it were their full time career. I just don’t have that luxury.
Then I came across Tate Publishing. Being a business woman myself and always trying to find non-traditional methods for achieving good business results, I immediately understood and appreciated their business model. By requiring an author investment, they are mitigating their risk. They want to make sure that once they have invested their time and money into your book that you are going to reciprocate and work as hard as you can to sell your books when at signings and other marketing events that they schedule for you. (By the way, I did put together an Excel spreadsheet comparing what the vanity presses would charge for the same services that Tate provides and it ended up being from $12,000-$18,000. Knowing that, the $4K charged by Tate is quite a deal!) Dangling the carrot of the 5,000th copy sold to get your money refunded (which also results in Tate publishing subsequent works by you at no cost to you), is their “insurance policy”. It made perfect sense to me.
Did you attempt to get other agents and/or publishers before going to Tate? What was that like?
I did have a conversation with Mill City Press, however, based on how they do business, it would have cost me a minimum of $12,000 for a full color picture book. They seemed reputable but that price tag was just too high for me to even consider. Beyond that, there weren’t any out there that after all of the research I had done, I would seriously consider.
How long did it take you to find a publisher who wanted to publish your book?
As with the writing, I dove into this project head first so I think I had made a decision in a few weeks.
When you first began researching Tate, what were your thoughts on the company? Did you have any initial misgivings?
Honestly, I completely understood their business model from the get-go. However, I don’t trust anything at face value so I checked the Better Business Bureau and they had an A+ rating. They were also listed as one of Oklahoma’s Top 100 Companies to work for. In addition, I set up a Google Alert for Tate Publishing and followed those for a while to see if any red flags popped up. At the end of the day, I decided that they were indeed on the up and up.
If you had any questions or concerns about Tate, what made you change your mind?
After I looked at all of the information objectively, I didn’t really have any concerns. All of my questions were answered as a result of the research I had done.
I know Tate is fairly up-front about the cost investment for first-time authors. Did that bother you in any way?
No…well, don’t get me wrong, of course I would have loved for them to have taken on my book without having to invest any money into it but that isn’t how they work. It is exactly that model which allows them to take a risk on first time authors.
What is Tate’s process for vetting books from first-time authors? Can you tell us how the process worked for you from submitting your manuscript to getting the go-ahead for publishing?
In terms of the review process they go through, well, you’re going to have to ask them about that. I wish I could tell you but once I hit the submit button on their website, my manuscript was off and I don’t know what they did with it from there. All I know is I received an e-mail, about 6-7 weeks after submitting it asking me to respond to some questions about my motivation for writing the book. I replied to that message and within 7-10 days, a contract had arrived via UPS at my house. I remember because I had been taking an afternoon nap and when I came downstairs my husband had the package in hand. It was very exciting!
How involved have the people at Tate been in getting your book from the manuscript stage to the final published format?
They have been extremely involved in getting it to this point! I started off working with my editor, Hannah. She was great and handled making sure all of the commas, quotation marks, etc. were in the right places. She also made recommendations to me as to where she felt the story could be enhanced a bit more and even in some cases where she felt that something just didn’t flow properly. I was very pleased with all of her feedback and my manuscript is definitely better because of it.
From there I worked with Liz, my illustrator. Liz read the story and then contacted me to set up time to speak with me about the main characters in the book. After going back and forth several times, we came to agreement on the character reference sketches (which can be seen in the photos section of my Facebook Fan Page). A few days later, Liz contacted me so she could talk with me about her ideas for the storyboard. She told me how she envisioned the illustrations and I was able to comment on some things that I thought should be included. I will say, however, that I am a firm believer in letting the experts do what they do best so while I would share with her what I was thinking, I also made it clear to her to push back on me if anything I was saying wouldn’t have the desired effect…and she did in a couple of circumstances.
After the illustrations were complete, my file was passed on to Chris, in layout who was responsible for the cover design of the book. Chris looked at the illustrations that Hannah had done and provided me with a few different options (they can also be seen in the photos section of my FB Fan Page) and this is where I decided to do something a little bit different. I reached out to as many people as I could via e-mail and through Facebook and asked them to vote on their favorite. In addition to voting, many people provided ideas for minor tweaks here and there that ended up getting incorporated into the final choice.
From there, Chris (not my layout designer, Chris…another Chris) my marketing representative contacted me to set up time to talk about the pre-release marketing plan for my book. I told him what I had in mind and what I was already doing and he also provided me with some additional suggestions. Chris has been great about getting review copies out to those that have expressed interest in writing a review on the book. He is also in the process of coordinating the development of my media kit which will be ready by the official release date of the book which is April 5th.
Do you feel that Tate was the right choice for you in getting your book published?
I do. Thus far, they have done everything that they said they would and there has not been one bump in the road. Considering that the book was just printed, I am sure there is still much to write in terms of our relationship, however, for now, I have no complaints.
What were your experiences working with the people at Tate?
So far all of the interactions have been great! My e-mails are always answered and my phone calls are always returned.
What would you say to those people who are curious about the claims that Tate is a vanity publisher?
I guess that I would say they are trying to stick a square peg into a round hole. The fact is that as human beings, we like things to fit nice and neatly into predetermined definitions and whenever something is outside of the norm of how we understand things to work, we get uncomfortable. I think that thus far, the publishing world has been defined by three means of publishing; traditional, vanity, and self-pub. Tate doesn’t fit neatly into any of those and as opposed to creating a new “bucket,” folks would rather try to make Tate fit where they feel appropriate.
Do you believe the author investment is a fair one to make in order to get your book printed? And is Tate making good on their promise to invest a far heftier amount in publishing, advertising, and placing your book?
I do think it is a fair amount. Like I had said previously, of course I would have preferred to not pay anything up front. With that said, it’s the nature of the beast. I am fairly confident that with the genre of my book and the fact that it appeals to a niche market, I would not have even gotten a first look from a traditional press. They are looking for books that appeal to the market where everyone is a target reader. There are few examples out there of a traditional press taking on a children’s picture book that was written by a first time author. Also, I mentioned earlier that I had priced out what it would have cost me to go with a vanity press and get the same services that Tate offers and it was pretty astronomical. Finally, if I had chosen to go the self-pub route, it would have cost me more than the author investment to hire an illustrator and layout designer. On production alone, the investment has paid for itself. I am, of course, definitely working towards selling the 5,000 copies to get the investment refunded altogether!
Since it is fairly early in the marketing phase, I can’t fully speak to all aspects of marketing yet as there is still much to be done once the official release date hits. Perhaps we can touch base again in 6-9 months to follow up on that topic.
Overall, have you had a positive experience getting your first book published?
Yes, I can honestly say that I have had a very positive experience.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers who are considering getting a book published?
Do your homework. Don’t try to tackle something that’s been done a hundred times before unless you really believe that you have a truly unique way of telling the story. Also, start making your own connections, even before you have been accepted for publication. Of course the writing has to be good, however, never…never…never forget that books make it on “best-sellers” lists, not “best-written” lists so good writing is never enough! Finally, do your own research on what method of publication is best for you. Read everything that is out there and look at both the positive and the negative.
Then take all of that information into consideration when deciding what will work for you. I believe that ultimately, when provided with all of the necessary information, people will make the right decision for themselves.
And there you have it! Jennifer Pereyra is the author of “Mommy and Daddy Work To Make Some Dough,” which will be coming out in stores on April 5, 2011. She has already agreed to speak with people who have questions about her experiences with Tate, and she was gracious enough to offer her thoughts to me for the purposes of my blog.
Check out her Facebook page for more information about the book and her writing! And check back here tomorrow for more information about Jennifer, her book, and my review of the book before it hits shelves! Feel free to leave a comment as well!
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 13 so far )
Posted on March 28, 2011. Filed under: Authors, Manuscript Submission, Publishing | Tags: first time authors, Jennifer Pereyra, publishing industry standards, Tate Publishing, unknown authors, vanity presses |
It’s been a while since I visited the question of Tate Publishing, and now I’m bringing it back up with a twist. I know a lot of people out there were interested in my original post talking about Tate, so I’m going to revamp it with updated information and begin a series of posts on Tate.
For this, I’ve brought in a Tate author, Jennifer Pereyra. Jennifer has followed my blog a bit, especially when she found my original post. At the time, she was just beginning her relationship with Tate and starting the publishing process on what will be her first children’s book. She was a little disappointed to see my negative views on Tate and made a point of writing a comment about her experiences with the company.
Thus, Jennifer and I began a series of comment and subsequently email communications that have proved enlightening to me in their detail. I feel that I’m getting to see a side of Tate that few people see outside of those who work with the company or are published through the company. For that, I have to thank Jennifer, whose communication has been honest, straightforward, and pleasant.
In the interest of full disclosure, I spoke with Jennifer and asked her if she would be willing to interview with me. Her answer was a resounding yes, and I will be breaking up the interview into pieces. I’m going to give you a brief overview of what most people already know about Tate, followed by the Q&A I had with Jennifer concerning her experiences with the company. Then I will change pace a little and tell you Jennifer’s story, how she came to write a children’s book, and her background. The last bit I’ll post is a review of her new book, Mommy and Daddy Work To Make Some Dough.
If at any time you would like to offer some questions about Tate, some commentary of your own, or any other dissenting opinions, please feel free to post them into the comments section of the blog. I’m also interested in getting a round table discussion going with Jennifer or some of the Tate employees and those people who are either dissenters or curious about Tate. If you’d like to participate in this, please feel free to send me an email at the address I’ve posted in the contact me section of the blog.
Now, with that said, let’s begin looking at Tate Publishing. This post will be an overview of the company and their practices. I’m no expert, and I am trying to be as objective as possible while pulling from different online resources. Please be aware that I am in no way employed by Tate or published through the company. I’m simply a person who is curious and trying to find the most up-to-date information about the company on the off chance that I ever decide to publish one of my works-in-progress.
First, I know that Tate has been criticized in the past for its author investment practice. On many websites, forums, and blogs, people have complained that this investment makes Tate a vanity publisher. I’ve read several author blogs that state quite firmly that no “traditional” publisher would ever require an author to pay to publish his works.
The argument here is that if a publisher likes your book enough, he will publish it. Simple as that. No author investment required.
This is my opinion, but I think there’s a bit of a problem with this scenario. Unfortunately publishing today has been changing. Instead of having publishers eager to see new names that might one day become best-sellers, there are more and more publishers balking at the idea that they should publish a no-name author who has never been seen in print before. Why? Because public opinion is king in this industry.
If you’re a no-name author, the chances that you will write something spectacular enough to get you listed on the best-sellers list are slim to none. That sounds harsh, and I’m criticizing myself here, but most authors today are unfortunately required to write to the audience instead of writing for themselves. If you want to write a story, most publishers will evaluate it based on whether it will sell to the mass of readers. That’s it. No consideration for the caliber of writing, no consideration to the uniqueness of a plot, nothing. Now, I can’t speak for publishers in general as I’m not affiliated with a publisher in any way, shape, or form, but it seems to me that the mass of books being published today are either big name, well-known authors who have a huge following, or concepts that are similar to the biggest trends in publishing right now (i.e. vampire fiction for young adult readers).
It’s obvious, isn’t it? Several big name authors have already begun “presenting” works by unknown authors. James Patterson, for example, “presents” several books that are not his own writing. This marketing ploy to get new authors out there sometimes flops because readers have recognized the way these things are phrased on the covers of books. But the point is not that it’s happening; the point is that this is one of the few ways unknown authors are finding to get recognized enough to get on the reading map, so to speak.
With that said, is it any wonder that more and more unknown authors are turning to self-publishing and e-books? Why wouldn’t they want to go with a publisher that promises to treat them fairly (as Tate does in their author FAQs) and work hard to get them noticed in the dog-eat-dog world that is the publishing market these days?
The only thing I can think of keeping people from flocking to Tate is the author investment. And I think that’s the way Tate wants it. With so much information out there claiming Tate as a vanity press or charging exorbitant amounts* for their authors, it’s not surprising that more people aren’t polishing up rough drafts to send in to the company.
Instead, countless authors are sending their manuscripts to agents and publishers, accepting the rote responses that tell them they aren’t worth the agent’s time or publisher’s money. And Tate, on the other hand, gets to sift through its smaller slush pile at a more leisurely pace, picking and choosing its authors with care as it considers what authors and books are going to be worth putting in a substantial investment of time and money to publish.
The author investment aside, Tate is also different from traditional publishers in another way. The company is doing everything right, as they claim on their website. Competing in the publishing world is a matter of marketing and placement. So Tate has started their own marketing via short TV commercials. Instead of simply allowing their books to go into a bookstore where they may or may not be seen, promoted, and sold, Tate puts money into marketing campaigns for the author, showing commercials, facilitating book signing events, and finding other ways to promote their authors.
On its website, Tate also claims to have good relationships with all of the big distributors. Ingram, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders – all are listed as companies that Tate has relationships with. While I don’t know the process of getting a book placed in a store, I do know that working with someone who already has relationships in place with the store I want my book in is a bit of a comfort to me. I somehow doubt that vanity publishers and self-publishers offer you quite the same deal.
Tate Publishing states that they will give each author a competent team of editors, marketers, and whatever else they believe is needed to get that author into the wider world of published works. I’ve read on other websites that many people don’t “see” Tate books listed on major bookseller websites, and I haven’t done enough research on that to comment. However, I can’t imagine a company that has won awards for being one of the best companies to work for in Oklahoma being so successful without practicing what it preaches at least to an extent.
So now I’ll end this little post by asking you not to lambast me with negative comments. If you have thoughts about this, please feel free to comment, and I will respond; however, if your only aim is to tout how terrible Tate is or vice versa, please do so in a structured, considerate manner. Most of the above consists of my own opinions mixed in with the facts about Tate Publishing, and I would appreciate if you read this post in that light.
I am going to be posting the Q&A with Jennifer Pereyra tomorrow for your reading pleasure. I hope you’ll all be looking forward to that. Again, if you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Jennifer has also been very responsive to the comments here, and I’m sure she would be happy to answer any questions that are not already answered in her interview.
Thanks again for reading, and I hope you do your own research into this and other publishing opportunities that come your way.
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 7 so far )
Today I’m posting the short interview I had with guest post writer and published author Dr. Edward Group. His book The Green Body Cleanse is now available in print and e-book formats from Amazon, and he is the founder of the Global Healing Center.
Dr. Group was gracious enough to permit me a few questions about his successful career and the books he has written. Now I’m going to present the questions I asked and his detailed responses for you. I hope you’ll enjoy this brief Q&A and find it as enlightening as I have, and if you’re interested, please feel free to check out his books and company.
Can you tell me a little about who you are, your history, and your career background?
I hold a variety of degrees related to natural health and healing from many established institutions including a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) from Texas Chiropractic College, a Naturopathic Physician (ND) degree from the Natural Healing Institute of Naturopathy, an Alternative Medical Practitioner (AMP) certification from the American Alternative Medical Association, and more.
I’ve studied natural healing methods for over twenty years and now use that knowledge to educate individuals and practitioners throughout the world. My mission is to help as many people as I can by providing them with the most accurate health information in the world. I want to help educate and heal the world, promote a clean environment, and bring back good health, positive thinking, happiness, and love.
You are the CEO of Global Healing Center. What does this company do, and where is it based?
I founded Global Healing Center in 1998 with the goal of providing individuals with a variety of resources related to alternative, natural, and organic health. Global Healing Center offers a wide variety of products and home health equipment such as air purifiers, water purifiers, hi-tech supplementation, radiation protectors, books and educational material, colon cleanse supplements, custom designed health programs, personal consulting and more. The company’s goal is to educate people in understanding what causes poor health and to help them achieve their health goals by providing people with the tools that they need to live a long, healthy, happy life.
What inspired you the most to write the books that you have?
Over my 20 years of research and study, I’ve become disgusted with the mainstream medical community. It seems to me that the health care industry is more focused on treating the disease when its real goal should be to prevent disease. Following extensive research, I realized that our environment is full of toxins, and by living a toxin-free life, we can reach optimal health and happiness.
Can you tell me a little about what The Green Body Cleanse book is all about? What is the book’s biggest message to readers?
The Green Body Cleanse addresses disease with a different attitude than most health care professionals take: to prevent disease instead of simply treat it. A significant amount of the book focuses on the toxic state of the average person’s colon, and I provide readers with ways to test exactly how toxic his or her colon is. I then go on to discuss the overwhelming amount of toxins that we come into contact with during each and every day. I also supply solutions to the problems with a list of tips at the end of each chapter. Some of these tips are lifestyle-changing, but many of them are easy to implement and are promised to do a world of good. Finally, I give readers a complete plan: the Green Body Cleanse.
Who is your target audience for this book, and why do you think it’s important for that particular audience?
My target audience with The Green Body Cleanse is every single person in the world. I feel that people are grossly uneducated about the lifestyle choices they make on a daily basis, and many of these choices lead to an unhealthy state. Only through education can a person gain the knowledge they need to eradicate toxic living and lead a fulfilling, healthy life.
And there you have it! I hope you’ve enjoyed this short interview with Dr. Group, and please feel free to leave any comments you may have! Tomorrow I’ll be starting a new series that you won’t want to miss. In the meantime, I hope you’ve enjoyed this mini-series on e-books and Dr. Group’s particular insight into the process!
– RaeRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Hello all – I’ve got a fantastic guest post for you today courtesy of Dr. Edward Group. Dr. Group is the founder of Global Healing Center and has written several books. In his guest post, he’ll be talking about e-books and how he got into the electronic version of books. So, without further ado, here is the guest post by Dr. Group!
The journey to getting a book published and having it released to the public is a difficult, but rewarding path. You must think about the message you’re trying to convey, and you must decide if print or electronic is the way to go.
When I first began writing The Green Body Cleanse, these worries were the furthest thing from my mind. I was concerned with one thing: telling what I knew in order to help my readers live healthy, toxic-free lives. I was more concerned with portraying the best information and advice to my readers than I was with worrying about if I should push for hardcover, paperback, or electronic book formats.
Once the book was published in hardcover in 2009, I sat back and basked in my glory. It was listed on Amazon.com, and I was thrilled that my message was now out there, ready to be received by all those looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
After a year, it was time to try out an electronic version. After all, it couldn’t hurt matters, right? So The Green Body Cleanse was converted into a version suitable for e-readers such as the Amazon Kindle.
I knew that it would take a lot of work to get attention drawn to the Kindle version of my book. By utilizing various forums and tools on the Internet, my team and I did all we could to get the word out that my book was now available in Kindle format. It made sense to first turn to Amazon to promote the e-book—that was where it was being sold, after all. We created an Amazon Listmania list focused on the best natural health books available for the Kindle and also created a So You’d Like To… guide on Amazon focused on natural cleansing. We got the word out on a number of e-book and Kindle forums, and then targeted sites that featured author interviews. The promotion never seemed to stop—but it was all worth it.
The result of all of our hard work? The Kindle version of The Green Body Cleanse went to the #1 spot on the Amazon Kindle Natural Health bestseller list! My book is just one true-life study of how you can make e-books work for you!
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
After flying back to China and going through my first week of classes, I’m officially tired and enjoying a hard-earned weekend of relaxation. It’s going to take another week or so before I’m really back in the groove around here; though it feels a bit like I never left because it’s that comfortable feeling of being back home.
I will admit my mother would hate to read that I’m back to calling China home, but that’s what happens when you live somewhere for a few months, right? So this little apartment with the hideous furniture is home.
And since I’m back home, I have some news for you all!
Get ready, cause this blog will be having a few new posts coming up that might be of interest to you. Of course, it might bore you at the same time, but I hope it’ll be interesting. At the very least, I’m excited.
I’m going to be doing a series of posts on eBooks in the next week or so that will include a guest post by an author whose book is now available for the Amazon Kindle. He’s graciously offered to answer some interview questions for me as well, so I’ll be writing a post about him and his career as well that will follow up the eBooks posts.
Now, I’ll add my disclaimer that this person came to me and requested to do a guest post on my blog. Ah, I should say that it wasn’t even the author but a marketing agent who asked on his behalf. I agreed because I was curious about the man and what he would say. So be looking for those posts.
In addition, I’m pleased to say I’ll be doing another series on publishers, including Tate Publishing. My original post on Tate has by far been the most popular one ever on this blog and has gotten more comments and readers than any of the others. Because of one of my commenters, I will be doing a follow-up series on Tate, looking at it from the viewpoint of those authors who have gone with Tate.
I will be writing a series on Tate, reviewing what I initially posted. Then I’ve got a lovely surprise to spring on you. I’m hoping to finagle a few extra posts on Tate that will include some insider information and facts, and maybe we can finally make a decision on whether Tate is worth going to for publishing or not.
Other than that, I’ve been reading the same (long) book as before and enjoying the slower lifestyle of being in China. It makes it harder for me to get motivated to finish reading my books, but I also have a number of books that I still need to read here with me, so hopefully I’ll be able to do that as well.
Be looking forward to my new posts, and I will definitely be back soon! Leave a comment and let me know what you think… and I hope you’re all doing well!
– RaeRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Posted on February 8, 2011. Filed under: Authors, Musings | Tags: Baroness Orczy, C.S. Lewis, interviews, Jane Austen, JRR Tolkien, Lauren Willig, Lori Wick, Orson Scott Card, Ted Dekker, William Shakespeare |
Does anyone know if authors do interviews with lowly bloggers?
I ask because I want to pick up my rusty journalism skills and start practicing again and was thinking it would be fun to be able to interview some of my favorite authors. Of course, that requires some clout, or I’m assuming it does.
I know there are bloggers out there who are well known to the publishing and writing industry. These are the bloggers who get to read the ARCs and review them for publishers. They have a highly rated blog simply by dent of having hundreds of followers, all of whom want to know about the books these people read.
I, clearly, am not one of those people. But it would be nice to find out if authors are willing to interview with a lowly blogger like myself.
Now, it’s also clear that I’m not a journalist. I studied journalism in college for a while, thinking I would double major in business and journalism and find a better job that way. But I dropped journalism shortly after starting the major, perhaps a year into it, due to personal circumstances.
However, my passion for writing has never changed, and since I can’t get a job in a newspaper or magazine at the moment, it would serve me well to keep up my skills by writing for myself and my readers. I merely thought it would be fun if that writing was about established authors and could get me noticed by a few more people in the process.
So far, I’ve contacted my favorite author twice and received one response from her. It was a personal response instead of a form letter, but as Lauren Willig has become ridiculously popular, I’m not sure I could get an interview with her, even one through email.
Other authors I’d like to interview? Ted Dekker, for one. Despite not being happy with the tacked-on ending (or beginning) to his Circle Trilogy (series?), I am curious about how that man’s mind works. His characters are so vivid that I wonder if they’re not people he knows in real life. Not to mention the worlds and situations he creates.
Off-hand, I’d also like to interview one of my earliest “adult” authors: Lori Wick. I started reading her books when I was a child, but those were the books that introduced me to the world of “adult” fiction, or rather, the world of fiction that technically should have been above my reading level. Lori Wick was always one of my favorites growing up, even though I sometimes feel she’s lost some of her touch (though part of that is due to the overwhelming amount of Christian romance fiction that permeates [read: saturates] the market today).
Aside from those three authors, I wouldn’t mind interviewing Orson Scott Card as I find his ability to make me like science fiction fascinating. Francis Chan would be awesome to interview as would Diana Gabaldon.
There are so many authors who I’d love to interview simply to understand their minds and where their inspiration comes from. The unfortunate thing is that many of the authors I’d really like to interview are already dead.
What would it be like to interview C.S. Lewis or JRR Tolkien? To sit down with William Shakespeare for a cup of tea and a chat? To walk along a field with Jane Austen, pumping her for information about Mr. Darcy? Or, if you’re like me, to watch an opera with Baroness Orczy and then stay up late at night with her, sipping whiskey (or whatever alcoholic beverage was her preference) over rousing tales of Sir Percy Blakeney?
Clearly that won’t happen. But I’d like to think that some authors out there are willing to be interviewed by poor bloggers like myself. Does that happen? I’m not entirely sure and haven’t done enough research to see if it does or not.
Who would you interview if you could? And why?
– RaeRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
Technically speaking I am among the throngs of the unemployed. It’s not a bad situation for me as it is for thousands of others; I’m still living at home with my parents, and they both have steady (or fairly steady) jobs to keep us fed and clothed. I’m pretty blessed in the fact that they’re not raring to throw me out onto the streets or finding ways to not-so-subtly encourage me to get any job I can find.
That’s not to say I’m not looking; I am. I’m just not sure how excited I am about getting a job in the first place.
When I was younger, I imagined writers that I adored sitting back with their families, writing at leisure, sending off manuscripts to editors and publishers and whatnot, and being lazy in the meantime. It sounded like a great life to me. Get paid to write? And have lots of free time on the side? Who wouldn’t want to do that?
Unfortunately, as all childhood dreams are wont to do, I wised up. Perhaps I don’t have all the facts, but I’m fairly certain most of the writers out there are not sleeping in, writing a few hours a day, and then making lavish dinners using the expensive ingredients they’re able to buy on their author’s income. To my knowledge it’s a little more common for writers, especially those who are unestablished, to work a second job until they make enough money writing that they don’t need a supplementary income.
Or, in the case of a lot of female writers I’ve seen, they’ll write all day while their husbands work. Even in that situation, I can’t see it being the leisurely art I often dreamed of. And the husband either has a very good job or the family lives modestly.
I get the feeling that’s a more practical way of looking at things.
I’m not published, at least, not in terms of novels. I’ve barely finished writing my first one. And I’m afraid it needs months of work to get it into a presentable stage that could be used to query agents or publishers. No, I’m nowhere near being a published author.
But I always wanted to be one. And now I’m wondering how long my parents would consent to letting me be a stay-at-home author while unpublished and with no form of supplementary income. I’m guessing that won’t last long if I’m not at least looking for a job.
Sometimes I think it’s too bad I don’t already have a rich husband willing to let me stay home and write all day. But then again I probably wouldn’t have written my first novel had I already been married. A lot of things would be different. And I imagine a lot of authors have had the same thoughts.
How would things have changed for some of our favorite authors if they hadn’t had the experiences they did? For one thing, we wouldn’t have nearly as exciting of books to read. The whole ‘write what you know’ admonishment does tend to stick, after all. For another, some of the great authors might never have begun writing had they not experienced certain things.
I think that would be a great travesty, personally. To have the ability to put into words something that is precious and beautiful and yet never to use it? It’s like Bach having never composed. And what would the world be like without ‘Toccata and Fuge in D Minor’?
Certainly we wouldn’t know what we’d missed, but would there be a part of us that yearned for something greater than ourselves? It’s possible.
Even so, it is, as I’ve read in various Q&As with authors, a good thing to have jobs and husbands (or wives) on the side of writing. While writing can be a passion, writing in and of itself is almost never the message. Even in the dry spells, there’s something to be drawn out, molded, shaped into something brighter, and then kneaded like dough. There’s a message to give if one just knows what to look for.
As much as I hate to admit it, my own state of unemployment even has its own story to tell. The only question is how to wend my way through the detritus to find the gold gems beneath.
In the meantime, as I do my own searching, I’ll be hunting for the elusive job. And I’ll be grateful that published authors, like the rest of us, had to start somewhere. In fact, I believe I read a quote about that: “Don’t be discouraged; everyone who got where he is started where he was.”
-Rae-Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 7 so far )
Two days ago I visited one of my favorite author’s websites. I was browsing through parts of it since I haven’t really been around it lately, and I came across the “contact info” page with the traditional email form that people can use to get in touch with her.
Now I’ve never done this before, but I have a friend who has. She actually emails her favorite author back and forth fairly often, and she reads everything the woman writes. As I thought about that, I figured, why not email her and see what happens?
So I sent her an email around 1:45 p.m. and kind of forgot about it. Don’t get me wrong; I wanted to see if I’d get a response, but I kind of figured it would be the computer generated type. You know, the “thank you for emailing Lauren Willig; your comments are important to her, and she will try to get back with you as soon as possible.”
Yesterday I woke up and was fairly busy during the morning, so I couldn’t check my email. When I finally got the chance to yesterday afternoon, I was so surprised to see an email from Lauren Willig in my inbox. I noticed it was sent the day before at 10ish p.m., so I wasn’t sure what to think.
But I opened it and read the email and was pleasantly surprised to be hearing from Lauren herself! 😀 I am ashamed to admit I didn’t expect to hear back from her since I assumed she would be too busy to get back to me. It’s lovely, really, to hear from one of your favorite authors.
Here’s an excerpt of what I wrote:
I wanted to write because your series has been one of the best I’ve read in ages. What’s more, you based it off my all-time favorite book The Scarlet Pimpernel. Most people I know have never even heard of the poor Pimpernel, which is a very sad state of affairs.
I watched the 1934 version of the movie in middle school and fell in love with the swashbuckling Sir Percy. I read the book in high school and was even more in love. And then when browsing my bookstore a few years back, I was confronted with a sight I never expected to see.
The title The Secret History of the Pink Carnation caught my attention immediately. My first thought was, “This reminds me of ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel!’ I wonder what it’s about.” I plucked it off the shelf and was very quickly carrying it to the checkout counter. I’ve bought every book since and have quite simply fallen in love with your characters.
And here’s part of Lauren’s email response:
Thank you so much for your lovely email! It’s always wonderful to hear from a fellow devotee of that demmed, elusive Pimpernel. And, yes, it is a very sad state of affairs when so many people seem not to know of him! I’m always fascinated, when I describe my books to folks as being in the tradition of The Scarlet Pimpernel, to see who nods and who says, “Huh?” Sadly, there are a great many “huhs”.
Isn’t that cool? I thought it was pretty awesome myself! Now I’m wondering if it’s considered poor etiquette to reply to her email or not. I’d like to because I have quite a few questions for her, but of course, I don’t want to clog up her inbox with my own thoughts and comments.
Has anyone else done something similar? I’d love to hear about it.
-Rae-Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )