Thursday, September 11, 2008

Friday Feeding Frenzy

Please meet the rather wonderful Janet Reid. Her blog is one of the most delicious slices of agenting life around. Let's look back in time to some sage words from Janet, from 2005. And, just for fun, let's add a little Book Roast perspective to her wisdom.

Based on one of Janet's blog posts from August 2005

Seven Ways to Make Your Agent Crazy

1.Give your contracts to your son/daughter/neighbor who’s a lawyer “just for a quick glance”. (Janet)

So a law student is OK. Goody. (Book Roast team)





2. Discuss the business side of things with anyone before your agent. (Janet)

Poo? You want to talk about poo? Waaay TMI! (Book Roast team)





3. Delegate all business discussions to your spouse. (Janet)

This just simply never works. (Janet)

Even if my spouse is a law student? (Book Roast team)





4. Give talks at writers conferences on “how to get published”. (Janet)

What about 'how not to get published'? We think we could all contribute to that one. (Book Roast team)





5. Say always yes/always no to blurb requests. (Janet)

We at the Book Roast like saying yes to everything, then letting the chips fall where they may. Then, if necessary, setting fire to them to obscure the evidence. (Book Roast team)





6. Badmouth your publisher/agent/editor, and/or the industry in public. (Janet)

Agree. But we do respect the occasional motor mouth. (Book Roast team)



7. Not ask questions when you don’t understand something. (Janet)

But, surely, the more questions you ask, the stupider you look? (Book Roast team)






And the eighth way to make an agent crazy...invite her to Book Roast and don't offer her the whisky. Cheers, Janet!

Janet has been a great supporter of the nascent brilliance that is the Book Roast, dropping her authors in it, sorry dropping in to visit her authors when they are on the grill and helping us in many different ways. We'd like to thank her for everything she has done.

When she's not here, quaffing the water of life with us, Janet can be found at:

The Bar
Query Shark

Competition time...

For a copy of 'Scotland and its Whiskies: the Great Whiskies, the Distilleries and their Landscapes' by Michael Jackson, tell us your funniest whisky-fuelled story. Non-whisky drinkers (sigh) may substitute another liquor. Non-drinkers may disappoint me.

188 comments:

Janet Reid said...

Am I eligible for that book? If so, I win.

Miss Snark said...

greedy bitch

Shona Snowden said...

Tell us your story first, oh confident one...

Actually, you're supposed to judge. But if you want to enter, I'll judge it for you!

Janet Reid said...

Watch your language, Snarklips

ChrisEldin said...

O.
M.
G.


Shona put this post together, but I just clicked on 'publish.' I panicked for a few minutes until I realized she had the timings set to Aussie land...

:-)

KillerYapp said...

I'm so confused!

Janet Reid said...

If you're going to let just ANYONE come to this roast, I may take my whiskey flask and flounce off! Who is this Miss Snark person??

Shona Snowden said...

I realized she had the timings set to Aussie land

AKA The Land Ahead of Time

Miss Snark's language seems to have deteriorated since her glory days.

Shona Snowden said...

Don't worry about her. She's only a gin drinker.

Miss Snark said...

Some people think you are me!

Janet Reid said...

Talk about cluefree!!!

ChrisEldin said...

Who's keeping KY awake?
Oh, I miss the Yapster.
:-)

Shona Snowden said...

Who, me? Well, it's a compliment, but...

Precie said...

LMAO! Somehow Miss Snark must have misheard whiskey as Gin Pail. hee hee.

I don't have a, ahem, story but let's just say that, uh, I'm never never never never going to drink Bacardi 151 again...ever. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's not meant to be imbibed...it's meant to be used for paint removal.

Josephine Damian said...

'Scotland and its Whiskies: the Great Whiskies, the Distilleries and their Landscapes' by Michael Jackson.

Uh, Michael Jackson wrote a book about booze? Thought for sure he'd write "How to pick the perfect plastic surgeon to butcher your face" or "How to molest kids and get away with it."

Josephine Damian said...

Are we limited to the number of drinking stories we can enter?

Shona Snowden said...

Precie, no details, no prize

Yup. Michael Jackson. Do I need to spell out that it's not the same one? He's a famous booze critic in the UK. Now there's a job.

Shona Snowden said...

Are we limited to the number of drinking stories we can enter?

Not if they're funny.

Precie said...

Sigh. I sure wish Miss Snark would come out of retirement. Even if only for brief annual pronouncements of snarkalicious publishing brilliance.

Miss Snark said...

Well, since you all appear to be whiskey swillers, I'm taking my gin pail and tottering off.

Where is KY? Oh drat, he's lying on the sofa hoping Moonrat is coming back.

Ungrateful beast.

Janet Reid said...

Miss Snark is a gin drenched curmudgeon. You're lucky she hasn't caught on fire.

Oh wait...she has.

ChrisEldin said...

Which gets you drunk faster-gin or whiskey?

Shona Snowden said...

Where is KY? Oh drat, he's lying on the sofa hoping Moonrat is coming back.

For conversation, or as a snack?

Miss Snark said...

I heard that!

peggy said...

Neato! I can see this one will be quite fun! Ms Snark and Janet verus the world of goofy eartlings. I'll be tuning in for sure...but alas, or is that My ass is tired. something like that. And the beer on my keyboard is now crusting..I must go wash it, wonder if the shower will work, me husband and the keyboard, I'll let you know what works by morning. Night you strange folks :)

You and your cat in a tinfoil cat calling others strange.. umm husband said that not me.

Shona Snowden said...

Which gets you drunk faster-gin or whiskey?

I find a 50/50 mix works best.

Janet Reid said...

Thank dog she's gone. Now we can have civilized conversations about why you really don't need an SASE.

Shona Snowden said...

why you really don't need an SASE.

Because you've submitted electronically?

ChrisEldin said...

No SASE!

And I'm halfway through chapter twelve on the merits of vanity stamps.

Janet Reid said...

@josephine damian: I think you can submit as many drinking stories as you can remember.

For me that will be exactly zero

ChrisEldin said...

I was going to go to bed in an hour, but looks like I'll pass out with the laptop in my bed.

Precie said...

Because...if the agent is interested, s/he'll get in touch with you via faster methods than SASE. And if the agent isn't interested, well, that's what the recycling bin is for.

peggy said...

rats...why can't I edit my post..should say cat in a tinfoil HAT..see I am pooped. CYA in the morning humans

Janet Reid said...

@chris eldin: I love vanity stamps. I want bunches. Ones that say Queen of the Known Universe!

Evil Editor said...

If an agent doesn't want you badly enough to spring for a stamp, she doesn't deserve you. It's like a test.

Janet Reid said...

@chris eldin, you better rest up, the world is coming to b'more very very sooon!

Precie said...

Can we submit other people's drinking stories? ;)

Janet Reid said...

@EE, yea, SASEs are like a test...an intelligence test.

Precie said...

Ooh, do we get to watch Janet and EE go at it?

Um, that didn't sound quite right. I'd better get more whiskey.

Janet Reid said...

@precie, only if they involve me.

Evil Editor said...

So easy, and yet so easy to fail.

Janet Reid said...

EE is just embarrassed about that 1995 incident in Tupelo.

Janet Reid said...

and I want my $30 back.

Precie said...

An agent in stillettos walks into a bar...

Janet Reid said...

@precie, you're thinking of that other agent who was here. The gin swilling sot in stilletos. Me, I wear shoes that make for easy landing when my broom hits turbulence.

Evil Editor said...

All right already. It's worth about $1.25 by now.

Janet Reid said...

$1.25?? No wonder we have royalty statement auditors for publisers!! Sheesh!

Evil Editor said...

Tupelo, MS, 1994. A man. A woman. A bar. And a lemur. I'll never forget it.

Shona Snowden said...

It's worth about $1.25 by now.

Oh, I didn't realise we were in Canadian dollars...

ChrisEldin said...

EE's Shorts are worth about $30. Perhaps he'll send some over your way?
(just trying to be an arbiter here)
:-)

Janet Reid said...

It wasn't a lemur. It was a kinkajou.

Evil Editor said...

You dressed in blue. I wore my tux.

Janet Reid said...

@chris eldin: thank you for your query. I'm sorry it does not fit our needs at this time (or ever). I'm returning the (shorts) material in your SASE. Please eliminate my name address and perhaps entire zip code from your query list for items in this category.

Janet Reid said...

That was a tux? It was a powder blue leisure suit!

Evil Editor said...

Ah yes, I remember it well.

Janet Reid said...

So does Mr. Blackwell.

ChrisEldin said...

AHAHAHAHAHAHAH!
Now I'm getting rejected for someone else's work. That's rich.
ROTFLMAO!
:-)

Shona Snowden said...

just trying to be an arbiter here

Oh, let's just watch 'em go. I've got a special spray for getting blood out of tablecloths. Gee, knew I should have put out the plastic one, today of all days.

Evil Editor said...

Blackwell! That bastard. I make his list no matter what I wear. He has it in for me,

ChrisEldin said...

Shona,
If EE and Janet tell a drinking story together, do they each win a book?
:-)

Janet Reid said...

@chris eldin, heck we'll reject you for work you've sold and published if we can. We just live to do that.

Janet Reid said...

EE, he's just jealous of your laser eyeballs.

Shona Snowden said...

If EE and Janet tell a drinking story together, do they each win a book?

It better be darn funny. Remember I'm Scottish. We have shallow pockets.

Evil Editor said...

I'm publishing Chris's opening tomorrow. With any luck, my minions will ream it.

Janet Reid said...

I'm not sure any of my drinking stories are actually funny. I really only drink for serious medicinal purposes. The fact that there are seven bottles of whisky in my office at this very moment simply indicates a very tough cold and flu season is expected.

Janet Reid said...

You have minions?
I want minions!

Precie said...

Ok, but then what explains the vodka hiding behind the whiskey?

Precie said...

EE's minions are bloodthirsty too...he's trained them well.

Janet Reid said...

precie, ummm....

oh wait! I know!

The asssssistant!

That's her Rx for ..ah...back problems!

Evil Editor said...

I never drink to forget. Or at least I can't recall having done so.

Chumplet said...

All you have to say is, "Michael Jacson" and it's instantly funny.

Scotch is my drink. I likes it neat.

Did you know there is a Single Malt Scotch distilled in Nova Scotia? I believe it's the only one outside of Scotland.

Evil Editor said...

Let's put it this way: I'm not an alcoholic, not in my opinion, and not in the opinion of the two truck drivers who deliver my weekly shipment of St. Pauli Girl.

Bill Cameron said...

Oh it's beer beer beer,
That makes me want to cheer,
In the halls, in the halls...

Janet Reid said...

I have a bottle of whiskey that has a label designed by the amazingly talented Bill Cameron.

ChrisEldin said...

O.
M.
G.

(Love those vertical letters for emphasis!)

Janet, a challenge. (Perhaps not for the faint of heart). A whup-ass rejection letter. Can you do it? Generic one to fit all genres...

Josephine Damian said...

Miss Snark: Wednesday's roaster, former agent Dennis Cass, said I had a searing "Hot Truth Beam" when it came to dealing w/"noobs" aka clueless nit wits.

My reputation as the heir to the Snark throne grows with each passing day.

Janet: The writer in me always observed the drunk I was and took notes lest I miss out on all that grist for the mill I provided for myself.

Chris: Tomorrow (I hope) my new laptop arrives. I'll have wifi capability and plan to get a high speed wireless service (unless I can tap into a neighbor's wifi for free). Yup, my days in dial-up hell are almost over. Woot!

Evil Editor said...

I have a kazoo he once owned.

Janet Reid said...

All purpose rejection letter:

No.

ChrisEldin said...

"No" as in you can't write a whup-ass rejection letter?

EE, perhaps you can.

Josephine Damian said...

EE: Oh, Chris will be so happy (NOT!) you let me know her opener will be posted on your blog tomorrow.

I'm already warming up my Hot Truth Beam.

Chumplet said...

I think I only have one drinking story, and it didn't involve whiskey. When I first met my husband I attended a Halloween party on a work night, dressed as Robin Hood. I sipped ale from my grandfather's pewter curling mug, keeping the drinking to a minimum.

Everything fell to pieces when my brother won first prize for being an Esso sign. He opened the prize, a bottle of champagne, and offered me some.

Well, after that champagne, I was a goner. I think I crawled into the back of a station wagon to get home, went to bed, got up about twenty times to say goodnight to everybody.

Next morning I had to report to work and the trip was 1.5 hours by bus and subway.

On the bus, a Salvation Army lady smiled at me from across the aisle in a knowing way.

I couldn't help thinking, "She knows. She goddamn knows."

I spent the day at work with my head on the desk in the back room.

Never mix beer and champagne.

ChrisEldin said...

My reputation as the heir to the Snark throne grows with each passing day.

KY is the heir.
:-)

Janet Reid said...

EE, I'm not sure that's a kazoo.

I think it's umm...this

Janet Reid said...

hang on --phone call

Evil Editor said...

She knows what?

Shona Snowden said...

Yay, Chumplet! An actual story.

Bill Cameron said...

In fairness, the only part of that label that I designed was the lettering of the name of the scotch itself.

And, Chumplet, I just read something about the single malt scotches of Japan. Some are world renowned.

Ello said...

sheesh - this is like a tennis match, except I keep scrolling down for the back and forth barbs.

Give me more please!

Chumplet said...

She knows I drank my face off.

Shona Snowden said...

I don't recommend wine and whisky either. Particularly alternated. You might find yourself in a bizarre situation where other girls invite you to go into the bathroom and watch them wee. I said no, so I'd obviously stopped the combo just in time. My head disagreed the next morning, though.

Shona Snowden said...

As in, it hurt.

Ello said...

I have a drinking story. On the day of my wedding, my husband and his brother, the best man, got rip roaring drunk taking shots of anything out of a bottle right before our wedding vows. He swayed back and forth in front of the minister and belched lightly between I and Do. This is a true story. I have pictures of his maroon colored face in our wedding pictures.

Evil Editor said...

Yo should have said I do NOT right then.

blogless troll said...

This is going to be one of those threads where you're always ten comments behind, isn't it?

I once bought a W.E.B. Griffin novel and slightly used hammer from a homeless Army vet outside a 7-11 after an all night bender. It wasn't really whiskey-fueled, since the whiskey had worn off by then. And I guess it's not that funny, except maybe the hammer part. Plus, I think I'm technically ineligible.

Ello said...

Aw EE - but he was so cute swaying like a drunken sailor! And you have to understand how much mileage I have gotten for his misconduct!

Susan Adrian said...

Janet: You DO have minions. It's called Twitter.

Susan Adrian said...

Drinking stories, hmmm? Well, there's the time I decided to try Southern Comfort and start smoking on the same night...

No, you really don't want to hear that one.

ChrisEldin said...

A friend of mine told me that when he was 14, his parents were away so he went into their liquor cabinet. Had a big cup, and poured a little from every bottle so his parents wouldn't notice anything missing.
Then later went to a school dance, where he passed out in the coat room and puked over the pile of coats on the floor.

Ello said...

Bloggy! you can do better than that! Give us a true funny drunken mess of a story! WE all know you have one!

Janet Reid said...

One of the many drunken and debauchery filled publishing parties I attended featured an editor swaying wildly, holding a martini glass, saying "I just don't want to buy anything for less than a quarter million anymore."

Every agent there had a brief orgasmic moment upon hearing this.

I sold him his next book.

ahhh.......

Shona Snowden said...

Susan, I'm guessing that was a story in technicolor.

Susan Adrian said...

Shona:

It may have been colorful, but it wasn't pretty.

Janet Reid said...

@susan adrian...you're not my minion!! You're my client!!!! Holy crow, you're my secret stash of retirement cash babbeeeeeee!!!

Ello said...

Ah that reminds me of a nother story of Da Man. He was in a frat - so you know he was a true drunkard. One night his roommate was trying to get it on with some company when he heard a very loud snoring coming from his closet. He walks over and opens his closet door. Turns out it is Da Man passed out standing and being held upright by all the clothes, snoring in a drunken stupor. To this day no one knows what he was doing in there.

Susan Adrian said...

Janet:

Oh. Clients can't be minions?

{checking contract, muttering}

I thought that was a clause in here somewhere...

Janet Reid said...

One of my gentleman callers was in a frat. They ran low on money, and took a vote about whether to buy food or beer.

I looked at him quizzically and asked "what did you choose?"

He looked at me pityingly and said "beer, of course"

Janet Reid said...

@susan. No, the no-minion clause is under the clause that says you have to build a shrine to me in your living room when I sell your book. We call it the TravisChase clause.

Shona Snowden said...

Janet's clients are mignons. All the better for grilling at the Book Roast.

Susan Adrian said...

Janet:
I've actually witnessed someone put back food in the checkout line when he didn't have enough cash for food AND beer.

ChrisEldin said...

Lawsy, I'm calling it a night.

Shona, You have your hands full.
:-)

Susan Adrian said...

Drat. I missed the shrine clause too!

All I see is 3.1.2b, about providing you with Scotch. What is that language again? "Copious quantities"?

Josephine Damian said...

KY is the heir.

The heir of the dog that bit me!

Better KY than Palin.

Bill Cameron said...

My first drunk was on some stuff a friend mixed up called Torpedo Juice. Age 12. My friend had a kindly older brother who held my head out of the toilet while I barfed so I wouldn't drown.

Janet Reid said...

Shona, no no, they grill ME! I slather them with praise!

Shona Snowden said...

Lawsy, I'm calling it a night.

I'm calling it abandonment.

Sleep tight. See you tomorrow in about four threads' time.

Janet Reid said...

@susan, well, you better get on that shrine thing. I'm heading out west in October. You don't want to be found wanting!!!

Shona Snowden said...

I slather them with praise!

And none of them wonder why it looks and smells like barbecue sauce?

Janet Reid said...

Bill, I'm really glad you didn't drown when you were 12. Or ever actually!

The definition of a true friend is a girl who holds your hair back while you puke.

Susan Adrian said...

re shrine:

Gack. Like I don't have enough to do. Will empty bottles and octopii work?

I think I need more stuffed animals. I know you love stuffed animals.

{ducking}

Janet Reid said...

Chris is SUCH a wussie! You'd think she had small children to take to school or some thing.

Oh wait.

Thing1 and Thing2 ARE human aren't they?

Josephine Damian said...

Man, what a bunch of party-pooping morning people. The night's just begun.

Agent Janet: Is Travis Chase a character in a first novel by a new client, or a client who already has other books in print?

Bill C, are you the baby daddy of Travis Chase?

Janet Reid said...

I had to threaten Miss Tipton with bodily harm about those stuffed animals that kept showing up in my office.

She and Joanna are schemers. No two ways about, they need a damn keeper, both of them.

Janet Reid said...

@JD, please feel free to call me Janet or Your Majesty, Queen of the Known Universe.

Travis Chase is the protagonist in an amazing new novel by Patrick Lee called The Breach.

Janet Reid said...

He sent me a query letter for a novel called The Tide Station and as I read it I just couldn't believe how good it was. I emailed him for more, and then read the entire thing, on screen in about four hours instead of going to work.

Oh_bother said...

You'd limit yourself to the known universe?

Janet Reid said...

Then I called him up and said, please tell me you haven't signed with anyone else.

Well, he hadn't but he did have substantial interest.

And one thing led to another, and I told him I represented Bill Cameron, and he signed with me that minute.

Janet Reid said...

so then I went out on the novel. I had about 10 editors who loved it, but Sarah Durand at Harper REALLY loved it.

Then she called me and said "I'm not offering on Tide Station" and I about cried. Seriously. I was just ready to weep.

Shona Snowden said...

Thing1 and Thing2 ARE human aren't they?

I believe Chris sometimes asks herself the same question.

Janet Reid said...

Sarah then said, I want to start with a series, and Tide Station can't be a series. Can he write something else?


I said (in a fit of madness) "sure, he can write anything"

So I sold her a book that no only did not exist, it hadn't even been conceived by the author.

Janet Reid said...

And then I called Patrick.
I said, "I didn't sell Tide Station"
I hear what can only be described as heart failure.
I say "wait"
He manages to hold on long enough to say "what?"

I say, we just sold Harper two books in a series that doesn't exist and then Tide Station for book 3.

Janet Reid said...

I hear what can only be described as the sound of a grown man hitting the floor and bouncing several times.

I say "how fast can you write a novel"

And he says "how fast do you need it"

and I say "soon"

And Patrick Lee, in a fit of what can only be described as superhuman effort delivers a brilliant, fast paced, heart stopping incredible novel that I have read six times now, and love more every time I read it.

He's utterly brilliant, and I"m so proud to be on his team I could just burst.

Janet Reid said...

And that is the long answer to the short question of "who is Travis Chase"

Chumplet said...

Now I'm REALLY depressed.

Janet Reid said...

and I believe EE is the Queen of the Unknown Universe...sort of like he's an adventurer in the Unknown country.

Isn't that a Star Trek movie?

Oh wait, no it's a poem.

Susan Adrian said...

Chumplet:

You're depressed? Whyever?

Chumplet said...

I don't know if I can ever inspire the joy Janet felt when she signed whats his name -- I mean Travis.

Oh_bother said...

*That* made me laugh.

Shona Snowden said...

But Chumplet, there's nothing stopping us from trying!

Susan Adrian said...

Chumplet:
Ah.
Well, that's pretty hard to beat. I don't imagine that kind of thing happens to most people.

Good story, though, eh?

Chumplet said...

The sun will come out tomorrah...

Susan Adrian said...

LOL!

Are you saying I sound like Annie?

I probably LOOK like Annie right now. The street-urchin period.

Chumplet said...

You DO have pupils in your eyes, right?

Susan Adrian said...

Oh, crap. I better go check.

Shona Snowden said...

My SIL was in Annie for a while. Now nobody in the family can bear to hear any of those songs.

Chumplet said...

I was Ado Annie in Oklahoma -- the girl who 'can't say no'.

Susan Adrian said...

Isn't that officially "cain't"?

Shona Snowden said...

Can't say no to beer and champagne.

Oh_bother said...

I have two sisters. I remember my dad (who loved us very much) going around the house singing, "Little girls, little girls..."

I don't remember all of it. Something about straightening curls and waiting till the prohibition of little girls.

Chumplet said...

Duh... yup.

I guess Janet went to bed, or she's looking for the whiskey bottle that fell behind the desk.

See you in the morning!

Susan Adrian said...

I doubt Janet went to bed. She usually outlasts me by at least 4 hours, and she's 2 hours ahead of me!

But g'night, Chumplet!

Shona Snowden said...

'nighty night Chumplet.

Don't all go to bed. I'm editing a very dull four page document that needs to go down to two pages and y'all are the bright spots in the turgid technical prose.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Drinking story? Have quite a backlog of them.

The first time I got really seriously drunk, I was partying in the woods with some city cops, complete with firearms and lots of bullets. I started with some homemade wine and graduated to a bottle of Seagram’s 7, finishing the night off with someone else’s beer.

I vaguely remember crawling off into the woods to puke my guts out. A friend drove me home and I opened the car door to puke some more on the way – even on the freeway. His fingers in my belt loops kept me from flying out the car.

The next morning, I was stymied by the red bumps that covered my body. My friend came by to take me back to the scene of the disaster so we could get my car and shoot some more bullets. I discovered the answer to my skin’s new look – an ant hill 6 feet long and 3 feet wide with a perfect imprint of my body diagonally across the top. Not a single ant in sight. Poor things probably died of alcohol poisoning.

Susan Adrian said...

Shona:

I'll be around for another hour or so...waiting for SO's plane to come in.

But need others to chat nonsensically with. :)

Shona Snowden said...

Susan, yup, I can do that!

Sarah, hi and owie.

Janet Reid said...

That poem is driving me crazy.
I can't find it.

Janet Reid said...

And I really should be reading this manuscript.

Janet Reid said...

Buncha wussy girls going to bed. You'd think they had like jobs or something.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Poem? I don't remember what the bit was about a poem.

Owie
I suppose. It was a very long time ago. Don't remember that part.

How's it going, Shona? Been a fun discussion so far.

Susan Adrian said...

Janet:
This one?

https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/html/1807/4350/poem3024.html

Janet Reid said...

poem was the one that used "undiscovered country." I thought it was one that had been used in the subway's Poetry in Motion campaign, but I couldn't find it.

Shona Snowden said...

Oh, yes, Sarah. Very lively. Especially when EE and Janet were reminiscing about Tupelo.

Janet Reid said...

@SA, nope not that. I have this image of something akin to "coming round back to ourselves, the undiscovered country" but that just isn't the right phrase and I can't figure it out enough to find it.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Found this one

Dave F. said...

"The undiscovered country" is from Shakespeare, isn't it?

Janet Reid said...

Sarah, nope not that one either, but these are some interesting poems!

Janet Reid said...

Yea it's from Hamlet, but I don't think the poem is Hamlet

Janet Reid said...

Hamlet

Dave F. said...

Google lists:
- The Undiscovered Country: Poetry in the Age of Tin - by William Logan - 382 pages
- The Undiscovered Country - by William Dean Howells - 419 pages
- The Undiscovered Country: Exploring the ... - by Eknath Easwaran - 144 pages

Sarah Laurenson said...

Janet - that's better than this Hamlet

Shona Snowden said...

Four pages down to three, and still slashing, sorry, editing.

Hi Dave!

Janet Reid said...

@Dave, yea I looked at all those. I've got just enough of it wrong that the search engines aren't turning it up.

I'm destined to be driven bonkers by this till the middle of the night when the metaphorical bulb will go on, and I wake up shouting the quote.

Josephine Damian said...

Janet: Interesting story in itself how Travis Chase (who is not involved w/admissions at Pepperdine U. as I first thought) came into being, and how the pantsless Bill C. was a deciding factor for Patrick.

Seems to me the biz is all about series these days. And yet I see so many series writers on the 2- (and now 3) book a year treadmill, under pressure to come up fresh ideas, and crying over their bad reviews because they're "phoning in" their series plots, coasting on their brand.

It seems publishers all want series, but series can be a ghetto for an author, a ghetto that's hard to escape from. It's seems series benefit the publishers, but ultimately, long term, not the writer.

It seems when writers try to escape from series hell by writing a stand-alone, by changing up their brand, the publisher bitch-slaps them back into submission.

Agree or disagree?

Susan Adrian said...

*happy Shakespeare sigh*

Dave F. said...

And it's Hamlet's great soliloquy "To be or not to be"

But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?

Sarah Laurenson said...

The Bard in Space

Susan Adrian said...

Josephine:

The "phoning in" and "coasting" bits bother me--because I think that's hardly ever true.

Shannon Hale has a really good post about this over at her blog. Let's see if I can succeed at linkage.

Shannon's comments

Janet Reid said...

Marketing studies show people want to buy books they like (ok, that sounds stupid but think about it).

If a reader likes a character/s they want to read more about him/her/them. Thus the attraction of a series.

If publishers know people want to buy something, of course they want to offer it to them.

Publishing is hard enough without purposely NOT selling people things they want.

If the author is tired of it, there's no accounting line item for "author fatigue"

Janet Reid said...

And I'm really hard pressed to see how a series that sells books is BAD for an author.

Honestly, there are a whole lot of people who make ZERO money at writing that "oh I'm bored writing a successful series" holds very little sway with me.

On the other hand, my income is totally dependent on the author selling well so I may be part of the problem.

Dave F. said...

There's so muc poetry that isn't online except by the title of the book. Most poetry is still under copright.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Longfellow

Has 'undiscovered land' not country.

Janet Reid said...

Sarah, nope, not that one either.
I think I have undiscovered wrong. I think it also has something like "return to where we started, only to find ourselves, the undiscovered country"...something like that.

Argh.

Josephine Damian said...

Janet: I see a lot of series authors who are blogging talk about the pressure to come up fresh ideas for a series (and sometimes cracking under that pressure), I see them complain about diminishing sales and bad reviews (which they cite as the cause for the low sales).

I've pretty much stopped reading series because the earlier books are usually so much better than the later books in the series.

But obviously, I'm not the typical reader.

Sarah Laurenson said...

I figure you'll remember after the chance to tell us is lost forever.

;-)

Kiersten said...

WOW. That was a lot to catch up on.

Janet, you're awesome. Can you and EE have babies together? Or has there not been enough alcohol in this thread yet?

Janet Reid said...

@JD, there are lots of pressures on an author at various stages of their careers. First to get published, then to stay published.

I understand how hard it is to be fresh and new again and again, but that's their challenge at this point in their career. No one is saying "you gotta." The servitude is voluntary, not indentured.

And no one is talking about quality. It's sales numbers.
There's zero motivatatiton for a publisher agent or editor to say "this sucks" if you know the author is going to sell gazillions.

They don't pay us based on reviews in the Times. They pay us based on the best seller list in the Times.

Janet Reid said...

@Kiersten, only if EE is willing to not only bear them but raise them. I'm not licensed for interaction with young and impressionable minds.

Even my asssistant is a full grown reptile.

Shona Snowden said...

OK penpals, I'm shutting down this thread 'cos it's got so darn long. Please move to the new one I've just opened for you.

Also, I will shortly have to leave my Roast Post to pick up soccer babes from school and in accordance with our whimsical No Unsupervised Roasting policy comment moderation will be going on in about five or ten minutes, sniff, sniff. Say your farewells...

Kiersten said...

I wouldn't be surprised if EE could do that. He seems endlessly versatile.

I'll talk to him and get back to you.

OR--alternatively, I could be the surrogate. I'm good at popping out babies.

My husband might not like that so much, though.