Saturday, January 13, 2007

Writers on Interns

Recently I got contacted by an agent with a partial who wanted a full. The request was actually late in coming, she admitted, by a few days. I asked her where her retinue of interns were because I used to work in the same office as her and I happen to know she keeps an insane amount of unpaid Columbia student interns - like, three or four. "They're all on break!" she said. "I'm swamped."

Because, of course, colleges take 5-week recesses that go into mid-January. I'm in grad school and it's the same deal. Because my brother is an unemployed college grad and I'm on break and neither of us care about Christmas, the Rejector family takes their vacation in early January, when the hotel rates are cheaper. (If you have to fly Christmas week, December 25th is a great day to fly) So the interns are gone, home to their families. Even I, a working woman, take my week vacation in January instead of December.

So after taking normal people vacations, the agents return in January to find their assistants gone and the mail piled up. I'm heading back to New York to take care of my boss' pile ASAP. Oh, and there's also phone calls to make, deals to finish, editors to contact, contracts to fax, and planning for some major upcoming bookfairs.

I don't mean to be discouraging to you guys waiting to hear back, but the point of this web log is to tell the truth, and that's it. Don't hold your breath.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Writers on Writing

Over vacation I read, along with many other books (mainly history books because I write historical fiction), Stephen King's On Writing. Think what you want about his literary style, his genres, or the overwhelming financial success we all wish we had from our writing, but one of the interesting things about Stephen King is that he can talk about things going on in his life and make them not boring. In Entertainment Weekly he has a column where he will literally spend the whole time going on about some TV show he's really into and I will read it even though I don't have a working television.

Though the book is partially his autobiography and not really discussing writing all the time, he is definitely one of the few writers who can talk about writing and not have me running for the hills. Most of the books on writing out there that I would endorse (beyond grammar books) are by editors, not writers. I suspect this is because editors are trained to analyze why a piece of writing is good or not (it's their job), while a writer just writes.

Most of the books out there are junk. Stephen King only endurses the classic Elements of Style by E. B. White and says the rest are junk. I'm a bit more liberal. Here's my list of suggested books:

There's probably a couple others I'm not thinking of that I actually liked, and pretty much an endless amount of ones that I didn't.