My Agent

I was asked today how it was going with my agent.  I had to really think about my answer.  My agent is cool.  My agent is friendly.  My agent has been extremely forthcoming with advice and encouragement.  I have no problems with her and the effort she’s (and her entire company) has put in on my behalf.  I have nothing but compliments for my agent even though our relationship has not produced a deal.

I was one of those guys who thought getting the agent was the hard part. I honestly thought that having an agent would break down all the barriers for me.   Boy was I way off.  Getting a book deal is much, much harder. Granted, I’m not making the inquiries, or fielding the rejections.  She’s doing all that, and I’m grateful for that.  We’ve literally been together for years now.  That’s right years.  So when the deal does come, you won’t be able to call me an overnight success.  I’m just delusional enough to hang in there despite the odds.  My wife is wonderful enough to support my delusion despite the occasional hardships, and my agent is awesome enough to keep fighting for me despite all the no’s.  She’s gotten really, really close a few times.  I’ve had the car keys in my hand on my way to buy the celebratory champagne on at least one occasion, but alas the Krug, Clos Du Mesnil 1995 remained unpurchased and behind glass.

This is the reality of publishing.  I’m not bitter.  I’m not daunted.  It is what it is.  The person I feel really bad for is my agent.  She’s never received a dime for all the time she’s invested in me and my books.

So, how’s it going?  We’re right on schedule, and I have no complaints.

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That gigantic sigh of relief you hear…

Lost Days - The Bigfoot book for young adults

Lost Days - The Bigfoot book for young adults

…is me because I just emailed the edited “Lost Days” manuscript to my agent. I enjoyed writing it. Hopefully she’ll enjoy reading it. As always, I am open to changes and tweaks because last I checked, I’m not prefect perfect.

I set out to write a book about Bigfoot for young adults, and to some degree, I accomplished that. However, Bigfoot is not the central theme of the book. In fact, the big guy doesn’t even make his first appearance until the last third of the book. This book is more about the struggles of an awkward teenage girl as she tries to survive school, her parents’ divorce, and a crazy uncle.

As far as Bigfoot, I took some liberties with the legend and lore of the gigantic cryptid. I applied behaviors typical of any wild primate and attributed them to Bigfoot, including unpredictable violent behavior. Does it work? I’ll let you know as soon as I hear back from my agent.

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A Belated Recounting of My Experience at Book Expo America

Brooke Shields, yet another person I didnt meet at BEA!

Brooke Shields, yet another person I didn't meet at BEA!

I promised to give a follow-up report on Book Expo America sometime ago, and I’ve put it off much too long. So get a snack, pop a top on your favorite beverage, and take your phone off the hook because you are in for a treat. Here we go… It was… transcendent isn’t the right word… weird… a little… exciting… at times… uneventful… 95% of the time.

This is my third year going to BEA, and it never ceases to amaze me the sheer volume of products and services related to the world of publishing. This year they even had a teeth whitening booth. For $99 you could have your teeth whitened in 15 minutes. The problem is you could only drink clear liquids for 24 hours. Coffee is a staple for the convention floor and a nice frothy lager is a staple for after. I had no 24 hour window where I was planning on imbibing just clear liquids. This BEA being in LA, I did see a lot of stars… kind of. – Dr. Ruth (she is smaller than small), Leonard Nimoy, Kevin Neland, Dave Madden (Reuben Kincaid from the Partridge Family), Jamie Lee Curtis, and Bernadette Peters’ hair (Bernadette was attached to it, but I couldn’t see her for the crowd). You’ll notice that there aren’t any names of literary note on that list. I wasn’t invited to any of the parties where those types gather and talk about conjugating verbs, diagramming sentences, passive voice, and how much they hate the proliferation of text speak, i.e. lol, rotflmao, btw, cul8er, etc. Not being in their circle yet, I only imagine this is what they talk about. I’m sure the conversations aren’t nearly as exciting.

This year, unlike the previous two, I did do a signing. Actually, it turned out to be two signings because someone canceled and they wanted to fill the slot. It was surreal. I’m not famous. Not even moderately so, but I had lines. Some greeted me as if I were a rock star, some greeted me as if I were an extra on Star Trek, some greeted me as if I were someone who might be somebody someday so they better get their signed copy so they can sell it on ebay. Seriously, a week after I got back there were signed copies of my books on ebay. I didn’t have the stomach to see if anyone ever put in bids on them. One gentleman even got angry when I ran out of books. It was flattering and terrifying all at once. Apparently, I’m just unknown enough to complain to. I bet Stephen King doesn’t get yelled at when he runs out of books at a signing.

I did meet John Scalzi, and managed to creep him out. See my open letter to John where I explain my strange behavior.

BTW – Wish me luck. I have several major publishers considering picking up the Oz Chronicles. If I sign with them, maybe I can finally get invited to one of those literary parties at BEA.