Thursday, July 26, 2007


Some years I go to NEcon and it's just hanging out with other people who love horror (that is my first passion) and staying up drinking (Sambuca and chocolate this year - I am a grown up, damn it!) and talking about how publishing continues to amaze us with change.

The last time I was there, I kept on asking all the other women horror writers where the novels about the horror of being female were (please recommend any really great horror of being female novels I may have missed). This year one of them said she had thought about that and was working on a menopausal dark fantasy (that may not sound riveting, but I don't want to give away too much of the plot). Suffice it to say that I am really looking forward to reading her book.

And I came up with a really great horror idea while there too.

Now, let's see if I can find the time to write it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Just a Quick Note as I head to Camp NEcon

I am getting ready to dash out the door to camp NEcon, a small convention of mostly horror writers that takes place on a college campus. I've been attending it on and off for the past 20 years (I probably go every other year). We refer to it as Camp Necon, because we show up in shorts and T-shirts and roast marshmallows and tell ghost stories and stay up way too late being silly.

But, as usual, I'm running out the door, as I have worked all morning.

I came back from vacation Sunday night and hit the ground running Monday morning. I had expected it to be a light week, but I came back to two contracts, four proposals and a ton of follow-up, so I have not had a moment to rest.

Also had to send out 19 anthology payments that the publisher was supposed to send out, but failed to after more than a year of pleading. When the 5th editor of this anthology was fired, I begged him to just send the contributors' money to me, because I was so tired of pleading with the publisher to pay them. But it added a half day of bookkeeping to my work-load.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I am on a real vacation by the seashore with my family, but one of the things I always look forward to is reading for pleasure. I take no work with me - the only reason I'm writing this now is because it is raining and I'm writing about reading.

Because I have to read so many manuscripts for work - about 200 a year - I have to be very selective about the books I read for pleasure. I usually only get through 12 a year. Many of them are dictated by the kind of books I represent. I always want to read the newest King and Straub, the hot young horror writer of the moment, and the hot hip chick lit book of the summer. I'll usually also read the big narrative nonfiction book of the year too.

Right now I'm finishing up BLACK HOUSE, which I have started three times (I just had to put it aside for work, and then never got back to it). I really want to see show they handle the Territories in this one, after reading LISEY'S STORY and asking you about other books that reference the author's made-up world as a real place.

After that, I'll be reading Meg Wolitzer's THE POSITION, a piece of commerical literary fiction that hit the world about two summer's ago. If I get through that before Labor Day, I'm hoping to read the finished copy of my client Fred Rosen's ( true crime classic, THERE BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD: Conversations with Survivors of the 20th Century's Greatest Serial killers and try to squeeze in SEE JANE WRITE.

As you know, I just finished LISEY'S STORY. Before that I read YOU SUCK by Christopher Moore, and THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY, which is another book I kept on picking up and putting down and finally got through. It's a must read for anyone writing narrative nonfiction.

Just so you know that I'm not putting aside my work, I have 14 novels in line for summer work reading. I got through 3 before I left for vacation.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

New Clients

I haven't taken on new clients for a while and just took on three this week. I wanted to share with you the process and reasons for taking them on.

The first new client is someone who is famous in another field. He published a limited edition of his first novel and a friend in the business asked me to take it on. I started reading it and have been so sucked in that I put aside my reading for pleasure and stayed up until 2:00 in the morning reading his book. It's weird, wonderful and dark. I have no idea who's going to buy it, but I'm anxious to give it s try. Summer, of course, is the absolute worst time to submit work because everyone who can green light a project is on vacation, so nothing will happen with this until September.

I also approached a women whose life experience was part of a big movie that took place in the 70's to co-author a young adult novel. I knew that she had been working on her autobiography for years, but assumed that she had already sold it on her own. Turns out she hadn't, so I am working with her on both the YA fiction project I want to develop with her, as well as her memoir.

Someone who used to work with me on my newspaper sent me an email to inform me that he had won a national newspaper writing contest and wondered if there was a book in the subject he was writing about. I read the columns and was thrilled to tell him that if he could carry his humorous tone off successfully throughout the entire book, he had a really good chance of making a sale and a name for himself.

So that's how I ended up taking on three new clients this week.