Friday, June 27, 2008

Interview with Julie Buxbaum

Today, I'm over on Writer Unboxed with an interview with debut author, Julie Buxbaum. Did you know that Julie's first novel sold in a two-book deal for seven figures? Um, yeah. You might want to check out the interview.... :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Your Dream Magazine

So the other day, I flew into a panic because I couldn't find my latest issue of Entertainment Weekly. (Yes, I subscribe.) I turned the house virtually upside-down and nothing. So, despite the fact that the issue had most definitely arrived the previous Friday, and that it was somewhere burrowed in a room in my house, I actually went out and bought another copy.

That is how much I love this magazine.

Which got me to thinking: if I could work for, full-time or freelance, any magazine on the planet, EW would surely be it. As I've said here before, I love pop culture, and I also love a hearty dose of both snark and smarts, and this magazine has all in spades. Not that I don't love plenty of other magazines (from my clogged mailbox, you can tell that I do!), but I had to avow myself to just one, it would be EW.

What about you guys? What magazine would you actually shell out twice for? And which would be your dream to write for or work for?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Beating Brain-Deadedness

Yes, I think I just made up a word, so you don't have to email me to tell me.

But a funny thing happened as soon as I put up the last post about having absolutely zero motivation to accomplish anything ever. I had, as I noted, a long list of to-dos, and obviously, they weren't going to get done on their own. (Including sending in my estimated taxes, which, oops, I was so brain-dead that I flaked on. So, er, yeah, this whole procrastination thing was definitely taking its (literal) toll...and let's hope I'm not penalized by the nice folks at the IRS!)

But anyway, after posting, I did something new-to-me, which was, as soon as I thought about a task, I did it. Like, that moment. So, I thought about paying my AmEx bill and even though I really wanted to click on Facebook, I instead clicked on my banking page. Then, I thought about those damn taxes and instead of clicking on People, I wrote a check. And as soon as I started doing this crap, it got easier...and really, didn't take up too much more time or energy.

And then, I actually started focusing on work. It all started snowballing - something flashes in my brainscan and rather than waste the energy of thinking of when I could do it another time, I just did it! I wrote three blog posts, I started going through my proof pages, and best of all, I actually sat down - right when the impulse struck - and drafted the first scene for my new book.

It was so energizing! I can't recommend this more. Normally, I'm a list-maker - I jot everything down and axe it as I go. But right now, it seems like the only way for me to accomplish stuff is to seize the moment. Try it! It might work for you!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Being Your Own Advocate

So recently, I was chatting with a friend who was about to receive an offer of representation from an agent with a good reputation. She and I were emailing about what she wanted to ask this agent and what she felt she could ask this agent. I was detailing my relationship with my own (fabulous) agent to her and saying that everything she was talking to me about, she should be talking to her potential agent about.

And it got me thinking: why we're so hesitant to speak up, pipe up and stick up for ourselves when it comes to agents. As I noted, fortunately, I'm not in this position. My agent and I have an open door policy - nothing is off-limits, and if I have a question, as annoying or ridiculous as it might be, I raise it with her. Not all agents are like this: I recall that Miss Snark was decidedly more autonomous and didn't like to be bugged. Which is totally cool IF you, as her client, are okay with it. If you're not, you either need to be aware of her (and I'm speaking universally here) policies or opt for a different agent.

The important thing is to determine as much of this as possible upfront. Which is why I was urging my friend to pose all of her questions to her potential agent. An agent shouldn't be offended by your due diligence; if anything, it should demonstrate to him or her that you take your career seriously and are looking out for number one. Which is exactly what you need to do to get ahead in this business. No one, not even the best of agents, cares about your career more than you do, and one of the surest ways to get ahead - or give yourself a chance to get ahead - is to surround yourself with people whom you trust. And if you don't feel comfortable asking critical questions from the get-go, you've set yourself up for not asking more critical questions (or getting critical answers) down the road.

All of this is a very long-winded way of saying that you hold some of the power here! If an agent wants to rep you, he or she wants to rep you! Regardless of if you ask some probing questions. Don't forget that. I've never heard of an offer being rescinded because an author ask what was on his or her mind, but I have heard of authors making informed decisions (either way) based on the answers they were given.