Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Perfect Author

It’s been a whirlwind past couple of weeks starting with a crazy trip to Malice in Bethesda, Maryland via New York, then, on to Los Angeles to work my “real” job—which is what my mum calls my day job. With the release of Murder at Honeychurch Hall  just yesterday (!) I have written no less than twenty-one blogs for all kinds of guest posts, a Virtual Blog Tour which is still going on … and a couple of magazine articles. I can honestly say, I’ve done the best I can and now, the success of the book is in the hands of the Universe.

Whilst scrabbling for something to write about today, I came across some notes I took from a conference last year at Love Is Murder in Chicago. The topic was “Key Relationships for Authors—Agents & Editors and Publicists.”

As a writer, I must admit I have always been selfishly thinking about what I’d like out of a relationship with my agent, editor or publicist. My top three qualities would include a timely response to my emails, the occasional phone call to see if I’m still alive—and best of all—cocktails, lunch or a dinner date! I do go out of my way to meet my agent and editor as much as possible (and not just at conferences) and I honestly believe that meeting face-to-face makes a huge difference which is why I stopped in New York recently. It's also a good reason to keep my day job because I can afford to do that. 

But what about the other way around? Moderated by Susan Gibberman, panelists Peter Miller, Maryglenn McCombs and Marcia Markland generously shared what qualities they hoped to find in their ideal author.

The author must:
                Be dependable
                Have integrity
                Be honest
                Be trustworthy
                It’s not all about the money
                Hopefully, the author must not be an alcoholic or bipolar
*Peter said that every so often he weeds his garden of authors. 

The author must: 
                Have a thick skin
                Be able to handle constructive criticism
                Not call her crying
                Not retaliate after a bad review
                No meltdowns, please!
                Don’t threaten to quit writing
*MaryGlenn believes that the publicist can only get it out there—the book and quality of writing does the rest.

·      Wants to keep the writer, she wants to cultivate a long relationship
·      Does not like being nagged and feels it is self-destructive
·      Wants a confident writer who knows he/she can write and doesn't need constant reassurances
·      The writer’s ego must be satisfied within himself
·      Looks for writers who care about people and who know how to treat people (no rudeness)
·      Authors who go out of their way to see that the book sells
·      Most good writers are “good” people
*Marcia's advice is to do the best you can then let it go and write the next book.

I found the list of qualities really helpful and realized I had been guilty of a few of the less savory ones myself so when it comes to threatening to quit writing, I’ll make sure to keep my insecurities to myself … oh wait! That's what my husband is for ... and that's why he's a Saint!  


Donis Casey said...

Interestingly, MaryGlenn has just taken on the authors at Poisoned Pen Press. I hope we don't drive her out of the publicity business (or her mind). Dennis Palumbo, one member of the PPP stable and a working psychologist, said that many writers are people with giant egos and low self-esteem. Which is why they need constant reassurance. Present company excepted, of course.

Hannah Dennison said...

Ha ha - you are funny Donis. What a small world. I've read Dennis Palumbo's psychologist columns too. I definitely need constant reassurance and when I get it from my husband I don't believe him.

Charlotte Hinger said...

Donis. I loved your post. I like to think I've "matured" a lot, but oh those nasty inner demons.