Pub Rants

A Very Nice Literary Agent Indulges in Polite Rants About Queries, Writers, and the Publishing Industry

Category: movies

January Happenings

STATUS: Okay, two days without sunshine is one day too many here in Colorado. *grin*

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? LET’S STAY TOGETHER by Nick Driver

I finally get to talk about the excitement unfolding here at NLA. What a way to kick off the year.

Huge Congrats, Marie, as the news hits Deadline Hollywood and Variety and of course, this blog! Since we don’t have cover art for the first book yet, you’ll just have to look at a picture of Marie Lu instead.

Notice the articles don’t mention the literary agent or film co-agent who actually brokered the deal. LOL. Hollywood. We are so unimportant.


One Book, One Denver

STATUS: Another late night but I’m finally getting caught up after vacation.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? DANCING IN THE DARK by Bruce Springsteen

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the launch party for One Book, One Denver hosted by Denver Mayor Hickenlooper. One of the fun aspects of being involved in Denver’s literary scene is that I get invited to interesting events.

So the launch party is the big reveal that happens before the press releases are officially out and about. I personally had no inkling as to what book they were going to choose for the city-wide book club.

And I have to say, I was a little surprised and here it is.


When I chatted with some of the committee members, they mentioned that they were really looking for a fun but literary book that all kinds of readers could get behind. Makes sense to me.

So what do you think about the choice?

For my part, it’s certainly one of my favorite movies. Nick & Nora and their very brainy sidekick/family dog, Asta, solve the crime and save the day.

Heck, I think the book is worth reading just to watch the movie again. And if you aren’t into classics, this just might be the film to win you over (with its 4 Oscars and all).


90210

STATUS: It’s been a busy day so far and I still have one meeting scheduled for this afternoon and then dinner with another Hollywood co-agent tonight.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? BLUES BEFORE AND AFTER by The Smithereens

Got back to my hotel around midnight last night. I couldn’t quite make myself blog so late; sorry about that.

I flew into LA yesterday for Book Expo. I came early to meet with a variety of Hollywood co-agents. Some I’ve worked with for years and quite a few whom I am meeting for the very first time (even though I’ve worked with them on projects). Some are brand, brand new as I’ve heard good things from other agents and producers and I want to be on their radars and vice versa.

Meetings with Hollywood co-agents are not unlike meetings with editors in New York. The film agents talk about their current clients and what they are working on and I talk about my clients and what books I’ve recently sold. Most of my meetings have been located in the zipcode area of 90210—otherwise known as Beverly Hills.

Now I’m definitely getting the scoop on what is currently selling in the film world but I’m weighing whether it’s all that valuable to share with blog readers. Why? Because Hollywood changes its mind every 4 to 6 months. So whatever is considered “hot” right now will change when a new film releases and either “breaks out” or doesn’t. Even though Hollywood moves at a glacial pace in terms of production, it still bases its buying decisions on what currently has done well.

I know. Doesn’t make sense to me either. So, there isn’t much point in sharing the info really. Not to mention, it’s not what I base my decision on when taking a on a project for representation. I just take on what I really love etc.

But I know you readers would want to know anyway despite the fact it really can have no bearing on any work-in-progress as only a very small percentage of books published actually get optioned for film.

You gluttons for punishment! Okay, I’ll tell you. Every single film agent has asked me whether I have any projects that would fit the bill for the all-encompassing family entertainment segment (in other words, projects with enough appeal to hit the four quadrants outlined by the family—mom-friendly, enough action for dad, and something that will appeal to both teens and kids. If you have the next Shrek, they are all over it.

Right now no one is willing to risk a women-driven historical (that is until the next independent film maker has a wild success in that field which could happen at any time.)

And I found out who the real life person the character of Ari Gold on my fav show Entourage is “loosely” based off of. But perhaps Hollywood gossip should stay in Hollywood. Or 90210 as the case might be…


Not Always At Once But Sometimes At Last

STATUS: I’ve got contracts on my mind.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? ME AND MRS. JONES by Billy Paul

As y’all know, I’ve been working on contracts and quite a few foreign rights sales as of late. I’m particular fond of some of the recent deals because they were several years in the making.

See, we submitted the project back when we did the US sale but alas, didn’t have any takers. The US sale had been a strong one so we were quite flummoxed. We received quite a few rejections that the project felt “too American” for the foreign audience.

In a sense, I get that.

But now the deals are happening, so what has changed? Several things actually. The global market climate for that genre. The strength of the US sales can be a tipping point factor. General excitement created by readers with the US copy (or of an English-language copy that was imported into a particular country). There can be a number of reasons.

The door is never closed. It’s a good reminder that even if a foreign sale doesn’t happen at once, it can certainly happen at last (and the money, and the love, can be better the second time around). This happens in Hollywood as well.

Just last year I sold a project to Hollywood that I had been shopping for three years. I hadn’t given up hope but things did look a bit unpromising. Then a surprise summer hit made this type of project suddenly hot again and voila, interest, and then a sale.


Rumors Confirmed

STATUS: With the mail, I’m reminded that it’s October royalty statement time.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? WHEN DOVES CRY by Prince

The rumor is now official. Harlequin is closing its NEXT and Everlasting lines. Not a huge surprise but now things need to be re-evaluated if an agent has an author writing for either one of those lines.

And I have to laugh. Publishers need to be able to move as fast as the word does and they rarely do. The poor editors. They all had to say they didn’t know anything about it until Harlequin made the official announcement (which happened today). Talk about being in an awkward position.

Once information hits the streets (and I do mean the virtual streets), word spreads rapidly.

Speaking of streets, virtual or otherwise, I had an interesting time getting to work this morning. Chutney and I were doing the usual walk down 17th street before taking a right on Wazee. Usually the streets in Lodo are a little quiet since most businesses are more uptown. Then I noticed there seemed to be an inordinate amount of attractive and well dressed people on the street and literally, standing in front of my office.

But hey, it’s a free country and fashion plates can stand where they like.

I walked into my lobby only to run into several of my fellow office building mates. They asked if I were “in it?”

Confused, I said, “in what?”

“The movie. They are shooting a movie.”

Ah. Well, that explains the people with the walkie talkies. I’m thinking not since nobody stopped me as I walked down the street. I probably ruined a scene and didn’t even know it.

Ends up they are filming an Eddie Murphy movie literally right outside my office door so when his next film comes out, look for the SH Supply Company brick building and you’ll know that is where the Nelson Literary Agency resides.

I have to say that car alarms were featured heavily in the scene they shot this morning because we would hear the command, the alarm would go off, and when “cut” was yelled, it stopped.

And no, I didn’t get a glimpse of Eddie.


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