STATUS: TGIF and I’m off to take my nieces birthday shopping. Can’t wait to see what the hottest things are for the under-15 set.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? WHY CAN’T I BE YOU? by The Cure
Links are fixed! Sorry about that.
I have to say that the interview series done by Jofie Ferrari-Adler for Poets & Writers is just hands down the best I’ve ever seen. Jofie just has a way of pulling the great stories out of long-time publishing folks that as a reader, you feel like you are absolutely getting the most inside look at the industry that you can.
And his interview with Chuck Adams does not disappoint.
Here is a venerated editor who has edited nearly 100 books that have gone on to become bestsellers and yet, as Jofie mentions, “like many editors of a certain age (and pay grade), Adams was rewarded for his years of service with a pink slip.”
Hard to believe, isn’t it? But Mr. Adams gives wonderful insight as to why that had happened and how much he enjoys being at Algonquin. Chuck Adams is also the editor behind the mega-successful WATER FOR ELEPHANTS and he tells the story behind that acquisition. That, in and of itself, is a good education about this biz.
Jofie: Let’s talk about agents. There are a lot of them, and I’m curious about the factors that you would look at if you were a writer, knowing what you know, and had your pick of a few.
Chuck: I would want them to ask certain questions. (click here to read on). He also highlights two young agents that should be on everyone’s radar (and one is a friend—waves to Dan).
But here’s my favorite quote from the interview. You’re preaching to my choir, Chuck, as so many people like to turn up their literary noses at commercial fiction.
“There’s a tendency of publishers to pooh-pooh books that are really commercial. You get this at writers’ conferences sometimes. “Oh, how can you edit Mary Higgins Clark?” People just shiver because they think she’s not a great writer. I’m sorry, she’s a great storyteller, and she satisfies millions of readers. I’m all for that. Again, Harlequin romances—give me more of them. A lot of good writers have come out of Harlequin romances: Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Barbara Delinsky, to name three right there. I think literary fiction is great, and the ideal book is one that is beautifully written and tells a great story, but if it’s just a great story that’s written well enough to be readable, that’s good too.”