Just a short post because I’ve been terribly busy editing my upcoming book. Today’s momentous news about the detection of gravitational waves originally predicted by Einstein is a huge milestone in the history of science. I read a couple of articles on it, one of them in Canada’s Globe and Mail. The article quotes MIT astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala saying, “We have turned on a new sense. We have been able to see and now we will be able to hear as well.”
What almost made me fall off my chair was his first sentence. Why? Because he said a new sense and one of my novels is called The New Sense. No biggie, you might think, quelle coincidence… But the title refers to a sense that one of the main characters claims to have, and that sense is… the ability to detect gravity!
Mind therefore officially blown. Maybe my superpower is predicting scientific discoveries, who knows?
According to this article in The Guardian just before Christmas, there’s a bookshop in Japan that only stocks one book at a time – some classics, some contemporary works.
Owner Yoshiyuki Morioka explains how he came up with the concept: “Before opening this bookstore in Ginza, I had been running another one in Kayabacho for 10 years. There, I had around 200 books as stock, and used to organise several book launches per year. During such events, a lot of people visited the store for the sake of a single book. As I experienced this for some time, I started to believe that perhaps with only one book, a bookstore could be managed.”
This is pretty much as close to being the anti-Amazon as it gets!
Who hasn’t been there? The blank page. The blinking cursor. The author’s horrifically empty torture chamber: writer’s block.
Neil Gaiman in a snuggly sweater
Well, according to Neil Gaiman, best-selling author of the Sandman comic book series, Coraline and many more super-imaginative works of fiction, writer’s block is just as much a fiction as anything else that pours out of an author’s mind. In this fascinating interview on the Goodreads website, he talks about how his ambition as a writer has evolved over the years and offers these pearls of wisdom about the dreaded you-know-what (shhhh… don’t say it out loud or it might come true!):
Writer’s block is this thing that is sent from the gods—you’ve offended them. You’ve trod on a crack on the pavement, and you’re through. The gods have decided. It’s not true. What is really true is you can have a bad day. You can have a bad week. You can get stuck. But what I learned when I was under deadline is that if you write on the bad days, even if you’re sure everything you’ve written is terrible, when you come to it tomorrow and you reread it, most of it’s fixable. It may not be the greatest thing you’ve ever written, but you fix it, and actually it’s a lot better than you remember it being. And the weird thing is a year later when you’re copyediting and reading the galleys through for the first time in months, you can remember that some of it was written on bad days. And you can remember that some of it was written on terrific days. But it all reads like you. Fantastic stuff doesn’t necessarily read better than the stuff written on the bad days. Writers have to be like sharks. We keep moving forward, or we die.
So on that note, here’s a toast to all the other authors out there: have lots of fun over the holiday season and then sit at your desk and work. Cheers!
Photo credit: Lvovsky via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
Author Elliott Katz details how he went about selling the foreign language rights to his book and then leveraged those agreements to produce promotional fuel like this back home: “Translated into 24 languages by publishers in Europe, Asia and Latin America.”
The series of dreadpunk novellas I’m currently working on is set in nineteenth century Montreal, so it would make perfect sense for me to sell the rights for a French translation (at minimum) when the time comes. I’ll definitely refer back to Elliott’s success story.
Any followers of this blog had experience with foreign-language rights sales? Let me know down below!
Are you an aspiring author who is feeling down about the number of rejections you’ve received? Instead of engaging in some retail therapy this Black Friday, take five minutes out of your writing schedule to peruse this incredible collection of rejection snippets.
Future best-selling author.
Here are a few good ones:
Despite 14 consecutive agency rejections Stephenie Meyer‘s Twilight goes on to sell 17 million copies and spends 91 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list.
“An absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull.” Rejection letter sent to William Golding for The Lord Of The Flies. 15 million sales.
“You have no business being a writer and should give up.” Zane Grey ignores the advice. There are believed to be over 250 million copies of his books in print.
Apparently, continual rejection may even be a sign of future success, so hang in there!
Photo credit: KatLevPhoto / Foter.com / CC BY-NC
Great advice from Rachel Starr Thompson about the pitfalls of underwriting. No, that’s not the insurance industry kind of underwriting, it’s when an author tries too hard to show without telling and then skips the interesting stuff going on in the characters’ heads that actually makes any story compelling.
Nope, not this kind of underwriting.
Photo credit: free pictures of money / Foter.com / CC BY
Nice little post about the pain and ultimate pleasure of the editing process, written by fellow Montreal author Alice Zorn. This is something I’ll be facing very shortly…
An environmentally conscious editor on the way to work.
Photo credit: Bill Gracey / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND