Monday, May 18, 2009

Remembering Craig Virden

For any of you who know me personally, you know sadly, my agent, Craig Virden, passed away on May sixth--a very sudden passing, for one far too young.

Since that day, I've been reading wonderful stories about him posted by friends from the industry and every time I read one, I regret more and more never having the chance to meet him. He is without a doubt someone who will never and could never be forgotten. He touched so many lives and helped so many authors. He took a chance on me, for which I will forever be grateful.

Below is a link to a collection of stories about him from Publisher's Weekly, all from close friends--authors, agents, publishers and the like, all loving reminders of someone they'll all miss very much.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Glutton for Punishment

So, my manuscript, NIGHTSHADE CITY, has been sent to three editors, all at major publishing houses. I'm anxious to hear what their feedback will be. Every author imagines seeing their book on the shelf of a major book store, but I'm trying to be realistic about the whole thing. I do believe my book will be published, but by whom and when, seems to be the cloudy, foggy part I can only daydream about.

Aspiring writers have so many hurdles to overcome on the road to the brass ring--a book deal. First off, we need to find an agent who will stand behind our work, doubling as a friend and a critic, next part, finding an editor who will champion us in the same way. After the deal is made, we then need to worry about our dreaded sales! Please, please be good enough, so we may torture ourselves all over again!!

It's been a tough road, but one I will travel gladly over and over again. I just can't see myself doing anything else. I am a glutton for punishment, after all!

Monday, May 11, 2009

What the heck is Red Matter??

So, after last week's sad news, I'd like to talk about something lighthearted.

I'm not a huge Sci-Fi fan, I certainly don't hate it. It's just not something I seek out. On Saturday my husband and I had the rare opportunity of seeing a movie sans our two children. I don't think we've seen a movie alone since I was pregnant with my daughter well over a year ago. My husband let me pick the movie and with nothing that caught my eye, I decided on Star Trek of all things. I wasn't expecting much.

To my surprise, this was a great film, the acting fantastic and the characters, dead on. Spock would have to be my favorite, along with Captain Kirk, who at first I thought would just be a semi-good looking, nothing special actor, but he grew on me rather quickly and he played the part well. Spock's character was well developed and added a lot to the movie, while Kirk's was more of the comedic "bad boy", with lots of good one-liners. The story was well structured. It was interesting and somewhat grim, but also had plenty of comedic relief and laugh out loud scenes.

My only complaint would be with the role of the bad guy, Nero. Not the actor's fault, but his character was pretty much your run of the mill, tattoo covered, creepy voiced, Gothic looking bad guy, not too much new there, but he did serve his purpose.

For lack of a better descriptive word this was a "fun" movie. I really enjoyed it and I recommend seeing it if you're looking for sheer entertainment and for something that will leave you smiling and not thinking you wasted $9.00 on your ticket. I don't know how many sequels they'll roll out of this, but they certainly left the door open for a new Star Trek empire.

My only unanswered question: What the heck is "red matter"????

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The death of someone truly special...

I am deeply saddened to report the death of Craig Virden, my agent. I never had a chance to meet Craig in person, but from his first letter responding to my novel's first three chapters; I knew he was the agent for me, the perfect match. Craig had an impressive career in publishing and as an agent, including being named president and publisher of the Random House Books for Young Readers group.

The more I learn about him, the more it hits home as to what a truly unique and special person he was. It seems everyone has a story to tell about Craig Virden. It may seem strange, but it's true, you can miss someone without ever having met them. Whenever I've really connected with someone, it's always been from the moment I met them, or spoke to them on the phone, or in Craig's case the first time I received a letter from him, and boy what a letter it was. He let me know that his wife was not a fan of rodents, the main characters in my first MS, but he was alright with them! I could tell right away he was a joker and someone who probably loved life more than the most of us. From that moment on, I knew he was the exact agent I was looking for as if sent from above, a real person, someone who "gets it", someone I'd be proud to work with and more proud to know.

My heart goes out to the people who knew him and loved him, especially his wife, Nancy, and their two children.

If you'd like to learn more about Mr. Virden or attend his memorial service in NY on May 27th, Please click here.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Dropped the big, "Oh, by the way I'm a writer" bomb...

So, I finally told my family about my writing last night. I've been writing since I was in the 3rd grade, but surprisingly, virtually no one in my family knew of this fact. I vowed to myself I would only tell my parents if & when I managed to secure an agent. If that day never came, then I would never tell. Then I felt my family couldn't label me as the crazy family member who wastes her time writing books with absolutely no chance of getting published, "How pathetic", they'd whisper at family gatherings. I was afraid they'd think me one of those people, you know, the ones who always say they're going to do all these interesting things, but never delivers on them.

My mother was beyond shocked at my news, utterly amazed that I was writing and even more amazed when I told her about my agent's background and the wonderful books he's edited and agented. She's already two chapters into my first manuscript and says she loves it. My mom is great in the fact that I know she'd tell me if she didn't like my writing or the story itself. I like and need this kind of honesty. She is not one to give praise just to be nice. So when she says she loves the writing and the story, I know she really means it! Thanks, mom!