I’ve got a new video for you here at the end of 2017 . . . and it’s about why you shouldn’t become a writer.
In all seriousness? It’s not a discouraging video. It’s about five elements associated with writing that you’ll have to be able to handle (or learn to handle!) if you’re joining this weird wonderful world.
A topic near and dear to my heart: let’s talk about word count!
In this video, Julie Sondra on Appropriate Word Count, I give you information on what the expected word counts are (approximately) for different novel types, why this matters, and some tips on how to get your book to be longer or shorter depending on what you need.
Just thought I’d gather up 10 disparate myths I’ve heard all around here and there regarding various aspects of publishing and address them in a video. Have you heard these myths? Heard some of your own? Were surprised to hear what parts of them are false and which are based on truth?
I signed with agent Michelle Johnson in 2012, and considered her a friend as well as a literary agent helping me with my project. She gave me a lot of confidence in my work and was willing to discuss issues in depth. She was diligent about sending my Bad Fairy book out and got it in front of very big editors, but the stars did not align and the book didn’t sell.
We had some plans to take the feedback we’d been offered about fairy tale retellings and approach publishers with the second book in my trilogy instead since it has the meat of the fairy tale that everyone knows rather than reading more like a prequel. But that’s where things went a little funny with Michelle. She said she was excited when I delivered the manuscript to her and said it was going to be her top priority, and that’s the last thing she ever said to me.
She seems to have vanished under mysterious circumstances. Follow-ups were unanswered and eventually began bouncing. Her accounts went dark and websites disappeared. Other people represented by her also said they could not reach her. Some authors said they weren’t receiving their royalties because they’d been released to her and never got passed on to the authors.
She’d had some health issues toward the end of when we were talking, so I guess I suspect that she became ill and was no longer able to advocate for herself. I don’t think she would have chosen to just vanish under mysterious circumstances so it’s likely something bad happened to her but I guess I will never really know. She never said anything to me specifically (and no one associated with her ever reached out to tell existing clients what they should do), but there were a few posts around suggesting she’d become seriously ill and couldn’t carry on, and all her agency’s agents moved on.
So I thought I should say something here since I don’t want people to think she is still representing my work. In any case I haven’t been pursuing fiction publication lately and I’m sure I’ll just pursue new representation with a new book when I’m ready to try this again.
Here’s a video about something uncomfortable: when authors from majority backgrounds create an excuse to write about their group as an oppressed minority.
It’s almost never a good idea to write a story with a premise like “what if men were oppressed?” or “what if black people enslaved white people?” Not only because people who write these stories tend to have an agenda and feel they’re being made irrelevant by greater equality in the world, but also because they tend not to truly understand those marginalization narratives well enough to write them convincingly. This video outlines some examples of story ideas that have done this and some thoughts on why it’s rarely advisable to do this.
My latest video offers perspectives on why it’s so important to collect your own observations directly when you’re researching for a book. Your take on the world is what makes your story something only you can write, so that research should be personal too!
I’ve seen too many people make excuses for why their stories aren’t “diverse,” so I made a video about why this is important and why authors should think really hard about why their stories lack diversity if they do.