On Writing Unlikeable Characters
crimereads.com – Thursday June 23, 2022
When I set out to write my young adult novel Never Coming Home, my number one goal was to create a killer mystery. My number two was to write a cast of characters that the reader just couldn’t wait to see die. Never Coming Home is a contemporary, social media-based retelling of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, the story of 10 strangers who are all invited to a mysterious island under sketchy circumstances. Once they arrive, it isn’t too long before they’re hit with the big M: murder.
While Queen Christie’s masterful storytelling and deft deployment of the red herring definitely drew me to the idea of reimagining this story, what really hooked me was that many of the characters in it were deliciously awful. Take beautiful, dumb Anthony Marston, whose selfishness is so pure that it’s almost to be admired. Almost. Or Emily Brent, a pious, self-righteous spinster who regularly indulges in the deadliest sin (pride, that is). Philip Lombard is the closest the book has to a hero, and he’s as morally gray as they come (though any quick scroll through #booktok will inform you that a morally gray hero is actually what the boys and girls want these days).
New Publishing Imprint Listing: EPTA Books
firstwriter.com – Thursday June 23, 2022
Imprint for non-fiction books and coffee-table beauties.
New Literary Agent Listing: Amy Gilroy
firstwriter.com – Thursday June 23, 2022
Reads a wide range of genres, from romance to crime. She enjoys books that feature strong and diverse characters with powerful voices and reading books set in distant places with rich cultures.
They Say It Only Takes One: My Year of Trying to Get an Agent, and Get Pregnant
lithub.com – Wednesday June 22, 2022
For as long as I’ve been a writer, the comparison that I’ve heard the most frequently used by artists of my ilk is that writing a book is like having a baby. As someone who has never had a baby, I imagine the truth of this likeness is that both take time and that both, once completed, are sent out into the world with little control over what happens next.
But what the comparison between writing a book and having a baby gets wrong is the assumption that the person writing the book or birthing that baby is in a position to both publish a book and procreate. Maybe this is why I’ve spent the last few months feeling unconvinced by the truth of this likeness. Is writing a book like having a baby? Sure, if you can get an agent and can get pregnant.
I, unfortunately, haven’t been able to do either.
New Publishing Imprint Listing: Schiffer Military
firstwriter.com – Wednesday June 22, 2022
Dedicated to publishing definitive books on military and aviation history by the world’s leading historians.
My journey to getting a book deal
dailykos.com – Tuesday June 21, 2022
So much about making a career as a writer is opaque and exclusionary. There’s also a lot that, frankly, simply depends on your specific situation. It’s hard to give advice that will work for everyone, much less most people. All of that said, I shared a bit about my experience finding a literary agent for my novel (you can check that out here if you’d like) and now that I’ve sold my first book, I figured I would return and share a bit more for anyone who might be considering a similar path.
The biggest caveat here is that this is all what my experience was like. So many other writers have had wildly different journeys. No one’s path is better than anyone else’s and it is (truly) never a reflection of your worth or merit as a writer. It can be oddly tempting to think about folks who get major house auctions within a few days of going on submission, but really, don’t torture yourself.
Good God, I can’t publish this…
thecritic.co.uk – Monday June 20, 2022
The literary rejection is almost a genre in itself. It has shaken the confidence of every writer in history. The best examples are to be found wherever there is a publisher armed with a power complex, a sense of literary inferiority and a ready wit. In recent years, the soft thud of the manuscript on the hall floor has been gradually replaced by the pernicious ping of the inbox. It does seem that the email is a paler version of the quintessential letter of the past.
Back in the 60s, Sylvia Plath boldly claimed, “I love my rejection slips. They show me I try”. This was in spite of being told by a publisher that she didn’t have “enough genuine talent for us to take notice”.
Stephen King kept his rejection letters on a spike while Hemingway mutilated his — and no wonder. Mrs Moberley Luger of Peacock & Peacock (surely a parody of a publisher if ever there was one) sent Hemingway an intensely personal missive on the shortcomings of The Sun Also Rises: “I may be frank, Mr Hemingway — you certainly are in your prose — I found your efforts to be both tedious and offensive. You really are a man’s man, aren’t you? I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that you had penned this entire story locked up at the club, ink in one hand, brandy in the other.” She went on to berate his writing style with “I daresay my young son could do better!” and of the novel’s hero she unleashed this zinger, “I doubt he’d have the energy to turn the page to find out what happened to himself”.
Literary agents share the magic ingredients they’re looking for in a novel
metro.co.uk – Monday June 20, 2022
What keeps you hooked when you’re reading a novel?
Twists and turns? Great characters? Writing that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside?
Identifying the things that make a good book can be key when it comes to writing your own fiction. But what are experts in the industry looking for in new fiction writing?
We asked Lizzy Kremer, Jemima Forrester and Maddalena Cavaciuti, all literary agents at David Higham Associates, to share their magic ingredients for fiction.
Darley Anderson sheds light on publishing world with virtual open week
thebookseller.com – Saturday June 18, 2022
The Darley Anderson Agency will be hosting a virtual open week at the end of June with Twitter Q&As, pitch contests, Instagram Lives and helpful blog content.
Running from 27th June, the agency will welcome aspiring writers, readers and book fans to give them a glimpse of life at a commercial literary agency through a variety of online events.
The agency said it wanted to shed light on the publishing process, from submission to publication and everything in between, talking all things “entertainment fiction”.
AGNI, BU’s Elite Literary Magazine, Celebrates Its 50th Birthday
bu.edu – Friday June 17, 2022
The latest print edition of AGNI hit subscribers’ mailboxes and bookstores a month late, thanks to a ransomware attack on its Pennsylvania printer. The biannual literary magazine—crammed with essays, poetry, and reviews—battled cultural headwinds even before that delay: while pandemic isolating induced an uptick in reading, other research suggests that almost 60 percent of Americans never crack a book in a given year; pleasure reading of literary fiction especially is nosediving.
If it seems that fate has it in for AGNI as it celebrates its 50th birthday among the nation’s elite literary magazines, coeditor William Pierce makes the glass-half-full case: “I’m skeptical that there was ever a period when 40 percent or even 20 percent read literary work. In the era of Wordsworth, most in England were illiterate.” That even 40 percent of Americans read books actually “cuts against narratives of decline. To me, that’s a shockingly high number.”