kaz_mahoneyand I attended a talk last night held at Random House – it was hosted by Kids at Random House and also a group of kids called HeadSpace – actually, find a bit of promo for them below this cut and then continue reading some thoughts and ideas further on.
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The young girl who moderated the talk asked the three authors – Keith Gray, Bali Rai and Anthony McGowan – a variety of really interesting questions. The authors were simply incredible – they joked, they chatted honestly and passionately about their writing, their careers and how they started out on the path they are on now.
Bali Rai was particularly engaging and funny. As the evening wound down, the authors all exorted those present, adults, kidults and younger folk to never give up on their writing, even if they receive rejection after rejection. Anthony mentioned that after he got tonnes of rejection notes on his novel Hellbent (which subsequently sold to Random House) he “became a woman” and wrote two well received light romance novels for women.
This made me think about focus and wanting it. Don’t give up. Rethink your position and maybe consider doing something else. Challenge yourself – walk away from your high fantasy concept novel and try your hand at that bit of literary fluff you have stuffed in your drawer. I personally love paranormal fantasy, urban fantasy, fantasy, horror, action adventure, thrillers and crime novels. I would give my eyeteeth to be able to write urban fantasy the way that Charles de Lint or Midori Snyder does. I would love to be the next Joe Hill. I would love to somehow rub against Paul Sussman to get some mojo to write an adult action adventure. But I know my parameters and I know what makes me feel safe. And that safety is maybe not always a good thing.
Which is why I broke out of that safety zone and wrote something I know very little of (and by doing a huge amount of research in a very short space of time and tapping friends and colleagues who knew about certain aspects of various things like guns and breaking and entering) I had a complete blast, wrote Good Guys in one giant expulsion after tinkering with an outline and that got me into an anthology with people like Jordan Summers and Shannon K Butcher.
And here I am, about to share a huge secret with you guys. I utterly and irrevocably have fallen in love with a particular publisher’s certain imprint and I would love the opportunity to write something for them.
I know, the mind boggles. What is Liz going to say NOW?
Little Black Dress Books. I know, people! Who would have thought it – but this little imprint with his go-get-em attitude and light romance novels, funky covers and dedicated writers, have really stolen my heart. I have fallen in love with them. They are my Mills & Boon. The contemporary settings, real characters and situations just make me love them even more. I have now read three of them, and I have just today received three more.
Maybe in the new year I trot out my Liz Muir pseudonym and write something for them! Even if it goes nowhere, it is practice! And we all know what practice gets us…yes, more practice!
I forget which hardman movie this is from but: never give up, never surrender, just get bigger guns and take ’em all out!
Uhm, I’m now not sure that line works for writing but hey, you knowwhatimeanright?