Thursday, June 15, 2006


So I started training a temporary replacement for my job on Monday, and I have to admit I'm sort of stumped how to proceed. Can someone please explain how I shove almost eighteen years of experience into 8 days of explanation? I think the answer is - you don't.

This situation reminded me of a trip I made to one of our out-of-town properties. I was sitting in a restuarant waiting on food and doing a read for an author friend. The waitress stopped and asked if I was a writer. I said yes and this is how the conversation went from there:
Waitress: Is that your book?
Me: No, it's a friends.
Waitress: So how do you get a book published?

Well, hell, we could stop right there. The restaurant didn't have enough food (and definitely not enough drinks) for me to stay and answer that one. But I try

Me: Well, what are you writing?
Waitress: It's a story about a family.
Me: Romance, Women's fiction, Family Saga - what genre?
Waitress: What's genre?
Me: The kind of book.

So we proceed to struggle through five more minutes of unenlightening conversation for the waitress to finally hit me with the one question that had been burning this entire time:

"How many pages does she have, because I only have fifteen?"


Does anyone have a good answer for these people? You don't want to offend because, well, it's just rude. But I can't explain four years of studying the industry in the time it takes to refill my tea and pass along dinner rolls.

I'm thinking about putting together a one-page flyer for aspiring authors that I could rip out of my briefcase and hand over. You know, instructions like, join RWA, read a book.........

Any other ideas?


Kelly Parra said...

Are you kidding?? How to become published can not be summed up in one answer. *laughs* I've been asked this question and actually I've narrowed it down to a summary.

-Figure out your genre
-Join the organization that specializes in your genre'
-take classes, research on-line, hook up with a CP
-read books
-and write

;D Although it's far from this simple!

Jana DeLeon said...

Yeah, Kelly, that's a great list. It's just that it comes with, like, 5 billion items under each instruction. :)

I guess I could always start with defining "genre?"

girl on top said...

It's amusing to see people at the bottom of the literary heap (you) putting down would-be authors.

Jana DeLeon said...

girl on top - you thought that was a put-down? Are you really that easily offended?

I was merely pointing out that it's impossible to explain the publishing industry in one sitting. And I do have a problem with people who expect a quick answer rather than spending the hundreds of research hours I spent studying the industry before I even stepped foot into my first professional writer's group.

"literary heap" - now THAT'S amusing! I never, EVER claimed to write anything remotely literary and never will.

But thanks for making me laugh.

Diana Peterfreund said...

Now now now... the bottom of the literary heap, huh? I reserve that spot for complete stranger trolls who flame other people's blogs and spend their spare time attempting to shut down one of the most helpful industry sites out there.

Tell me, girl on top, what makes you the expert, and who are YOU helping? Judging from your actions so far, I think you're only hurting people.

Wendy said...

Hmmm. If you're calling Jana, a published author, the bottom of the literary heap, then obviously you must be on the NYT list. Please share how you managed to achieve that great status? Perhaps, like Jana's waitress, you too have only written 15 pages and wish to consider yourself a would-be author?

Jana DeLeon said...

Gee, I guess our new friend's not going to join us again. Perhaps she only does drive-by flamings???

Hi Diana & Wendy!!!

Cari Manderscheid said...

Yeah, my favorite is, "One day, I'm going to write a book!"

I always have to bite my tongue to keep from saying, "Well, one day takes about 5,6,7 years of research and THEN you MIGHT get lucky and find a publisher, but that depends on if you even have a shred of talent and can form two coherent sentences." (Which I'm usually betting they can't or they'd have already done it!)

Actually, the flyer idea isn't a bad idea. It would certainly save you a lot of explaining. Or, you could just record it all and then pull out the recorder and hit "Play" when they ask! I think that'd get the message across, don't you????

Jana DeLeon said...

LOL Cari, on the tape - but then, I hate my voice when I hear it. I can't possibly sound that hickish in real life. :) Maybe you could do it and put it into a song.

Maybe remake Garth's Friends in Low Places, to No One Has Friends in New York Spaces??????

Cari Manderscheid said...

Now THAT's a song the editors in New York would love! :)

Can't wait to see your new flyer!

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