Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This Crazy Business: Twilight & Editor Agent Relationships

Welcome to a new a feature on the Rock that gives you yet even more feed back from agents and editors. Yep, at the beginning of the year, we promised twice the interviews as last year with the big hitters and now have added another vital source of information for the aspiring writer. This Crazy Business is a panel of not one, not two, but at least three industry reps each time that will answer hot topic questions.

Our guests today are Literary Agent Gina Panettieri with Tolcott Notch, Editor Terri Bischoff with Midnight Ink, and Literary Agent Sharon Belcasto. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

The burning questions:

Question 1) How do you initiate relationships with editors?

Question 2) What made Twilight the smash hit it has become?

Gina Panettieri

1) Oh, gosh, lots of ways. That depends where they are. I may meet them at an event I'm attending, like a conference or party. I sometimes get an email from an editor at a new job, introducing herself and letting me know what she's looking to acquire, and I'll follow up on that to talk about what I've got. I may call or email someone who I've been following on Publisher's Marketplace when I take on a project that seems to match their acquisitions. I also drop a 'hello' email to new editors announced on Publishers Lunch or other pubs. I get a large number of 'wish lists' from publishers, updates from their publishing staff on who is looking for what. I follow a lot of editors on Twitter and I have a lot of editor followers, and that breaks the ice when it comes time to talk about books even if we haven't formally met yet.

2) I suppose you'll get a lot of different opinions on this one. I think it's because it offers complete and total escapism. It's like the Harlequin sweet romances where the wealthy worldly playboy suddenly realizes he can't live without the very ordinary poor shopgirl, with the paranormal twist that hit at just the right time. The protagonist is able to forget completely about her ordinary teen life. She barely has to worry about graduating high school, much less planning for after that. All she is really thinking about is love and being with the boy she loves and that's okay. But there's danger and excitement and she's the center of it all. And to make it really thrilling, another boy is also in love with her (wow, you've got the jocky muscular guy and the brooding, sensitive guy both!), fighting for her love and the two rivals work together to protect her. And it's a big epic romance she's going to DIE for? And she's going to be rich, and young, and beautiful to her true love forever. Why wouldn't teen girls think this was the best thing ever?

Terri Bischoff

2) Clearly it spoke to a certain segment of the population. Comments and opinions fly everywhere – about the anti-feminist nature and poor writing – but readers fell in love with the book. What more can you say?

Sharon Belcastro

1) Phone, email, tradeshows.

2) I must confess, I’m not really a big Twilight fan but I suppose it’s the innate desire in all of us plain jane girl next door types to score the dark sexy mysterious new boy in school. Even if he really is over 100 years old. LOL.

Thank you, ladies.

Gusto Dave

1 comment:

Daven Anderson said...

The real reason why Twilight became successful. Bella Swan is a blatant Mary Sue, but millions of readers took Bella to heart as their own Mary Sue (not just the author's).