Blibbles, blabbles and a rant

PhotobucketFirst, my happy news: The Last Will of Moira Leahy was involved in a four-way book auction in Germany, and sold to the highest bidder! Foreign sales can be important because the advance that foreign publishers pay to your US publisher goes against your US advance (unless you retained foreign rights, which we didn’t). Put another way, it’s that much less you have to sell here in the US to “earn out” your advance. And in any case, cool.

I’m still researching website designers, and I found this NYT’s article on websites and book trailers to be very interesting. What do you think? Does a well-made website or well-produced book trailer influence you into buying a book (or at least intrigue you into learning more)?

I’m also still enjoying Facebook and recently leaped into the Twitter pond. If you Tweet, too, you can find me HERE. Not sure if I’ll stick with it, though.

Other interesting blabbles around the web and blogosphere:

* Allison Winn Scotch blogs about how to use book reviews as critique in your next works.

* Writer’s Digest’s annual writing competition is underway. Details HERE.

JA Konrath offers one of the best pieces of writing advice I’ve ever read:

When you’re learning how to walk, you don’t take classes. You don’t read how-to books. You don’t pay experts to help you, or do it for you.

You just keep falling until you learn on your own.

It’s the same thing with writing.

* Chuck Sambuchino dispels a common myth about children’s book writers needing to find their own illustrators.

* The NY Times is reporting that Sara Nelson, the editor-in-chief at Publishers Weekly, has been let go.

* Variance Publishing is promoting virtual book signings, where authors and readers are able to interact via webcams. Dear Author readers yawn.

* Time publishes an article about how technology is reshaping the publishing industry. **Highly recommended!

* The Telegraph is reporting that an authorized sequel to The House at Pooh Corner will be released later this year–80 years after A.A. Milne’s classic work was published.

* The film version of The Hobbit is in pre-production (and Ian McKellan will be back as Gandalf).

* Neil Gaiman won the Newbery for his novel The Graveyard Book (and I think Kath will have something to say about it).

* Ray Rhamey flogs a quill. I really like the interactivity of his polling system, don’t you?

From Publishers Lunch:

Co-founder of the Writer Beware website (along with Ann Crispin) Victoria Strauss will be honored by Science Fiction Writers Association at their Nebula Awards with a special Service Award. Organization president Russell Davis comments, “Her work with Writer Beware has been invaluable to our members and the writing community at large, so I’m very pleased to offer her this recognition of her outstanding service.”

Strauss says, “Ten years ago, when WB was just getting started, I could never have imagined how much we would accomplish and how far we’d come. Beginning as a two-person committee and a modest subsection of the SFWA website, we’re now a major Internet resource that has warned thousands of writers about schemes and scams, and has helped to put literary scammers out of business and into jail.

Congrats, Victoria! (See our interview with Victoria HERE.)

Cool TV and movie rights news from Publishers Marketplace:

Pilot for one-hour drama based on M.J. Rose’s novel THE REINCARNATIONIST, written by David Hudgins for Warner Bros. Productions, with Hudgins and Lou Pitt as axecutive producers and Rose as a consulting producer, for Fox Broadcasting.
Film rights to David Wroblewski’s EDGAR SAWTELLE, to Universal, with Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman at Playtone and Oprah Winfrey and Kate Forte at Harpo Films producing.
Rights to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s THE GREAT GATSBY, to director Baz Luhrmann (with no studio attached yet.)

The rant: I don’t know about you all, but I’m sick of hearing about memoirists who are found to have lied about significant chunks of their stories to make them more interesting, thereby ticking off the publishing world and enraging readers–not to mention making Oprah look bad. We don’t generally dish about nonfiction here because that’s not what we’re about, but I have to ask you, when you pick up a memoir are you looking for truth or just a good story? Does it upset you that a lot of memoirists are really fiction writers who package their work as reality to–oh, I don’t know–possibly give them an edge in the marketplace? What’s wrong with the “fiction” label? Inquiring minds want to know.

Then there are touching stories like this that take the mad right out of me:

Keith Desserich and Brooke Desserich’s originally self-published NOTES LEFT BEHIND, said to have sold almost 8,000 copies after being featured on GMA recently, a journal created by the family of six year-old Elena Desserich during her battle with an inoperable brain cancer that took her life in 2007, including Elena’s “final wish list” and accompanying artwork and hidden notes left for her family to discover after her death, to Lisa Sharkey for William Morrow, with Amy Kaplan editing, at auction, for publication in fall 2009, by Sharlene Martin at Martin Literary Management, with the authors’ proceeds going to their foundation to find a cure for pediatric brain cancer (NA).

I wouldn’t blame Oprah for being intrigued.

Write on, all.


About Therese Walsh

Therese Walsh co-founded Writer Unboxed in 2006. Her second novel, The Moon Sisters, was named a Best Book of 2014 by Library Journal and BookRiot. Her debut, The Last Will of Moira Leahy, sold to Random House in a two-book deal in 2008, was named one of January Magazine’s Best Books, and was a Target Breakout Book. She's never been published with a lit magazine, but LOST's Carlton Cuse liked her Twitter haiku best and that made her pretty happy.


  1. says

    What a wonderfully full post! Love the Konrath quote.

    Yes, it bugs me when memoir writers fictionalize. Memory is very subjective but outright fabrication puts the credibilty of all memoir writers to question, and I resent it.

    If it’s fiction, call it fiction.

  2. says

    Great post, Theresa. And the German rights to your book….WOW WOW WOW

    This past weekend I was at writers’ conference. Editors and agents both said that when approached by someone with a memoir, they want to immediately back away. very hot potato topic right now

  3. says

    Congrats to Victoria and to Neal Gaiman for scoring a Newbery. And yes, I will*cough*have much to say about the selection.

    Yay for Gandalf. And for the German peoples for bidding up LWML.

    Lots of good tidbits in this one, Therese, thanks!

  4. thea mcginnis says

    re ray’s flogging polling system: anyone clicking mushroom sauce must shop at Bloom.

    yay! congrats, ter, on your bidding war!

  5. says

    Yes, I think it’s unfair and odd to call it memoir if it’s fiction. Also, you’re probably going to get caught, so why risk it? Unless that was your goal in the first place…

  6. says

    I am writing a memoir and I do a fair amount of life blogging. My husband constantly reminds me not to recreate dialogue or scenes that aren’t specifically related to he and I because he won’t hate me if I “misremember” something as memory is subjective, and I have found that something I remember can be very different than the way someone else remembers it.

    I save things though like emails, journaling, posts from messages boards, so I have originals to fall back on to double check myself as I write, but not everyone does. I think that people naturally embellish when they tell stories about themselves or others and natural writers more so than most.

    It’s bothersome when fiction writers claim to be writing memoirs. I mean, a writer can write a fictional memoir, right? But it would be better if they call it such up front. A good story is a good story after all.

  7. says

    The memoir I keep wondering about is the love story at Nazi camps. Why not just write it as a novel? It didn’t make any sense.

    Go, go, go, on those foreign sales. Four pubs bidding? Pretty incredible.

  8. says

    I agree, Barbara, about the Nazi camp love story. Couldn’t they just say, “based on actual events” or something to give them legal wiggle room?

    Thea, someone did click mushroom sauce. Amazing that we can have hundreds of page loads for the day and only seven people responded to the poll. :-D

    Thanks for congrats on the German rights, you guys!

  9. says

    Great post Theresa! Interessant news!

    I never bought a book based in the author’s website or book trailer. Usually my book decisions are made in the library or if some friend recomends me to read a new book that they liked.