October 30, 2010

Pitchapalooza

I had so much fun and learned so much at Pitchapalooza at the Clinton Book Shop on Thursday night. Well these two authors (Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry) are pitching their new book about how to get published (The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published). Arielle is an agent-at-large from a fairly large literary agency ( http://www.levinegreenberg.com/arielle-eckstut/ ) and together she and David have a business called The Book Doctors.



For this book tour the local book store recruits two local authors and the four of them do an American Idol style (without Simon) workshop where the audience gets one minute to pitch their book and the panel critiques the pitch and then decides who gets a free hour at a later date with Arielle and David to hone their pitch or just to pick their brains.


I was going to pay my $25 (which includes a copy of their book) to pitch them In Season, but when I called Rob (who runs the Clinton Book Shop) was desperate and he asked me to be one of the locals on the panel. It was fun! Arielle and David were kind but realistic with the presented pitches. Two standouts. One had a really good pitch for a book and the other was a book for which I wish the pitch had been better.  Since this was a pitch contest the good pitch won. I also sold a copy of my book and gave a copy to David and to an independent book store owner who was there with her husband to pitch books.


All in all a night of networking and fun.

October 29, 2010

Clarity

I traveled down to my local big book store this morning to purchase a book that their web site said was there.  Then their in-store puter said it wasn't but when I turned around two copies were out on the table behind me.  Sometimes one hand doesn't know what the other is doing.

No matter, it was worth the journey so long as I could use my 40% coupon.  I usually don't buy coffee table books but I had to have Finishing the Hat...Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes  by Stephen Sondheim and so far, having read about 25 pages, I have not been disappointed.  
What has struck me the most is his preface in which he says something that applies, I believe, to all writing:

"There are only three principles necessary for a lyric writer, all of them familiar truisms....they underlie everything I've ever written.  In no particular order, and to be written in stone:

Content Dictates Form

Less Is More

God is in the Details

all in the service of

Clarity

without which nothing else matters."

Thank you Mr. Sondheim.  I'm going to enjoy reading this and savoring your lyrics and listening to your music in my head.

October 24, 2010

Mellowing...

One of the steps in writing a book is finishing the first draft and then letting it mellow for awhile.  They Might Be Angels has been mellowing for a week now and I understand fully this step.  It's beginning to stink and I'm beginning to panic.  (Just as a side note I see it as a bad omen when I'm even confused about the name of the book -- see above -- the actual name could also be There Might Be Angels)

October 20, 2010

Announcing...

I've been more than relatively silent lately but I'm just about finished with the book I started only 70 days ago.  It's gone through several working titles by now, Adelaide Wasserstein Brocklehurst, The Bishop of Who, but finally last night someone, I think was the character Paul, woke me up with They Might be Angels and that is IT.  Thanks Paul.