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Author Topic: tough to talk to  (Read 5499 times)
Geoff_N
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« on: February 05, 2010, 03:18:06 AM »

Having finished my magic realism fantasy, Xaghra's Revenge, I thought which famous fantasy writers have I met who might endorse it? Jon Courtenay Grimwood likes it & gave advice in the early plotting but he's not that well known. I met Ramsey Campbell last year when he chaired FantasyCon in Nottingham. I even bought him a beer but I doubt he remembers me. I know John Jarrold, his agent, so I asked him if Ramsey would glance at a sample chapter and intro and splutter out a few words for an endorsement. It might help publishers take it a tad more seriously.

John forwarded my request along with a blurb: 'In 1551 pirates abducted the population of the Mediterranean island of Gozo. Their spirits cry out for revenge. That bitter-sweet moment waited nearly half a millennia until the right man and woman came together; one descended from the abducted, one from the pirates – only they don’t know anything, yet. '

I had a reply within the hour: to say that Ramsey is very sorry but is too busy working on his new novel and cannot be distracted. Well, I can understand that - we are all busy. We all know how when immersed in our characters we hate to be distracted. So am I wrong to feel niggled?


Ironically, Ramsey is due to give a reading in my home town next month. I am unlikely to pay the £22 entry but if I did I'd be holding up placards with excerpts from XR and then be ready to jot down his responses! Haha.

Geoff
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Bec
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2010, 07:55:49 AM »

You're busy, Geoff, but I notice that you're always willing to take time to help other writers. So I hope you find someone even more famous than RC to endorse your book.  smiley
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Geoff_N
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2010, 10:30:50 AM »

You are too kind, Bec.

Too busy to write more Wink
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Ed
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2010, 07:00:45 PM »

Yeah, I know how you feel, Geoff. I contacted F Paul Wilson after I had met him at Borderlands Bootcamp, to let him know my story didn't place at F&SF, even with his recommendation attached. He responded, but although the reply was civil enough, I sensed he didn't want to be (literally) bothered. I'd made the approach tentatively, hoping maybe he might suggest where else I could send the story with a note attached saying he'd said to send it. After all, if you don't ask, you don't get, and it sometimes pays to be forward. But I wasn't surprised by the lukewarm response.

If you think of all the hundreds of people these writers come into face to face contact with, day in day out, not to mention all the thousands of fans who read their books, they would have no time of their own if they corresponded with even a fraction of the people who must try contact them.

At least Ramsey isn't one of those authors who blurb a book without even reading it. I hear there are quite a few out there.
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Geoff_N
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2010, 04:40:45 AM »

I wonder though how many appeals for a blurb they get? Probably several a day, and they probably feel obliged to be positive when it is from their own publishers. If you go to the trouble to check the origin of blurbs on the back of Gollancz for example they are nearly all from their own writers.

It puts me off asking Neil Gaimon even though I've met him too.

I did a review for an relatively unknown writer who'd secured a few words from Stephen King. When I asked how he managed it he said his small press publisher had gone to the same high school as SK. So much depends on luck!

Geoff
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Ed
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2010, 04:53:34 AM »

Yeah, luck and contacts afro I get the impression conventions can be a good place and time to ask for a blurb. Depending on the time of day and how long the con is, there can be moments when people are sat around bored, looking for something to do. That's the impression I get, anyway - I've never actually seen for myself.
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2010, 12:45:45 PM »

I once sat next to Ramsey Campbell at the Alt. Fiction convention in Derby a couple of years ago, but I didn't have the balls to talk to him haha even though earlier, during his reading, I asked a question (after he'd finished of course  grin ) about someone he mentioned in an old collection of short stories and he seemed surprised I'd brought it up.

I also wanted to approach some of the other writer's there (like Tim Lebbon) but I didn't know if they'd consider it an annoyance or not.  Someone told me to take chapters from my novel to give people, but I refused because this feels crass, especially considering it was (is) unpublshed.  It's like going to a gig and lobbing your demo cd at Kaiser Chiefs or someone haha
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« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2010, 03:18:59 PM »

I once sat next to Ramsey Campbell at the Alt. Fiction convention in Derby a couple of years ago, but I didn't have the balls to talk to him haha even though earlier, during his reading, I asked a question (after he'd finished of course  grin ) about someone he mentioned in an old collection of short stories and he seemed surprised I'd brought it up.

I also wanted to approach some of the other writer's there (like Tim Lebbon) but I didn't know if they'd consider it an annoyance or not.  Someone told me to take chapters from my novel to give people, but I refused because this feels crass, especially considering it was (is) unpublshed.  It's like going to a gig and lobbing your demo cd at Kaiser Chiefs or someone haha

Whoever told you to take chapter to give to people should be smacked with a full set of Encyclopedias. There's a time and place for everything; conventions are great for networking and handing out business cards, talking shop etc, but not to give out chapters. That's best saved for a later time.  If you talk about a wip and someone expresses interest, that'd be different.
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Geoff_N
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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2010, 02:27:56 PM »

How sweet is irony. After being too busy to give me words to use for my novel, Ramsey Campbell is to have a story published in Horror Zine print antho volume 2 to be released by Bear Manor books in the summer.  Graham Masterton is also in the collection and Bentley Little. Sandwiched between those greats of horror fiction is little me with In Absentia - the story Cafe Doomers critted. Thanks folks!

Geoff
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desertwomble
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« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2010, 02:52:25 PM »

Good on yer, Geoff - but can you change 'sandwiched between' to 'standing head and shoulders above'?

DW Cheesy
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Ed
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« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2010, 03:17:14 PM »

Ah - nice one, Geoff afro
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« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2010, 04:00:28 AM »

Tremendous!!!

Top work, Geoff.

Derek
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"If you want to write, write it. That's the first rule. And send it in, and send it in to someone who can publish it or get it published. Don't send it to me. Don't show it to your spouse, or your significant other, or your parents, or somebody. They're not going to publish it."
 
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Bec
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« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2010, 04:21:51 AM »

Good for you, Geoff!  cheers
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« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2010, 10:30:46 AM »

Excellent - congrats, Geoff!
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« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2010, 10:35:30 AM »

That's fantastic!
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