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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Preferences, Pot and Human Nature

Currently reading - Christie Craig's draft of Don't Mess With Texas

If you haven't followed the ping-pong match debate between Eric at Pimp Your Novel and superagent Janet Reid about revealing your agents preferences publicly, I suggest you go look at their blogs now. I'll wait.

. . .

The debate seems simple, doesn't it? Eric says exhibiting such preferences shouldn't matter. Janet says such a public proclamation may be held against a writer.

The problem is they're both right. Eric points out stating what you like about Agent A is no different than stating what you'll do if you win the lottery. Janet acknowledges the ugly side of human nature, that while we'd like to think we're objective, we never truly are.

And before anyone starting jumping up and down screaming that the agents have all the power, let me point out I've seen the reverse as well. I know (or know of) a couple of writers who were rejected by an agent or an editor, only to be not-so-subtly approached by that same agent/editor once the writer had proven themselves. And yes, in some cases, the writer held a grudge. In others, the writer said, "Screw the past. It's business."

Both truth and opinion are scary, double-edged swords. I try not to put anything in my blog that I'd refuse to say in any other public setting. (You also have to realize I had no problem giving a friend a purple vibrator in the middle of Panera's.) Readers know when you're being straight with them and when you're not.

So in the spirit of truth, I'm being totally honest about what I'm currently reading. It's not a slam on Charlaine and Toni that I've put their anthology aside for the next couple of days. It's the reality of publishing that Christie has a deadline hanging over her hat and needs a read-through before turning a manuscript in to her editor.

Besides I have to read the manuscript since Christie started off her research on this book by asking me what the penalities were for elderly people trying to score pot in Texas.

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