art is nimble

I've been thinking. Always dangerous, I know. But I have a couple of projects that I'm wondering about where to put.

I'm happy with the projects I have coming out from Whiskey Creek, but I do have a couple of orphans that need a home. EXILED, the start of an epic fantasy series. And SILVER SCAR.  Poor, poor Trinidad. He's been sorely neglected. This week I have to concentrate on ARCHIVE OF EARTH and potentially finish drafting it. The time bomb of summer is ticking, four days of school. I have an evil plan for the climax now, one that is falling into place nicely.  Poor Aidan and Kaelin. By the time I'm through with them, benign neglect will seem like a distant dream. Mwahahaha

Anyway, I did an event yesterday in which newer writers had 10 minutes with me and a couple of my esteemed writer friends, Jeanne Stein and Carol Berg. One thing I was asked about was my agent, of which I've none.

And that got me to wondering, do I want an agent? Do I need one? I think the answer is still yes, but I'm so busy writing I've not really had time to query them or get into that sort of rigamarole. Ideally, I'd like to MEET an agent, spend a little time with them talking projects, and then make the mutual decision to work together. That is how it's done in the rest of the business world, and it's beyond me how we ended up in this weird thing where WE hire the agent, and yet they are the ones calling the shots on whether they take US on or not. It seems to me the entire gig should be a hell of a lot more mutual, right? I mean, I've met a lot of agents. Some I'd love to work with cuz they're so cool they could sell the hind leg off a donkey. Others do very well, also, but they're just not folks I could work with.

And I'm in a good place. Not great, but good. I have a publisher, so that end of things is taken care of for me. I like to promote, so that's not a huge issue for me that I have to do that; a bigger publisher would get my books in bookstores, which I freely admit, I'd like. And yet right now I'm free, creatively, to explore what I want to explore, to write what I want to write.

So do I send SCAR, which is arguably my best work to date, or will be once it's finished, to agents, as I've intended? It's a book three years in the making and will doubtless take another year to sell to a bigger market, either via an agent or other avenues. The notion that books take so much time to write, and then to publish, is rapidly annoying me. It can be done faster, even traditionally. But big companies are notoriously sluggish, while art and creativity are often nimble. It's a disconnect I'm thinking a lot about.

You? What are you thinking about?

1 comment:

Michael Malone said...

As you have managed fine without one so far it might be tempting to stay as is. BUT, as you say an agent might secure a better deal with a bigger publisher and thereby attract a bigger readership, thereby resulting in more sales for your backlist.

Time to try the big boys, is what I say.