Friday, November 12, 2010

Best Idea EVER

Dear James Frey,

S'up, dude? You may not realize it, but you are my new word-monkey guy. I have just hired your talented & revolutionary self to write my ideas down into book-type things for me.

You might be thinking, OMGZ, why me? I'm so not worthy of your inspiration that you get from too much anime and stealing ideas from Doctor Who. It's ok, you can admit you think I steal my ideas from Doctor Who. It's reasonable to feel envious of my awesomeness. Lots of people do. It's why they're so negative when I make stuff up and try to pass it off as factual. But you know that feeling all-too-well. See? We have so much in common. I agree that aliens are both super-powered and profitable!

Anyway, less about you. More about me. I'm the important idea person in this partnership, after all. You're probably wondering why I don't just continue writing my own books. Well, I have to work two jobs, because writing isn't paying my bills. So while I'm working & running a Teen Book Club & busting my butt advocating teen reading, I'm not left with oodles of time to devote to my own writing.

That's where you come in, word-monkey extraordinaire. I read this interview you did, and I was like "WOW, that dude needs a little helping hand into this harsh publishing world." That's why I'm addressing you in this blog post: I want to help you break into publishing.

And ok, I only read the first page of that interview—was it an interview? It was an interview, right? Let's just say it was and move on. On the first page you were all "I want to change the world with the things I write," I was like "yeah! You know it."

It's really important to me that you care about what you're doing. I want you to feel happy and proud of what you produce, because your pay for ghost-writing is essentially going to be hand-written notes of appreciation from Ethanael. Unless he refuses to hand-write them, then we'll just make sure we print an eloquent form letter on nice stationary. Only the best paper stock for you, buddy!

If you're going to be all "But I'm James Frey" then I guess we can choose a pseudonym to publish under, but I'm totally going to tell everyone that I did all the hard work. You'll be credited as an unknown writer I plucked from anonymity for the opportunity to work and learn from me. There's just so much I could teach you!

If you're still on the fence, then you just need to think of how much exposure this will get. It'll be so epic for both us. Well, mostly me, but I will definitely thank you by name in my Hugo acceptance speech.

Remember, James, it's really all about collaboration and changing the world through writing whatever the fuck we want.

Have your agent call my agent to set up the meeting,
Chandra

PS I'm going to clear you a spot on the floor to keep your stuff in our office, but you can't leave anything behind because the rabbit likes to chew.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The TNRD Library Tour

I should be writing words towards my goal of having 50,000 words total by the end of November, but it occurred to me that I haven't blogged—on this blog anyway—for like a month.

Hi. How are you? I didn't spell check this entry, btw.

In October, I did four author events and each one was successful in its own way and all of them had different crowds and atmospheres to the events. I'm noticing, regardless of this, I tend to say variations of the same things. And when in doubt, I quote Neil Gaiman. Not because I can't come up with my own replies, but he usually says what I mean in a way that's easier to remember when I've got 20 to 100 eyeballs on me.

The first event was a joint one with two high schools and about 50 students who didn't read or write. At least, most of them told me they didn't. There was also a pair of them asleep during my reading. You could say it was a tough crowd. But the great thing about starting like that is all other events seem to go better, because no one is sleeping during the reading. Or at least they aren't so obvious about the sleeping. I mean, someone could have been sleeping. I wasn't really paying attention because I was reading.

The second event featured all my friends from the North Shore and a stranger. We sat in a circle by these indoor streetlamps that I later declared were fixatures—which is a real word that refers to the special kind of light fixtures that mark hidden doorways—and talked about NaNoWriMo and Doctor Who and I had to defend my position on not-watching Firefly. I read the first chapter from The (damn) Magpie Book. It was at the end of the event, and the librarians were trying to make us leave so they keep flicking the lights during the reading, and when the lights came back on the streetlamps would flare. This was atmospheric and it helped to give my friend Tegan nightmares. (It's a very special honor to be on the list of people who have given Tegan nightmares with Neil Gaiman, Melissa Marr, Rachel Vincent and Big Bird.) The chapter was enjoyed by all and Sarah got to ask one of her signature Very Important Detail Questions.

The third event featured... um, I don't know how to put this politely. A lot of old people. The event was featured as part of the author speaking events for Canadian Libraries month. The week before Nalo Hopkinson had been at the library. Yeah, Canada Reads Nominee Nalo H. Then me. We go for variety in Kamloops.

Anyway, I was really glad I hadn't brought anything with profanity in it to read. Instead I read my favorite part of TALE that stands alone and that set the stage for talking about living in Japan. Also, I tried to babble my way through some questions about research and folklore. The excerpt I read was compared to Memories of A Geisha and someone told me later it also reminded them of Charles De Lint.  EPIC WIN. I was a little uncomfortable at this event, not because it was old people, but because they had me sit on like a makeshift dais and a chair. I kept feeling like I should say to people "Yes, you may approach the throne. What tributes have you brought the Tribe of Judgment?"

But I didn't, because as much as Sarah would have laughed, I think I would have lost the rest of the crowd. We did, however, stay until they closed the library which implies I have a habit of closing libraries and I should probably go to a support group for my loitering problem. (We went to Tim Hortons afterward and loitered some more.)

The last event was nestled in a cozy reading room of a library with a class of grade eight students, who came with questions and I finally got asked where I get my ideas from. (I don't think it counted when Sarah asked and I was like "Uh, I steal them from Doctor Who.") Then they asked who my biggest writing inspiration was and almost said "Neil Himself" until I remembered I wasn't on twitter and I should use his real name.

Some other stuff happened, and I was pretty much exhausted by Halloween. I didn't write a whole lot. Thus the goal to reach 50,000 words by the end of November. (I have 15,XXX right now.)