Saturday, July 26, 2008

Question Time!

I feel like I've hit a wee bit of a doldrums in terms of blogging--I can either be really, really boring with agenting stuff, or I can write about my personal life and stuff that interests me. And I'm not sure that you guys really want to hear about it... although, if you do, I'm all for doing that.

But, I figured, to liven things up a bit around here, we're going to do question time. You have from now until July 30th to suggest topics or questions you'd like me to write a blog post about. Anything that does not involve agenting is fair game. It can be a personal life question, a question about writing, a question about my views on aliens coming to Earth--as long as it's not a question about agenting.

Starting on July 30th, I'll pick one question/topic a day to write a post about. This will continue for a week, until August 5th. I depart for Worldcon the next day, so that seems like a good stopping point for me.

I'll keep blogging about regular stuff as well, but I'm looking forward to hopefully getting some interesting questions or topics to write about. Have at it.


Anil P said...

How do you think travel to different cultures changes a writer as in his/her writing style, if indeed it does?

As to what it is that I'm trying to say . . .

A new culture will invariably throw up new metaphors. At other times, cultural practices unique to a place will challenge a writer's narrative vis-a-vis his perceptions as opposed to those of the inhabitants.

The writer will attempt to find contexts he/she can relate to in order to string a narrative together.

sauntau said...

What's your views on NaNoWriMo--stupid, fun, or the greatest thing ever to come out of San Francisco? Have you ever participated?

And when are the aliens coming back to Earth? ;)

Rachel said...

How come kids today get all the good books? Remember Lurleen McDaniels and her ilk? Now, they get awesome stuff, like the Psycho-Butt series (and, OK, there's serious stuff like City of Ember, and Margaret Haddix(?) too), but I walk through an Elementary school library and am just in awe of how awesome their books are now. I remember moving up to "grown-up" books fairly young, and I wonder if I would have done so so early if there had been more out there...

Anonymous said...

i'd like to know which anime series you've seen and would recommend to us. I'm quite curious about your tastes.


belmanoir said...

I second the anime idea! I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on Utena, which I adore---that vid you posted the other day was AWESOME.

pikestephenson said...

What do you read and who influences your writing?

Anonymous said...

Do you have a favorite time period/location/genre when you read anything for the pure enjoyment of reading.

In other words, what would tempt you to BUY a book to read? Any authors (not clients) that you like to read?


Anonymous said...

I'm interested to see what type of questions you get.

Unfortunately the only question I can think of revolves around or is closely related to agenting regarding a writer selling on proposal.

dan said...

I am in Taiwan, writing here. danny bloom, Tufts 1971.
RIP, Dr P. A great man!

One thing i am curious about since you are in the biz, is exactly how did the book come about? i mean, was Jeffrey Zaslow a friend of Dr P and why was he at the lecture, or was he at the first lecture or not? how did he get the info then to write the column in the WSJ? Did someone at Carnegie Mellon call him, JZ, and suggest a story idea? And was David Black the agent a friend of Jeffrey and did they think BOOK right away?

I ask just because i am curious how a lecture was written up almost immediately by a newspaper columnist in another city, and how the column got read by an agent, D Black, and how he contact Jeffery and said BOOK! I cannot find any info on this and I just wonder, what was the actual real genesis of this book? Do you know? can you shed any light on the backroom deals that were made and HOW they were made?

that said, he was a great man, it was a great book, and god bless Dr P

email me offline if wish
danbloom AT gmail dot COM

BJ said...

I know you couldn't make the Surrey conference last year, but you sent Spencer instead. He's a nice guy, and I just wish we had more time to talk. Despite the fact that I got nervous and tongue-tied. :)

My question is, you're signed up for Surrey this year, too. I really hope you can make it, because I'd like to talk to you, too. But will Spencer be there this year as well? He's not in the presenters or agents lists, but will he attend anyway?

Ramen w/ Cheese & Tuna said...

I'd like a piece on 'expo-dump'--what is, what isn't, how (if) we can get away with it, and advice on spotting and/or avoiding it.

dan said...


Mark said...


I just found your blog last week and I really enjoy it. Sorry to hear you're in the doldrums, but I'm enjoying your posts very much.

my question: do you think the short story is a dying medium, and if so, do you think blogs, podcasts etc. will help bring it back to life?

Thank you for your time.


Just_Me said...

I have a question:

When you know that you are going to publish under a pen name do you query under the pen name or save that for later? My own name is complicated, hard to pronounce, and hard to spell. I also plan on publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals as I finish up my education and I don't want to cross my wires between fiction and non.

What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I'm curious about pen names, too. Do you recommend them and if you use one how do you handle book signings?

Anonymous said...

is YA so popular because there are so many basically illiterate adults?

Inez Kelley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenny Rappaport said...

Just a reminder... if you ask an agenting question, I'm not going to answer it.

(I may make an exception for the pen names one.)

Ryan Field said...

Are you active in any particular charity?

Anonymous said...

When I go to any of the YA websites, I feel like all the books are so, um, superficial. It seems most highlighted are humorous and light-hearted.

Makes me worried that my more serious work may not get published.

Do you think this light-hearted trend will continue? Or is there room for more serious YA books, too?