Skip to main content

View Diary: Write On! Failure. (163 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  10Q for replyg about Jinx, i'll look for it. what (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    would you or any writer with multiple pen names do if at a booksigning or interview someone in the readership complained about the author being not, so to speak, who s/he represented her/hisself to be because of writing in different genres under diff names? readerships seem to be quite possessive about authors in a way i'm not sure was the case in earlier years.  Frank Yerby wrote about 3 dozen bestselling novels mostly before his reading public even knew him to be african-american, from what i read in grad school.  that much privacy seems unlikely now. when i seemed to stand a chance of being published, a friend and i laughingly batted around the notion of her doing booktours in my place, if it came to that.  most women authors i've met or heard speak seemed dangerously burdened by the promotion demands.  bringing coffee to Cecellia Holland at the UCLA student union in '75 or so, i asked if she was ill, did she need anything else - she said she wasn't sick yet, just 24 hrs w/no sleep, but usually arrived home needing some medical care.  she'd come by train or something from 2 previous engagements the same day furhter north, and said the low quality of food on tours and unavailable exercise and decent sleep packed really destructive weight on and was exhausting, so she always got home battling viruses picked up along the way too sleep deprived and malnourished to fight off.  She seemed to say something about women authors getting more pressure and worse arrangements than men because of their books selling less (at the time - i suspect women outsell men now) so i stupidly asked would it help to use a male pen name and she said who then would do the book tours? i think she had to phone for a cab to take her to whatever hotel her pubr had booked her into - i sat with her cartons of books 'til she got back from the phone, astounded that there was no gopher for the heavy lifting and driving. she fell half asleep waiting for the driver but at least he took the cartons out 1 by 1.  i thought "THIS is something teachers of writing classes don't mention."  i think rita mae brown talked about it in one of her onfic books years later, saying a woman has to make almost an athlete of herself to avoid the health consequences of the writing life.

    thnx again for reply.  
    until next week.

    •  Huh. I didn't know Mr. Yerby (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mettle fatigue

      was black; my mother often tells a story of going to a job interview wherein he was the employer; he wanted to hire someone to read to him but he told her that she read too slowly. However, he was very kind and offered to hire her anyway just to come and tell him what young people were thinking about, but she did not take the job.

      Ms. Holland's difficulties are highly unusual ones... very few writers get sent on book tours. In fact...

      -9.0, -8.3 "Remember, a writer writes. Always." --Throw Momma from the Train

      by SensibleShoes on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 01:06:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i guess holland was lucky then, 'cos the place was (0+ / 0-)

        packed, even as dead-tired as she was, and lots of her books got sold!   of course that was in the mid1970s, and a university bookstore (it was part of the students' union bldg) kind of has a built-in customer-base.

        Yerby's at wikipedia     Reading of your mother's interview, i was thinking, "wow!"  of course, one rarely knows at the time that a person they're talking to or an event they're witnessing or involved in may turn into something of historical significance.

        i suppose authors can be interviewed by webcam & things if the pubr wants or the publicist arranges?  i'm not sure if you were saying that booksignings don't go on much anymore.

        if they don't, it must be very now tough for most authors to get their books known of by their potential readership.  my impression is that blockbuster writers are constantly on talk shows, but i don't see much of that kind of program ... 'tho what drew me to the daily show & colbert initially was discovering they seemed to have a book & author to showcase every single freaking half hour of airtime, & i would bet that comprises more support of literacy, authorship, and the exchange of ideas than any routine 24 hours of any other media channel.

        fiction doesn't seem to figure there too often tho.  things changed so much for publishing & authorship in the early 1970s, a few pieces of legislation and kaboom.  of course, books/publishing were far from the only things in the public interest being dynamited, loudly or quietly, at that time...  

        loved the youtube video, thanks!  poor guy...

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site