Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Seven Wonderfuls

I love LA STORY with Steve Martin and Victoria Tennant passionately. Along with Steve Martin's Roxanne, most movies with Cary Grant; and Casablanca, you've pretty much got my Best Of All Time list.

The scene when Harris and Sara walk along Melrose and his voice over is "wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, most wonderful and yet again wonderful" is one of my favorites.

You'll notice Harris says "wonderful" seven times.

I think there are Seven Wonderfuls of my job. Here's the list:

1. Wonderful clients. I am blessed beyond reason by clients who are fiercely talented, funny, smart and hellaciously good writers. That I get to work with them day in and day out makes this simply the best job in the world. Please don't ever tell them I'd do it for free.

2. Wonderful godsends past and present. These young up-and-coming publishing pros keep me on my toes. They are a delight in every way. I literally love going to the office to be around them. They are fiercely talented, funny, smart and hellaciously hard workers. Frankly, they're starting to frighten me they're so good.

3. Wonderful book designers. When a book goes from electrons to pages to book, there's a magician at work called a book designer. They're the ones who make it beautiful, easy to read, and nice to hold. The really good ones make it look effortless. I have no clue how they do this, but I know magic when I see it.

4. Wonderful query writers. And that's every single query. Every single one. The ones who don't follow directions. The ones who are rude, or clueless, or needy, or demanding, or so shy you want to smack em with the gumption stick. All of them: no exceptions. There are days my patience is less than zero, but there's never a day I don't want to hear from an author about his or her book. Sure, I wish they paid more attention to QueryShark.blogspot.com, but I'm grateful for every single time someone says "hey, I'd trust you to be my advocate."

5. Wonderful (slithery) competitors. Agents who work for the competition are frequently the first source of news and the last voice of reason. From advice about contracts, clients, conferences, and the hurried "no you can not defenestrate yourself over ebook rights" they are an extraordinary resource. I'm profoundly grateful they are my friends.

6. Wonderful readers. Readers who find and love books my clients write. Who blog or tweet about how much they loved them. Nothing beats that feeling of knowing another person read and loved something I love too. It's even better when they say it better than I can, and I get to cut and paste their comments for my own nefarious publicity purposes.

7. Wonderful volunteers. The people who organize conferences, judge the Edgars, organize ThrillerFest, Malice and Bouchercon. These are events I think of as a fun escape. A lot of people work very very hard to make them happen. A lot of them are behind the scenes doing things no one ever notices (cause it's only when it DOESN'T happen that you notice!) They work very hard to pull off events the rest of us tend to assume will just run well cause ..yanno..they always do.


Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you again, and thank you always.

31 comments:

clairegillian said...

Wow, I've never met anyone other than my husband who loves this movie. Bravo! One of my fave scenes is when he answers his phone like an answering machine but states that it's actually him speaking.

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

Number 8. Wonderful friends who laugh at your jokes and cry with your sorrows, even if they aren't your agent or client.

Margaret Yang said...

I love it when you get mushy like this. It's the yin/yang mush/snark tension that makes this blog so much fun to read.

Michelle Schusterman said...

This post just makes me incredibly happy.

rissawrites said...

What? The Shark loves mushy movies. I'm telling everyone The Shark is a softie.

Just kidding. Put away the razor sharp teeth.

I loved this post. Very positive. It was kinda wonderful.

Jonas Samuelle said...

Haha, it must be a tuesday, you love us again.
You seem to fluctuate between loving us and hating us, but you still post all these resources to help us out.
There are times,(probably after a particularly nasty corresponance) when things seems to get a bit dark around here, and I just wait for tuesday. Glad it's here again.

Deb Salisbury said...

Wonderful post! You made my evening. :-)

Kristin Laughtin said...

This is a great post. I love that you can take joy out of what many might see as the negatives of the publishing world (bad queriers, competition, etc.). It's clear that you at least recognize and value their passion, which is refreshing. I've been in #7 for the past six months for an event called Literary Orange, and started blogging about it today, so I want to add a #8: all the people who attend those conventions. They'd fail without attendees, no matter how much work was put into them.

http://kristinlaughtin.blogspot.com

dianemagras said...

You're so sweet, Janet. This wonderful post would fit right in with Happy-Go-Lucky, one of my favorite films. Thank you for caring so much about the people around you.

Katherine said...

* sigh * I LOVE it when the shark is in a mushy, happy mood. :-D Makes me happy inside...

Kristin Miller said...

Great post. I'm grinning. :D

There really are a heap load of brilliant people who help make life beautiful. Thanks for the reminder.

atsiko said...

It's good to know somebody loves queries, Janet, considering the things I here from the people who have to write them.

Not that readers don't bitch a lot, too, and justifiably. ;)

Thanks for a positive note in my day.

Simon Hay Soul Healer said...

This was a beautiful post. "hey, I'd trust you to be my advocate." I'm also grateful for query shark. Thanks.

Nadine said...

I love this post! (and I also happen to love LA story).

Thank you for all your wonderful advice!

LR said...

"Because I was afraid of worms, Roxanne. Worms!" :)

Ellen Brickley said...

I knew, as soon as I started reading, that the slithery Barbara Poelle was going to crop up. . .

Kate Evangelista said...

A new favorite word: hellaciously. What a positive post. Thank you for it.

Josin L. McQuein said...

Okay...

Who spiked the office chum bucket? Or do movies make you mushy?

:-P

(I will say that it's nice to hear something positive about queries - even the bad ones.)

Peter said...

Thank you for reminding me of one of my all time favorite movie quotes (and from a movie I love).

A happy shark is a most wonderful thing.

Laurel said...

I adore both Roxanne and LA Story. If you haven't seen it, you might like Shopgirl, another Steve Martin movie.

Nice post!

Christi Goddard said...

I had LA Story on VHS almost 20 years ago and watched it so much my tape fell apart. I love Richard Grant's part in it, too.

Pamala Knight said...

Thanks for the awesome post. It's exactly the uplifting and inspirational message that I need today.

Joanne Levy said...

YOU are wonderful. Seriously, look at you all gracious and shit. Warms the cockles when sometimes other things make us lose faith in this business and the people in it. You are ALWAYS classy and professional. THANK YOU.

Susan M. Boyer said...

First of all--Cary Grant. (I swoon.) I'm a big fan of his movies. Bringing Up Baby, with Katherine Hepburn is one of my favorites.

Very near the top of the Seven Most Wonderful Things About MY Job (for which I hope to one day earn a paycheck) are agents who take the time to educate writers like me with big dreams who know little about how the Great Mystery of publishing works. These angels of mercy are patient with us, even when we get it horribly wrong, and don't get paid a dime for all the time they put into (what must be) a sometimes thankless task.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you again, and thank you always.

Steve Stubbs said...

OK, OK, I got that part. But what do you LIKE about your job?

Joelle said...

I love your list. I want to second the book designer one because I just got my real book in the mail the other day and the designer did an AMAZING job. It just exceeds my wildest dreams and even if it were someone else's book, I would think "WOW! They got so lucky!" It's not just a mother's love.

Love your blog, Janet! Thanks.

Lisa L. Spangenberg said...

Thanks for such a thoughtful, caring post. I very much like seeing book designers mentioned--yes, we do notice your work! I wish more publishers would copy Tor and include a colophon that listed the usual colophon stuff, as well as the designer and editor.

I also love LA Story; it's one of my top ten films. That particular scene is a nod at Shakespeare's As You Like it:

"O, wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful!
and yet again wonderful, and after that out of all whooping."
- William Shakespeare, As You Like It, 3.2

behlerblog said...

Hey, what about wonderful publishers?? Just sayin'...

Molly O'Neill said...

But..but...what about editors? *sigh* Aren't we at least part-time wonderfuls?

Tawna Fenske said...

Wonderful post, particularly the positive spin on #4 (the one I suspect can be quite challenging at times).

You do fabulous snark, but your mush is even better :)

Tawna

Kate Evangelista said...

Dare I say it? So cute! It made my day. Thanks for sharing the video.