February 1, 2013 |
Without Sterling Lord, there would be no Jack Kerouac - not Kerouac as we know him, anyway, the writer who introduced the Beat Generation. Lord was a former magazine editor and fledgling literary agent working in a basement apartment in New York when Kerouac walked in, handsome and scruffy, "On the Road" manuscript stuffed in his backpack. It took Lord four years and canny magazine placements to land Kerouac a book deal, but he persevered, even ignoring Kerouac's pleas to give up. "When I read the manuscript, I knew this was a very interesting voice and very interesting writer, and he should be heard," Lord says from his home in Manhattan.
November 30, 2012 |
Lewis Black is known today as a comedian but he toiled from the late 1960s to the late '80s as a playwright. “Now, everybody says to me, 'Oh, stand-up, that's hard,' said Black, 64. “But by comparison to being a playwright trying to get your stuff done -- this is a day at the beach! “I compare writing plays to having a puzzle of a thousand pieces of blue sky and you had to put it together,” said Black, who is bringing his act to Southern California this weekend. A conversation with Lewis Black Black the playwright reached for the sky in about 40 plays.
November 9, 2012 |
It's National Novel Writing Month. Across the U.S., people are writing books, posting their work on the NaNoWriMo website, each trying to reach the goal of 50,000 words. As of this morning they've got 21 days to go, and they've collectively written a little more than 1 billion words. It just so happens I have my own manuscript in progress, for my fourth book. Earlier this week, I hit 51,125 words - but it's taken me a year to write that much. Trying to write 50,000 words in a month strikes me as both an insane and wonderful thing to do. If you're trying to write a novel in a month, you are going to be obsessed.
September 14, 2012 |
On Thursday, the Twitter feed of @BookaliciousPam was full of the normal posts: plans to attend an upcoming writers' conference, which galley service she preferred, enthusiasm for good books. Then she wrote that she had just been the victim of attempted carjacking. But it wasn't a carjacking; it was an attack by an author whose work she had rejected. Pam van Hylckama Vlieg began working as a literary agent for San Francisco's Larsen Pomada Literary Agency this summer. For years she's been blogging about romance as Bookalicious and running a separate kids' literature blog . She's one of those people who has been comfortable living online, using Twitter, Facebook, and the check-in app Foursquare.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 14, 2010
Elaine Koster Publisher with a knack for new talent Elaine Koster, 69, a publisher and literary agent with a knack for new talent who gave a second chance to an obscure horror writer named Stephen King and took on an unknown Khaled Hosseini and his novel "The Kite Runner," died Tuesday at St. Luke's Hospital in New York, according to Hosseini's publisher, Penguin Group (USA). The cause of death was not available. As publisher of the New American Library in the 1970s, Koster paid a then-enormous $400,000 for the paperback rights to King's "Carrie," which had sold poorly in hardcover, and was later credited with helping to make a blockbuster out of Erica Jong's "Fear of Flying.
August 1, 2010 |
About a year ago Mary Ann Naples had a holy-cow moment. If she'd been a cartoon character, she would have smacked her forehead until stars came out. She was standing atop an escalator at Book Expo America, the publishing world's spring jamboree in New York, surveying a convention hall of sullen faces. Many of the 30,000 booksellers, publishers, authors and agents were looking like well-heeled passengers on a leaky cruise ship. The rise of digital books and online retailing was upending book publishing's business model.
February 4, 2010 |
Hours before the Hollywood premiere of "Dear John" earlier this week, bestselling author Nicholas Sparks was sitting in the expensive hotel room he'd been put up in, continually glimpsing at his iPhone as it lighted up with phone calls and text messages. "That's my literary agent," he said. "And now here's a producer from the film." Sparks, 44, had flown in earlier that day from his home in North Carolina for the opening of the fifth movie adaptation of one of his books. The sixth, "The Last Song," starring Miley Cyrus, is due out in April, and an adaptation of his novel "The Lucky One," already in the works, will potentially make seven.
July 12, 2009 |
Back in the 1960s, two hugely popular literary characters ruled the pages of more than 10 novels each. Though it was a famously transformative decade, both were old-school men's men who loved risk, adventure, liquor and attractive women. Both protagonists became touchstones of their eras. They differed in significant ways -- one was English, suave, favored bone-dry martinis, and worked for a large government organization.
September 15, 2008 |
I didn't know David Foster Wallace all that well. We met a couple of times, and once, I interviewed him onstage at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills. I asked him on a few occasions if he'd review for the paper, but he said he'd had a bad experience and had sworn off reviewing for good. We shared a literary agent. In the lead-up to the 2004 presidential election, we spent an hour or so on the phone one afternoon discussing politics, which he followed with the rabid fascination of someone who, despite all better judgment, believed the process mattered, that somehow, somewhere, there was a candidate who might see us through.