Sunday, July 27, 2008

In the Beginning . . .

Back on Monday I did a phone interview with Lynn Kaczmarek, managing editor of Mystery News. (The interview will appear in the August-September issue, around the third week in August.)

It was fun -- like having a conversation with a friend I hadn't seen in quite a while and bringing her up to date on my so-called writing career. I suspect that Lynn's skills as an interviewer are the reason the time flew -- we talked an hour. And heaven knows, I spoke freely -- I can only hope I didn't say anything I'll regret.

Like many folks, Lynn seemed to find it interesting (perhaps astounding) that, with no more writing background than I had and at the advanced age of 60, I ended up with a contract with Bantam Dell and an editor as renowned as Kate Miciak.

Yeah, I know. I was very, very lucky.

But all this talk sent me back looking through a scrapbook from the beginning of my involvement in the writing thing and I thought I'd share a couple of goodies.

My certificate (suitable for framing) from the class that got me started writing about Elizabeth Goodweather. So it's not an MFA -- the price was right -- $40. And it worked.

And below (the flower - a galliardia -- is just for pretty) is a contract, written by a young man (son of friends of friends) who obviously has an eye for control, if not the economics of publishing. Though if I could get five dollars a book, I believe I could put up with his demanding ways.

I will fire you if I need to -- he got that part right, by golly. That's how publishing works.
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Anonymous said...

See, Vicki, you did get that publishing thing down at a very early age!

I had a great time talking with you last week -- and now that I've finished In a Dark Season, I can barely wait for the Miss Birdie book! I've decided to forgive you for the cliffhanger...

The article resulting from our conversation will be on the cover of the August/September issue of Mystery News -- should be mailed and in select bookstores by the third week in August. And will be right up front on our table in the book room at Bouchercon -- see you there!


Vicki Lane said...

Ah, but that contract wasn't written by me.

And thanks for forgiving me the cliffhanger (though it was Kate M's fault, not mine -- I wanted to change it when I found out Miss Birdie's book was next.)

Thanks for correcting me re date -- I've fixed it. Look forward to seeing you at Bcon and hanging out at the Mystery News table!

Susan M. Bell said...

I'm teetering on the fence over the cliffhanger. I mean, I don't mind them per ce, but in this case...well, don't want to give anything away to those who haven't read it yet. Let's just say I hope a certain person isn't going to turn out to be a bad person, and end up hurting another certain person. (Make any sense?)

Vicki Lane said...

I know exactly what you mean. But of course, I can't answer you. A careful re-reading of OLD WOUNDS might suggest the way I'm going. Or think I'm going.

Sometimes, of course, things change and the characters do what they want without paying attention to me.