a warm welcome from Bill and Beverly Martin

October 2006
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You ought to be in pictures…
Filed under: General
Posted by: site admin @ 4:30 am

And maybe you will be. Hell, it happens to some authors all the time. It isn’t however, about who your agent is. At least not if you’re with a legitimate, full time agent who actually sells books to royalty-paying publishers for a living. Meaning that he/she has an active client list of regularly published writers. As in the only kind of agent I would ever recommend when I do a Customized Fingerprint report. 

I’d think that was perfectly clear from everything else on this site and the length of time we’ve been in business, etc.  But apparently it isn’t.  As in I get told all the time by clients filling in the questionnaire they get after they order a CFP that what they’re looking for is an agent with good connections in Hollywood.  Trust me on this, with a professional agent - whether an independent or with one of the hydra-heads like Morris or ICM - they all have good connections in Hollywood.   Once you know how it’s done, a monkey with a briefcase can get a script read in la-la land.  How it works will be the Basics column in the October Talking Agents, so I won’t go into it here.  Except to say that getting the deal done is another matter.  As in getting an option or an outright buy once the script is read.

That, my friends and colleagues, depends more on you than on your agent.

My own agent, for instance, sells stuff to Hollywood all the time. Never my stuff. (It’s no secret - I’ve been represented by Henry Morrison for over twenty years and some dozen books.)   

I don’t write the kind of thing that people can easily see as a big Hollywood movie.  Historicals are notoriously disappointing at the box office.  Even when they’re not supposed to be.  Did Master and Commander do anything like as well as the latest date whatever?  Doesn’t Russel Crowe open a movie?  You bet he does.  Except when he doesn’t.  Or that American patriot thing with Mel Gibson?  Before we found out he’s really an anti-semitic nutcase?  Still didn’t do one of those gazillion dollar opening weekends. 

See, I know that.  But I go on writing the great big wide-canvas historical fiction for which I’m known.  Those are the voices I hear in my head, at least for now.  So no movie deal.  That’s not Henry’s fault, it’s mine.  If fault it is.  (But hey, guy, a mini-series?  Here you are doing yet another Bob Ludlum Jason Bourne movie with Matt Damon and you can’t even get me an HBO mini-series?  Showtime?  The History Channel forgawdsake?)

Point made.  Wearing my novelist’s hat I’m as crazy as all the rest of you.  I just know I’m writing stuff that will translate to the screen.  But I also know that a this level, if the movie moguls say no, it’s my fault, not that of my agent.  

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