Monday, March 23, 2009

Etiquette for writers and avoiding the drought...

Went to the Tough Enough book launch last night. Celebrating the birth of a new book is always a good thing but even better when the book is a good 'un and the author (Tania Hutley) is a talented person. And after lamenting the lack of opportunity to meet the new Publishing Manager of Scholastic she was at the launch too and I got the chance after all to mosie on over and say howdy. I hope I didn't shout too much - give me a drink or two in a crowded place and thats what happens. Afterwards I wondered about book launch etiquette and hoped I hadn't transgressed too much. Like the witty retort that always rises to ones lips well after the relevant conversation is long past, I always realise how I should have behaved well after the fact. Someone should write up some rules and I will have them tattooed on my forearm like a cheat sheet. BTW the folk at the launch-hosting book store, Jabberwocky are the most wonderful people and incredibly supportive of local writers. You should go down there and check out their very smart and well stocked shop.

Yesterday someone mentioned they'd had a rejection from a particular publisher to whom I also submitted something and now I'm itching to know if my rejection is pending. Its still too early to enquire but news of someone else's news has accelerated my impatience. While I toil away at a longer work of fiction its good to have other things out there doing the rounds so I don't feel like I've dropped out of the loop completely. As you all know, the whole publishing business is interminably slow and if I'm not submitting things now I would ensure an upcoming publishing drought. Don't like droughts. Droughts are dry.

Was having an interesting discussion last night about the inclusion of swear words in children's books. I am happy to include the occasional semi-salty word if the moment warrants it. Don't like gratuitous swearing and don't feel compelled to try and imitate some of the incredibly bad language that often litters actual teen conversations, especially as in written form it would run the serious risk of becoming entirely meaningless (as it probably is in spoken form as well). However I believe swear words are an inescapable part of teen culture these days and sometimes it just seems the most natural response for a character. I wouldn't include such words in works for a very young audience but think for intermediate age and up the occasional blue word is not going to cause the collapse of civilization as we know it. What do other people think?

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