Jessica's Reading Room Interview
A Conversation with Aaron J. Lawler, by Jessica Johnson
What a great interview with Jessica Johnson from Jessica's Reading Room. A big thank you to Jessica for taking the time to interview me and ask some intriguing questions about my process and my novel!
JRR: I like your explanation of your writing process to What Dreams May Come! I have only seen that movie once many years ago. What kind of advice can you give to aspiring authors?
Initially, I queried nearly sixty different literary agents and publishers. Only three responded back with favourable offers. That much rejection can be hard to take, but it also taught me so much about myself and the process. In the end, when I chose Black Rose it was because they are a small press firm, and I believe in small press – I believe in the idea that more work should be shared with the world instead of relying solely on the Big Four. I am advocate for small press.
But I would say, that the point of this story is that of sixty different chances, only three turned out. I am told this is actually quite good for an industry saturated in new works. So two things: 1) First, be ready for rejection but realize that every failure makes you better; so seek those failures out! It is good to fail! It means you are trying and learning new ways to succeed. And 2) Second, look at small press as an option. The Big Four publishers include Simon & Schuster (a subsidiary of CBS Corporation), HarperCollins (a subsidiary of NewsCorp), Penguin Random House (a subsidiary of Bertelsmann and Pearson), and Hachette Livre. All, but Hachette Livre, are headquartered in New York, NY and two are subsidiaries of large news media organizations. What this means for us? As readers and consumers our choices are filtered through four megacorporations who dictate what should be part of the body of literature we have access too. I am staunchly against this system, even if literary agents and publishers are not. 99% of all published works are not on the New York Times Best Seller’s List, so we are often only exposed to 1% of works being created. My argument is simply, that is it possible the other 99% might contribute to our culture? Is it possible? continued here...
What a great and genuine conversation! Jessica was so easy to discuss ideas with and she is really quite a wonderful person! Check out her blog and follow her!
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