Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The song I've been humming lately is....

“It’s Hard Out There for a Pimp.”

I recognize, of course, that there are significant differences between writers and pimps. Writers generally work during the day. (Donald Westlake was an exception.) Pimps generally have better social skills. That said, it IS hard out there if you’re crazy enough to be publishing in 2011, which is a bit like deciding to become a calligrapher the year after Gutenberg’s first Bible.

Over the last three weeks, I have learned that:

** My editor of the last ten years will be leaving Henry Holt BUT….

** …will continue to work with me on a freelance basis DESPITE the fact that….

** …I now have an in-house editor who is half my age. PLUS….

** …my former and now future editor has decided she’s okay with a book idea of mine that she herself rejected nine months ago, WHICH at the time …

** …sent me into a tailspin of plot prostitution (plot-stitution?), the results of which have been charted in this very blog.

I’d say it’s all playing out like fiction except that, if this were a book, I would have given up on it long ago. “I’m just not feeling it. No narrative arc….”

All the same, there are more pleasing storylines to report. Scott Cooper, the acclaimed director of “Crazy Heart,” has optioned “The Pale Blue Eye” for the movies. Having watched my share of “Entourage” and having read more Entertainment Weeklys than anyone on Earth, I know that an option does not necessarily result in a movie. But it’s nice to know that someone on the Left Coast is actually reading my stuff.

More than one friend has asked if I’m writing the screenplay for the film version. The short answer is no. The long answer is “Not only am I not writing the screenplay, I’m not even mentioned in the initial Hollywood press accounts.” Which all run along the lines of “Scott Cooper is writing and directing a movie called ‘The Pale Blue Eye.’ WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT’S ABOUT.” Capitals mine. Um … Google, fellas?

More good news. The advance reviews of “The School of Night” have been very encouraging. Here’s Kirkus: “Bayard blends luminaries of history, lost treasure, intrigue and a double-twist conclusion into a highly readable concoction.” And Publisher’s Weekly, in a starred review, calls it “a superb intellectual thriller.”

Book’s out in late March. Pre-order now! And, as always, check my events calendar to see if I’m anywhere in your neck of the woods.

More soon!