Aw, yes. You thought you outgrew the Golden Rule when you hit puberty, but alas, it shall continue to haunt you. I promise.
But let us not focus on what you “say” so much as what you “type.” Not in your manuscript. This is a little more professional. A little more “if you want to get published” driven. A little more frightening, if you want the truth.
Have you every REALLY thought about what you write on the internet?
No, no. I’m not here to give you the parental “child molester” speech, though that is certainly something to consider, I promise. Instead, I want you to think in a business-like way. Have you posted anything stupid, mean, compromising, or embarrassing online? Don’t lie. You have. We all have. It happens. But I’m here to tell you why it is best to watch carefully what you say.
Let’s look at this from the “you want to get published” perspective, shall we?
We’re teens. We’re vibrant and lively. Most every author on this blog writes in a thread on AW. Its casual. Its fun. But if you aren’t careful, it can get potentially dangerous. People can often forget they are in a public forum rather than a chatroom. People say things and talk about things that, in truth, aren’t a good idea to advertise to the rest of the world.
Let me just tel you, from experience, that agents and editors DO google you.
My agent found me on AW. My agent follows my blog. My agent is probably reading this post RIGHT NOW! And I’m fine with that. Lucky for me, I haven’t said anything TOO ridiculous online, but I’ll admit that even I’ve forgotten that my posts were insanely public.
Here’s a few things NOT to do on a public forum:
1. Complain about query rejections from specific agents. Other agents might see this and look down on your insulting of a fellow agent. And it just isn’t tactful.
2. Post negative book reviews on your blog. If you hate the book, don’t talk about it. You might wind up with the same agent/editor/publishing house as that author, and wouldn’t that be upsetting? Or worse, you might MEET the author you trashed. Karma is a bitch, remember?
3. Just don’t be unprofessional. Post casual things, sure, but don’t talk about getting drunk or doing crazy things that potential colleges/agents/employers might frown on. This applies for things other than writing, obviously.
I’m not saying write intensely perfect and/or grammatically correct posts on forums like AW. I’m all for freedom of speech! But be mindful. Anytime you post, think of an agent you are querying or may query soon. Would they frown on you if they read that post? Is it mean? Would it hurt the feelings of someone you may become connected with?
All just a bit of advice. Like I said, agents are googling their authors. A lot of them. What will they find out about you?
Tags: Cassandra Clare, The Mortal Instruments
Recently TWFT got the opportunity to talk with Cassandra Clare, the bestselling author of The Mortal Instruments trilogy (City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass.) Since I’m a big fan (*ZOMGthesebooksaresofreakingawesomeSQUEE!*) I was way excited to do this interview. Thanks so much for your time, Cassandra!
KB: What are your five most loved novels of all time?
CC: I don’t have favorites! That’s a big rule with me. Five novels I love: Checkmate by Dorothy Dunnett, Brat Farrar by Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers, Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner, The Maltese Falcon by .,
KB: What are you working on right now?
CC: Right now I’m working on The Clockwork Angel, the first in the Infernal Devices series, which is a series of prequels to the www.theinfernaldevices.com (and I want to show off the pretty website.). It’s set in Victorian-Era London. There’s more here:
KB: How has the popularity of the Mortal Instruments series changed your life as a writer and/or regular person?
CC: It’s allowed me to be a full-time writer for the moment, which was always my dream.
KB: Have you ever had a moment of doubt in your writing career – a moment when you were afraid you would never be published or felt like giving up? If so, how did you overcome it?
CC: I have doubts all the time. I might be having one right now. I think everyone does. I think you have to think about your work in some ways separate from your goals for publication. You just have to focus on the book, or short story, or project, as an independent entity without thinking about where it might end up, so to speak.
KB: Can you tell us about the first story you ever wrote (that wasn’t for a school assignment)?
CC: When I was about 13, I wrote a 1,000 page romantic epic called The Beautiful Cassandra based on the story Jane Austen wrote about her sister when she was twelve. (You can read it here. The Jane Austen story I mean, not my novel. ) It was terrible, but boy did I have fun writing it (and my friends had fun reading it.)
KB: If you could choose one fictional character (other than your own) to have a five minute conversation with, who would it be and what would you say to them?
CC: I’d rather have a five minute conversation with an author. I’d ask Raymond Chandler what really happens in The Big Sleep. Although I suppose it’s possible he never actually knew.
KB: What tips do you have for dealing with the wait for queries?
CC: I am the last person to ask because I only ever queried one agent and I got a reply the next day. I know, that really makes me sound like a tool, but I was very lucky.
KB: What was your querying process like?
CC: I met my agent through one of his existing clients, who had read City of Bones and recommended it to him. He suggested I query him, so I did. I knew I was interested in having him represent me anyway because his client list was impressive and I liked that he only repped kids/YA.
KB: How do you deal with writers block?
CC: I think sheer terror. I’m afraid of what my publisher might do to me if I miss my deadline.
KB: What is your ideal writing atmosphere?
CC: Writing in a big room, lots of comfortable chairs, with other writers around, also working on their projects and filling the room with a feeling of creativity at work.
KB: And TWFT’s token ridiculous interview question – What is your favorite flavor of jelly bean?