www.marilynbrant.com

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Always a Little Patience

In the classic and, IMO, positively brilliant 1940 film The Philadelphia Story , Katharine Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart are having a conversation about the social classes--she being quite wealthy and he being rather not. He's a short-story writer/poet at heart with one book published but, so as to enjoy the luxury of eating regularly, he's turned his literary talents to tabloid journalism. He and his photographer girlfriend, Ruth Hussey, are assigned to cover Kate's high society wedding to a coal-mining tycoon, thanks to an "invite" weedled through Kate's ex-husband, the dashing Cary Grant. Oh, the plot complications that ensue!!

But, despite Kate's horror at this intrusion of privacy and Jimmy's irritation at having to work such a frivolous event, it turns out the two aren't really at odds by the movie's midpoint. They, in fact, find themselves discussing writing--one of Jimmy's short stories in particular--which includes the line, "With the rich and mighty, always a little patience." The prejudice (on his part) is that there's an element of cluelessness amongst the very privileged, and you have to just take a deep breath and slowly explain to them how things work in the real world.

This weekend, it occurred to me there should be a similar phrase with regard to novel publishing: "With debut writers, always a little patience." Perhaps I need a t-shirt...because my level of cluelessness about a number of non-writing elements (i.e. marketing details) has led me to want to clasp the hands of understanding ad designers who, I can see in my mind's eye, are taking very deep breaths while emailing me back and trying to explain the latest thing I don't understand. Scan it as a what? A "two-inch wide, 300 dpi resolution" image, you say? But, um, I don't have a scanner. And, what's a "tif" file?? Oh, and, I've got another question about the formatting. And about Design Option 2...

Yeah. With non-techie-digital-photo-challenged debut writers, always a little patience.

19 comments:

Pamala Knight said...

LOL! Oh my dear Marilyn, if you're in need of patience I'm going to be really scared for the rest of us. I'm sure that your team is more than happy to explain or clarify what they need from you. I'm just excited that each time you submit or get something back from them, it means we're one step closer to me *cough* I mean us, yes US, getting our hands on that glorious book of yours.

I can be patient. But only for a little while longer.

*hug*

Erica said...

Having spent time with marketing and design-type-people, I can say with absolute certainty that you are NOT clueless; they've just got some very specialized knowledge and vocabulary. Forget gold; a talented designer is worth his/her weight in diamonds, but remember -- without you and Jane, they wouldn't have anything to work with!

Marilyn Brant said...

Aw, Pamala, thank you!! I'm not sure I'd agree with you, though, that the nice lady was actually HAPPY to explain or clarify--she did do it, however, and for that I'm very grateful :-).

Erica, thanks!! And, yes, definitely specialized knowledge and vocab...like they should have their own dictionary or something. The good news is that next time I'll have a better idea of what to do, which will please all involved :).

PamelaCayne said...

So crayons are out, huh? I'm sooooo in trouble. (And let me know if you find the t-shirt!) :-)

Maria Geraci said...

Love The Philadelphia Story! I could just eat Cary Grant up! The opening scene (where he punches her after she breaks his golf clubs) always cracks me up. You could never do that today (nor I guess, should you, but you know, it totally works!)

I feel your pain, Marilyn! All the marketing stuff makes my head spin:)

L.A. Mitchell said...

I've actually never seen The Philadelphia Story. I may have to check it out.

As for patience, we're all looking to you down the road to answer our dumb questions. You are our pioneer, sister!

Robin said...

You are so not the only one, Marilyn! And we aspiring authors are quite lucky to have you around, sharing all these details with us. You know you're going to be our go-to gal when it's our turn.

I love being along on this journey with you! Hope you're having a great day!

Marilyn Brant said...

Pam~Yeah, I put the crayons away. Reluctantly :). Still holding out hope for the markers...

Maria~I love that scene... What am I saying? I love every part of that movie. And, BTW, yippee--tomorrow is the BIG DAY!!! I'm thrilled for you! (For those who may not know, Maria's awesome debut novel--BUNCO BABES TELL ALL--is out on 5/5! :-)

L.A.~Based on your appreciation of some of the classic films you've mentioned in the past, I think you'd enjoy this one. If you ever end up seeing it, I'd love to hear your impressions :).

Robin~Hey, I'm here for ya! (All of you... :) I'm hoping I'll learn enough this time around to be of some use to you guys...later this summer...when you all get HUGE book contracts!!

Ann Victor said...

LOL Marilyn - can I have one of those TShirts please? I'll wear it any time I discuss anything remotely technical!!

(PS Hope you don't mind, I referred to your lovely post "How to save a life" on my blogpost yesterday!)

Marilyn Brant said...

Ann~Your post was far more eloquent than mine and so conscienciously written! I was honored you thought a reference to mine had any place in it... (I printed it out to share with a friend. :)

As for the t-shirts, I'm more than happy to share!!

Leigh Russell said...

As a new author - first in my series of crime thrillers hitting the shelves next month - I should sympathise but I'm ashamed to admit that I'm actually enjoying marketing my new book. In fact, I've loved the whole experience of being an author, from the ruthless guidance of my eagle-eyed editor, to studying the proofs! The only problem with promoting the book is that I don't have time to write. According to the press release, Book 2 is finished and I'm working on Book 3... seems like my publisher writes a little fiction too...

I hope you visit my blog where I've been writing about the rollercoaster of my ride to being published.

Marilyn Brant said...

LOL about the fiction-writing publisher!! Welcome, Leigh :). Glad you stopped by, and congrats on the upcoming book!! Looking forward to checking out your blog posts on the wild ride to publication, and will greatly appreciate all words of wisdom...

Nadine said...

When it comes to all things tech, I'm like a curmugeony old man for about a century or so until I finally come to terms with the fact that this new technology isn't going anywhere. Right now, I'm waiting for this whole Twitter thing to blow over before I have to go through the trouble of learning to tweet. I already know too much... sigh.

Marilyn Brant said...

Oh, Nadine! I'm so with you on the Twitter thing :). I know lots of people love it but--jeez--Blogger and Facebook are all I can handle!

Middle Ditch said...

Keep going is all that I can say Marilyn. One day ....

Vesper said...

Marilyn, you do the writing and let them do the rest! :-) :-) :-)

Leigh Russell said...

No words of wisdom, I'm afraid, Marilyn, but maybe you'll learn something about the pitfalls of being published by reading about te experience on my blog.

Marilyn Brant said...

Thanks, Middle Ditch :). I'm trying!

Vesper, I love that idea!! It's crazy how much is expected of authors in this era of publishing beyond simply writing...

I enjoyed your blog, Leigh, and will definitely check it out again :).

Caryn Caldwell said...

But think, dear, of how much you'll know next time around! Who knew there'd be such a learning curve?