Behind the Text

Hey there, Bookenders! Behind the Text is a new feature I've added to share with you the words and wisdom of published authors with whom I've spoken! I have been contacting authors whose books I've reviewed, and you can find out here what they have to say.

Enjoy, and happy readings!

Behind the Text: Bill Folman
April 29, 2011 

I recently came into contact with Bill Folman, author of The Scandal Plan. (Please see the "Home" page for the book review.)

Folman's biggest advice to potential writers has two main components: "warning and encouragement"*. He writes, "Almost any other profession has better odds, so if there’s something else you can be happy with as a career other than writing, you’d be wise to pursue it. That sounds horrible to say, particularly to young hopeful aspirants, but no writer can, in good conscience, encourage someone to follow his path without first making sure they are aware of the challenges."

Mr. Folman informed me that he had written over fifty letters to literary agents over the course of two-and-a-half years, hoping that one would pick him up as a client. After a long wait, one did, and HarperCollins soon published The Scandal Plan.

On what to write, Folman advises having a "good idea before you devote months and years to pursuing it". And his thought on potentially being published lay on the fact that he knew his "story was interesting". He quips, "As a first time novelist with zero credits to my name and zero experience in Washington D.C., it was probably foolish of me to think I could get my political satire novel published.  But I knew I had a chance.  Why?  Not because I'm the world's most brilliant writer, but because I knew that my story was interesting. I knew that the one sentence description of my book was original and compelling.  I knew the idea was fresh and--to be crude--sellable".

And for those really strong-willed and determined aspiring writers out there: "...writing itself is one of the most wonderful things in the world.  If you want to do it, then do it.  If you can do it, do it.  If you want to make a living at it, heed all the warnings--but then do it, if it's what you truly want to do.  The world will always need storytellers".

Stay posted for more glimpses of what goes on Behind the Text!

*All quotes were taken directly from writing/emails by/from Bill Folman. They were reprinted with written permission from Bill Folman. I claim neither ownership nor copyright over them.*

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