Sunday, January 10, 2010

That Should Have Been ME

*
Crud.


double crud, actually.


I'm stewing and steaming because I just read in Publishers Lunch Deluxe (see last post) about a "good deal" regarding a picture book wherein a bear takes a boy home and wants to keep him (the boy) as a pet.


Cute concept, no?


Well, I had the very same concept. It is one of those things that flitted through my brain from time to time but I always pushed it aside. I told myself I wanted to start with novels and then work into picture books a bit later in my career.


Why am I so upset? Well, if you remember my last post, you may recall that the deal board at Publishers Lunch gives a wide range of what the book sold for. When it says "sold in a good deal", the word "good" is code for


take a deep breath...


sit down....


$100,000 to $150,000


And all I can think of is that should have been ME! My 100 grand! Mine! Mine! Mine!


Can you imagine me stomping my feet and flailing my fists? Well, do -- cuz I am.
Let it be a lesson to all of us. WRITE IT!!!
*

52 comments:

Paul Greci said...

Write it! That is a good reminder. Just write it!

Sharon Mayhew said...

So...What else is in your idea file? I'm sure you can come up with another "good deal."

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

I feel your pain. Two months after I started writing my Merfolk story someone told me Steph Meyer is writing one.
I'm still banging my head against a wall over that one.
I'm still gonna write mine though. Maybe you should write your story too!
My blog

Janice said...

I am so sorry Tess.

Michelle said...

yes, maybe I should stop reading so much and write some more now!!!

L.T. Elliot said...

BIC, HOK. Butt-in-Chair, Hands-on-Keyboard. I'm there, girl! Let's do this thing. =]

Tess said...

Paul: exactly!

Karen: are you serious? Man, you really DO know my pain :[. But, you can write a totally different novel. Not so much w/ a simple picture book concept. *sigh*

Janice: thanks, pal.

Michelle: yes!

Tess said...

LT: together!

Lisa and Laura said...

Oh, Tess. That is the worst! But no fears, With A Name Like Love is totally going to take the publishing world by storm. Just you wait.

Karen said...

On a PB?! **snorting Coke up my nose**

Lesson learned.

Tess said...

L&L: you are so nice ... but you'll notice if you look at my Publishers Lunch deal announce that there was no word "good". No complaints, really on that..just happy to have it sold. But 100k? DRAT!

Tess said...

Karen: you make me giggle :D

Corey Schwartz said...

Whoa! NO WAY! I didn't think picture books EVER sold for that much. Must have been someone with a big name already, no?

Susan Fields said...

So sorry, Tess. But you should be pleased that you had such an awesome idea. I'm sure there's lots more where that came from.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Oh, no! That stings.

Jenn said...

Oh, I feel your pain. This has to be one of the worst fears as a writer, don't you think? I know it comes up frequently in my critique groups--talk of books that have come out that are similar to what we're working on. There's always the possibility that this picture book won't earn out its huge advance and then you'll be relieved it didn't happen to you! Much better to exceed expectations than disappoint.

Tess said...

Corey: I didn't recognize the name but think I'll go back and look it up...good thought.

Susan: No - I'm freaking out that that was my one and only. drat!

Tricia: yep, it does.

Jenn: I think you are right about it being a common concern -- and you bring up a really good point about expectations. It helps, thanks :)

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

What a valuable lesson!

I wrote a scene in a novel a few years ago that I loved. It was witty, creative, and the perfect blend of embarrassment and romance (it was chick lit). A few months later, I read a very similar scene in another book. It was hard to read because I liked my scene better--and not just because I wrote it. My scene had more conflict, better dialogue... my book wasn't better, but that scene was. I had no chance of getting my scene out there first but it was hard to read that book! The moment taught me to follow my instincts.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Oy! If only there were enough hours to write all the books we have ideas for!

B.J. Anderson said...

Yes, I've had moments like these before! And they're so frustrating. Breathe in, breathe out, and write something new. :D

Davin Malasarn said...

:)

Tess, while I'm sure it would feel wonderful to get all of this money, I also know that you are only joking. You are a lovely writer and you should be proud of everything that you HAVE gotten. :)

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

I'm w/ Lisa and Laura. I believe you WROTE what you were meant to and that will blow the world away (money, schmuney).
~ Wendy

Tess said...

Kristen: what a great story about your experience, so interesting how we share so many on this journey. thanks for sharing.

Sherrie: I know...truth is, I wouldn't have written the same story anyway...if I could squeeze it in, even.

BJ: deep breaths :)

Davin: you know me well, friend. You're right, this is a bit tongue in cheek. but still a good lesson to always be moving forward and not to sit on our ideas too long. And, I am super grateful for where I stand today.

Wendy: no, it's not about the money -- though that is a pretty amazing contract deal. And, you are a good pal to remind me that there is purpose in what we DO end up doing. thanks.

Lynnette Labelle said...

LOL You're so funny. Sorry it wasn't you though. Or me for that matter. 'Course I didn't have that idea, but still...

And 20 years together? You must've been babies when you met. ;) Congrats.

Lynnette Labelle
http://lynnettelabelle.blogspot.com

Amy Saia said...

Ooooh, I'm so sorry. Like others said, you can still write it for fun and then see what happens after that. For now, just keep smiling, haha.

storyqueen said...

Tess, I totally feel your pain. I have sat on a LOT of picture book ideas, only to see some other writer do amazing things with them.

Yes, I should have just written them!

Shelley

Scott said...

Here's something I learned long, long ago . . . regarding shopping. If you see something in the store you want, but it, then, there, now. Do not wait. If you wait, when you go back to get it . . . it will be gone, gone, gone. It happens every single time. So, but it when you see it!

Oh, and then there was my brilliant idea of self-adhesive postage stamps. Geesh, the money I could have made.

So, I'm with you - if you have an idea, write it, write it, write it . . . so that one day you don't have to do a blog post that begins wiht the word "CRUD"!

S

Danyelle said...

*hugs*
*insert something positive, witty, and generally uplifting here*
That stinks! I guess this is a good reminder to write what's calling when it calls.
*more hugs*

Jody Hedlund said...

Guess that shows we need to go with our gut! Sometimes we overanalyze what we should be doing and ingore our instincts and deeper feelings.

Robyn Campbell said...

Tess, you can still write the story. Yours could have a distinct twist to it that her book does not. I think you should seriously consider writing it. And I would be glad to beta read it since I'm all about picture books and have like twenty waiting for when I get my agent. I started out writing picture books. They're FUN. But much different from novels as I'm sure you know. Write the thing. Head to the library and look in the PB section. Notice the similarities. There might be twenty on the same subject, just done differently. :-)

Susan R. Mills said...

Your 100 Grand will come soon.

Tina Lee said...

I'm looking forward to reading With A Name Like Love and then your next one and then the one after that. Like you said--WRITE IT! (But you can be a little disappointed in the meantime, that's okay.)

Jackee said...

Dang. So sorry!

My crit partner had a WIP (great book) where the ending twist was that her Swedish family history she was looking into in that country turned out to be Norwegian ancestry. Have you seen that on a credit card commercial lately? Poor thing, she was so mad when that ad came out.

Linda Kage said...

That's happened to me before too. I've had flittery ideas float across my brain, but shoved them aside (mostly because I think they'll sound ridiculous to everyone else), then a few years later, there's a bestselling movie coming out with that very same plot. Dang.

I hear you. I hear you.

Crystal said...

Whew! $100,000! Oh. My. Gosh! What a Wake-up call! Yes, we can't sit on those ideas TOO LONG . . .

But seriously, Tess, I'm with Robyn--YOU CAN STILL WRITE THE STORY. Robyn gives some sound advice that I think I'm going to follow as well. You are too good a writer not to give it a try and get that PB idea down on paper.

Chaotic Beauty said...

Great reminder, thanks!

Lady Glamis said...

see, this is why I freak out when people say NO RUSH, but I still feel like there IS a rush. What if someone steals my idea!

Blogstradamus said...

New to your blog from the comments challenge...Wishing you a good deal in the future.

Tess said...

Lynnette: yes, tiny babies.

Amy: oh, I'm smiling. Nothing else you can do, right?

storyqueen: really? that actually helps take the sting out a bit .. maybe this is the way of the world with these types of things.

Scott: what's wrong with starting a post with 'crud'? hehehe. And, you thought of self adhesive postage stamps? seriously? think of the millions!

Danyelle: thanks for the hug :D

Jody: it's all about the gut

Robyn: nah, you can't copy a direct concept like that in a pict book and not have it be obvious. Novels are so different that way *sigh*

Susan: it's not about the money, per se, but I'd take it :D

TinaLee: so kind, you are - thanks!

Jackee: that is dang! hugs to your critique partner.

Linda: double, triple dang. best selling movie? really? you do understand...

Crystal: you're so sweet and encouraging -- yes, let it be a wake up call. that's a good thing.

ChaoticBeauty: welcome!

Glam: I see your point. It's a good one. But, novels are SO different from picture books in that regard. Novel plots can have similarities but not be the same AT ALL. No worries to you.

Blogstradamus: Welcome! I love your blogger name. excellent.

Tabitha Bird said...

Oh wow! $100 000? WOW! I'm gonna go write it all now! All those floating ideas, here I come.

And all the best writing your own now you see what is possible! Here's an early toast to your first deal for $100 000. :)

Janna Qualman said...

Aw, Tess. I feel for you!

It IS a good lesson. Thanks for sharing.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

For better or worse, the first thought that popped into my brain was: Wow, if I was that author, I'd be kind of nervous about whether my book would sell enough to make back that price tag. Because if it doesn't. . .

Jennifer Shirk said...

Oh, pooh. I guess you never know.
You'll think of even a better idea, I'm sure. :)

Shelf Elf said...

It's scary / amazing that an idea you think is your own is something other people are thinking too. Good advice - don't wait. Just write.

Terresa said...

On the bright side, think this: Your book idea means that you are tuned into the publishing and children's book industry. Not such a bad thing, right? :)

At SCBWI last week, among other authors, illustrators and publishing world peeps, I met David Diaz, Maria Frazee and Allyn Johnston. They were all extremely encouraging about developing our writing and growing through the process.

Maria said that at first she was hesitant to write a "Santa" book, because they had all been written already. At last she wrote it, in her own marvelous way. It became "Santa claus the world's number one toy expert"!

Tess, you will find other ideas that work out, of that I'm sure!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I had a picture book rejected once because the publisher had bought something very similar that same year. Boo.

Jill Kemerer said...

Same thing happened to me! I had this amazing concept for a book in my head and could even see the cover. A year later, I walked into B&N and saw almost the exact cover of my dreams. WAAAHHHH!!!

Mary Aalgaard said...

I agree with so many other commenters. We could all be given the same box filled with the same first sentence and setting, even a few other sames, but all our stories would be different. Write the story you're called to write! You never know what might happen.

Tess said...

I can't thank you all enough for the encouragement and empathizing that has been offered here. You guys really get it.

lotusgirl said...

Amen! Sister! Write it! As soon as I'm done writing this one, I'll write the one that keeps pushing itself on me. (That is if another one doesn't push it off its perch.)

theadvantagepoint said...

A way to turn around the feeling of angst over the 100,000 deal is think of it as peek at how to make a "good" book deal happen. It's just someone modeling what can happen to your or me! I'm ready, how about you?

Tess said...

thanks lotusgirl - a good reminder!

I'm ready theadvantage point!! Oh, yes. I'm ready :D