Thursday, December 21, 2006

Surveying Next Year


Yes, it's a survey. Those of you who hate taking 'em might as well run now. However, I promise to only ask you questions whose answers will benefit you. No "where do you bank?" and "what's your household annual income?" type queries. And no, I don't want your firstborn. (Mine is handful enough.)

If you've been reading Forensics and Faith for awhile, you know the rather electic-sounding verbage at the top of the blog's banner is true. Here you're likely to read anything from a crazy story in my life to thoughts on our spiritual journey, notes on craft, and discussions on our industry of Christian fiction. (And by the way--there's absolutely no question that y'all rock. I think I have the coolest BGs on the planet.) So, with that as background, here's your short survey:

1. What topic or topics would you most like to see covered here next year? (The more specifics, the better.)

2. Who would you most like to see appear as a guest blogger here? (An author of Christian fiction, a specific kind of person who works in the industry, etc.) You can name more than one.

3. Do you have a burning question about the industry or fiction craft you'd like answered? If so, what?

That's it. If you can handle it--go for it...

13 comments:

Nicole said...

1. Your personal opinions/thoughts about any possible or perceived need for changes in the "business" end of Christian fiction.
Looking back over your career, is there a way you could see that might make the barrier to being published more "new author-friendly"?

2. I think I'd like to see you do a guest thing with Mick Silva. He really aggravated you in the past, and I guess I'd like to see you two square things.
Also, probably would like to see the head honcho of Zondervan, Bethany House, or one of the premier publishers give authors some real meat to chew on instead of all the fluff phrases like "Just write a good book." (Pardon me while I use the restroom to lose my lunch.)

3. a.My burning question is this: since on almost every agent's website, every acquisition editor's blog, every publisher's byline, we read or hear how they're all looking for "fresh voice, unique stories, something different", yet not one of them will dare to be specific--why? Why, if they want something different, do they only generally seem to consider certain sizes and formulas for novels? Please understand I'm not suggesting anything about or addressing the quality of those novels. I'm saying that they are for the most part the same general size, and they are fairly similar in format, structure, and formula.
b.In keeping with the endorsement topic you blogged about, how can an agent and/or publisher honestly expect a new author to be able to articulate a clear marketing strategy without being issued any kind of contract or hope of one?

I'm sure I'll think of more and am anxious to see those suggestions on the hearts of others, and I really appreciate you posing these questions.

Anonymous said...

1. What topic? How to build from one book to multiples. How to make a profession of it. Top 10 list of skills to constantly improve. Etc. Basically how to always stretch and push to make each book better than the last.

2. Who would you most like to see appear as a guest blogger here? It'd be fun to have James Scott Bell, agents, editors, other established writers, even some newbies who are starting to have sales and success.

3. Do you have a burning question about the industry or fiction craft you'd like answered? Uh, not at the moment. I'm kind of overwhelmed by them. :-)

Kristy Dykes said...

Good questions, B. I want to think about them before I answer. But if I don't get back today, just want you to know I've enjoyed all your posts this year, and if they continue in the same vein next year, that'll be A-okay with me. I've learned and gleaned a lot.

John Robinson said...

Wow, Nicole took all the best questions! *G* Okay then, how about this: whither goeth CBA fiction in the twelve months? More edge, less edge, more grit, less grit, what? Thanks.

Janet Rubin said...

No, I'm sorry. I can't handle it. my brain is so far removed from writing right now. All the sugar plums and Christmas carols have shoved the metaphors and plots into neverland. Just wanted to stop in and say Merry Christmas, Brandilyn. I'll look forward to reading whatever you blog about in 2007:)

C.J. Darlington said...

I can handle it!

Q. 1. What topic or topics would you most like to see covered here next year? (The more specifics, the better.)
A. I always like the glimpse into your writing. Like with Violet Dawn we got to preview the first line, etc. I guess I'd also like to see more discussion on what makes a novel "Christian fiction".

Q 2. Who would you most like to see appear as a guest blogger here? (An author of Christian fiction, a specific kind of person who works in the industry, etc.) You can name more than one.
A. More editors on how writers can make their jobs easier. Dave Lambert, Karen Ball, Lonnie Hull Dupont, etc.

Q 3. Do you have a burning question about the industry or fiction craft you'd like answered? If so, what?
A. Burning, eh? Can't say I have one of those, but it's always interesting to hear about what goes into a specific scene. Maybe you could pull a particularly interesting scene out of a Christian novel and then ask the author how they wrote it? Maybe BG's can nominate the scenes/authors?

And I'd like to take this moment to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, and a happy new year! Brandilyn, we really appreciate your time blogging. I know it's not easy, but you do it anyway. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

1. What to expect as a first novelist (marketing, release, etc.),
more of your writing journey, love the industry news, spiritual side of things.

2. Stephen King (seriously!), Frank Peretti, Colleen Coble, Editors from CBA houses, and Lisa Samson.


3. Tons! They are all burning. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for these answers. I will be keeping all of them in a file and will tackle as many as possible next year. Keep 'em comin'

Anonymous said...

Hi Brandilyn,
This is difficult for me to reply to since I'm unlike most of your readers, but here goes. lol

1. What topic or topics would you most like to see covered here next year?
A: I enjoy reading about the fun/wierd/intersting things that happen in your personal life the most. I do learn from your other blogs though. So, I'd have to say I that you can write about whatever you would like to write about and I'll read it.


2. Who would you most like to see appear as a guest blogger here?
A: Someone who can help unpublished authors get published. Your mom.

3. Do you have a burning question about the industry or fiction craft you'd like answered? If so, what?
A: None that I can think of at the moment.

Have a very Merry Christmas!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with AFF. Definitely would love to see your mom as a guest blogger.

Becky said...

1) Topics
-Contests--what value? What process for things like the Christy and the ACFW BotY
-Brandilyn, the growing up years. You gave us the wonderful NES. Now maybe a look at something like how you became a Christian or how you met your husband or how you got your first job.
-Books you love and why.
-Why do you write? Why do you write suspense?
-Have you done something on writer conferences? What to expect, why to go, how to benefit from the experience?
2) Guest bloggers
-Not so much for me, but for your PR and for theirs, the Kanner Lake bloggers, maybe commening on their process of landing the role, what they've learned, how it's helped them.
-Your editor(s)
-Editors who sometimes fly under the radar (ie. Gary Terashita) or who are new to the business (ie. Andy Meisenheimer)
-Agents (writing about what they like in a client)
3) Burning questions
-Where does a writer of novels written for adults market the books (besides the internet)?
-How do you get interviews on radio and tv?
-Why aren't more books put out in hardback, then re-released in paper?
-What's the secret (which will not be a secret as soon as you tell us LOL) of making your work stand out from the crowd? (Yeah, that's my real burning question)

Thanks, Brandilyn. I always like these questions.

Sabrina L. Fox said...

I agree with all the suggestions already mentioned, I'd also love to have guest bloggers with a specific profession that we could ask questions of.

It's sometimes hard to call up a doctor and ask what the fastest drug to kill a person might be. Or a plumber how to get blood and body parts out of the drain before the cops find it. Or a mechanic what the best way to sabotoge a car so that it goes off the road without it looking like murder. You know, the usual stuff.

D. Gudger said...

Topics - How to overcome insecurity that interferes with the creative process
Interviews - I'd like to hear from aquisition editors from several houses as well as agents, and I like the idea of specialists such as Crime lab techs, doctors, law enforcement who give tips on how to avoid looking stupid when writing about these things
Burning question: Obstacles to writing and how to just do it. People say, "just write", but screaming babies and headaches, household chores etc really can steal my brain or shut the creative side of it down. What do you and other authors do? What were some of the most difficult daily obstacles you and other top writers overcome and how?