Monday, September 17, 2007

A conference, a dilemma

Just returned from a writers' conference in San Luis Obispo, on the coast midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco where I did a couple of workshops. What an interesting group of writers I found, and nice people, too. (Eric Maisel was the keynote; I also sat in on literary agent Laura Rennert's workshop on YA novels.) And the central coast is a dream, the way I imagine California used to be, lots of sensuous hills with only nubby bushes and occasional trees. Lovely.

This is definitely one to remember for next year, this time. And quite affordable for attendees, too.

What's on your list of conferences--to do or to recommend?

(I tried to post a link and Blogger isn't accepting the URL. Just Google Central Coast Writers Conference, San Luis Obispo, and you'll easily find it.)

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Also, what you would do ...

There's an author represented by an agent I quite like a lot. If I wasn't with my current wonderful agent, I would want this agent; that's how much I like him/her. This agent told me a story about an author who, if the story's true, acted unethically toward my colleague. (I'm assuming the story is true because I've never known this agent to lie, and he/she has a good rep in the publishing biz.)

Okay. The author's publicist sent me the author's book for my show. I had been musing over inviting this author on--until I heard the story. My interest vanished--because of my agent friend.

So, my question is, do you let loyalties influence the interactions you have with others?

On the one hand, it's so high school.

On the other, the opinions and experiences of the people you know help you make decisions. This agent didn't say, I'll be upset with you if you have her on the show. He/she would never do that. In that way, it's so not high school.

And on the other, when you let your emotions and loyalties color your decisions, you're never approaching anything or anyone fresh.

8 comments:

Mystery Robin said...

Absolutely you let loyalties influence you. That's why we have loyalties. Otherwise, well, we wouldn't be loyal.

I think high school behavior would be not to have someone on your show who didn't care for a book that a friend of yours wrote - or spoke differently - or had different political viewpoints. High school is not being able to see past the triva.

But, if someone acted unethically and you don't care to advance their career, then it's your show and that is your right to take a stand like that.

Chaser said...

I always say in this kinds of situations that I am "waiting for additional data." So the first set of data you got about this person is that they behaved unethically; but it wasn't towards you, so it's kind of hearsay, even though it's from a trusted source. My approach would probably be to hold off on engaging with the person in question until I have that additional data, such as meeting her/him myself or more word of mouth. For me, it's a matter of professional caution than loyalties per se.

Carma's Window said...

It seems that we should trust our loyal friends but then again we need to realize that each of us will react to certain events in a different way.

Maybe business should not be mixed with friendship.

Anonymous said...

Have you thought of asking the author about the situation? Maybe something was taken wrong or came across in a way the author had not meant. Or, have you thought of asking the author about the situation? Of course, not on the air....

BJK

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett said...

Hey BJK,
I've never met the author and what was told to me was in confidence (by my agent friend).
BDB

Anonymous said...

OH........never mind......I guess I know how to write but not read!

BJK

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett said...

Hey, nobody's perfect! ; }

Andrew said...

You have to ask, "what is my show about?" And the answer is, the business of writing. You should interview the author. The business of writing includes ethical/unethical behavior. Some of which is colored by point of view.

I'm sure there have been others on your show who may have done something unethical -- you just didn't know it.

So your real question is: Is WRITERS ON WRITING the forum for tough journalism? Are you going to bring it up? Because you should. As an aspiring writer, I want to know what the rules are and what exactly is "unethical" beyond plagarism and the other obvious sins.

Best of luck!