Sunday, July 3, 2011

MGOC Contributor: John DeChancie

John DeChancie

EXCERPT from "I Write Genre Fiction But Want to Be a Real Writer Someday" by John DeChancie in Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction

One day, while flensing a whale, I was interrupted by a phone call from one of my editors at a prominent New York publishing house. He was calling to discuss my next book, owed under contract. Feeling my oats (or should I say blubber?) that day, I limned the contours of a grand new novel I had in mind. Let's call it Gone with the Winds of War and Peace, a saga of love and revolution set against a sweeping historical background, guaranteed to be a blockbuster, and gave my editor a précis of the storyline in the proverbial twenty-five words or less.

His response? Well, he liked the idea, but had reservations, namely, that he could not give me the kind of advance this kind of book would demand—"floor bids" at auction, "pre-empts," that sort of thing—in other words and in short, he had not the budget to spend on what this best seller would fetch on the market—a whale of a lot of money, presumably, under the right circumstances.


John DeChancie is the author of over two dozen books, most of them in the science fiction/fantasy genre. He is best known for his Starrigger trilogy and for the eight-book fantasy series beginning with Castle Perilous. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

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