This is the second part of the interview with author Lauren Baratz-Logsted. She has published several books that span a range of genres. You can read the first part of the interview here: Lauren Baratz-Logsted.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy:
Interview with Lauren Baratz-Logsted
NG: How difficult was it for you to publish your first book?
Lauren: Very! I left my day job as an independent bookseller in 1994. It took me nearly eight years to sell a book and the first book I sold was actually the sixth I’d written. But when I hit, it was sweet. The Thin Pink Line was sold as part of a two-book deal, was published in 10 countries, and I’ve had six more books published since with more to come.
NG: What pitfalls have you managed to overcome and how would you advise other authors to steer clear of the same?
Lauren: Every path is different. I guess the thing that’s hindered me the most have been the times I’ve signed with agents who failed to further my career. But how can you advise others against that? They were all reputable agents with many successes to their names; they just weren’t the right agents for me. I would also tell authors to stop and think before posting things on the Internet. I’m 44 and am fully aware of the potential negative consequences of speaking my mind in public. And I do speak my mind. But every now and then I’ll stumble across some writer mouthing off in cyberspace and for whatever reason my radar goes up and I realize this person has no idea what kind of negatives they’re racking up.
NG: What would you tell writers that are just starting out and don’t know much about getting a book published?
Lauren: That knowledge is power, every step of the way. And the best place I know on the Web to gain knowledge and network is Backspace. It’s a community of 400+ writers and publishing professionals. I wish there had been such a thing when I was first starting out. There is a small yearly subscription fee but it’s well worth it for anyone serious about a career in writing. Oh, and my other big advice? Read, read, read. You have no idea how many people I meet who want to be writers and then tell me they don’t have time to read. To me, that’s like wanting to be a surgeon and refusing to take science.
NG: As a writer, what have been some of your most memorable experiences in the industry, good and bad?
Lauren: Bad first: When Princess Diana died just after I’d started submitting an alternate-universe romantic comedy I’d written called Falling for Prince Charles. A month after her death, a VP at one of the biggest publishing houses in the country called to tell me she loved my book and that she couldn’t buy it, that nobody could. A year’s worth of my life and my work, and it was unpublishable. Best? I guess I’ll stick with the royalty theme. The editor who worked on The Thin Pink Line heard Fergie, the Princess of York, was coming to NY to pitch a possible book project and that they’d be having lunch, so she brought my book along as a present figuring Fergie would like it. I have no idea if she ever read it – it probably wound up in the trash – but it’s fun to think someone famous might actually read one of my humble efforts.
NG: Any thing else you would like to add for would-be authors?
Lauren: It’s always the same from me. Stay alive, keep putting one writing foot in front of the other, and always remember: the only person who can ever really take you out of the game is you.