Monday, February 2, 2009

Damn, There Are Nuns in My Novel!

The first big novel deal of 2009 is a high six-figure monster called Angeology, according to GalleyCat. New York Observer reports that the author is Danielle Trussoni, who wrote the memoir Falling Through The Earth.  The novel reportedly "follows a young nun in upstate New York who, in uncovering a correspondence between the former mother superior and Abigail Rockefeller, unwittingly reignites an ancient war between a society of angelologists (a group that studies angels) and the Nephilim (the monsterlike descendants of angels and humans)."
The agent was Eric Simonoff, the bidding war was heated, the author has an MFA from Iowa.  Same-same?  Pretty much!


WriterWithABookDeal said...


I have been mightily entertained by your blog, so thank you. I thought I would share my experience, but I cannot, obviously tell you who I am.

What I can tell you is that I am a writer with no MFA. Did not even study English. My first published anything was in an online journal.

I have no MFA.

I did not, at the time I published my thing, have any "contacts" in publishing. On the basis of the thing published online, an agent approached me.

I have no MFA.

An agent approached me, I say, and I signed with him, stayed with him for six months, realised he was not the right fit for me, and we went our separate ways. On my own steam, I had another story published in a print journal that is quite a big deal in the world of print journals. On the strength of that story, three very large agencies approached me.

Did I mention that I have no MFA, and no contacts in the publishing world?

Oh, and I am not at all good looking.

This time I did my homework. I interviewed the agents, and I signed with the agency I liked the most. I got a very, very good book deal.

I have no MFA.

Perhaps I am the exception that proves the rule, or perhaps there really are no conspiracies, and perhaps it is simply about sitting down and writing your thing, then, when you are ready, looking for two or three people who like your work enough to want to represent you and publish you, and fight your corner for you.

I wish you well with your resolution, I hope you get a book deal soon. It is a wonderful thing to happen to a writer, but don't despair if it does not happen according to your time table. What matters is that you write, and that you believe in what you write. The rest will fall into place quite spectacularly wonderfully, as my experience shows.

Anonymous said...

Angel-human monsters? Secret correspondences? This is what MFA people do, re-write Dan Brown books with vampires?

As for the comment above, I'd love to believe it. Let's see if it happens.

Anonymous said...

To I-Have-No-MFA:
You misspelled "realized." And this is grammatically incorrect: "but I cannot, obviously tell you" (it needs a comma after - well, your editor can pick up picayune things like that).
Love the incantatory use of "I have no MFA." You're no doubt a spectacularly wonderful author.
But, really, your sole purpose is to expose all the bellyaching around here as unjustified. While the post about the book deal speaks loud and clear. Iowa. Pretty young gal. Angeology. Ugh.
Me, I think there was a second shooter on the grassy knoll.

x said...


Congrats! I occasionally show up here and bang the same drum you're banging, but it's pointless. Conspiracy theories abound here, and, really, all that a sane person can do on this site is entertain herself by peeking occasionally into the asylum. Also, as you see above, the petty anonymi rear their ugly heads and spit some venom, but fortunately it goes only as far as their computer screens, and there's a good chance that a set of false teeth will clatter to the keyboard when the forked tongue retracts. I hope your book does well.

Cheers, x

Anonymous said...

It's not pointless. Reveal your name. Or you can't, because you're threatened by any investigation into the academic stranglehold on the short story. Our comments go much further than our screens, as evidenced by your nervous defence of the Ivy Towers.

assy mcgee said...

so what's the big deal? people who graduate from iowa have the sense to recognize that dan brownish fiction is lucrative.

it's naive to think that by getting an mfa a person forsakes popular commercial paperback fodder. i'd bet you there students at iowa secretly reading dan brown, tom clancy, and the like.

Anonymous said...

I "spit some venom"?????
Where? Where's the venom in my comment? I was merely sarcastic.
Now your comment, AnonymouX - it's venomous. The degree of abusiveness is worth putting a spotlight on: opposing views are from the "asylum." They are from people who are "petty," have "ugly heads," "spit some venom." AnonymouX hopes that my "false teeth will clatter to the keyboard when the forked tongue retracts."
This is a "sane person" (as he describes himself)? I can't help but wonder who he is. (Yes, I think the "herself" is a lie.)
I don't have false teeth. Where did you get that impression, anonymouX?
And "forked tongue" refers to lying. What lies have I told?
These are the minds we are dealing with. Beware.
Really, beware. These people are vicious. The defense against them is to do what they fear: expose them.

Observer said...

It seems people are assuming she was a fiction MFA at Iowa. Given that her opus upon graduating was a memoir, I'd say she was a non-fiction student. Likely, it was the success of her first book that really gave her a leg up in the industry, not the MFA itself. To that end, I agree with the sentiment of WriterWithABookDeal's first post.

But W,R is trying to stir up the old MFA debate again. Do you cyber-stalk Iowa grads to see what they're up to post-grad and then AH-HA! when they do a bit of commercial stuff? The comment by assy mcgee (the monikers here...) sums it up well. There's nothing surprising or hypocritical about MFA graduate from top schools writing and publishing airplane reads. It's probably a decent book being written by one with so much practice and training.

Writer, Rejected said...

Nah. Nothing as exotic as stalking. I'm just out of my own rejections for posting and waiting for others (perhaps you, Obs?) to email me some fresh ones. This was a news story on Gawker, so I figured what the hell. Mainly because of the nuns.

Evan said...

W,R: I would say, Okay, fine, you reprinted the article from Gawker; but your final two comments -- "Same-same? Pretty much!" -- is a gross overgeneralization about who she is (what she represents) meant to trivialize this writer's talents, hard work, etc., etc. Let's hope when your day comes the bloggers are of a more generous spirit.

Writer, Rejected said...

No, I never mean to take away from a writer. I am of the Kurt-Vonnegut School that we novelists are all vets of the same war. I just have a problem with the huge advances that some of our comrades are given by the industry. I mean, fantastic for this writer, but bad for the market as a whole. As long as they do this blockbuster buying, we are all sunk. That's the same-same, I meant. My beef is with the industry.

Writer, Rejected said...

No, I never mean to take away from a writer. I am of the Kurt-Vonnegut School that we novelists are all vets of the same war. I just have a problem with the huge advances that some of our comrades are given by the industry. I mean, fantastic for this writer, but bad for the market as a whole. As long as they do this blockbuster buying, we are all sunk. That's the same-same, I meant. My beef is with the industry.

WriterWithABookDeal said...

Wow. I am sorry I spoke. My intention was not to expose your bellyaching, your word, as unjustified, Anonymous, but simply to share my story, which shows that it is not only those with MFAs who are published. I have no interest in defending anything or anyone.

I spell "realised" that way because this is how we spell it on this side of the Atlantic. And I am sorry about the misplaced comma. But why the bitterness? You don't know me, I don't know you, all I did was to tell you a story that proves that it is not only MFAs who get published.

And I do not think I am a spectacularly wonderful writer, far from it. It was my lack of confidence that kept me from putting my stuff out there. My God, but this is a bitter, bitter place.

james said...

This is obviously a blog for the talentless. A voice of opprobrium that, fortunately, is going nowhere.

Writer Rejected, take this as a compliment when I say you are best to give up this blog and consider the opportunities of academic life. Its virtues for the writer have been told quite frequenly, often vividly, right here on this blog. It isn't as scary or as bad as some here make it sound; undoubtedly, these are the voices of those who have tried and failed, or who do not have the due diligence to succeed at the craft. In case you cannot see, the age of the self-made writer is over; today, academia is the home of the literary artist. It is through academia that the voice of the literary artist is brought to the world; academia nourishes these voices, and embraces many types and styles. There is no stereotypical "one" voice in academia. All serious writers today are a part of it. You do not want to be known as someone who gives a vehicle for these ugly, caustic voices that criticize the literary arts.

Rethink this blog. It does you no good and it is a disservice to literature.

Anonymous said...

Book Deal Person,
You're responding to a critical comment directed at you. Your conclusion: "a bitter, bitter place."
Can't argue with that.
But how about the response to the person who criticized you? I mean the comment from X. Was that bitter - and vitriolic too?
My point: both sides are guilty as sin.
I agree with James' advice, w/r. Take the academic route and give up this blog.
For many LROD is a bad addiction; I'd like it exorcised from my life. It also serves no purpose, just creates ill will; nothing will change, and the academic route to success is still the best.
But - damn! - I can't resist a parting shot. James also writes, in referring to academia, "All serious writers today are a part of it."
He's right! And that's wrong. Exclusivity reigns (with a few exceptions), and that's always wrong. A person should be judged not by the college they attended but by the content of their words.

Anonymous said...

james is probably right about the talentless part, but i'd bet he's a regular

Anonymous said...

What??? We can't read here for fun anymore? Just sort of take the blog in the spirit in which it's offered (tongue in cheek mostly, I'd say), have a bit of fun with the pictures, then go back to the work in progress?

Well, shoot. I always enjoy the words and pictures, Writer Rejected, as well as the bit of snark now and then.....

Anonymous said...

"Rethink this blog. It does you no good and it is a disservice to literature"

Ha! Ha ha ha HA! See? Isn't that enormously *fun* (because of course, you can't be seriously dishing out such God-is-my-uncle, can you?)

Oh man, I can just picture the twinkle in your eye, the wee index finger waggling disapprovingly at the screen. Typing *and* twinkling...very nice!

Many thanks, James! I'm going to smile all evening at the image...

Writer, Rejected said...

The one truly consistent feature of this blog is that someone is always telling me why I should shut the beyotch down. There have been so many reasons offered through the years: it's bad for my career, unfair to editors who send out rejection notes, a time suck when I should be writing instead of blogging, a shame to be so snarky, mean to pick on writers, publishers, readers, people who buy books, and's a disservice to literature.

Man, that's a lot of damage for one little blog.

Anonymous said...

Dear o dear. All those terrible things happening---and because of your blog.

On the other hand, If even half of those writerly plagues-upon-both-your-houses were true, then God must be your uncle, WR!

gimme said...

"Congrats! I occasionally show up here and bang the same drum you're banging, but it's pointless."

What is pointless is expecting anyone to take the story of your life seriously when you remain anonymous.

Nameless folks are continually popping on here and saying stuff like "I'm a successful writer, blah blah blah."

No, you're not.

Not without a name we can verify. Otherwise, you're just another nobody.

Sorry, but that's the way it works online.:)

x said...

I love when Gimme and Anonymous, both of whom are, well, anonymous, get on their high horse (I assume they share the same horse) about someone else coming here and commenting anonymously (on a blog, I should add, run by an anonymous person). The absurdity of Gimme's argument and Anonymous' recurring chant (almost a mantra) "Reveal thy self!" would be laughable if it wasn't so damned sad and pathetic. "Gimme" is right. Gimme a f*ckin' break!

gimme said...

You're missing the point x.

The reason my identity is not relevent is because nothing I post here requires revealing my identity to back it up.

However, if I were offering my biography to support the points I was making (or if my biography was the WHOLE point), you'd be perfectly justified in calling me a hypocrite.

And if I was complaining (as the original poster was) that no one here took seriously my claims of being a successful writer, and that that was indictive of how cynical and defeatist we all are... well, I'd hope someone would point out the absurdity of my anonymity under those conditions.

Which is what I was doing.

See the difference?

gimme said...

Oops, I should have said: "And if I was complaining (as *you were, x*)"

The original poster wasn't the "complainer".

why is every writer i know doing the stupid "25 things about me" thing on facebook, even semi-famous ones? said...

why reveal yourself when all you get is further criticized? darin strauss, john bruce, the list goes on. there's no winning on here.

i must agree: this blog is an addiction, for better or worse.

the amount of negativity and cluelessness that is incubated here is astounding.

and yet here i am. i am aware what this says about me.

WriterWithABookDeal said...

To X, I forgot to thanks you for your kind words about my book, it comes out in the spring, and I am both terrified and excited.

To Gimme, I was not "complaining" about anything, I only wanted to assure you guys that sometimes, it is not all a conspiracy. Of course, I take your point about my anonymity, in fact, I initially thought of revealing myself. I am glad I did not, at least on this blog, the very first response I had was from a person for whom it was more important to critique the grammar and spelling in my hastily written comment. The implication, of course, was that I could not possibly be a good writer because I left out a comma, and I spelled realised the English, and not American, way. This is a shocking level of malice, I tried to inject a positive note into the discussion, and all I got was sneering.

You are absoultely right that my bio is the whole point of my story. You will just have to take it from me that I have no interest in making up book deals, or a history that is not mine. But as I cannot possibly say who I am, you are absolutely right that it is pointless to contribute to this discussion.

Good luck to you all.

Anonymous said...

Yo, Book Deal. In your mind, to criticize your grammar displays "a shocking level of malice." Then you thank X for his "kind words" - the person who writes stuff about false teeth clattering to the keyboard. Read his comment over - are his words not malicious?
Are they, Book Deal?
Regarding the Anonymous issue. The Shadow knows who we are (the Shadow being w/r, the King of Anonymity), but he's not telling - and that's the right thing to do. Anonymity can come in many forms; some people post as bloggers, but when you click on their name you get no info - they are as anonymous as any of us. Anyway, if a blog allows anonymity, it's only ETHICAL that nobody's real name be revealed. To do so is akin to Bush/Cheney's outing of Valerie Plame. (Their motive: fetid vindictiveness.)
Someone mentioned exposure as a weapon against those in the "Establishment." In unguarded moments (such as in angry e-mails) they reveal a different persona from the one they want the public to believe in. Keep this correspondence.
Freedom is having nothing to lose. Losers have freedom.
I no longer watch the Jerry Springer Show.

Dr. Fraud said...

Very interesting...
A patient of mine has an addiction to this site, so I dropped by.
Book Deal: You didn't know that this was a "bitter, bitter place" and that your oft-repeated "I have no MFA" would set some people off? Your comment is disingenuous, and people caught on to that fact.
Sarcastic: You take pleasure in slyly angering people, and then, when you get an angry response, you take the role of the aggrieved. You're displaying passive-aggressive behavior, with an element of sadism. You need professional help.
X: When I get an out-sized response, I know I've hit a sensitive nerve. But why would you get so angry about a comment directed at Book Deal - unless you were BD?
W/R: Do you know that you've entangled yourself in a deeply schizoid enterprise?

Writer, Rejected said...

Yes, Dr. But I'm a very complex person and an interesting head case. Thanks for stopping by with the official diagnosis. Maybe you will write a book about our group?

Dan said...

Hi Writer, Rejected -

Keep at it, man/girl! Love your blog and ignore the weird anonymice who keep trying to hijack it. Perhaps they should get their own popular blog?

Writer with a Book Deal -

Congratulations on your success. The promotional part of book publishing can be grueling, so do what you can to remain savvy about the marketing end and stay one step ahead of things. A lot of people will ask you to do things you might not want to do. Some of them you should do, some of them you don't have to. And you should promote via your own website and other creative methods - things your publisher won't even be thinking about because they're still so far behind in understanding the power of online promotion.

That is my two cents for the day. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Click on Dan's name.
You get a website promoting "killer shortcuts" that will bring writers monetary success in these hard financial times.
But it's not free:
"You'll only need to spend under $10 to register your domain, about $29.95/month for your website hosting, and $19.95/month for an autoresponder (all of which I'll show you how to do). Everything else is either free or available on free trial."
He calls others "weird." There's a few choice words that apply to him.

Dan G said...


Actually, I never advise people to shell out money for an autoresponder. It doesn't tell you to do that at my website, you are in error.

And neither is paying for your own domain and hosting necessary, either. I never say on my site that these things are necessary.

You can easily sell your own ebooks and ereports on a free third party service, like Blogger, Squidoo, Hubpages, etc. These third party sites get nice placement in the search engines so using them makes it super easy to get going with publishing your own reports.

That's how I pull in between $50 - $200 a day - from my writing.

An a journalism graduate who graduated around the time of the crash when the world of publishing pretty much went under (flash forward to today, when it's doing the same thing) I had to find other ways to get published - and get paid. Newspapers were paying less than peanuts as usual.

I freelanced for others for a time, tried blogging (which doesn't pay) and then I learned from a technically savvy friend how to publish successful ebooks and short reports. It's really fun, and the profits allow me to earn from my writing day or night - while I'm off doing other fun things like playing gigs with my jazz trio.

But oops - I forgot - you can't talk about actually earning money from your writing here because all of the anonymice will crawl up your pant legs and bite you.

Well, since you're going to anyway, bite me. :)