Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Broken Piano For President by Patrick Wensink

When did you start writing you novel? Six years ago.
How long did it take to finish the first draft? One month.
How many revisions did you write? At least 25.
Who read your drafts? Not many people. A friend of a friend who was a published author gave some brief encouragement, but mostly I went with my gut.
Did you use an agent to sell it? If not, why not? I did at first. She was horrible. I met her at one of those weird writer's conventions that seem to always be held at airport Sheratons. I've had more success being my own agent, frankly.
How long did it take to find a publisher? I found my publisher, Lazy Fascist Press, about three years ago, but it took another three for my editor to consider Broken Piano for President ready for publication.
What is your worst rejection story? The above mentioned agent sent my manuscript to Viking. The editor there called Broken Piano for President "Nauseating."
What is your best rejection story? The same. I am still tickled by that story. Nausea is an incredibly strong reaction to reading something. I'd have preferred the editor loved the book, but I'll take nausea over ambivalence any day.
Where were you when you received the offer for the book to be published? In my basement office, alone. Which was fitting, because that's how all the hard work of writing was done, alone.
Who was the first person you told about the book deal? My wife. She is very level-headed and greeted it with the same enthusiasm she uses when I announce we're having spaghetti for dinner. She's good at keeping me grounded.
Has your philosophy on getting published changed? It's hard and demoralizing. But after the first 50 rejections, you get a kind of dementia about it all. Rejection is just business. There is, sadly, very little artistic whimsy in publishing.
What words of advice would you give to a writer on the journey toward publication? Do a lot of research and work on your own because nobody else is going to be your champion. Unless your last name is Safron-Foer or something. Then, it's probably a lot easier.

For more information about the author, go discover all things Wentastic!

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