Monday, December 31, 2012


Thinking as I do about the project that will follow the one I am working on now. Coffee and Sugar is about 50% through and I'll send it off to agents but more than likely it will be another free art offering.

After having basted myself in the music business prior, the idea of lathering oneself in industry bollocks and having to bypass talent-less sales reps to deal with editors is a game I am tired of.

The last Literary Agent I dealt with was here in São Paulo. They wanted A Rising Fall immediately. I got stupid as one does, you know, its flattering to get attention for something you created entirely yourself, unlike music which was always a shared benefit and you would wrap yourself in collective cynicism or ego binging, whichever seemed more appropriate.

Anyway these agents were delightful in how they wanted to deal with their client. I had asked the lady, Giuliana or something, that we should meet, have a coffee and discuss the book. In my mind, i would want to be intimate with the project I am selling. And from my experience in the music business, it is always good to feed the ego of the client; keep them confident, energised and ready to produce more. This agents reaction to lunch:

"Sure we can meet, someday. As you know the book proposal is more important and if you write a good one it means we don't have to meet because I can sell your book without you. So that when we do meet, its only for the important things. I don't have time to meet with writers and its not necessary"

Oh, and let's look at some figures here. Brazilian agents. They wanted 30% royalties for doing what? let's see:

They wanted to translate the work into Portuguese to sell on the Brazilian market - I didn't want this. I was focused not on domestic because Brazilians love three types of books, religious books, crosswords & word sleuths and self help books. Cultural Literacy in Brazil is anorexic to say the least, but its still an inspiring country to write in. Anyway, my focus was still on London, Dublin or New York, especially for the style of writing and themes. Also a lot of the rhyming in the book is very dependent to the story and will not translate in other languages. It will lose its rhythm and feel. This is an English story. If you don't speak the language, this is a great opportunity to start learning.

*** Don't read translated works, listen to a story told in the writer's voice, not a version or a cover. You wouldn't stomach Dark Side of the Moon sung by Justin Bieber, so why settle for book translations. You can translate words but you cannot translate the heart and soul etched in a writer's voice*****

But ok, they wanted to translate and start selling in Brazil so they could have some numbers to bring it to London. What her words weren't telling me was that their dealings with overseas clients is only to provide translating services and re-sell on our domestic market and they wouldn't have a clue how to approach selling a new client on a foreign market, but ok.

My response at first was: I don't want to, this feels wrong, i think i'm being raped. Then two hours later i emailed and said ok. This is the part of art and industry that is fucked. I knew it was a bad idea.

Their response: Excellent, well we can direct you to a translator or you can provide your won but we have to approve the work.
My Response: You want me to pay for the translation?
Them: Yes
Me: What are you doing for your 30%?

I fired them 8 minutes later and made A Rising Fall an independent project form that point on.

30% - \i still didn't understand.

On the bright side I learned how to write a book proposal and learned that all Brazilian Literary Agents are fucking snakes. Talent-less skivvy wearing amoebas.

So the next project ---- all of my work is driven by music. I mentioned below in a previous post about the albums that were the gasoline for A Rising Fall, and we will look at Utopian Circus soon as it comes closer to launching the story.

After Coffee and Sugar, I plan to look at the exploration of love again, unconditional love, through drug addiction  The love of a man for his needle, the love of a mother for his sinking son and the love of both for god, who gave them nothing in reserve. The book will play out to the album Grace by Jeff Buckley.

Have a great party tonight to those that celebrate. For us it will be reminding my daughter that the fireworks are not dangerous.

Take Risk and Take Care,

C. Sean McGee

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