February 22, 2018

Road to a Novel #2: Know What Group Jack London Started?

 September 3, 2013  Paul Plansky

As promised, I’m taking you inside a Writers Workshop presented by literary agents Michael Larsen and Elizabeth Pomada (see “Road” Blog Post #1 for their stellar credentials). Since 1972, this husband-and-wife team has sold hundreds of fiction and non-fiction books to more than 100 publishers. Besides their high-profile agency, they are co-directors of the San Francisco Writers Conference (www.sfwriters.org). Michael specializes in non-fiction titles while Elizabeth represents memoirs, and commercial, literary, and women’s fiction – including romance, mysteries, thrillers, and suspense.

The Monterey, CA session was co-sponsored by Central Coast Writers, a local chapter of the California Writers Club, founded by Jack London in 1909. An estimated 50 to 60 aspiring authors showed up. During the luncheon served in the adjoining hotel restaurant, I chatted with a freelance writer, a historical novelist, and a non-fiction writer tackling a decades-long task of unearthing the geological foundations of ancient Mayan cultures. All quite stimulating!

In a “warm-up” exercise, Mr. Larsen asked the attendees to fill out a questionnaire. Here are a few of my answers:

(Q) Why do you want to write?
(A) “To express myself; To be heard; To touch the minds and hearts of others; To inform and entertain; To share compressed wisdom.”

(Q)  What do you want your writing to communicate?
(A) “The struggles and plights of the soul, to plumb the human condition.”

(Q)  How will you support your writing until it supports you?
(A) “Hey, I’m retired!”

 In “Road” Blog Post #3, I’ll be sharing precious nuggets of wisdom and insights dispensed by Larsen and Pomona during their workshop. Some of those are real eye-openers!  …

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