It’s cold, it’s windy,

January 25, 2008 | Karin's Blog | 4 comments

and it’s rainy. I love this weather! Snuggled in my fleecy PJ’s, and warm fuzzy slippers, I spent the better part of the morning and early afternoon on the phone with a GF. I drank a pot of coffee, ate a really scrumptious cheese strudel thingy, and just smiled and laughed all the while we gabbed. It was a really good gab. I really like it when good things happen to people I care about. And contrary to popular belief there are a lot of really good things happening to some really well-deserving people out there. It makes me happy and restores my faith in human nature. Don’t get me wrong, there are some seriously twisted professionals out there who are derelict in their duty to their clients. There are some writers who are, well, demanding and shall we say, temperamental, who say and do things they really shouldn’t say or do. I’ve seen and heard a lot in my short time in this business. I have finally gotten to the point where nothing surprises me. Nothing.

I guess the bottom line is, we are all human, and as female versions of the species we tend to act emotionally first. A knee-jerk reaction is best kept to oneself. Otherwise you can really screw yourself. Remember when the shit hits the fan to take a big deep cleansing breath, and do not react. Take another deep breath and another until enough time has passed where you can see through the haze of your anger. Then, in a calm reasonable manner, respond.

It doesn’t matter which side of publishing you’re on, this is a good lesson to learn and make a habit of. Because at the end of the day: it is just business. Business relationships come and go. We can become complacent, relationships founder, or what worked yesterday may not work today. You may perceive a wrong when in fact you could not see past your own desires. You may have been wronged on purpose or inadvertently, but, always, be the bigger person. The tide is in a constant ebb and flow. Respond with professionalism, and common courtesy. Always.

On both sides of the publishing fence this business is very small. Act the fool, you are the fool. Authors behaving badly is ugly. Agents and editors behaving badly to me is uglier. Why? They are the supposed professionals. They are the ones who are supposed to know better.

So, while I had not intended for this to be a public service announcement, I’m just sayin’.

Now, I am off to make another pot of coffee and snuggle up in front of the roaring fire and pounce on the first of two sets of copy edits.






  1. Edie

    Karin, this is a great blog. I’m with you on this. Look at all the big names who’ve had setbacks and rejections and keep going. Jayne Ann Krentz has said she reinvented herself several times to keep her career going. I think it worked for her. 🙂 Jennifer Crusie blogged this year that her longtime agent split with her — and she had only good things to say about her ex-agent. They hugged and parted friends. She acted like the professional she is.

  2. J. Carson Black

    I think it’s important to separate disappointment from relationships – although that’s hard. Personally, I always need that cooling-off period when my fabulous work is found wanting. I have to give myself a few days to see the big picture. So I wait.

    Relationships are important in this business, and a sense of perspective is appreciated on both sides of the fence. I had a good relationship with an editor at one house, which had decided to cut me. But she was really special to me. Years later, when I was looking to sell a book I thought she would like, I found her at another publisher. And it was as if there had been no time in between. We connected immediately, and her appreciation of me as a writer and my appreciation of her as an editor were still there. We just needed the opportunity to do business again.

    Never burn a bridge. If somebody sees something in you, or you see something in them, remember it. It might take a while, but there is no such thing as a dead end in this business. There’s always an open door; you just have to see it.

  3. LaDonna

    Great advice, Karin. I treat people the way I’d like to be treated. Crap happens out there, but we don’t have to be a part of it. And I agree, professional people acting badly out there is ugly. I’ve seen and heard some sad stuff, and I’m a newbie compared to you. It’s a live and learn world.

  4. Clyde Case


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