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Posts Tagged ‘Bret Easton Ellis’

How Marisha Pessl Found Her Literary Agent

Elle Magazine ran a long profile of Special Topics in Calamity Physics author Marisha Pessl this month.

Pessl has a new book called Night Film coming out on August 20th, and the profile explored how she landed an agent for her debut novel. She would end up with a $615,000 advance for Special Topics in Calamity Physics, according to the article. Check it out:

In 2004, Pessl cold-e-mailed 15 literary agents about her novel, including Susan Golomb, who represents Jonathan Franzen. Golomb was charmed by Pessl’s note—in particular, by her blurbworthy description of her own work: “a funny, encyclopedic and wildly ambitious literary tale about love and loss, youth and yearning, treachery and terror” … In 2008, Pessl left Golomb for superagent Binky Urban, whose agency, ICM, has a strong Hollywood division. (Bret Easton Ellis and Cormac McCarthy are among Urban’s clients.) Then she changed publishers, moving to Random House. “I happened to meet Binky Urban socially, and it just seemed like a very nice fit, the two of us,” Pessl said of the agent who reportedly secured her a $1 million deal for Night Film and a $1.5 million deal for a yet-to-be-written third novel.

Mediabistro Course

Novel Writing: Editing Your Draft

Novel Writing: Editing Your DraftStarting July 16, workshop your novel in-progress with a published author! Erika Mailman's course will function as a workshop, with the emphasis on sharing your work for review and providing critiques for your peers. By the end of this class you'll have up to 75 pages of you novel workshopped and developed patterns to improve your writing. Register now! 

Kanye West Samples 1930s Protest Poem

In Kayne West‘s challenging and explicit new album, he sampled Nina Simone singing “Strange Fruit”–a song that originated as a 1930s protest poem.

Below, we’ve created a free Spotify playlist linking to West’s song and a collection of covers of “Strange Fruit.” We wrote a little more about the history of the song:

New York City English teacher, poet and activist Abel Meeropol wrote the poem “Strange Fruit” during the Great Depression. The great Billie Holiday ended up recording the song, sharing the dark story about lynchings in America.

Read more

Bret Easton Ellis Addresses David Foster Wallace Comments

Novelist and screenwriter Bret Easton Ellis hosted an Ask Me Anything interview on Reddit today, fielding questions about an American Psycho musical adaptation and talking about his work.

One reader asked Ellis why he bashed the work of David Foster Wallace, calling the late novelist “the most tedious, overrated, tortured, pretentious writer of my generation” on Twitter. Ellis had a longer explanation behind his controversial tweet.

There wasn’t a feud. David and I had never met. But I never responded to his work. Simple as that. I was reading the new bio and it was pissing me off–the kid gloves approach. And that I thought he had a literary fraudulence about him that manifested itself in his fiction. You could say the same about me. I was not surprised by the backlash to those tweets. There are a lot of little snowflakes who somehow really respond to this faux-earnestness of DFW that I just don’t think is realistic.

Bret Easton Ellis on eBooks: “The Royalty Rate Is Actually Going to Be the Same, If Not More”

Via the video magic of Big Think, we asked novelist Bret Easton Ellis about digital books–learning about his iPad, eBook royalties, and the future of the novel.

Ellis explained why he bought an iPad: “[A] friend of mine showed me his iPad and how he was reading books on it, and how he bought more books once he had the iPad than he had ever bought that last six month on Amazon or going to a bookstore.”

He concluded: “the idea of a book costing not $25 anymore but $10 means you’re also wiping away a lot of the cost of making a book. You know, the printing, the shipping, et cetera. And so the royalty rates for authors are shifting as well. So it’s not as authors are necessarily going to lose money on their work in terms of people like buying to download them. The royalty rate is actually going to be the same, if not more, because they’re cutting out all those other costs.”

Read the complete transcript here.

How Bret Easton Ellis Discovered Michiko Kakutani

imperialbed.pngIn an interview with Details magazine, novelist Bret Easton Ellis talked about the 1980s, getting older, and the first time he was reviewed by the NY Times‘ influential critic, Michiko Kakutani.

Here’s an excerpt, talking about a review of Less Than Zero: “I remember not knowing who Michiko Kakutani was. [Laughs] That’s what I remember most about seeing that review. Honestly, I was too young to get it. Everyone else was sort of freaking out that the book even got reviewed in The New York Times–my agent and my editor and other people were extremely excited for me. And I think I was bummed out about some stuff that was going on at Bennington College at the time–like a relationship problem. So yeah, I guess in retrospect that seems pretty remarkable that that book was reviewed there. But as a 21-year-old, I was lost in other more pressing personal problems.”

Ellis’s new novel, Imperial Bedrooms, catches up with the lives of his characters from his debut novel, Less Than Zero–a book that turns 25-year-old this year.

Bret Easton Ellis’ Twitter Review Career

FM-9-COVER-LR.jpgEver since building his own Twitter page for a New Yorker article, novelist Bret Easton Ellis has made blogging headlines as he used his new platform to review films and records in 140-character bursts.

Most recently, Gawker wrote a long response to the author of “American Psycho” and his review of a recent movie: “The most alienating movie experience of 09: sitting stone-faced in a packed Westwood theater that’s roaring with laughter at The Hangover…”

In contrast, the Village Voice loved his review of Jay McInerney‘s stories and a sports picture: “This weekend reminded: Slap Shot is the funniest sports movie ever made. Bo Burnham-unbearable. The Jayster can really write short stories.”

This Week’s “Next Big Thing”, the Gatsby Edition

2 years ago Jeff Hobbs left New York behind for Los Angeles, moving the day after his wedding when his new wife got a production job. But as the LA Times’ Scott Timberg reports, Hobbs didn’t completely leave Manhattan behind as it serves as the backdrop for his uber-charmed debut novel THE TOURISTS, already landing the 27 year old great notices from the likes of Los Angeles Magazine that whisper something along the lines of “this is the next GREAT GATSBY.”

“There’s a wistfulness to it that’s missing from a lot of contemporary fiction by people in their 20s,” said Bret Easton Ellis, who mentored Hobbs and helped sharpen the novel. “And a sadness that seems very adult, as if Jeff has lived much longer than he actually has. I think that’s why it feels like a throwback. The books I see from debut novelists aren’t anything like this – they aren’t nearly this worldly.” As for how that mentoring took place? A mutual friend’s doing, and Ellis originally commented on a previous Hobbs manuscript, then worked extensively on what became THE TOURISTS, which Simon & Schuster is publishing today.

In other words, not many writers get this kind of attention, and Hobbs recognizes he’s led something of a charmed life. But Timberg finds for someone with that degree of early success – a major-house book contract with little previously published writing, fruitful friendship with famous novelist, rave review in a glossy magazine – his lack of arrogance is almost touching. “I want to apologize to you in advance, actually,” he said, almost making eye contact, “because I sit in a room alone all day and mostly talk to my dog.” As for writing a contemporary GATSBY, Hobbs was taken aback. “Gatsby,” he said, is “kind of a book about a bunch of murderers. But it’s thought of as this tragic love story… I’m almost embarrassed by the comparison.”

A Full Circle of Dealmaking

For this item, it’s prudent to start at the very beginning. Which would be 1982, when Bennington freshman Bret Easton Ellis showed up at true crime writer Joe McGinness‘s writing workshop with some sample pieces and ended up with a mentor who went so far with his help as to recommend Ellis to his former editor, Grove/Atlantic’s Morgan Entrekin – which lead to the publication of LESS THAN ZERO.

Twenty-five years later, the story has come full circle. Now it’s Ellis’s turn doing the recommending to Entrekin, but this time it’s a younger Joe McGinness who’s the deal beneficiary. McGinness Jr.’s debut novel THE DELIVERY MAN, described in the Publishers Marketplace deal report as “a portrait of today’s lost generation, set in Las Vegas and involving a teenage-girl escort ring, with an unlikely love story at its heart,” will bow as a trade paperback original from Grove/Atlantic’s paperback arm, Black Cat Books, in the winter of 2008. ICM’s Katherine Cluverius struck the deal, which is for world rights.

Plus ca change, indeed.