As I type, I’m looking out west along 42nd street, from 23 stories up. I feel like I’ve mentioned this view before, because I really like it. I can see all the way to the southern end of Times Square (where Seventh Avenue and Broadway intersect.) I can see several of the trademark Times Square neon billboards (although they aren’t neon anymore, and haven’t been for a while – they’re basically gigantic TV screens), including a big one for a ginormous Walgreen’s.
At the moment, however, I can see nothing past 5th Avenue. It’s like the world ends in one big, white curtain, like an incomplete set, or the edge of the world in… let’s see, how about Erik the Viking. It’s neat, and beautiful, but I have to go out in it in about half an hour to make my way back to Brooklyn. I am also scheduled to fly back to Michigan for the weekend tomorrow afternoon, and unless this storm stops, I don’t see that happening. Or at least not without sitting in the airport for several hours wondering if/when my flight is going to get out.
I’ve been trying to make my blog entries less… bloggy, and more timeless, so that my thousands of readers won’t have to have experienced the Big Storm of Late February 2010 in order to relate, but hey, I’m not perfect.
Let me see if I can move back to creative pursuits… 27 has been pitched to two different publishers, both of whom have expressed reserved (but I think real) interest. The pitching process is pure murder on these things. On the one hand, it’s great that I can make pitches myself, and I don’t have to do it through an agent, but that means that many, many other people can make pitches too. Most of them will suck – that’s just a law of creative endeavor, I feel. And so, in order to save their own sanity, editors and so on will ignore most pitches that come down the pipe, so they aren’t exposed to too much suckiness at a time.
I think/hope that the creative success I had with Strongman will help get my pitches looked at more quickly, and give me more of the benefit of the doubt, but I can’t say for sure. A pitch is 5-10 pages of a book plus a 1-2 page written summary, and maybe a cover. I tend to write complex, high-concept stuff, and distilling it down is very difficult. But if you write enough of it, and enough of it is good (and makes it to print, of course), people can say, “Oh, okay, I know that Charles is good, and his work is good, and I know that this short pitch is just the barest glimpse for what will be a scintillating work of great beauty and elegance.”
But as it is, I only have one book’s worth of reputation to coast on, and while that’s better than the position I was in before Strongman came out, it’s still not a career. I’m known, a little, but I am very, very, VERY far from KNOWN, if that makes sense. All of that being said, I am loving how 27 is coming together, and I’m going to work as hard as I need to in order to make certain that it gets into the world.
Just for fun, I’ve included the first paragraph below of the pitch I wrote for Strongman, which played at least some role in getting me my deal with SLG. It’s overwritten, and I think I would do something much leaner now (the one for 27 actually sings pretty nicely, I think), but why second-guess, right? It worked, after all.
“The Dark Knight Returns of masked Mexican wrestler stories.
Tigre, one of the most popular and successful stars of the Mexican “lucha libre” scene in the 1960s and 70s, disappeared at the height of his fame in 1972, along with his two colleagues, lithe weapons-master Conejo and the wily, brilliant Bujo. Tigre was a film star, a wrestling hero, and a masked protector of his countrymen, and he left it all behind for reasons unknown. Now, thirty years older, his muscles soaked in whiskey and hidden behind a layer of fat, he resurfaces, alone and depressed, in New York City. After the entreaties of a young woman, Maria, he is spurred to investigate a mysterious crime wave decimating his neighborhood. Over the course of an adventure that blends elements of noir, superhero stories and even a bit of horror, we learn the reasons for Tigre’s disappearance in 1972, and watch him rise above his past to reclaim his heroic mantle.”
See you soon – next post will probably be about getting ready for ECCC, or maybe about the final 27 cover (which will look AMAZING), or maybe about 1000 Ships, which is almost at the 100-page mark script-wise. Stay warm (unless you read this in the summer.)