MAIN NEWS HEADLINES
December 1-15, 2003 Edition
“The one page listing on Authorlink
Joe Veltre Breaking News
Authorlink Writer Lands Big
Deal With HarperCollins
With Major Film Interest
NEW YORK/DALLAS/12/03Brian Tacang, writing as Simon P. Binaohan, has landed a two-book deal with HarperCollins after agent Joe Veltre spotted the work listed on Authorlink. Veltre, rights director and agent at Carlisle & Co. in New York, requested the manuscript directly from Authorlink and subsequently sold Bully Be Gone: The Misadventures of Millicent Madding as the first in a series. Creative Artists Agency, Inc. (CAA), one of the most powerful talent agencies in the business, is handling film rights for the work.
“That one page listing on Authorlink sold me,” said Veltre. “I loved it. After reading only a few paragraphs I knew we had something.”
The sale is one of the largest deals made on Authorlink. Brian becomes the 84th author since tracking began four years ago to sell his work as a result of being seen on Authorlink.
The manuscript went through several rounds of revision before agent Veltre sent it to editors. But after the work began circulating to publishers, the series sold quickly in a pre-empt to Leann Heywood at HarperCollins Children’s.
Brian, who lives in New Mexico, signed on to Authorlink in December 2002, after discovering the award-winning writing community on the Internet. Authorlink evaluators placed the query in the “featured” category, and on the same day the listing went live, Authorlink received the request from Veltre.
Bully Be Gone is the story of a young female inventor who belongs to the Wunderkindher school’s most “talented” kids. Schoolmates look to Millicent’s latest invention for help defending themselves against bullies, which leads to an even bigger disaster only Millicent can mend.
Veltre would not disclose the amount of the contract, but called it “a wonderful deal.” An Authorlink guess is somewhere in the mid six figures.
“We’re very excited about the sale,” said Joe Veltre. He is a frequent visitor to the Authorlink site, but this was the first work he had requested all year. Before joining Carlisle & Co., Veltre was a film development executive and editor at large at Miramax Films, and earlier held senior editor posts at HarperCollins and St. Martin’s Press.
Authorlink interviewed Brian Tacang about his stunning success. “In retrospect, writing always felt more satisfying
to me . . . “
AUTHORLINK: What motivated you to begin writing?
TACANG: For a number of years I’d felt the impulse to change careers, then after being laid-off from my job as a clothing designer for a large corporation, impulse became necessity. I was also fortunate enough to have worked with author Linda Watanabe McFerrin, who encouragedno, goadedme to write and who became my mentor. In retrospect, writing always felt more satisfying to me, even when I was a designer.
AUTHORLINK: How long have you been writing?
TACANG: Five years, though I’d written for fun much longer than that.
AUTHORLINK: What methods had you tried to become published before listing with Authorlink?
TACANG: While posting on Authorlink, I simultaneously used the traditional over-the-transom methods. I got positive responses through my own efforts, but Authorlink provided the quickest and most productive response.
AUTHORLINK: How did you hear about Authorlink?
TACANG: I accidentally found Authorlink while doing one of my exhaustive online searches for agents.
AUTHORLINK: How long was your manuscript listing posted on Authorlink before Joe Veltre made the request?
TACANG: Joe made the request the same day it posted.
AUTHORLINK: Briefly describe what it feels like to land such a big deal?
TACANG: Surreal is the only word in English that comes to mind to describe landing this deal and yet the word surreal doesn’t contain an element of synchronicity. I believed in my work enough to envision its fruition, but it’s still weird to watch it unfold.
AUTHORLINK: Can you tell us how big the two-book deal was?
TACANG: From my limited knowledge base, I think the deal was above average for a middle-grade reader’s novel from a first-time author. What makes it so special, though, is that the publisher sees tremendous potential in it and is willing to back it up with marketing supportso crucial to a book’s success.
AUTHORLINK: Have you heard anything yet on the film rights from CAA? Or is it too early?
TACANG: It’s a little early, but I can say that the book is the subject of a number of conversations in Hollywood. It seems the rumor mill is churning out positive propaganda on “Millicent.”
AUTHORLINK: Do you have any advice for new writers struggling to break in?
TACANG: Oh, yes. These statements have probably been made before, but ‘be relentless with your craft and perseverance is the better part of success.’ Most importantly, remember we are creating products. So often we creative types become attached to our work as art and forget that consumption and commensurate compensation lie at the end of our labors. Yes, we should honor the creative process, but we should equally honor those (agents, editors, writing peers) who want to help us produce a salable commodity. Balancing your creative integrity with accepting the feedback of others is a skill worth learning.
“As long as I can embrace the feedback as if it were my own notion, rewriting
AUTHORLINK: What other works do you have underway?
TACANG: I’m working on another installation of The Misadventures of Millicent Madding, as well as a completely different middle-grade reader’s novel.
AUTHORLINK: Was the rewrite process difficult for you, if so or if not, why?
TACANG: I’m pretty open to feedback, so rewriting (based on my agent Joe Veltre’s input) wasn’t difficult. As long as I can embrace the feedback as if it were my own notion, rewriting is easy. I’m expecting more editorial revisions moving forward.
AUTHORLINK: How will your life change as a result of the sale?
TACANG: In many external ways, I’m guessing. From a psycho-spiritual perspective, I’m trying to focus on the things closest to my ‘center.’ In other words, what happens as a result of my writing might be great, exciting, surreal, and may draw me into experiences about which I’d previously dreamed. But in the end I still have to createit still comes down to the writing.
“As far as my agent goes, I couldn’t have found a better fit than Joe Veltre if I personally interviewed every literary agent in the western hemisphere.”
AUTHORLINK: Any additional words you’d like to add about Authorlink, your agent, or both?
TACANG: I have recommended, and will continue to recommend, Authorlink to writers I know. It makes the submission process significantly less painful (you don’t get rejections) and is cost-effective (you’d spend as much or more on photocopying and mailing your MS multiple times). In addition, Authorlink’s staff is knowledgeable and responsive.
As far as my agent goes, I couldn’t have found a better fit than Joe Veltre if I personally interviewed every literary agent in the western hemisphere. (And, if it weren’t for Authorlink, I might have had better luck going outside, throwing a rock, and expecting it to hit an agent.) Joe is personable, objective, enthusiastic, and quick to responda dream agent.