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Archive for the ‘Midcyru’ Category

Throwback Thursday: An Agent Finds Brent

It’s likely true that Brent Weeks was presented to the world on one balmy summer night in New York in 2006. Legend has it his agent was enjoying a nightcap on a sidewalk patio in Brooklyn that fateful evening and—according to an anonymous friend sitting next to him—wondered aloud when the Next Great Novelist would emerge from the dark recesses of unpublished obscurity. By some accounts, a choir of angelic voices could be heard singing a wistful “Ahhhhh” in C minor when the sky opened up, and Weeks fell from the heavens directly into his agent’s lap.

But we’re not here to discuss legends, per se. We’re here to present a more believable story of writing, revision, research, rewriting, blood, sweat, tears, aphorisms, more revising and rewriting, and landing your dream agent.

First, Brent wrote a novel in college, a sprawling manuscript full of… words. Then he revised it. Then he revised it again. Then he abandoned the book entirely. But one particular character stuck with him, and he decided to take that character and…. Write a screenplay.

Which he then abandoned.

Then he wrote another novel, focusing entirely on this one kid. He called it Reaper of Shadows Mortal. He went through every word to the point where he was changing things back to the way they were before his last editing pass. The manuscript sparkled. The climax shattered expectations, broke hearts, moved mountains.

Brent, being an industrious and intelligent fantasy reader, found some 40-odd authors whose books were similar to his and looked in the acknowledgements. The result of this research was a list of 33 agents who he thought he would be happy to have represent him. Some were longshots that he knew were too big for him. He tried anyway.

Fifteen never wrote back. Fifteen rejected him. Three were interested enough to ask to see more. Two dropped out after seeing the whole MS.

While waiting to hear the wet squish of rejection from those agents, he looked into writing conferences. As luck would have it, two agents from his list were going to the Willamette Writers’ Conference–and they both were accepting pitches! He almost didn’t go. The cost was a huge stretch for him and his wife. He went anyway.

He walked into that conference with a checklist of weapons:

great novel (or so he thought).

extrovert mask–Check.

logline– wait, huh?

one paragraph pitch–what?

two minute pitch–ummmmm…

anti-perspirant. Check.

At this conference, one of the agents was… well, a little too strange for Brent. But the other one gave a talk that blew Brent’s mind. Donald Maass asked, “What is the one thing your main character would never do?” Brent imagined his response, and the agent followed with, “Now what happens to your novel if your main character does that?”

It was at that moment a small, hard shell in Brent’s brain cracked open with a faint “Ahhh, shit.” Because inside that shell lay the key to making Mortal Then Dies A Hero twice as good. (What would Kylar never do? What would Durzo never do?)

He’d come to the conference thinking his novel was ready to sell. Now, knowing he needed to do a major re-write, he had to pitch it anyway.

Ouch.

The first pitch to Don Maass went something like this: “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon meets Pulp Fiction meets Batman.” Don gave Brent a very puzzled look, like he was really trying to follow and just had no idea where he was going. Weeks had blown it.

But the inimitable Maass knew that the people with whom he met at writing conferences were serious about treating writing as a profession. (Unlike many of the other 300 pitches that cross his desk every week.) So he told Brent to remind him that they had met at the Willamette Writers’ Conference in his next query letter. (Brent didn’t mention Don had already rejected this book.)

Nine months later, Brent was ready. He sent a second query. The blacker-than-black sky parted, and Don heard what may have been bells ringing—the sweet, tinny chime of a cash register. A mere two years later, Don sold the book to Orbit. It became a New York Times bestseller, and continues to sell well to this day. Oh, did you want to see some of this legendary correspondence? Well, I happen to know where you can get an exclusive look.

We’re celebrating Night Angel’s 10th birthday with a special edition Hardcover Omnibus, to be released in the US on September 18, and in the UK on September 20, 2018. (Because 10/10 would read it again.) If you haven’t already, pre-order a copy today!

Night Angel 10th Anniversary Hardcover Omnibus

For those of you who have been asking–for 10 years!–there will soon finally be a way for you to get Night Angel in hardcover!

On September 19, Orbit is releasing a hardcover omnibus of the entire trilogy. (Quick definition: “omnibus” means you get all 3 books together in one gorgeous package.) With a new foreword (that I really need to write!), this will include the goodies I added for the trade paper omnibus: an Annotated Glossary, Updated Map, and Deleted Scenes. Orbit is really aiming to make something beautiful with this hardcover–they’ve told me the concept for the cover art, and I think it’s going to be awesome! They’re also invested in keeping the price accessible. An entire trilogy-in-one totaling more than 1200 pages, at this quality, with extras and an amazing cover, without cutting corners, and at the price they’ve told me? Before now, I thought they liked me–this is proof!

(Before anyone asks, I won’t be doing a book tour for this one as my whole attention is devoted to finishing Lightbringer.) More details and cover image will come as soon as possible! Also, if you want to get longer and more entertaining versions of this kind of news before anyone else, please do subscribe to my (4-ish times/year) newsletter by filling out your email at the sign-up bar at the top of this webpage.

 

Just a Few Copies Left: Perfect Shadow (signed)

UPDATE: The Signed Page has sold out of all their regular signed copies, but the store has a few copies with minor damage available — for a discount!

Barnes & Noble has sold out of all their signed copies of Perfect Shadow, but over at The Signed Page, there are a few copies left! Go HERE to pick up yours.

#2 and #3 on BN.com

Number 2 on BN.com

Hold up, who’s that guy hanging with Harry Potter? Hey look everybody!

Granted, it’s a book about Harry Potter…. So maybe I’m not hanging with his Pot-ness Himself, but I’m hanging with someone who’s hung out with Harry? That could be cool!

Or it could be Dolores Umbridge. Ok. Less excited now.


Number 3 on BN.com

And still on the list the next day! Well, la di da, who do I think I am, hanging out with Harry and Hillary Clinton?

I can’t help but notice she pushed me down a spot. Excu–Secreta–I– Never mind.

Yes, I live near Portland, so yes, I can see there’s a Bernie Sanders joke nearby, but I’m not touching that with a ten-foot poll. (You didn’t think you were getting out of here without at least a pun, did you?)

Seriously, though, thank you so much for your excitement about this novella. I know the time between my novels seems long for many of you (2 years each so far, and I’m striving to keep that pace!), but I want you to know it’s a long time for me too. Seeing readers connect with these stories and be eager to dive back into these worlds (albeit briefly this time!) is really affirming. Thank you for putting my work on such a list at all. It’s a privilege to be given the opportunity to write, and a rare gift to get to do it full time. Thank you!

In case you missed it before, you can find the limited signed edition of PERFECT SHADOW HERE. Or pre-order a (non-signed) hardcover from your favorite vendor:

Amazon
IndieBound
Chapters
Waterstones

For International Customers looking for a signed edition, click HERE. Otherwise, you should be able to get the hardcover through your regular channels.

New Hardcover: PERFECT SHADOW–even signed!

The novella prequel to the Night Angel trilogy,  PERFECT SHADOW is now available for pre-order in a beautiful new hardcover edition! This novella–it’s not a full-length novel!–has previously been available as an ebook and audiobook, so this edition is meant for those of you who prefer to read a book on paper, and enjoy another gorgeous cover gracing your shelves and completing your collection. (If you prefer digital or want to check out a sample before the November 7th publication date of the hardcover, the digital versions remain available, and still for the same low prices.)

Also included will be a bonus short story (“I, Night Angel”) that’s never before been published in physical format. If you’d like to hear more about why I chose to publish this now (or, heck, at all!), fill in your email in the banner above to get my newest newsletter and hear all the gory details. (I send only about 4 notes each year.)

Design by Lauren Panepinto. Photo-Illustration by Gene Mollica (genemollica.com).

Here’s the blurb:

Discover the origins of Durzo Blint in this original novella set in the world of Brent Weeks’ New York Times bestselling Night Angel trilogy.

“I got a bit of prophecy,” the old assassin said. “Not enough to be useful, you know. Just glimpses. My wife dead, things like that to keep me up late at night. I had this vision that I was going to be killed by forty men, all at once. But now that you’re here, I see they’re all you. Durzo Blint.”

Durzo Blint? Gaelan had never even heard the name.

***
Gaelan Starfire is a farmer, happy to be a husband and a father; a careful, quiet, simple man. He’s also an immortal, peerless in the arts of war. Over the centuries, he’s worn many faces to hide his gift, but he is a man ill-fit for obscurity, and all too often he’s become a hero, his very names passing into legend: Acaelus Thorne, Yric the Black, Hrothan Steelbender, Tal Drakkan, Rebus Nimble.

But when Gaelan must take a job hunting down the world’s finest assassins for the beautiful courtesan-and-crimelord Gwinvere Kirena, what he finds may destroy everything he’s ever believed in.

(Because I’m weird, PERFECT SHADOW is set before the events of The Night Angel trilogy, but is best read afterward.)

SIGNED COPIES!

For those of you who love books defaced by the actual physical pen of the author, in the US, Barnes & Noble is doing a special print run of signed copies, and I’m delighted that Barnes & Noble is going to be offering these for no additional cost! (To you. My hand is really tired.) These will be available exclusively through BN.com–so please don’t haunt your friendly local B&N asking for copies if you miss out!  Pre-orders start today, but stock is limited. (Those will ship on publication date, November 7th.)

(Collectors outside the US:  because BN only ships domestically, this offer is exclusively for the United States, but keep your eyes here for more news soon.)

To pre-order this hardcover at your other favorite vendors, click below:

Amazon
IndieBound
Chapters
Waterstones

Ebook and Audiobooks:

US:

Kindle

Audible

iTunes

Nook

GraphicAudio

Kobo

Canada:

Kindle

Kobo

UK:

Kindle

Audio

Australia:

Kindle

Audio

“Goodreads Top 50 Fantasy Books”

Wow, check this out: I made the list of the Goodreads Top 50 Fantasy Books… twice! And it’s thanks to you!

Of course I had to dive in to the methodology, because at times my eyebrows did funny things at who wasn’t on the list. Here’s the official word: “These titles were chosen based on reader reviews, so every single book had to meet at least a 4.0 average rating from the Goodreads community. Then, for good measure, we looked at how many ratings each book has received. We also decided to select the first book in a series…”

(It’s always helpful to remember that Goodreads only went live in January of 2007, so books written before then are often scored lower–kids assigned to read a book may score it lower than their teachers would! Also, books that appeal to less tech savvy crowds who are less likely to use Goodreads will certainly have fewer reviews, and thus a lower placement on a list like this.)

BUT, caveats aside, I think this is a great place to find other great (and GREAT!) fantasy to read–and a nice place to complain that your favorites got overlooked! 😉

Go HERE to see the whole list, and to let your feelings be heard.

 

 

 

 

Incorrect Brent Weeks Quotes

There’s a great new Instagram account and Tumblr that features Incorrect Brent Weeks quotes. Check a few of these out:

Two Barnes & Noble Sales!

1000px-Barnes_and_Noble_logo
The Way of Shadows coverWeeks_Black Prism-TPTwo deals available now:

1. Buy 2 Get 1 Free: The Way of Shadows is part of a Barnes & Noble sale. “Paperbacks from your Favorite Authors”. It will run until July 25! Purchase the Way of Shadows HERE and check out other books in the deal HERE.

2.Nook books under $5: The Black Prism is available for just $2.99! Purchase HERE.