Lucienne Diver: How I Do It All and Still Manage To Sleep
Lucienne Diver is the author of Vamped, which Wondrous Reads called, “Mean Girls with fangs,” a May 2009 trade paperback release from Flux. She’s also a sixteen year veteran of the publishing business, representing over forty authors of fantasy, science fiction, mystery, suspense and romance. She’s a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR), RWA, MWA and SFWA. Further information can be found on The Knight Agency website www.knightagency.net, her blog http://varkat.livejournal.com and her author page www.luciennediver.com.
How I do it all and still manage to sleep
I get the question all the time: “When do you relax?” I’ve heard this word, relax. I’m still trying to work out its relevance to my daily life. I’m an agent and author, wife and mother…in an ever-rotating order determined by the time and day of the week. Relaxation, well, that’s just time I’m not using to its fullest potential.
So when I hear authors say, “I need to develop a schedule” or “I need more hours in my day,” my answer to that is a resounding AMEN! Yes, the mighty schedule is all important. A schedule is sacred. And I don’t just say that because I’m a textbook type A personality with time urgency issues. They tell you in school that studying in the same time and place every day helps put your brain in the mindset to work and retain information. The same applies to writing. Personally, I’m up before the rest of my household every morning to write for an hour or so before my inner editor awakes and gets in the way of channeling my characters and story. I can plot and revise in the evenings when my logical, perfectionist self needs to be along for the ride, but I write in the mornings. Every morning. Same time (5:30 a.m., yeesh!), same place. I free hand. Unfortunately, my muse never took to typing. Until THE GIRL, THE GOLD WATCH AND EVERYTHING becomes reality (famous novel by John D. MacDonald – boy did I want that watch as a kid!), I can’t help you with the extra hours. I carve them out of sleep.
Once I’ve written until the pen stops, I go back to sleep for an hour or so. When I wake, I hug my son, greet my husband, shower, the whole nine yards. By the end of a hot shower and copious amounts of caffeine, my agent self has awoken. She has a schedule too. A list of things that need to be done and an idea of when each of these things will be slotted into a busy day. I have an agent of my own to handle the business side of my writing because during office hours, I’m focused on my own clients. Also, as an agent with sixteen years in the business, I’m confident in what I do; as an author with my first novel , VAMPED, out under my own name just this month, I’m…um, well…neurotic.
I’d be absolutely inclined to jump on anyone offering for my work and ask them if we can sign on the dotted line before they come to their senses. I wouldn’t be at all the woman of steel I need to be as an agent. I wouldn’t be a tough negotiator. For that I need someone much less emotionally invested in my work with wonderful acumen. Now, “less emotionally invested” doesn’t mean she doesn’t care, just that she can look at things a bit more dispassionately than I can regarding my own work. Also, my agent is a great editor and I know I’ve become a better writer for working with her.
Is it weird to have another agent agent me? Not as weird as you’d think. For one, I’ve known my agent for years and knew what I was doing going to her. She’s tough, someone I respect with a good work ethic. We have similar taste, but different approaches on some things, which is good, because it means that we can come at things from different angles and perhaps achieve more together than I could on my own or with someone just like me. In fact, all of this is probably a pretty good summation of what authors get generally (or should get anyway) out of the agent/author relationship. It’s a mutually beneficial partnership, where both sides bring different but vitally important skills to the table.
Check out Lucienne’s blog for a contest closing on May 22nd for a bag of swag featuring her novel, Vamped. Also, join Shooting Stars Magazine all month long [Link: http://shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com/2009/05/party-vampire-contest-with-lucienne.html] to test your Vampire IQ and win signed books by Rachel Caine, Lucienne Diver, Rosemary Clement-Moore and other goodies.
Joyce, it was great to meet you, though briefly. I had a very good time at the Pennwriters Conference. It’s such a wonderful group of people, and that always makes all the difference!
It was nice seeing you at the Pennwriters Conference, although we only got to talk for about ten seconds. I wanted to make it to the agent panel on Saturday, but I ended up helping in the bookstore instead. I hope you enjoyed the conference!
Voices are okay as long as you don’t start answering them out loud.
Queenofmean, love the handle and thanks for the good wishes! My husband sometimes calls me Monk, but I’m not quite that bad, I swear!
Dara and Terry, thanks so much! Terry, I don’t know, I think I’d be a little lonely in my head all by myself, nothing but lists of all the things I have to do scrolling through. Hmm, makes me wonder if the voices started as a defense against work-aholism. (Chewing on that thought.)
Hi, Lucienne –
Wow. You sound like you are a very organized person. I always seem to be organizing everyone else’s life, but fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to my stuff.
Good luck with your book!
I enjoyed your talk at our CFRW chapter meeting a couple of months back. Congrats on your success. Those voices in the head can be real pests, can’t they.
Congratulations on the great reviews you’re getting for Vamped! I can’t imagine holding down a full time job as well as writing and taking care of a family. Sounds smart to have an agent and I would imagine it’s better for your clients and for your creative self.
D. Swords, thanks so much! I’ve been a vampire fanatic since I was a kid. I used to stay up way past the time my parents went to bed and could monitor my viewing to watch the late, late movies. You know, all the Christopher Lee vampire films, schlocky horror like Godzilla and Locusts Eat Manhattan. So writing about the fanged and fabulous just came natural to me. I didn’t actually set out to write a vampire novel at all. Vamped started with the heroine, a teen fashionista, talking in my head. The only way to get her out was to give her a story. Then she wanted a novel, now a series….
Good morning, Lucienne.
We have recently seen a rise in the popularity of vampire books and movies. You have apparently been able to tap into that at the “ground floor” level. What I was wondering is if you were able to see that coming, or did you just happen to “luck into” the whole vampire thing.
Either way, congratulations on your book and I hope it does extremely well.