Nathan Bransford, Author


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NYC!

It's always great to be back in the city that supposedly never sleeps, although by the end of every day I'm so exhausted I never seem to have any problem falling asleep. It's kind of amazing to visit the city in regular intervals and see what changes and what stays the same.

New: tall shiny buildings that weren't there before!
Old: Katz's, now under the shadow of a tall shiny building!

So far on this trip it's also been interesting to meet with editors on both the children's and adult side. On the adult side: people are feeling a little beaten down, they're not going to lie. But on the children's side they're riding high and feeling like they made it through the worst of the recession in really good shape. Maybe more importantly, they feel like the lower price points and more varied product on the children's side is a more sustainable model for the future.

It's also fun to play the "[blank] is the new vampire" game, although several people I've talked to feel like vampire is still the new vampire.






95 comments:

Wordy Birdie said...

In the last month I've heard that blank = zombies, steampunk, angels, strong MG contemporary girls, apocalypse, and yes, vampires.

I'm going back to my strong MG gal, in the hopes that when she shortly finishes cooking there'll be a place for her at the table.

SFixe said...

Hi Nathan, can you let us in on some of the suggestions that were mentioned in your 'blank' is the new vampire game?
Curious to know what people in the industry think is the next big wave in novels.

Kristi Faith said...

GRRR on vampires. (Sorry-not that you don't write well, it's just not my thing.) GRRRR on apocalypse. Glad to hear children's books are doing well. That's encouraging.

Wordy Birdie said...

By the way, one of my clients just got a REALLY big deal for her first book: a vampire novel (+ books 2 & 3), after a little bidding war.

Jo said...

I recently blogged about writing a manuscript and then finding out that it fit into a sub-genre (in this case YA Dystopia) that was either already way over or the next big thing. It's hard enough to write without having to worry if you're ahead of the game or hopelessly behind the times!
So, I'm assuming you're in NYC wearing your 'writer hat' rather than your 'super agent tights'? Must be fun!

Anonymous said...

In these times we need all the blood-sucking, hanging-onto-life mythic heroes we can muster!

"Rage, rage against the dying of the light." -Dylan Thomas

Whitney said...

I knew the industry wasn't hurting as much as everyone keeps dreading. Especially when my boss opened a new store two months ago and is going to Hawaii for a week (when she opened her first bookstore two years ago).

Hm. Glad my Apocalypse book is at the halfway mark. Not so happy it's adult.

P. Grier said...

One of the rules in my class is... "No one dies." Tongue in cheek though it might be, I really do get tired of all the vampire and zombie stories that the kids want to write. (Of course, those creatures are allowed, because no one dies, they are all undead. The rule came about from so many kids wanting to write about people being blown to bits with parts scattered about.)

On the other hand, another of my rules in the class is, "Go beyond the obvious." So when I get vampire stories, they have to have some unusual twist to them that can only come from the mind of a middle schooler.

Here is to the notion that "good writing" is the new vampire.

Reesha said...

Just as long as they don't start making vampire children's books. Just please.....don't go there.

Reesha said...

P. Grier, I love that comment! Good writing is the new vampire.

Ok, I'm totally going to work into my conversations "That's the new vampire." as much as I can today. You're right, Nathan. This is a fun game.

T. Anne said...

Have fun in the big apple.

Ink said...

Well, you know, vampires are eternal. Garlic anyone?

And on the recession front, my local library says membership is on a huge upswing even as friendly local bookstores are closing. I wonder how much that will reverse if the economy picks up?

Robin Miura said...

At the risk of irritating some colleagues, I'll go out on a limb and say that those of us who work with the adult side will not begin to feel better until we begin to embrace the coming lower price points and more varied product (both in format and content).

Love your comment, P. Grier. Here's hoping that good writing is indeed the new vampire.

Robin Miura said...

argh... I used "begin to" twice in the same sentence. See, even editors need editors.

CKHB said...

Mmmm, Katz's...

Anita Saxena said...

Have fun in NYC!

Ash. Elizabeth said...

Have fun in NYC and don't call the cops on yourself. (if you look at my new blog post you can hear an audio of a woman calling 911 to report that she was drunk driving. its pretty funny)

Bane of Anubis said...

Pumpkins are the new vampires... believe you me.

Margaret Yang said...

"Good writing is the new vampire." P. Grier wins the interwebs for the day!

Annette Lyon said...

From what I see, anything post-apocalyptic is the new vampires, whether it's zombies or Pretties or The Maze Runner or whatever.

I just wish that whatever *I* write would be the new vampires. :D

onefinemess said...

I'm going to go with were-cephalopod is the new vampire.

Just because I hope to get that book published some day :p.

Amber said...

Cheers, Annette! I agree with your nomination. I wonder what Nathan thinks? Probably that Jacob Wonderbar will be the new vampire. *winkwink*

Have a blast in NYC! I only live a few hours from the place, and a pox on me, I've still never been. It's on my to-do list. :-) Don't work so hard you forget to enjoy the magic of the Big Apple. :-)

AM said...

Nathan,

Does this trend indicate that more children are reading? If so, wouldn't that be good news for adult book sales in the end?

Is there any consensus among the people-in-the-know regarding what the long-term trends might be?

I hope you have a great trip.

J.J. Bennett said...

I have a teen who loves vampires but she's ready for something new. The students at my Middle School want and need adventures of all kinds. We just need to give them more...(Hopefully mine will be the "it" thing... but I'd take something new any day)

~Jamie said...

Nathan! How dare you tell us you played Blank is the new Vampire with publishing types and didn't tell us how they filled in the blank! :)

J.J. Bennett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
elancross said...

Thank you, Robin Miura, for saying, "See, even editors need editors."
This helps to break down my image of all-knowing Editor sitting on High Throne laughing at poor pea-brained Writer, and Writer's sub-par manuscript. Thank you.

J.J. Bennett said...

~Jamie

I love it! At the workshop the buzz was mermaids... It might have changed from then however. Who knows?

JenniferWalkup said...

Yay for children's books doing well! And yum on Katz's.:)

Matilda McCloud said...

onefinemess--

I hope cephalopods become the new vampire. Actually one cephalopod species--the vampire squid--is more much interesting than those tedious blood-sucking undeads...

Rick Daley said...

Ink...I'll take a few cloves of garlic, roasted if available.

Great news that Children's publishing is performing well, that's the pool I'm sticking my toe in right now.

Nathan, grab a slice of pizza for me.

WORD VERIFICATION: burlaxdo. A tuxedo made of burlap.

Rhonda said...

Is anyone mentioning physicists as the next vampires? That would be my vote. I see characters like Daniel Faraday from Lost being the next cool weirdos. (Which is basically what vampires are right? Cool weirdos?)

J.J. Bennett said...

Rick Daley,

That can't be comfortable in anyway...

Anonymous said...

Vampires, schmapires.

What I want to know is what is the next South Asian literary fiction?

Vacuum Queen said...

Well, if my personal purchases are any indication of the market...I haven't stopped buying books for my kids, and yet I have checked out more from the library for myself lately.

I've been buying from indies, big bad chains, and book orders as well for the kids. For myself, the occasional indie purchase, more likely a Target purchase or Costco, and then mainly the library. Just seems like we put the kids in front of us.

Even for Christmas, my husband and I agreed to skip our gifts and just buy for the kids. So it works for purchases in general as well.

Makes me want to keep on keeping on with my MG WIP.

Steve Fuller said...

I'm writing a book about a vampire who bites a zombie.

Zompires are the future.

abc said...

Rhonda, I vote for Physicists, too. Love Daniel Faraday!

Robin Miura said...

No problem, Elan. Glad to be of assistance. :)

Kate said...

Very cool article in Texas Monthly (yes, Texas Monthly) on 'The Zombification of Cormac McCarthy'...

Anonymous said...

New York City is one of my favorite places in the entire world. I absolutely love it!! If you're near Broadway, this is a really fun place to eat: Ellen's Stardust Diner. The wait staff sing and dance, even jump up and dance on the narrow dividers between tables, and they are extremely talented! Many waiters who worked there in the past have gone on to make it in Hollywood and on Broadway, and the diner has lots of posters of their shows hanging on the walls. It’s a real treat eating there – a very happy, energetic, upbeat atmosphere. Have fun in New York City!

Marilyn Peake said...

New York City is one of my favorite places in the entire world. I absolutely love it!! If you're near Broadway, this is a really fun place to eat: Ellen's Stardust Diner. The wait staff sing and dance, even jump up and dance on the narrow dividers between tables, and they are extremely talented! Many waiters who worked there in the past have gone on to make it in Hollywood and on Broadway, and the diner has lots of posters of their shows hanging on the walls. It’s a real treat eating there – a very happy, energetic, upbeat atmosphere. Have fun in New York City!

Marilyn Peake said...

I guess I'm rushing too much to post correctly. :) First, I somehow posted as "Anonymous", even though I typed in my name and website link. Then I managed to enter my name and website link OK, but forgot to make Ellen's Stardust Diner a hyperlink. Oh well, I'm on my way out to vote and see WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE for the second time. Have fun in New York City!

Linda Godfrey said...

As far as monster cephalopods go, Cthulhu has never been cooler. You can even buy plush Cthulhus in little Hawaiian shirts.

I think vampires, like pizza delivery guys, will always be with us. It's the next rip-snorting good story that will begin the next trend. I'm partial to werewolves, myself.

Susan Quinn said...

Hooray for optimism in the children's market! Children being the original optimists, it only seems fitting. And the fact that parents value books for their children, even in a recession - heartwarming.

My prediction: Until someone comes up with a creature that is both devastatingly sexy and deadly dangerous, vampires will be the IT creature for a long time to come.

Although I would vote for physicists. Big Bang Theory, anyone? Their brains are sexy but they're only a danger to themselves.

:)

Becca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ryan field said...

Hope you got tickets to at least one Yankees WS game. It's gonna be fun.

Thermocline said...

"More varied product on the children's side" gives me hope.

Contemporary MG stories may not be the next vampire, but maybe I'll find an agent who is looking to rep a little black leech.

Lisa Schroeder said...

With the hot new series Vampire Diaries and the Twilight movies going strong for the next 3-5 years, no way are vampires going to just lie down and die. :)

Genella deGrey said...

I miss Manhattan! It has been about 5 years since I've visited. This California girl thinks Katz makes the BEST Knish - however, I like catsup on mine.

:D
G.

Becca said...

It's weird that people are talking about what the new vampire will be as though vampires are something new. People have been writing about vampires for years and will be writing about them for years to come. Maybe the new vampire will be young women from the 1700's and Jane Austen will be all the rage. Really, there's no way for us to know.

Scott said...

Nathan, you should check out The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Harlem. I find it very inspirational, and have no spiritual interest in any kind of organized religion whatsoever. Just a thought. Has to be more exciting than discussing the dulling of adult fiction.

Heh, adullt fiction.

Malanie Wolfe said...

Does this mean more adults are reading YA and Children books? I think every one of my friends have read Twilight and Harry Potter but none of them have read The Lost Symbol. Maybe we want more fantasy?

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

I want to be in on that new vampire thing too. I'm going with the strong contemporary girls.

Marianne said...

Glad I'm a children's book writer. :)

doctorquery said...

I am the new vampire.

Doctor Query

Chuck H. said...

I think the new vampire should be werehumans. Ravenous wolves turn into ordinary people during the time of no moon, eat mac and cheese with weiners, drink a few Bud lights and break up a bar or two, then slink off into the forest in the morning with a bad hangover.

Word Ver: sless - than what?

Ink said...

Chuck,

You should totally roll with that.

Anonymous said...

Vampires have been the new vampires since Dracula was published. We need to find the new non-vampire vampire. I'm partial to evil fat men.

Nett Robbens said...

Hi Nathan,

Welcome! There's plenty to do on the east coast, and since it's Yankees vs Phillies, there's big excitement. Enjoy.

Rick Daley said...

JJ-

Nor could it be visually appealing. Don't blame me, though. I just call 'em as I see 'em.

WORD VERIFICATION: dazess. A female with the propensity to dazz (slang for dazzle, which is not to be confused with -izzle, the famed Snoop Dog suffix).

Kathy Maughan said...

Welcome to New York! You even caught us on a good-weather week...miracle!

Ellen's Stardust is fun but the food is not so good. Niko's on 76th and Broadway (Greek food), on the other hand....

Laura Martone said...

Have fun in the Big Apple, Nathan! It's been years since I've traveled there... bet it's changed a lot.

Laura Martone said...

Yep. P. Grier nailed it. Good writing should always be the new "whatever"!

And as for you, Bane, pumpkins? Really?

What about pumpkin pie - or other forms of squash? Those are in my novel! Do those count?

Anonymous said...

Katz's is the BEST!! I could wax poetic all day about their pastrami and cole slaw.

Rachel Hamm said...

Vampire is definitely still the new vampire. On my online writing workshop, I've read at least 4 novels with vampires as the main characters...

Rhonda said...

Don't ruin my fantasy Susan. There are any number of ways a physicist with some time traveling know-how could be dangerous. ;)

On children's books riding it out, I'm not surprised. Kids like to OWN things. They also like to read the same things over and over, and they don't like to get rid of things, which probably leads to there being less used book choices out there. Those qualities make for good children's book consumers.

Mira said...

I cast my vote for P.Grier, too! Well said, bravo!

So, Nathan, you can't go away again! I'm in withdrawal, it's just terrible. I had to go ALL DAY yesteray without a new post from Nathan. ALL DAY.

Thank god you finally posted. The world as I know it is turning on it's axis, and all is right with the world.

You may think I'm joking.

Let's pretend I am.

So, despite my terrible pain and suffering, if you're going to go away, I do hope you're having a great time of it. Hope it's not all meetings, but some fun too. New York isn't the City, but I've heard it has a few things to look at.

But even if you have fun there, and develop some useful relationships and get in touch with some tidbits of trends and some such, do hurry back.

Terry said...

Have fun in NYC! And do come back and tell us the latest. Inquiring minds and all of that. Looking forward to it.

Anonymous said...

If the weather is even halfway decent check out the new High Line Park and admire the building that Frank Gehry designed for Barry Diller.

Susan Quinn said...

Rhonda,

Fantasy physicists can certainly bring a world of hurt: time travel, black holes, monkeying with the elementary particles of the universe.

So, I take it back.

More Faradays and less Sheldons!

We need some dashing hero(in)es to make the search for Higgs Boson and strangelets sexy, a well as dangerous!

:)

Anonymous said...

REESHA:
Re Children's Vampire books
See Bunnicula, a vampire bunny for the under 5 set

NATHAN: Enjoy NYC, though I always feel a little gypped when I go to New York and don't find a body like all the other tourist on Law and Order...

Jackie Brown said...

While you're in NYC, come over to Hell's Kitchen (Ninth Avenue betweeen 42and and 55th Streets hosts every cuisine under the sun--and then some).

Latest NYC trend is the wine bar (second only to the Asian sandwich craze), of which there are several in the HK neighborhood: Xai Xai is a South African wine bar on 51st right off Ninth Avenue. Explore the neighborhood, you'll be glad you did.

Day or night, Hibernia Pub, on 50th Street off Ninth, reigns. Nice mix of regulars, new tourists, and returnees. Good drink, good food, good adult conversation, good crac. No one's a stranger. Tell Sean, Mark, or Aidan I sent you.

Have fun.

thoughtful1 said...

I prefer the sunset district to broadway, the fog to the rainy days, and fog horns to the honking horns, any day.

Jeannie said...

@ P. Grier

We had that rule in my classroom too. What IS it with 7th grade?

RLS said...

Nathan,
Welcome to my hood. If you need any shopping suggestions, I'm your go to lurker.

AstonWest said...

Space pirates are the new vampires...

Just sayin'...
:-)

Marilyn Peake said...

Well, I did my part to help adult literature the past couple of days. I promised myself I wouldn’t buy any more books until I made it further through my To Be Read piles OR some really, really, really intriguing books came out. Wellllllll ... I received an email yesterday, notifying me that my favorite author, BARBARA KINGSOLVER, has a brand new novel, LACUNA - her first novel in nine years!! that can be pre-ordered. No way! Way! OK, I pre-ordered it. Discovered while pre-ordering it that Michael Crichton’s posthumously published novel, PIRATE LATITUDES, being developed as a film by Steven Spielberg, can also be pre-ordered. No way! Way! OK, I pre-ordered both books for a special $10 each pre-order price. Ummmm, I then noticed HER FEARFUL SYMMETRY by Audrey Niffenegger which I put off buying earlier. Bought it. Phew, stopped purchasing. Then today stopped in a bookstore to buy a mocha latte and some greeting cards, saw A MERCY by Toni Morrison ... Bought it. I now have a lot of reading to do!!

wendy said...

Sounds like you're having a stimulating time in those shiny new buildings. Photos..?

I laughed when I read that vampires are still hot.

Not. Over. Here.

In Australia the few publishing houses - and agents - mostly won't even look at fantasy stories. The focus is on mainstream fiction, literary fiction, women's fiction and crime fiction.

Marilyn Peake said...

Oooops, Barbara Kingsolver’s new novel is titled THE LACUNA, not LACUNA.

Tiana said...

Blank is the new vampire, eh?

Half my manuscript is blank--where's my check?

(I'M SORRY...I have to get all my bad writing out somewhere so it doesn't find its way *into* my manuscript)

Ben-M said...

With teeth like theeth, the only thing I forethee thurpathing Vampireth ith good dental care.

Christina Davis said...

Nathan,

Should I move my three children's books from the back burner to the front burner?

Paul Neuhardt said...

I'm hoping that "middle-aged techno-geek" is the new vampire as that phrase describes both me and the central figure of my WIP.

ann foxlee said...

I'm hoping Japanese historical fantasy fiction is the new vampire... ;-)
Seriously though, since I am writing YA, it is great to hear that the children's list folks are riding high!
Thanks for the dose of good news, Nathan!!

ann foxlee said...

Marilyn Peake:
Ha! I sooo can relate to your book-buying spree! Seems like I always get busy, don't make it to a bookstore for ages, then finally get to one and end up going home with 5-10 books.
I always feel like a binge drinker carting home a case of vodka... I usually even stay up all night reading after one of my trips to the bookstore.
Geez... now that I write that out, maybe I DO need help ;-P
It doesn't help matters that I live in Portland and work blocks away from Powell's City of Books.

Word Ver.: vorthless... as in, publishers think any book vithout a vampire is vorthless...

Portuguese cunt said...

They're right. Vampire is still the new vampire. Although I hear fallen angels are the next big thing.

Carol Pellegrino said...

NYC Great place if you're a literary agent. Went there once and my special memories are all about the cat size rats, running around all over the place after dark. You have the best blog for keeping up with what's going on in publishing, but your enthusiasm for NYC is overwhelming to a county girl like me.

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

I for one has never bitten the vampire bug. I find it a pain in the neck when people go on about the virtues of these vampire tales.

Don't get it.

Susan Quinn said...

Carol,
During my first and only trip to NYC I was nearly killed by a cat sized rat.

I am not joking.

My first 30 seconds in NYC entailed stepping out the door of the airport, startling at an enormous white furred creature scuttling across the street, tripping off the curb, falling into the street and nearly being mowed down by a taxicab.

The rest of the trip couldn't help being flavored by that, but was in fact fun.

I haven't been back.

:)

Matthew R. Loney said...

P. Grier: Well said.

I was getting my jacket and tie ready to attend the funeral of the Imagination.

For an industry where creativity is supposed to reign supreme, I wonder why so many people are championing recycled concepts.

Nona said...

This guy needs an agent . . .

http://news.aol.com/article/obamas-half-brother-mark-ndesandjo/751417

Malia Sutton said...

I'll be at Magnolia Bakery around noon today...lol

Marilyn Peake said...

Nona –

He’s already landed a publishing deal with Simon & Schuster, reportedly a six-figure deal, and the book comes out in 2010. :)

Marilyn Peake said...

Nona -

Oooops, I'm wrong. His book will be published through the self-publishing company, Aventine Press. It was George Obama, another half-brother of Obama, who got the six-figure book deal with Simon and Schuster.

DormRoomDreamer said...

You know I have a feeling the vampire trend is still in for awhile at least. Many writers and readers I come into contact with mostly enjoy vampires, at least the ones who actually like fantasy or paranormal stories. There may be debate about the way they should be portrayed, but most can't get enough of those stories.

I'm 18 and some of my friends who rarely EVER picked up books seem to find the whole vampire thing well mesmerizing I suppose. If it's about vampires they'll read it. My friend won't read my manuscript since it doesn't have vampires...go figure?

Related Posts with Thumbnails