Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hollywood, Work for Me, Baby!

Last weekend, “Sex and the City” was #1 at the box office. Interviews and online commentaries seemed to reflect surprise; the almighty powers that be were unaware a female audience existed. Are studios and producers so blinded by needing to cater to the teen boy idiocy demographic that they’ve completely forgotten other audiences exist?

According to Media by Numbers LLC, it’s women ages 20 to 55 who were the most interested in this film. There’s even talk of a sequel. On Monday morning, Atlanta radio stations made the movie their prime discussion topic.

My point? Whether I like the hardcore truth or not, Hollywood and TV affect what agents/editors want to see in terms of new books coming out.

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Charmed” thrust the paranormal genre into a whirlwind. It’s still kicking ass and taking names.

“Sideways” escalated Pinot Noir sales. “Cocktail” spurred hundreds of people to call travel agents (I was one at the time), all wanting to go to “Cocomo.” They were saddened to learn “Cocomo” didn’t exist; that movie was filmed in Port Antonio, Jamaica.

No, I don’t ‘write to the market’ only to sell a book. Note to beginning writers: never write to the market just to sell a book. Write the stories you want to write. Publishing is such a slow process, by the time you get that book ‘written for what’s hot now’ published, it won’t be hot anymore.

Back to Hollywood working for me…my first 2 manuscripts (which are neatly sitting on my shelf gathering dust) are women’s fiction, focusing on the friendship of four women and the conflicts they are going through. While they're more like ‘Steel Magnolias’ or ‘Joy Luck Club’ than ‘Sex in the City’ - the publishing world sees ‘a story about 4 friends’ and lumps it together.

Many in the publishing world have said 'Sex and the City' had come and gone. One agent specified on her blog that she didn't want any more stories with 4 female friends. Didn't matter what the plot was. ‘Sex and the City’ had come and gone, everyone said.

Based on the buzz talk and the film’s popularity, maybe the women’s fiction genre can revive a bit. It would be great if that could happen. Hollywood, work for me, baby!

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