It’s one thing to write a novel. It’s quite another to write one that keeps readers up all night flipping pages. Nicola Kraus has managed just this… not once, but multiple times with the NYT best-selling series: The Nanny Diaries, also a major motion picture starring Scarlett Johansson. Nicola is also founder of The Finished Thought, and has a second career in ghostwriting.
We are so excited to have her share her experiences in the publishing world at our upcoming Fiction Writing Workshop (where she has also offered to review participating writers’ first 10 pages and provide feedback!), but today we wanted to give you a sneak peek into the conversation so you can get to know her a little better.
Q: How do you know when you’ve found the right agent?
A: If you are lucky enough to be choosing between agents, there are three factors to consider in descending order: First and foremost, how does their characterization of your material feel to you? Do you share a vision? And do they seem to have a clear plan for how to sell it? THEN…do you like them as a person? Is this someone you want in your foxhole? Lastly, what is their stature in the industry? Bigger is not always better.
Q: How has the marketplace changed since the publication of your first book?
A: The marketplace hasn’t changed, but the industry has changed dramatically as a consequence of corporate mergers. Fewer houses are publishing more books and the crunch is felt by the editors.
Q: What has been the greatest challenge(s) in your writing career?
A: Certainly, being in a “band” is always challenging. As Bono said, it’ll make you question democracy. But I think truly the greatest challenge is that we unwittingly found ourselves writing in a genre that we didn’t read. I think to truly succeed at something it has to be what you live and breathe. Mystery writers read mysteries. Great romance writers devour hundreds of romance titles a year. And the women’s fiction authors who thrive just adore that category down to their toes.
Q: What is it that you love so much about your second career in editing and coaching? What is your superpower?
A: Honestly, I love my clients. I love how much they care about books and writing and I deeply appreciate how hard it is, in the middle of a full-throttle life, to make time for the story that has been nagging at the corner of your brain for years.
Q: Can you share a few must-dos and don’ts for aspiring writers?
A: Be consistent. Set small, attainable goals and then follow through. And remember just because something happened to you doesn’t mean it’s inherently interesting or believable on the page. Let your imagination step in and take the story where it wants to go.
We’re very excited to continue this conversation next week. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to “be in the room” with Nicola Kraus and soak up her greatness: reserve your spot for our Fiction Writing Workshop here.