Saturday, January 30, 2010


Friends are good stuff in any case really, but my own collection are what you might quite reasonably call an embarrassment of riches. I went to dinner last night with my friend T and her husband L.

T and I grew up in the same neighborhood; she knew our dogs, my family, loved my father. I dated her brother, we were in the same schools for most of the public way along. T is a literal delight, I am always happy spending time with her, she's funny and witty and wonderfully surprising, and she seems to imagine I'm worthwhile too. She's a genuine pleasure of a person - as my mother once described another friend of mine (and I find this to be both an incisive and an extremely complimentary thing to say): she is interested, and interesting.

T and L and I were discussing the novel, progress on which is extraordinarily good lately. We got onto the topic of marketing a work like this beyond the publishing, and I explained that the agent who's asked for my chapters is of extreme interest to me not merely because she does historical fiction, but also because her firm does foreign rights. For the nature of this work, I think European sales, at the very least, are a pretty important prospect.

The topic turned to selling in other senses, and I laughed that I am by no means so prim about my work I'd scruple to sell its film rights fearing "what 'They' might do to it" - and this led, incredibly to my surprise, to a discussion starting with L, speculating who should be cast in it. He came up with Colin Farrell. T suggested Gerard Butler.


Mind you, at the end of the day, I really have no dreams of glory - or turning this into a replacement entire *career* - beyond midlist comfort; a measure of success, but nothing in excess. But with Spartacus coming out in a new series, and even Oprah not long ago touting "Pillars of the Earth" ("Y'all, there are beheadings, but I promise it's a good book!"), it's not like there isn't a level of zeitgeist in the universe I'm poking into. And my (not-exactly-a) sequel hits Constantinople, too, so there's some bleed, some wicking beyond the first installment. There's room for a lot of things to happen, because there are so many points onto which different audiences might take hold.

It's fun to wonder "what comes next" when you're confident there's at least *something* on the way. Midlist glory, or even more; I am interested.

It's also fun to eat good food, with good friends, and laugh and dream a little. To be friends with wonderful, smart people.


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