Sunday, August 9, 2009

Steven Malk, Krista Marino, Frank Portman - From Idea To Book: The Writer-Agent-Editor Team

Steven Malk discovered Frank Portman (a musician) at a Mr. T Experience show and thought his music would translate well into young adult literature.

Frank Portman performs his song Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend. (If you're not hear to experience it...find it on iTunes!)

Malk invited several editors to see one of Portman’s shows and Marino went. As an editor building her own list, she saw the potential.

Over lunch, Marino asked Portman if there were any songs he could turn into a story. Portman took that as an assignment and his first book came out of his song, King Dork.

Portman performs his song King Dork. (again...find it on iTunes!)

Portman sat down and wrote thirty pages…all voice and attitude. From that, the book was sold to Random House.

Malk says those fist thirty pages were so amazing, with a voice that you’ve never heard before: such a strong voice, such great humor.

Every word counts in a song, the same as with a picture book. And Frank has a mastery of language.

Important take-aways:
-you need to take from everywhere in your life for a story idea
-read a ton of YA, the classics and the new stuff
-your publisher wants to sell your books but they can’t do it without your help
-blogging is important, it’s a way to reach out to readers
-use all of your connections…networking is so, so important
-expect the book writing and revising process to be a collaboration
-find an editor who gets your project

Frank Portman's second book ANDROMEDIA KLEIN is out later this month.

1 comment:

  1. Love the story behind KING DORK. Thanks for sharing all these gems with us Team Blog!