Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince?
You know it's momentous when I talk about it before I announce my own book. But I do have all the contracts sitting on my desk now--well, the publisher's needs to be printed out, but the ball's in my court, and I can talk about it, I think. Something catastrophic is going to have to happen to kill this, and--knock on wood--I don't think it will.
I've mentioned this before to a smaller group of people, but basically, an editor emailed me shortly after I first posted "Troy in Fifteen Minutes" and said, "Someone sent me a link to your journal. Would you be interested in putting together a Movies in Fifteen Minutes book?" Hand to God. Orion Books in the UK. We'd been discussing it since mid-May, waiting for the next editorial meeting to roll around so the editor could pitch the book.
A couple of weeks into this, once it started to look certain, I wrote to an agent. Basically, I found one who covered the genres I'm currently working in (Black Ribbon, my children's series, etc.) and put all my money on one horse, so to speak--I wrote only to her, and desperately needed her to get back to me within the week because the contract was looming nigh, and I told her so. That was Thursday. On Monday, I think she must have called with the letter opener still in her hand. She immediately set upon Orion and tried to rectify a few instances of natural publisher grabbiness on their part (and newbie innocence on mine). She says we got 95% of the changes we asked for, so... okay, sounds good. Once we get all this squared away--she's on vacation now until July 12--she wants me to send her what I have on Black Ribbon and the children's book, "and if they're at all good, we will sell them." (Which means that I'm working towards getting chapters 4 and 5 of Black Ribbon done by the time she gets back. See, collateral benefits.)
Movies in Fifteen Minutes, assuming that's the title we stay with, will come out in September of next year (2005), "in time for the Christmas shopping season"; the manuscript is due October 1 of this year (2004). It's going to have ten movies in it--remember the "big movies of the last 10-15 years" poll I was carrying on about? Yeah--I wanted to have some popular opinion research I could use to bolster my choices. We haven't formally decided which ten, but I can tell you that Titanic will be on it. The thing is, I'm not going to post the book's parodies online, for obvious reasons (sorry, Titanic fans--you're going to have to wait a while). The good news is, I'm going to keep writing "Fifteen Minutes" for non-book movies and post those, so those of you who were sad your movies weren't winning the poll can cheer up a bit.
Everyone involved seems interested in future "Fifteen Minutes" books--I'm particularly interested in the black-and-white classics idea I discussed with some of y'all in the comments a while back, and the fact that y'all were actually interested could go a long way towards getting it published. Truthfully, though, I'm more excited about the fact that I now have an agent who seems interested in my work--all of my work; she even knows what steampunk is!--and that there may be more published books in my future, and I can get started on doing what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
So now you know what all the cloak-and-dagger vagueness has been about. Now you know why I didn't--and still don't--want people to use the name "Movies in Fifteen Minutes," although there's not much I can do to stop anyone, and why I don't want people reposting the damn things in full (and why that caption contest plagiarism was a particularly bad idea). Now you know why I put up cleolinda.com--and yes, I will be publishing this book, and most likely future books, under the name "Cleolinda Jones," mostly because that's the name you guys know me by anyway. Honestly... I'm the kind of person who's freaked out by success and good fortune, and getting what she wished for--it's not that I don't want the attention, necessarily, it's that I don't know how to deal with it, and having a pen name makes me feel a bit more in control. So that's what's up with that.
And again, I really appreciate the support and the feedback and the good vibes y'all have been sending me. I'm working on another "Fifteen Minutes" to have up soon. :)
ETA: This is something that has concerned me for a while now. This is why I've studiously avoided clicking on all the other movie parody links y'all have been sending me, and why I haven't gone back and reread the few parodies I ever did read back in the day. Once I get mine written, I probably will go back and read some to double-check for common/duplicate jokes. (Like I said about "Troy"--"Hector smash!" all but writes itself, you know?) But I really want people to understand that I am so not trying to step on anyone's toes with this, and that I want to be as respectful of parodists who came before me as possible.