“Mark and I have a mutual trust and respect, and we do our own jobs,” claims author Carol Plum-Ucci of her relationship with her agent Mark Ryan of New Brand Agency. “Despite that we’re working on the same deals—mine—I play my own base and don’t step on his toes. It’s important that we both develop relationships with editors, but I just ‘don’t go there’ if the editor starts talking money or contractual things. I politely refer them to Mark, and if they start talking to him about editorial content, he does likewise. He doesn’t speak for my artistic insight, and I don’t cut deals.”
Plum-Ucci, the author of The Body of Christopher Creed, has definitely been keeping up on her end of the bargain. Her fourth novel, the first three unpublished, digs at how a successful community and its privileged children might handle a disturbing disappearance—one without a trace of violence. The novel takes place on the Internet with the protagonist ambitiously trying to track down Christopher Creed. Equally ambitious, Plum-Ucci leads the reader through the inner workings of a rich suburb. The response to her efforts has been flattering.
The Body of Christopher Creed was named a Michael L. Printz Honor Book by the American Library Association. In addition, the novel has a five-year deal with Recorded Books for the audio rights and has been optioned by DreamWorks. All of this success should make a writer rightfully dreamy.
“The whole thing has been a gas,” reflects Plum-Ucci, “but hasn’t really affected me much beyond the grins. For one thing, I won’t see the money for a few more months. For another thing, I’m not nearly where I want to be skill-wise.”
Skills or not, here Plum-Ucci relates some of the misconceptions a newly published writer can harbor, as well as how she created such a successful debut novel.
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