In this time of renewed calls for Equal Pay, acknowledgement of sexual harassment and prejudice by well-known public figures, and the gathering of millions at the Women’s March, I have decided to reach out to some powerful women in various industries and ask them Five Questions. These questions will vary based on what each women does for a living, with the goal of inspiring you to tap into what makes you truly successful. My first Five Questions is with Literary Agent Cherry Weiner, who lives here in Georgia.
There is a perception that the heart of the publishing industry is in New York. Is that true, and what are the advantages of having your business in Georgia?
It used to be that you were better off if you worked closer to NY to go in and see the publisher, head whoever, editors and any one of the other many people that work in the publishing world. That would somehow, somewhere along the line have something to do with getting an author’s book published. With the advent of the Internet and the more it was used, that became unnecessary. Skype and FaceTime are also being used when a face-to-face is recommended.
What is your morning routine, meaning what has to happen for your day to be successful?
I get up, do whatever in the morning before work hours, and then come to the computer somewhere between 9 and 9:30 a.m. Do all my emails, and any other office work pending, and if I am caught up with that (happens maybe one day a week) I will sit at my desk and start to read a manuscript until I am interrupted by more emails, phone calls or the mail arriving. This is my day every day of the work week. Weekends I read manuscripts. A good day is when I leave my office and I can actually see my desk calendar and some of the surrounding area.
If you ran a Book Club, what are the Top 5 books that would be on your reading list?
I really can’t say. When I read a book that is not from one of my authors, I am reading it not only for pleasure but also research. How did the author do this? Why this way? What prompted the editor to buy this book? When I read my authors’ manuscripts, I am reading for work. All my authors’ works are my favorites, otherwise I would not be handling them.
If you ask me what genres are my favorite: Science Fiction, Dark Fantasy, Some Horror Mystery and strangely enough because I do so well with this field even though it is a closed market, Westerns.
Are there any obstacles for women you have found in the publishing industry, either as a representative or writer?
Absolutely not. There are more women editors, heads of publishing houses and agents that I know of. Writers, I have a 50/ 50 list. Years and years and years ago, when I first started it was the same with editors and agents. Writers of certain fields had it tough, Westerns and Science Fiction to name two, but they overcame this by writing under pseudonyms. When they “came out” that gave the other women writers the courage to do the same. Of course there was no social media like today so writers could hide.
What is one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring writer?
Research. Research. Research. I don’t care what the genre is, you need to do research. And put yourself out there. Join writer groups, go to workshops and conferences. Network. The more you do, the more you will meet others of your kind who will give you a helping hand and who – down the line – you can help.
Some of Ms. Weiner’s authors:
Gini Koch: Alien books starting with Touched by An Alien, Alien Tango, and Alien in the Family. There are a total of 14 books in this Science Fiction series. Book #15, titled Alien Education, will be published next month. Print and eBook from Daw.
Larry D Sweazy: See Also Murder, See Also Deception, A Thousand Falling Crows, and Where I Can See You. His Westerns, mystery, suspense, and thriller pieces are available in print and eBook from Berkley and Seventh Street.
John D. Nesbitt: Destiny at Dry Camp, Good Water, Dark Prairie, plus many others. All these Westerns are available in print and eBook from Five Star.
Weston Ochse: Grunt Life, Grunt Traitor, and coming later this year Grunt Hero. The horror series available in print and eBook.