So, You Want to Write a Novel
Until recently, only David Kazzie's friends and family read his blog. That changed, along with everything else in his life, when his Xtranormal animation parody video, "So, You Want to Write a Novel" went viral on YouTube with the help of Facebook and Twitter. An attorney and writer, David is now represented by agent Ann Rittenberg, who had seen his brilliant and oh-too-accurate parody. On February 11th David was featured in a Wall Street Journal article about promotional videos.
So, David Kazzie Found An Agent
The Writer Behind the Viral Video: So, You Want to Write a NovelIf you haven't seen David Kazzie's short, animated video parody "So, You Want to Write a Novel," take a few minutes and watch it now. Go ahead, I'll wait.
If you've already seen it, chances are you've already lived it, too.
That's what helped his video go viral just after Thanksgiving.
Everyone in publishing has had a conversation with a...well, there's no way to put this diplomatically...a delusional author wannabe like the one in Kazzie's video. And, many of us have had that exact conversation, word for word, more times than we'd like to remember. Except for one line at the end. I won't spoil it for you if you haven't seen it yet.
David Kazzie, 37, married and the father of two, is a Richmond, VA administrative attorney and writer who has been working on a thriller. And, now in the wake of his video's 1.2 million hits on YouTube, he's landed an agent. His dream agent.
Q: What led you to do the video?
A: I'd been writing a humor blog every week since last June. I'd really wanted to do a post poking fun at being a lawyer, but I didn't want it to be cliche.
I found out about the animation website, Xtranormal, and started writing the dialogue for the video. One character is the lawyer and the other is the idealistic student who wants to go to law school and change the world. They'll hold the video on their server and you can leave it there, but they have an easy option to put it on YouTube.
When I put it online, I put up a post on my blog letting people know. My friends and family are the ones who read my blog. They shared it with one person and then another and then it took off. "So, You Want to Go to Law School" got 100,000 hits on the Xtranormal site and more than a million on YouTube. It was at the end of October and the video just went wild. Then, other people started making videos about other professions.
I searched, but couldn't find a video about being a novelist, so I wrote one the day before Thanksgiving in about two hours while my wife took the kids shopping.
Q: I think people will be surprised that "So, You Want to Write a Novel" wasn't created by an industry veteran.
A: I'd read so many agent blogs and editor blogs, and they write about the horror stories, and about what not to do. I picked up what I know from studying the industry. I tried to make the video as absurd as possible. I didn't realize that so many people had had these conversations and how often. I thought it was rare. I thought it would be funny if I rolled them all into one person, one clueless, delusional character. I never imagined that people had had this exact conversation with one person. And then I found out...ha! It looks like I've touched a nerve!
Q. Absolutely. We've all had that conversation. All of those absurd things in one person, in one conversation. And we've had that conversation with one person after another. How did your video lead to you getting an agent?
A: When the video started going viral between Thanksgiving and the end of November I checked to see on Facebook where it had been shared. It was being shared about 1,00 times an hour. I saw that Ann Rittenberg's agency's page had posted it. That was the first time I'd seen it posted on an agency page. I posted a comment saying thanks. Ann sent me a message on Facebook and we began emailing. One thing led to another. Ann represents Dennis Lehane who wrote Mystic River, which is one of my favorite books.
Q: Will she be pitching the novel you've been working on or a humor book?
A: We're going to figure out the best way to move forward. The plan is for her to represent me as my career goes forward. Her interest isn't in just one project, but long-term. I was amazed. She made the offer to represent me on Thursday, January 27th. Other agents had expressed interest, so I got in touch with them over the weekend and decided that Ann was the way to go. It was three days of jumping up and down, and then on Monday, January 31st, I made it official. Not having an agent had been my routine. It was hard, but I had been used to it. I'm much happier to be on this side.
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As a journalist, columnist, essayist, and media critic, Nina L. Diamond's work has appeared in many publications, including Omni magazine, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, and The Miami Herald.
She was a regular contributor to a number of "late, great" national, regional, and newspaper Sunday magazines, including Omni; the award-winning South Florida magazine; and Sunshine, the Ft. Lauderdale (now South Florida) Sun-Sentinel's Sunday magazine.
She covers the arts and sciences; the media, publishing, and current affairs; and writes feature articles, interviews, commentary, humor/satire/parody, essays, and reviews.
Ms. Diamond is also the author of Voices of Truth: Conversations with Scientists, Thinkers & Healers (Lotus Press) and the unfortunately titled Purify Your Body (Three Rivers Press/Crown/Random House) , a book of natural health reporting which has been a selection of The Book-of-the-Month Club's One Spirit Book Club and the Quality Paperback Book Club.
For its entire run from 1984-1998, she was a writer and performer on Pandemonium, the National Public Radio (NPR) satirical humor program, which aired on WLRN-FM in Miami.
She has appeared on Oprah, discussing the publishing industry, but, in a case of very bad timing, that appearance was two years before her first book was published.
She has written her Much Ado About Publishing column for Independent Publisher since 2003.
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