Monday, February 07, 2011

Jason Pinter Goes Digital


From The Huffington Post:

Jason Pinter Bestselling thriller writer
Posted: February 2, 2011 11:25 AM

About nine years ago, I was a college senior, struggling with what to do with my post-college life. I'd always had somewhat of an itch to be a writer, or at least try my hand at writing, but other than a few pale short stories and a navel-gazing attempt at a roman-a-clef, I hadn't written much. Then, as I imagine most fits of creativity stem from the same place, it took a combination of a spark of inspiration and boredom. I was sitting in a not-particularly inspiring class, when I had the idea for a story. A story that resonated with me.

At its heart, it would be the story of a man, not totally different from me, who was trying to figure out what to do with his life. This man, John Gillis, was older, 30, had spent his life toiling behind the same bar, doing nothing but picking soggy tips off the countertops. John would try to discover his destiny through his own mind--specifically by writing a memoir to harness his thoughts. Then came the cherry bomb...

A literary agent would discover John's manuscript. A man desperate to reinvent his once-great career. He loves John's story--but that story needed more action. Romance. Danger. So this man, Nico Vanetti, sets out to manipulate John's life without him knowing it, to artificially create that drama that would skyrocket the asking price for John's still-in-the-works memoir. The greater the drama, the greater the risks, until Nico is willing to put his career--and John's life--in jeopardy. Throw in Nico's associate, an ambitious young woman who falls for John, and it torn between her feelings for him and her devotion to her boss, and I thought I had a pretty good story. I'd interned at a literary agency in college, knew a few folks in the industry, and set out trying to learn more.

When the book was complete, I managed to land a literary agent for this novel in 2003, at the time stintingly titled THE REAL LIFE MEMOIR OF JOHN GILLIS. We went through numerous drafts, then began submitting to publishers. There were a few close calls, but nobody made an offer. One editor offered to buy it--but only if I turned it into a chick lit novel and published it under a female pseudonym. I declined. Not exactly how I imagined my literary career beginning.

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