This past Saturday I went to the Orange Book festival and listened to speaker Nancy Holder explain her career as a tie-in writer. I attended this seminar with Victoria and as we sat and listened to her I found myself absorbing a lot of what she was telling us.
Nancy Holder is an award-winning author of short stories, comic books, and other fiction stories. She is an amazing writer who has truly accomplished a lot in the industry. It was really cool to listen to how she got to where she is now and I really enjoyed hearing about all the trials and tribulations she had to go through before becoming the successful tie-in writer she is today.
Sure there are certain things I was not immediate to agree with. I guess I just don’t understand where the creativity and imagination lies for somebody who has to follow a set of guidelines. She has to create a back-story for characters that already exist. She doesn’t even get to name them! I guess everyone has his or her nitch and she is really good at what she does so this has got to be hers, but after listening to the whole seminar I know it is not mine. For instance she spoke about what specifically a tie-in writer does and what the job entails. She told us that she gets hired to write a fiction book series off of an already established television show. For example the television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Smallville, and Teen Wolf: On Fire. The books one would find in the young adult section of the library or bookstore are the types of books she writes.
Victoria asked Nancy if it was hard for her to restrict herself from elaborating too much on the characters as she writes the back-story for them. She said it is hard sometimes. Especially if she has a great story going and a great idea to math but it doesn’t coincide with what the script of the television show says then she has to stop. She then said however that it is kind of nice to have a little bit of structure while she works because then she can create, but always know what direction to keep the story moving in.
Nancy offered a lot of encouragement as well as her personal background and story. She told us to “Always write” because like those who dance or sing or play sports, they are always doing. No matter what they think, sleep and breath their passion and that goes for writers as well. As a writer myself I responded immensely with what she was saying. I can never just break out into an awesome dance, but what I can do is imagine a great little short story to write down. Everyday, no matter if I am trying to or not, I think of something to write about. I really like how Nancy said that because it made me feel like I was doing something write with my life and my passion for writing.
I know I never want to be a tie-in writer, but I hope one day I will be as successful as Nancy Holder in the writing world. Never forgetting my passion and why I’m a writer.