Interview with Peter Rubie and Fine Print Literary Management

RUBIE-FP-MASTERED- The Eerie Digest Magazine is proud to introduce Peter Rubie and Fine Print Literary Management to our readers.

ED- Peter, tell us about your Firm and how it started.

PR- FinePrint grew out of the merger of two agencies, Imprint, and the Peter Rubie Agency.  My business partner and FP President Stephany Evans and I had been friends for a while and had discussed for a number of years the possibility of merging.  It just seemed like, in 2007, that it was the right moment to do so.  And it was the best move either of us has made for a long time.  Certainly, it is a lot more than 1+1 = 2.   We now have 10 agents, a full time book to TV/Film guy in Brendan Deneen (who’s brilliant!) and a full time subrights director in Jacqueline Murphy (who is equally remarkable.)  We have also started a small film production company and have plans in the works to expand our ability to service merchandising and speaking rights for our authors.

RUBIE Jack Wilkins-left-Peter Rubie-right playing jazzED- What is the type of work Fine Print represents and who are some of your writers?

PR- We have very catholic taste here, and cover most things between the agents.  Check out the web site (www.fineprintlit.com) to see what each individual agent would like to see.  We don’t do unsolicited screenplays, theatrical plays, or poetry but other than that it changes as the agents come across material they just can’t live without.  Laura Wood, for example, a new agent with us, is focusing on serious nonfiction by experts who can really write.  We represent Emily Giffen’s early novels, Patrick Carman, Andrew Grant, Patrick Lee, Rowan Jacobsen, Paul Catanese, Aimee and David Thurlo, and many more.  I don’t want to aggravate anyone by not mentioning them here, because all the authors we handle are special to us and there are a couple of hundred of them now.  We’re not easy to convince, but when we sign up a writer we’re ready to go all out.

ED- What inspires you in your work?

PR- The joy of finding a great new writer with a great new idea or project.  It’s like panning for gold, and really gets my juices running when it happens.

ED- We cater to our reader’s interests in mysteries and tales of “things that go bump in the night”. What is the future of these genres?

PR- I think these genres are going to be fine.  Of course, as the industry waxes and wanes, so its ability to buy books for release also follows suit.  But mysteries and crime novels in general are not going to go away.  The point is to find characters who are relevant to today’s readers, and crimes or mysteries that explore the lives we lead now.  As for the “scary” stuff, I’ve always believed that Peter Straub nailed it pretty much when he described horror as “the thin ice of life.”  Horror, done right, is about confronting the things that terrify us, making them tangible, and thus it helps us come to terms with the fragility of life.  I suspect, in the age of Bush-era torture of strangers and a general focus on how terrifying life is and can be, that is why the SAW series of films (which I really think of as pornography to be honest) found fertile soil.  We’ll look back on stuff like that in a few years with the same discomfort that some now look at the sexually free stories of the 60s and 70s.  They are of their time.

ED- Peter, as you know The Eerie Digest Magazine is piloting a program with the MFA students of eight Universities to promote their writing future. What words of encouragement can you offer to them?

PR- I believe that ebooks will radically change for the better how publishing operates.  We will always have printed books, and that is how it should be.  But as the various ereaders continue to sell and expand, their sheer numbers will push publishers to reinvent the “disposable” or “genre” novel that was once a mass market book, as an ebook.  The signs are unmistakable already that we’re headed in this direction.  However there are technical issues to be worked out, not the least of which is making sure authors get paid fairly for the work.

Frankly, stories are how we interpret the world around us, and have been how we understand who we are and why we’re here since we squatted around camp fires millennia ago.  That isn’t going to change, because good storytellers are few and far between and we admire and want them – need them in fact as life gets more and more complex.  But– and this is a big but – today’s authors have to be more than good writers for the most part   They have to understand that it is their job to reach out to their readerships and help expand and develop them in the company of professionals.  It’s the rare author who can sit back and do nothing, and still achieve success in their chosen field.  And likely, they will not be writing full time for the first few books that they get published, as much as they probably want that, so making one’s peace with that and focusing on the work instead is probably a good way to go.

Rubie pixED- Please let our readers know how they can contact you and what your Firm is looking for.

PR- As I mentioned, the easiest way to contact us is to visit our website, where all will be revealed.  www.fineprintlit.com You can also visit out blog, which is most easily found via the website.   Thanks for inviting me to be involved with you guys.

ED- The Eerie Digest Magazine would like to thank Peter Rubie and Fine Print Literary Management for their valuable time. Our readers look forward to hearing more about you in the future.