life, writing

Missed the Mad Men Mania

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City photos are not of New York where Mad Men takes place, but can you tell where they are from?

While we temporarily stayed with my mom, the three of us decided to dive into Netflix. Since none of us had seen Mad Men, we started from the beginning.

Important side note: We’ve only watched the first two seasons, so please no spoilers in the comment section.

At first I was frustrated with the show and wondered how it attracted so many viewers. An important rule in writing, is that the main character needs to be likeable. Who would want to continue reading a book if they hated the main character?

So, why did people continue to watch Mad Men when Don Draper was such a despicable character? A drunk, a womanizer and a coward who ran away from his heinous past. I forced myself to continue to watch the first few episodes hoping to see some redeeming quality in him.

Or, maybe the tpcylndr (681x800) wmmystery of the man hooked me more than I realized.

About halfway through the first season, he finally showed some kindness. It moved me, considering his usual cold, lying, cheating self. It was just a small thing he did, but it gave me hope for the character.

In addition to Don Draper, each character is uniquely formed. Their psychological issues drive the relationships. With each episode we see further into the characters dysfunctional families and the drama it causes.

What? This is exactly the type of stuff I write. Boy, how I wished I could’ve written for that show.

reflection1 (579x800) wmOf the other mad men there is a hipster, a wuss, a playboy and a closeted homosexual (he’s still closeted in the first two seasons I’ve seen). Each man was given very unique traits and mannerisms.

Aside from the two women, Peggy Olson and Betty Draper, I was disappointed with the depiction of the others who were either slutty party girls or nagging wives. So far, I haven’t seen a woman with any real moral backbone. This is a fault I would’ve cured if I had been one of the writers.

We see the consequences the characters pay for their decisions and actions. And, if it’s a story with true meaning and depth, it will show the characters learn and grow.bldcolors2 (575x800) wm (460x640)

This is what my writing is all about. Even my blog reflects going through daily life challenges, learning, growing and overcoming. The Mad Men mania shows that audiences are interested in these kinds of stories, yet I can’t seem to find a publisher who is open to my type of genre. I’ve been told their focus is centered on romance, which my writing includes, but it’s not the main story. I write family and personal relationship sagas. It’s not like I haven’t searched. I had one editor write me a rude response about how I needed to do a Google search for the right publisher, because their focus was on romance. Umm, what’s Google? Of course I did a search. I spent weeks looking for publishers. In the mean time, I may be offering editing services myself soon. If anyone thinks they might be interested, let me know. I’m putting out feelers first.

Are there any other authors who have had trouble finding the right publisher for their little niche of a genre?

 

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13 thoughts on “Missed the Mad Men Mania”

  1. This may just be one of those books where your best option might be the independent route. I’ve seen other writers discuss similar problems with finding an agent and press who believed they and the book were a good fit. So the authors went indie and have found an audience and measure of success. It’s a huge step, but it’s a viable option in today’s world. I wonder how many good books never saw the light of day in the past because “vanity presses” were the only option and had such a poor reputation….

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    1. I’ve tried a few small indie publishers, but again, not many in this particular niche. I’m amazed when someone says they were rejected by 30 or more publishers before they got published. I could only find 3 interested in my genre. I just may end up self-publishing. Not for some time yet for either of those though. Having some snags getting settled in our new area. ๐Ÿ˜› Thanks for your input, JM.

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  2. I’ve watched Mad Men and loved how true they were to the times. No powerful women, you say? Well, women’s lib was just getting started (at least the second wave was just rolling in). Men ruled and they were hound dogs. The sets are peppered with all the old gadgets, the costumes are pitch perfect. And as for the main character…you don’t always have to love him–just be intrigued by him. And Don brings with him a ton of mystery.

    Finding a publisher, whoo boy. Have you joined the Writer’s Market? It’s so worth it. You can search their up-to-date data base for publishers and agents BY GENRE, so you know to whom to direct your query letters. I’m a member, so I know. They have all kinds of resources, writing contests–they are great. Can’t remember the annual fee, but it’s affordable if you are serious–$60? Something like that.

    I’m still waiting to be discovered. Hahahahahah… ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Hi Lorna. Oh for sure, they were really true to the times in Mad Men. It’s sometimes makes me giggle seeing those old styles. I know the women weren’t powerful in those times. I meant that they were portrayed as sluts and nagging wives. They didn’t have morals. I may be an oddity, but I grew up in the 70’s and I had morals. I’m sure there were women with morals then, and I would’ve liked to have seen at least one. Aside from that, I’m enjoying the show, and I am now hooked on the mysterious Don Draper.

      Thanks for the Writer’s Market tip. Do they still have that book in print, too?

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  3. I admit to being a little puzzled about how 90% of stuff that’s out there on TV (free or pay for view) or via industry published/produced work (not Indies, love Indie authors and enjoy the eclectic no-middleman fodder!) got there on real merit. Can the producers/publishers truly love it or do they qualify it only on a mysterious complex author-content formula of what they can promote and sell. Quite a few books that my bookclub has selected which have been promoted in the media (hence via a publisher) have been so underwhelming, we really are going to have to come up with a different selection criteria. Even the few good books that have come up are quite over-hyped. They are good but haven’t changed my life!
    BTW I’ve never watched Mad Men. It just hasn’t captured my attention.

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    1. It seems to me that 90% of what’s on TV is reality crap, which I’m not into (except for one guilty pleasure). I prefer comedies, or something with good relationship sagas. I didn’t realize you got Mad Men down under. I was disappointed in the first few episodes, because they didn’t capture me either. It took me a few episodes, and now I’m hooked. I sure do hope the characters grow though. We shall see. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, EllaDee.

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  4. I haven’t watched Mad Men Lori, but the type of stories sound like they would be universally popular – as I’m sure yours would if someone would take the chance. Sagas are always popular, but it just takes the right person to say yes.

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  5. I haven’t watched Mad Men yet. I think about starting it, and then something else comes along and snares my attention.

    Finding agents and publishers seems to be getting trickier. Good luck with your continued search, and if you do start an editorial service, best of luck with that too! Sounds like a great avenue to pursue.

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  6. Lori, I am right there with you. It took me longer to write query letters than it did to find an agent. I wrote my book in 6 months and it has been finished for almost 2 years now. I had one reader in Australia tell me it was an ‘Ethical Fantasy’. It is a supernatural book with life lessons. Nobody seems interested in that. Oh well. I guess it will just hang out in the depths of Amazon’s collection. I suppose we just press on and write because that is what we love to do.

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    1. Gee, who the heck wants to learn life lessons nowadays? Sigh. It’s actually what society needs, and I think people will soon crave good growth, with values and life lessons soon. Thanks for sharing your experience, SD.

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