James Othmer’s Agent Was No Clown… Yet

By Neal Comment

We enjoy following James P. Othmer on his Twitter stream, so we were delighted to see that AgencySpy editor Matthew van Hoven posted an interview with the Adland author to mediabistro.com’s “So What Do You Do?” series. Othmer discusses his background in the advertising biz and his circuitous route to becoming a published writer:

“I realized that if I wrote a nice little jewel of a novel that would have a small readership and was well-reviewed, I would never come close to making the money I was making, even as a copywriter. I realized it was an unrealistic goal to say I’ll be a self-sustaining writer of fiction. So I kept at it, and I wrote three novels. I had several agents. One agent died, one agent quit to go to clown school.”

Othmer, who draws upon his personal experience to inform a meditation upon advertising in Adland, notes that he’s still consulting in that field, a process he describes as being hired to “take a look at a brand, and lift the hood up and see if there was something I could bring to it.” Meanwhile, we’re waiting for the film adaptation of his first novel, The Futurist, to get out of pre-production, and then next June he’s got a new novel, Holy Water, about “a water-filtration salesman who gets transferred to a third-world nation to open up a back office in a drought-plate nation [after] his wife has thrown him out of the house because he lied about his vasectomy.”