That’s what I call them anyway.
I grew up an only child (I now have three step-siblings) so never had to fight for my share of my parents’ attention.
Now, as an author, I get a kick of knowing who my agents’ other writers are and watching their successes. Jealous? Sure, it would be nice to make The New York Times’ best-seller list or get short-listed for the hugely prestigious Booker Prize.
But I also know that writing success is a wild mix of talent, hard work, luck, timing, persistence, discipline. It’s not, as so many would have you believe, a zero-sum game — you win, I must lose. There are always many extremely determined competitors our there; some have helped me and vice versa. Score!
I see two sorts of what I call literary siblings — both the other authors sharing the same agent — and those who are published by the same house, maybe even by the same editor. (Which does she like better?)
I heard an author interviewed on the radio recently who is also published by Penguin/Portfolio, who will issue my new memoir, “Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail” on April 14, 2011. Some of their authors have had huge best-sellers, like Seth Godin.
I root for every writer I like but also cheer for those on the same editorial team, even if I’ll never meet them. Our successes will (I hope!) keep our agents and our publishers thriving.
That’s a win for all of us.