Thanks Platte F. Clark

Platte_ClarkPlatte Clark shared his amazing publishing journey at our last Utah Valley Writers Chapter Meeting on April 25th.

Platte Clark’s first book is “Bad Unicorn.” “Bad Unicorn” is a middle grade book that appeals to YA and Adults as well.  Princess the Destroyer Unicorn is hunting Max Spencer and the whole human race as well.  Max is the only one who can read The Codex of Infinite Knowability with its Fifteen Prime Spells.  At a family party, my 12-year-grandson, given the choice of playing computer games, playing with his cousins or eating, chose to keep his nose in “Bad Unicorn.” Nuff said?

Platte Clark shares his name with the Platte River.  He was told that Platte means “wide and shallow.”  Platte has varied interests and has had a varied career including being in the military. He had a high security clearance, probably the kind that if he told us about it, he’d have to shoot us.  We’ll leave that in his past and see if Platte also has a squirrel impaled on his nose.

 Some of the things he told us that really helped me are:

  1. Advances – Platte said that big advances are a double edge sword.  If you get a big advance, sometimes authors never make their advance back. This kills the series.  7 out of 10 books don’t make their advance back.  He said there is a magic number somewhere in between, for advances.
  2. Screenwriting.  Platte has written screenplays that have been filmed.  He suggested that if we have any skill in Screenwriting, to adapt your novel.  We can become a member of the Writer’s Guild if we write a screenplay and have it filmed, which can open more opportunities for a writer.  Platte will be teaching a class on Screenwriting at our Conference on June 28-29, 2013.
  3. Don’t try to engineer what’s marketable.  Write where your passions really are. Write the things you really want to write. Don’t try to guess the marketplace.

In addition, Platte talked about his writing method of setting a word goal each day, his search for his agent and his publisher (Simon and Schuster), and contracts.   I think as we listened to Platte we felt that becoming published is possible.

For those of you who weren’t able to come to hear Platte at our chapter meeting you can get a flavor of his humor if you read an interview done by Word Spelunking in December 2012 at

One question asked by Word Spelunking will give you an idea:

WS: What three words best describe BAD UNICORN?

Platte Clark: Don’t pet that!

Thanks Platte for giving us information, laughter and hope from Utah Valley Writers

~Monteen, Membership Chair

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