A continuing saga of one writer's quest to reach an audience.
Monday, October 31, 2005
In the meatgrinder that lies in my brain, ideas, plots, characters, scenes whirl about for hours when I should be sleeping. I've composed complete novels as I lie awake at night. The trick is to transfer these works into my computer. I tell myself that haggard look on my face shows I've been working hard. In reality I'm tired. How do I turn off the brain so I can sleep?
Today I sent five queries: 2 snail mail 3 email
Do I feel optimistic? Well....
I love this quotation by Richard Bach:
You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it however.
Besides doing a google search of the agent and agency I plan to query, I'll visit these helpful sites:
~Preditors & Editors - a comprehensive site that provides information about agents and states not recommended for those that are, well, not recommended.
~Fiction Writer's Connection offers Storm warnings - information about scammy agents and agent scams. ~Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFFWA) has Writer Beware included among many helpful pages of information. ~Used to be a great list at Fiction Addiction.net called Agent Watchdog where writers posted their bad experiences with named agents. This is no longer there. I suspect some agents, whether rightly or wrongly maligned, took umbrage to having their sins displayed. Pity it's gone. But it may have become for some writers a venue to air their frustration. As always the few spoil it for the many. Such places may exist elsewhere on the web. A search would find them. But I'm not looking Not today, anyway. I'm polishing my submissions so they can go out on Monday.
Well, Fortune isn't really a saga in the purest sense of the word. But I have called it that. I have also called it a Romantic Historical Adventure. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, at its most basic, a sexy love story to be told in three volumes..
I finished Book One and, over several years, sent it to agents.I had “bites” on 2 mail queries, 1 email query. Agent 1: Considered in some circles, one, anyway, to be an up and comer. I signed a contract with her for another of my “sagas” and asked if she’d be interested in Fortune. She read it. She loved the book. Well, she said she did. No further communication. I waited. I tried to contact her. I waited some more. Nothing. I severed the contract as per the agreement. Sent her a registered letter saying so. Time wasted: close to one year I later did a google search and found this was her mode of doing business. Build up writers hopes, then fade into the ether. My frustration could have been avoided had I checked her out beforehand. My mistake. Lesson: I need to learn about the people I wish to represent my work. I will be wary of those who communicate with one- or two-word emails. Terseness may be good in some professions. Someone who makes a living selling words you have to wonder.
Agent2: Top notch New York agent. Successful. I checked. She enjoyed reading the sample pages and said she’d be delighted to read the rest. I sent the manuscript. And waited. And waited. No further communication. I tried. Nothing. Deja vu? Time wasted: six months Okay, I got the picture A simple “not for us” would have been kind. And courteous. Lesson: Some superbusy superagents just don’t have the time to say “no thanks.” And, maybe more importantly, I concluded that the balance of the book was not delightful. Time for a revision.
After the revision: Agent3: From a top notch agency with a Very Good reputation. She liked the sample, asked for more. Liked the “more”and asked for all. Stated it was a wonderful read. However (there’s always a “however”) everyone in the agency has to be enthusiastic about the work they represent. This did not happen with Fortune. They insisted on terming it a Historical Romance, not the saga, or adventure I claimed it to be. And on second study, I learned this agency does not handle HR. The agent was very gracious in letting me know. Time wasted: two months – my fault. Really. Lesson here: while I check and double check agent’s reputations, I better make sure they handle my type of work.
Abandonment, as in 1 and 2, and rejection, as in 3, are tough to absorb. I cry, I bleed, I use foul words; What the bleep do they know? They’ll be bleeping sorry when I get a bleeping zillion dollars for the bleeping book!
Okay. Reality check. Time to stop wallowing. Quit wasting time, Cat. Send out more queries.