Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Stalking: All in a Day’s Work

As the novel draws closer and closer to its grand finale, I have begun the tedious task of researching the gazillion agents that exist. Website after website. Page after page. Many are so impersonal and you don’t learn much other than the basic info: submission guidelines, genre types, etc. Aw, what’s in a name?

But yesterday I stumbled over my own personal kindred spirit. A woman that enjoys her work, is able to laugh at the horrible query letter, and even offers love and support to first time authors. I will not disclose her name for she is mine. All mine! Actually, I won’t release her identity just in case I don’t win her heart as she has won mine. I won’t offend the poor sap who gets stuck with me as I prattle on about the moment that I realized that the periodic symbol for Iron was “Fe” and that was also the nickname of the main character in my book (Fee) titled Iron Obsession. It was a proud moment. A real face palm experience. I digress.

I was so impressed by this woman’s site and her personality that I instantly started crafting my first query letter. Not to send – oh no – it is not time. Just a chance to play with it and see if I am able to sum up why you should read a 300 page book in about two paragraphs. AND – She does not ask for a synopsis. Did I mention that I love her? For those of you who are not familiar with the author’s arch enemy, the synopsis – let me summarize. (That was punarific!) A synopsis is when the agent or publisher asks an author who has spent months and most often years perfecting a 70,000+ word piece of art, something that has required them to ignore friends and family and washing dishes to create, and summarize it in about, umm, five pages. All of it. Even the cliff-hangers. Even the secret BAM at the end. (Shakes head.) I understand why. I understand it is often needed – you know the whole “so many books, so little time” thing. Doesn’t mean you have to like it. We write them, because they ask for them. And if it gets the manuscript read – then so be it. But not her. She wants the first 30 pages of the manuscript. If impressed, she asks for the whole enchilada. Love her!

So, now I’m off to research other agents. What? Can’t put all your kittens in one basket! Kittens get up and run away.

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