Monthly Archives: March 2010

How I Got My Agent

A few of you have asked me to be more specific on how I got my agent. I’ve tried to put something together that will be of help to those struggling to find representation. However, a warning for those of you who read my blog “just for fun”: you might want to stop here and wait for my next, more entertaining, installment. Because finding an agent means getting down to the nitty gritty grunt-work part of publishing. It is not entertaining. Painful would be a better word. But no pain, no…book contract. So this is how it happened.

Some asked (in a nice, non-accusatory way) if any of my literary or film contacts introduced me to my agent. I would not mind telling you if the answer were “yes”. I had a ton of advice and constructive criticism from my very qualified friends and family. But none of them passed my manuscript to their agent or gave me a direct introduction – I had to send query letters like most people. Nepotism is not a bad thing. But I wasn’t able to profit from it.

I began looking for my agent in 2008, after writing my first book, an unpublished memoir called A YEAR IN THE VINES. READ MORE…


Way Before the Time of Stalkers…

It was 1989, and I had just acquired a completely useless B.A. in Psychology, as well as the resulting crippling debt. To celebrate, I decided to take my big hair, my pet rat Vivien, and my mom’s Buick Century for a month-long wander through the Northeast.

I was as free as a bird except for two commitments. The first was to show up in Pennsylvania and carry a Bo-Peep basket of flowers while wearing a fuchsia bridesmaid’s dress. The second was to get back to Alabama in time to prepare for my own wedding, three months later. (No fuchsia or baskets, but frosted melon-colored nail varnish was required for all nine bridesmaids. Oh, yeah.)

I bought a map, and resolved to look at it only if I got extremely lost. And then I drove from Chicago, through Detroit, over the bridge into Windsor, Canada, and was on my way. READ MORE…


Book Update

I got the “editorial letter” from my editorial goddesses, Tara and Catherine on February 11. To be completely honest, this complex thirteen-page synopsis of their thoughts and suggestions put the fear of God into me. A few days later I got the marked-up manuscript in the mail. At which point I decided to change my name and move to Rio.

I’m not scared of work. I’m not even scared of a boatload of work. But a boatload of work, doing a job that I’ve never done before (I’ve never had to rewrite based on anyone’s but my own editing), um, yeah…it was a little intimidating. However, after a few days of floundering around and moving stacks of papers into different little piles around my office, I came up with a workable system. And two and a half weeks later, I had rewritten my way through the entire red-penned manuscript and the thirteen pages of notes, with just a few scenes that I couldn’t resolve right away put to the side for later. READ MORE…