Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Fear of Finding a Literary Agent (Again).

When I got my first agent, I read sad tales of writers
who had had no success with an agent & had to decide to
let that one go and begin the miserable hunt for another.
I was glad such a nightmare would never happen to me.

And then it did.

I got my my first agent after about 30 queries.
"They" had a "highly recommended" rating at
preditorsandeditors, a number of major deals, no slouch,
but couldn't sell the novel in question, Oranges for Joe.

When I sensed the agent's disinterest in a second work,
and a few cases of, um, miscommunication, I ended the relationship
amicably, and set out across the desert for another agent for
that second work.

After ten queries I got an "intrigued" response from
Michelle Brower at Wendy Sherman Associates. She subtly
urged me to expand what was basically a novella,
which I did.

That turned into Mixed Animal, and a few months
later MacAdam/Cage in San Francisco acquired it. David
Adams was my editor until he was let go in the midst
of our economic situation. I will forever be grateful to
him and his laserly insightful help in strengthening
& focusing the book (despite the fact that I have
withdrawn the book from MacAdam/Cage after discovering,
again & again, that they were not what they appeared to be).

So, my point, or one of them, is that if you're not
happy in your relationship with your agent, and it becomes
increasingly clear that nothing is going to happen with
that agency as far as your work goes, and communications
are breaking down, don't be afraid to pull the
plug (amicably & professionally) and look for another

And, of course, if you believe in your work, as I have
always believed in mine, in the face of absurd odds,
never give up.

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