M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Agents and Openings

Agents and Openings
Every wonder how quick an agent makes a decision on your query's sample? Maybe a minute, if you're lucky. 

Don't believe me. You can find the answer in the October 2011 Writer's Digest in their section on agents. The cover even teases writers with the possibility of meeting "...Your Future Agent". How can you resist that lure to buy ... even if you don't believe it?

The most obvious first step in meeting an agent for those without the money to attend conferences is to send a query. Chuck Sambuchino has some interesting information on snagging an agent with that letter, including agent interviews, questions to ask if you get "that call", and just what an agent can do for you in this new world of self-publishing.

Kristin Nelson, the agent of many good insights into the world of publishing, gave readers the value for the price of admission, in my opinion. She not only did a "when did I stop reading this sample" segment, but she explained why. Some of the queries she used as examples presented some interesting ideas, in my opinion. Nelson rejected all but one -- all on the basis of a few sample paragraphs.

Yeah, our fates hang on a few opening paragraphs and, hopefully, the first fifty pages if you get asked to supply a "partial". Fortunately, Writer's Digest had another piece: "Workbook: Your First 50 Pages",an except from Les Edgerton's "Hooked". 

The page I tore out of the magazine? An excerpt from James V. Smith  Jr.'s "The Writer's Little Helper" -- a checklist for your first 1,000 words. I figure that should help me place my hooks for agent or, more important for me, publishers. 

Just for Fun:
I find old covers fascinating.  Maybe because I have so many of them on my bookshelves with the books and series I've kept over the years. Recently, I discovered an article at Abe Books on the book covers of Georgette Heyer's novels..  

In case you didn't know, Georgette Heyer was one of the writers who made "Regency romances" popular as a genre in the 1930s. She also wrote mysteries but they weren't as enduring as her romances. [She was most prolific in the heydays of Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie.]

Any other Heyer fans out there? I think my favorite books were Frederica and Venetia. 

Bad enough I get yowled at until I twirl the cat in the extra office chair. 
Now, he's fighting me for my computer chair. 
[It's better padded and has a pillow.
He usually sleeps on the tops of the couch using a stuffed skunk as a pillow.]
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