Saturday, August 19, 2006

Cool Agents I Know

OK, well "know" might be a bit of a stretch. More like "Agents I've Been Rejected By Who Seem Cool on the Other End of the Mail/Email/Telephone." Here, in no particular order except for the first 2, are my Top 10.

1. Susan Ginsburg, Writers House. LOVE HER!!!!!!!!!!! Amazing woman - kind, encouraging (the fact that she loved my concept, though perhaps not all of the delivery, helped a bunch); wrote me a fantastic personal letter explaining all the reasons she was concerned about my plot. I'd query her again in a heartbeat.

2. Natasha Kern - Called me after 3 months from out of the blue to personally apologize for misplacing my partial and asked for the full. Tremendously pleasant and down to earth on the phone and also wrote a nice, personal letter when she finally said no.

3. Deidre Knight - Again, really nice and enthusiastic emails, even the final rejection one.

4. Pam Hopkins - Nice, personal letter of rejection even though she only read a partial.

5. Vivan Beck - Requested my full from my original email query; really quick response.

6. Roberta Brown - Nice, personal letter (printed on crazy confetti-colored paper...)

7. Susannah Taylor, Richard Henshaw Group - Nice, personal letter after she read my partial; apologized for taking so long.

8. Scott Eagan, Greyhaus Literary - Seems like a nice guy, included some helpful advice after reading and turning down my full.

9. Michelle Grajkowski, 3 Seas - Nice, personal letter after turning down my partial (surprising because their agency asks everyone to send in a partial with the query).

10. Kristin Nelson - She's turned down my query every time, but I love her blog and I love that she's so technologically savvy.

So, amid the reams of form rejection letters, some with spelling and grammar errors, some on half-sheets of paper ('cause I don't deserve a full sheet, obviously), and some that are just stamps or scrawls across my original query letter, those 10 were gems.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Welcome to My Journey

Welcome to my journey.

Since I started writing (seriously, that is, not counting the scribbling in high school and college notebooks or the box full of journals I kept during my 20's), I've completed 4 manuscripts. Pretty good, right?


Five years ago, I thought I had this trememdous idea for a book. I thought I would write it in a year, send it out to a handful of agents and publishers who would fight over it, and be able to quit my day job by the following tax season.


3 manuscripts and a pile (and I mean a huge, ceiling-smacking pile) of rejection letters later, I realized maybe I needed to do a little work. A little research. Maybe more than a little.

So here I am, working on the final revision of my 4th ms., and I figured this time I would share my journey with anyone else out there who's felt frustrated too. Who wants to see what it's like to put together a query letter...and then change it 4 or 5 times. Who wants to vent with me about how the heck you're supposed to shrink 90,000 words into a 2-page synopsis. Who wants to hear (and laugh at, probably) the wording of rejection letters. Who wants to help me celebrate when I finally get The Call (you have to dream it, right??).

Here's to the journey. Let's hope that whatever direction it leads, I'll learn more this time around too.Next up: cool agents I've gotten rejections from in the past. (Hey, some of them really know how to let a girl down easy!)

Ciao, Allie B.