Looking for a Literary Agent…

Empty StageSometimes being a writer can feel like being a designer at a fashion show. (Well, that is what I imagine, I’ve never been a designer. Some would laugh at that idea. I’m slightly colorblind which wouldn’t help, that is for certain.)

You spend so much time preparing your “look” and then suddenly the model needs to take the walk in front of the crowds. And you wait, terrified, seeing what reactions you get.  Are there gasps or moans?  It’s all stressful, with highs and lows, but we all have to do it. It’s part of the gig.

In the next few months I’m going to start to query different literary agencies about my new novel Permanent Spring Showers. Yup, I’m pushing my new book onto the catwalk and I will stand backstage with my fingers crossed not daring to look.

Preparing my query letter, synopsis and excerpt has gotten me thinking of my experiences and also some of my writing posts about literary agencies. Below, after the jump, are links to some of those posts as well as new helpful insights on them. Some of these writing articles are the most popular things I have ever done on this site.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with literary agencies on other books and I hope that Permanent Spring Showers gets the same chance. I’m really proud of it. Permanent Spring Showers revolves around an artist named Vince who is about to create some of the most important and groundbreaking contemporary art.  Inspired by an affair, his creations will affect all around him in this multi-cast tale about relationships, academics, art, authors, and lies. You can learn more about the book on this page and read the first chapter exclusively here.

Now about those agency articles… Continue reading

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What I Learned From Having a Literary Agent

Snoopy Attempting The DreamFor five years, my books were represented by a big agency out of New York City. While I don’t want to name any names, I think I can safely say that this agency has a long history and has been associated with such writers as Harper Lee, John Steinbeck, and John Irving. (Yeah, I have two degrees of separation between my books and Scout!) Their clients are a who’s who of writing over the last one hundred years and as a writer and literature buff I could not have been more thrilled.

Thrilled? No, let me correct that.

I bragged! I gloated! I patted myself on the back every chance I got! I was big man on literary campus and it was only a matter of time before everyone knew my name. Start preparing the Booker prize trophy now… Wait, do they do a trophy? Or is it a medal? I have no idea (if it’s just a certificate that would be lame).

There is this wonderful Hollywood dream for artists that when someone of importance finds their work that suddenly everything is going to be streets of gold from then on and all the hard work is over. (Remember “The Standard Rich and Famous” contract in The Muppet Movie?) Well, I fell for that dream hook, line and sinker; and over the five years I was signed with this agency my career was stagnant.

Those five years are never going to come back. Continue reading

Relearning to Write

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has a theory of flow, which defines flow as “‘the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.” (You can read more about it here).

For me, this is more than a theory, this was my reality as a fiction writer. I can’t begin to tell you the days, weeks, and months, I would lose with a project. This is how my creativity used to work:

  • I would get a spark of an idea, scribble down a few notes, but chances are it will sit in my head from anywhere to a few months to years.
  • Suddenly, for some unexplained reason, my creativity is ready, and the idea is ready to be born, all I have to do is sit down.
  • I will start to work on the idea, not always in chronological order, allowing my creativity to dictate what to work on and when.
  • Bliss. Continue reading

A Writer’s Remorse: Shooting Myself in the Foot…

One of the problems of having an imagination is that you also become burdened by the “what ifs.”

What if I made that decision instead? What if I went with that agent or publisher? What if I didn’t lose that contact?

The trick is not letting these “what ifs” become regrets. And for me that is many times hard to do.  I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but many times in my career I’ve made decisions more out of my own “vision” of what I wanted to be, as compared to the opportunity in front of me. And in all of those moments I have walked away wondering if I had just shot myself in the foot.

Here, let me give you an example… We’ll start with one of the funny ones… Continue reading