Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Securing an Agent is Child's Play...NOT!

Great news for us mystery/thriller/suspense writers over at the wonderful blog, Pimp My Novel.

I have many wonderful attributes (must you look so confused?), but the big ones I'm missing are PATIENCE and NOT BEING IN CONTROL. I blame both of these glaring defects on my Brooklyn-born DNA. Tests show it's physically impossible to be born in Brooklyn and be a patient person who doesn't care about being in control. Freaks like that simply don't exist. Or they do, but they're immediately banned to Staten Island.

So, what do I do? I choose a career path that is wholly based on patience and my having absolutely no control over anything. Pure genius.

I'm finding the whole "getting an agent" game to be eerily similar to what my mom used to tell me in college, I mean, middle school. "Chase the boys until they catch you!" I'm doing the chasing now in hopes that some brilliant, talented, visionary agent will catch me! My mom also said once they "catch" you, you need to play "hard to get." Really? What should I say when I get that call?

Hi, Dream Agent. Why don't you have your girl call my girl?

or...

Leave it after the beep. I'm lunching with my therapist.

or...

I'll think about it and get back to you during the next Perseid Meteor Shower.

or...

Tag! You're it!
Then hang up the phone.

Also, there are like a gazillion more writers than agents, so securing said visionary agent is like playing a gigantic game of Musical Chairs. Every time the music stops, which is pretty much continuously, some poor sod of a writer gets kicked out of the game. And, I've been told, agents giggle. Some even clap. Harsh, wouldn't you say?

So, here I wait. Patiently. Having no control whatsoever over the situation, other than writing and querying and silently selling my soul to the publishing gods for a buck forty nine.

Of course, my beloved blog and Twitter make the days go by faster and keep my mind off the cruel game these dastardly agents play. But, really, how much peeking in on Ashton Kutcher or tweeting about my angst and desires can a girl do in one day before she gets bored out of her mind and wants to hang herself from the nearest DSW shoe store? (I mean, if you're going to go, you may as well go in a new pair of Manolos, right?)

And, I'm working on my new WIP, MURDER ON SONGBIRD LANE and having more fun than a gal alone in her bedroom with six cats should have. But still...

What about you? How do you bide your time while waiting for THE CALL? Or, for those of you who've received THE CALL and are waiting to hear about your submissions, how do you distract your overactive minds???

52 comments:

Kari Lynn Dell said...

The best answer is to not be a control freak, but short of a personality transplant or really good drugs, that's probably not going to happen, huh?

Really, though, cliched as it is, the best answer is to just keep writing. Falling in love with a new story and new characters helps distance me from the ones out there slogging through the cold, knocking on doors, just trying to find someone to love them as much as I did.

Kari Lynn Dell
http://www.montanaforreal.blogspot.com

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Just like Kari...keep on writing. A little praying, rabbit's foot, sprinkle the manuscript with holy water, etc. never hurt!

Mandy said...

Send pictures of yourself eating a pint of ice cream surrounded by your six cats and maybe they'll take pity on you? I'm KIDDING!

Aww, hugs, I have no idea what to tell you. I'm NOT a patient person either so I'm really no help. Have you looked into self-publication? I don't know a thing about it but I've heard pros and cons. Would you consider that? Really, I have no idea so if that's insulting, then I apologize. I'm new at all this stuff. I'm hoping to learn from you.

But if you want to try your luck on a free and funny giveaway (and to just waste more time in general), stop by my place sometime between today and Saturday. I'm giving away a little treat almost as good as Chelsea Handler. ;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Kari Lynn, What do you mean, the best answer is to not be a control freak? Are you crazy? Have you lost your mind? Have you gone days without eating chocolate?

I know, you're right, but it's kind of like telling teenagers not to drink or have sex. It ain't ever gonna happen.

You're also right about writing. That is and always will be the answer.;-)

Suzanne said...

I think we covered this. XO

S

DebraLSchubert said...

Donna, How about a cat's paw? I've got 24 of those in my house alone! (Six cats, get it?) Plus, I have a bunny in the garage. Hmm...

DebraLSchubert said...

Mandy, I just popped by your place to say Happy Birthday (again!). And, no I'm not self-publishing. I'm just moaning and groaning, which I have a special talent for. I've got 3 fulls and 4 partials w/agents right now, so I'm in better shape than I've ever been before. I just like to complain. I blame that on my Brooklyn DNA as well.

(Damn! I never realized it would be such a great excuse for all my ills! My husband will be thrilled. He thinks everything that goes wrong is his fault!)

DebraLSchubert said...

Suzanne, Look familiar? XXOO;-)

The Peach Tart said...

I'm just starting the query process. 8 sent...3 no thank you, 1 send more, 4 heard nothing which at this point I think is no thank you. Maddening.

Lazy Writer said...

The waiting game is tough, isn't it? I bide my time by blogging of course. What else would I do? :)

Matt said...

It's a pain, but I think the best way to pass the time is to start writing something new.

I know, you just finished the last one, but it'll keep you busy!

Stephanie Faris said...

From one rejection to another...I was single after my divorce for about 3 years and dealt with several cases where I'd meet a man I was attracted to and it just didn't click for him. Of course, I rejected too but it was tough dealing with being rejected. I hated not being in control...but I learned that in the end, you look back and realize it all worked out for the best. I think that's the case with agents and publishers. In the end, you get the best one for YOU. It just takes a while to find that right fit.

Big Plain V said...

Unless there is some sort of illusion going on, Miss Debbie, I believe you are handliing yourself with grace and poise.

DebraLSchubert said...

Deborah, Good start! Eight is nothing. Before you know it, you'll be nearing 50. Did the one request a partial or a full? And, what's your book about?

DebraLSchubert said...

LW, I know, blogging is fun, isn't it? What do you do when you're waiting to hear back on your writing? You write, of course!

DebraLSchubert said...

Matt, Aye, aye, captain! I'm about 1/6 of the way done w/my next novel.

DebraLSchubert said...

Stephanie, Getting rejections is far more difficult than giving them! You're right about waiting for the 'right fit.' I want my agent to be crazy in love with my work, so I'll hang in there until I get the proposal. Of representation, I mean.;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Ray, Why are you always so kind? Oh, I know. It's the hot wife. She's raised you well. You never contacted me, btw... (re: mystery question)

Kelly H-Y said...

LOVED this post! While waiting ... I keep writing and editing ... sometimes branching out into new territory with the writing too.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Gawd - I detest querying - DETEST IT!!!! I've been told to obtain an agent, even though I have a publisher -but I'm told to have an agent "for bigger things...." ...well, I haven't done query one ...that's how much I detest it....ugh!

I'm rooting for you - I want this to happen for you - for you to obtain an agent and get a big contract! :)

Beth said...

This is not an answer to your question, but when a DSW opened near us, Ken told me that he'd rigged my Mustang so that if I parked near the DSW, my tires would blow up. That still cracks me up! XO Beth

DebraLSchubert said...

Kelly, Thanks for stopping by. Good for you for branching out. I did the same thing, switching from women's fiction to mystery. I love them both, but I really love mysteries. Hope to see you back soon.;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Kat, I actually don't mind querying at all. That's because I'm a control freak and it's something to do!! If you want my help when you're ready, just let me know. I kind of have a talent w/queries. (Hey, you have to be good at something, right?!!)

DebraLSchubert said...

Beth, Hah! Too funny. We've got a new town center w/a bunch of shops and restaurants being built within WALKING DISTANCE FROM MY HOUSE!!!And, DSW is one of them. Yay!!!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Read, write other things, poetry, napping, cooking, blogging, trying to learn Twitter...tons of other stuff fill in the cracks of time when I SHOULD be working on the ms.

Hey, I've been trying to catch ya in Twitterville, but keep missing you (unless you're blocking me) LOL.

Anita said...

I run my kids all over town, eat, remove unwanted facial hair and write.

Pen Pen said...

OMG! Ur moms is freakin hilarious! I WISH my mom had given me advice about boys! She'd always give me "warnings" from her life like- "Never date a deep sea diver. They search for dead bodies of missing people. It's gross. Thank God Jesus saved me from my life of sin!"........Yeah. It's a wonder I have a boyfriend now :)
ANywho- If u want to go heaven's Gate cult and die together, just let me know cuz I've got my job rejections coming in all the time and a brand new pair of Louboutins in the closet!
I'm pretty sure the writer's waiting game was what drove Poe to drink and Carrol to pop the shrooms-they try to sell us the bull crap that the "problem" came before the publishing world, but that's a LIE! I'm pretty sure Literary Agents and Random House are pushing the world closer to a nuclear Holocaust!
OH!! ONE good way to pass the time and not go to jail is download great tunes-You'll probably LOVE the Muse song I have on my page right now! It's called 'Fury'! Just dowload and make mix cds...music will save us! :)

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I have heard tis best to send and forget. Of course, I was no good at that. Too busy checking my card index of where I'd sent queries to record results - or a lack of them. Hang in there. You are doing everything right for right now. Write, write ...

Karen Walker said...

Patience is the least of my virtues. And I'm from Queens, NY, originally. Is that why? Love your writing, by the way. Best advice I've heard is to take the action and let go of the result. Because you really can't control the outcome, so why make yourself nuts over it. Figure out ways for you that allow you to let go. Really.
BLessings,
Karen

Blonde Goddess said...

When I feel impatient or I'm waiting for something important to happen, I distract myself, just like you have been doing, but I also tell myself that if it's going to happen, it will happen. If it doesn't, that just means that something better is around the corner...
I'm not a writer.
I just blog because I enjoy it, but with other things that happen that will change my life...I have that attitude.
It helps...really it does.

DebraLSchubert said...

Angie, You're right, as usual. I'm always writing. And that is undoubtedly the best medicine.;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Anita, Removing unwanted facial hair is a full-time job. It's a wonder I get anything else done.

DebraLSchubert said...

PenPen, My mom is a riot, and music will definitely save the cosmos. You and I are soul sisters.;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

MJ, Will you come live with me, please? I need a voice of reason to slap me around on a daily basis. Thanks.;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Karen, "Best advice I've heard is to take the action and let go of the result." Brilliant, simply brilliant! I'm so glad you found me. Hope you'll come back for more.;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

BG, You're right. I truly do believe if it's meant to be it'll be. I also believe, you have to give it your best shot and line the odds up in your favor. Thanks for stopping by. I hope to see you again soon!

Chuck Schubert said...

Hey hon, do you actually own those shoes? If so, could you wear them???

DebraLSchubert said...

Chuckie, Once a perv, always a perv. They are sweet, aren't they? Feel free to buy them for me any time you like. I promise to model only them...

Rebecca Anne said...

I know. I've got the solution. Wear your Manolo's while whittling away your days waiting.
1) you'll totally be in style and ready to race out the door in case the call comes in and...
2) if you perish while waiting in that computer chair they can say, "She was determined and bloody stylish to the bitter end"

Did I help?
Hang in there!!!
Rebecca

Kelly said...

Funny post!

I pretty much fly by the seat of my pants and am in constant chaos with the kids and plans so waiting can be hard but I don't have time to dwell on it too much!

DebraLSchubert said...

Rebecca, If I haven't told you this before, I'm telling you now - you're a genius! Writing IN the Manolo's is sheer perfection. I'll get right on it...

DebraLSchubert said...

Kelly, Not dwelling is brilliant. Like Karen Walker said, "...take the action and let go of the result." That's what I'm going for!

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Not to sound negative, Debbie, but one thing I wish I'd done while waiting for "the word" from agents was to spend some time researching self-publishing--just in case. I can't tell you how many times an agent seemed to be excited--whether by asking for a partial, full, exclusive--only to get a rejection in the end. When I finally decided I no longer wanted my book to live in my laptop for the rest of eternity, only then did I begin to research self-publishing. And I had to start from square one. I really wished I'd paid more attention to self-publishing experts at conferences I had attended. The worst that can happen is, if you get an agent, you've learned things for nothing. But if you don't, at least you'll be a little more prepared to go out there and do it yourself. Good luck, my friend! XOXO

Glynis said...

Ask this question again next year, I am not there yet! :)

I will be chewing on antacids daily when the moment arrives.

DebraLSchubert said...

Linda, I did explore self-publication (LuLu and Xlibris) on a previous book, and decided it wasn't for me. I need the marketing behind me, so I'm going to keep on trucking in this direction. I'm glad the self-publishing option's there, but I doubt it's something I'll pursue again. There are certainly a lot of highs and lows while pursuing publication, but that's the game I'm choosing to play.

I'm rooting for "Bastard Husband" to rock the self-publishing world!";-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Glynis, I'll mark it on my calendar. Don't forget to stock up on the antacids.;-)

Julie said...

Just getting caught up on my blog reading. Happy Sunday!

DebraLSchubert said...

Julie, Good to see you again, my friend! Happy Sunday to you as well.;-)

DebraLSchubert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
♥ Braja said...

I try and avoid the call from my agent and tell her I just wanna hear about the check in the bank :) She emailed 2 days ago and said a US publisher wants my book but but but but but which means some writing and a couple of changes and I'm supposed to be doing it now but I'm here....

DebraLSchubert said...

Braja, Do you mind my asking who your agent is?

prashant said...

if you want to try your luck on a free and funny giveaway (and to just waste more time in general), stop by my place sometime between today and Saturday.


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