Las Vegas Writers Convention Part 1

11:45 AM Thursday.

Vegas baby!

While Las Vegas is an old haunt of mine it is still a glittering gem that never fails to captivate even the most jaded of observers. I am at the convention taking a break for lunch in the Sam’s Town Casino. No true Nevadan gets distracted by flashing lights or buzzers but even I have to admit Sam’s Town has come a long way from the old truckstop/RV park/locals casino out on the fringe it used to be. It has all the waterfalls, animatronics, and flare you’d expect to see in any of the bigger strip casinos and it is no longer out on the edge of the city, thanks to urban sprawl and the expansion of Vegas’ ungainly little sister, Henderson.

I signed in this morning and was pleased to be able to schedule an appointment with every agent I wanted to talk to. Already this is going better than BEA. The people running the convention are super friendly, the rooms accommodating, and the schedule interesting.

I was given a nice bag full of goodies and introduced to several people. I am feeling a bit like an old dog now that I have attended a few conventions. I’m not as nervous as some of the people I’ve met seem, but I remember clearly feeling the way they do.

Well sadly Sam’s Town doesn’t have WiFi yet, (so in that way they still are a bit behind the times) so I’ll have to post this when I get back to Nan’s tonight.

My lunch is here, Stay tuned for more.

10:00 pm

Home after the conference. Loving it met several agents and authors at dinner. I am really enjoying the intimate setting of this convention.



Published in: on April 16, 2010 at 12:01 am  Comments Off on Las Vegas Writers Convention Part 1  
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Saga of Bohok-Chapter 8

This is the eighth chapter of an online serial novel- to read the story from the beginning click here.

Chapter 8

Terrified, Bohok didn’t look back, he just ran.  The forest was home to two kinds of bears. Blacks and Browns. The blacks were smaller and usually left people alone. The browns were a different story. Kirso would have yelled and jumped around if it was a black bear and try to scare it off. There was no scaring off the browns.

Kirso was well ahead of him heading for a cluster of pine trees across the meadow. Bohok put his head down and sprinted after him. He focused on lifting his knees and driving his feet downward, running as hard as he could. He could hear the crashing of brush behind him he knew the bear was charging after him.

Bohok dodged around small trees and bushes as he ran. He gauged the bear’s distance by how long it took to hear the brush rattle or the trees snap as the bear charged through them. It was closing on him fast.

Kirso made the trees and to Bohok’s astonishment Kirso managed to run up the side of the pine tree and grab the lowest branch a good ten feet above the ground. Kirso pulled himself up onto the branch and scrambled up even higher into the tree.

“Run Bohok!” He shouted down from his perch urging Bohok on.

He could hear the bear grunting behind him as it ran. Each grunt was closer, until he felt the bear’s hot breath on his back. He wasn’t going to make it to the tree.

He braced himself for the attack. He knew the bear would overtake him any moment. He stared longingly at the tree, he would never reach it.

He thought he was prepared but when the paw hit his side Bohok screamed. The blow knocked him from his feet and sent him sprawling into the dirt. The impact knocked his breath away; he gasped for futility for air. Desperately he crawled forward on his knees and elbows; still trying to escape the bear. He could feel blood gushing out of the tears the bear’s claws had rent in his side.

Just as his lungs seemed to start working again Bohok felt a massive paw step down upon his back, pinning him to the ground. Five points like knife heads pricked the skin of his back. The bear didn’t press down hard, just hard enough to keep Bohok from moving.

The hot breath was there again. It came in gusts as the massive creature panted over him. First on his back, then he felt the breath move up his body, onto his neck, then each breath blew his hair around as it snuffled his head. The rancid meat stench of its breath was so strong, that it burned Bohok’s nose.

Bohok didn’t want to look back. He didn’t want to see it. He didn’t want to know when the killing bite came, as he knew it would.

Hot saliva dripped onto back and neck as the bear drooled on him. He could feel it pooling between his shoulder blades before it ran in warm rivers down both sides of his neck.  Bohok wanted to scream but his lungs couldn’t get enough air with the beast’s paw pressing down on him. He felt like he was drowning. His fingers were starting to bleed as he clawed in the dirt trying to get free.

Then, without warning, the bear bellowed a great roar and lifted its paw from Bohok’s back. His chest rose as he gulped in air.  He tried to get up but his body wouldn’t move. All he could do is breathe.

“Run you idiot!” He heard Kirso scream. It took Bohok a moment to realize what was wrong with the sound of Kirso’s voice. It was too low; it was from the ground.

He turned to see Kirso with a fist full of rocks and he was throwing them at the bear. The bear was starting to walk towards him. “Run!” He shouted before dropping his rocks and turning to climb his tree again.

Bohok sprung to his feet and started to run but something caught his eye as he spun around. Kirso couldn’t get back up into the tree. The branches were too high to get at without a running start. Bohok took two long strides in the opposite direction before stopping. Kirso didn’t have to climb out of that tree to help him. He could have stayed up there and let the bear eat him. Bohok couldn’t let the bear get Kirso; he couldn’t let Kirso best him in courage too.

Bohok scooped some rocks up off the ground and turned back towards Kirso and the bear; it was almost on him. Kirso scrambled desperately trying to reach the lowest branches on the tree.

Bohok hurled a rock and hit the bear in the back. It didn’t respond. Bohok screamed at it and threw another. The bear stopped and looked back at him, looked him in the eye. For a moment Bohok thought he could read its mind. The look seemed to say, “I gave you a chance and this is what you chose to do with it?”

The bear turned away from Kirso and stared at Bohok. Then the bear looked at Kirso, still scrambling to get up the tree. Bohok saw the confusion on the bear’s face, the indecision. Bohok threw another rock and hit it square between the eyes. That made up its mind.

The bear started running towards him. Bohok looked around. He was still far away from any trees that he thought he had any hope of climbing. What had he just done? He turned to run, but then he saw Kirso throwing rocks and screaming at the bear.

What was he doing? Bohok had just saved him and he was, he was… He was doing the exact same thing Bohok was doing.

The bear stopped again in a cloud of dust. He let out a roar in protest. He obviously had never had its food torment him in this manner. It stood up on its hind legs and bellowed another roar. On its hind legs the bear was easily twice Bohok’s height. The display made Bohok’s knees weak. There was no escaping this monster.

Just then a sound unlike Bohok had ever heard before came out of the woods. It was louder than a tree snapping in half but resonated like bowstring. There was a strange humming sound accompanying it.

Then the bear lurched forward and swayed in place. It looked around. It gave a confused grunt then went down on four legs again. Then, to Bohok’s amazement, the bear collapsed, flat on the ground.

Bohok was baffled. What had happened?  What was that noise? Why was the bear not moving?

“What was that?” Kirso shouted echoing Bohok’s thoughts.

Bohok only shrugged. The bear was still on the ground. “I think it’s dead.” He yelled back.

Both boys started edging toward the bear. They cautiously approached it from both sides. Bohok saw a pool of blood forming under its great body.

“Hold!” A strange voice called out from the woods. Bohok and Kirso spun towards it.

A man emerged from the forest. He was tall, taller than any man they had ever seen. He had furs wrapped around his body and leathers around his legs, like an Elk-Eater. A great beard swung from his neck, thicker than any beard Bohok had ever seen. The hair of the beard was as orange as a campfire, but that wasn’t the most shocking thing about him.

The most shocking thing was his skin. His skin was so pale that Bohok thought he must be sick; he had never seen anyone so pale unless they were deathly ill, or dead. But he didn’t move like a sick man he loped across the meadow with an easy gait.

“Hold.” He called out again, waving one arm. He pulled out a knife from his belt. The stone of the blade was as peculiar as everything else about this man. It shone like the side of a trout in the sun and it was longer than Bohok’s arm. “The first shot might not have killed it.”

The man closed on the bear. With a great thrust he shoved his long, strange knife through the side of the bear up to the handle. The bear did not move. The man freed his knife with a powerful yank. He flicked the blood from the blade and nodded, almost to himself.

He smiled a broad smile and put the tip of his knife into the ground.  It was so long that he easily rested his hands on top of the handle one crossed over the other. Bohok stared at the shiny knife. He wondered how someone could chip a knife so long and straight. He wondered why it didn’t break under its own weight; it was so thin.

Up close Bohok saw that the orange beard and his temples were streaked with grey. He was old; perhaps that was why he was so very pale. His face was weathered and his eyes hinted at secret wisdom, just like Chief Yoosin’s.

The man looked at the two astonished boys one at a time. “That was a very brave act. Both of you. I saw most of it. Impressive.” His words sounded strange, the inflections were all wrong, he had an accent like an Elk-Eater but even that was wrong.

Kirso spoke first. “Who are you?” He asked.

The man laughed, even his laugh sounded different, but it was long and deep and both Kirso and Bohok started giggling along with him. “I’m sorry boys, let me introduce myself.” He put a hand to his chest and bent his body in half in a bizarre fashion. When he straightened he said, “I am called Tymon.”

Published in: on February 22, 2010 at 12:24 am  Comments Off on Saga of Bohok-Chapter 8  
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Three Jack Night

The scratching woke him up again. Jack cracked open one eye and shifted his pillow so he could see the alarm clock. Eleven forty-five. Shit. It took him two rolls to get to the edge of his king size bed. He threw the blankets off in a dramatic gesture and sat up.

The little fucker was by the door, waiting, its brown and black body shaking uncontrollably. He was a Jack Russell Terrier and he shook when he was excited. He did a lot of things when he was excited, like piss all over the place.

Jack hated the dog. It wasn’t even his dog. It was his ex-wife’s dog, just like he was sleeping in his ex-wife’s bed. She had left them with Jack because they didn’t fit into her new lifestyle. They were relics of her old life; the life where she played house with Big Jack and Little Jackie and they all slept together in the big bed.

It was always a game to her, a phase, something she was bound to get bored with or grow out of. Jack had known it all along; he knew she was going to move on to something new and exciting after a while. She was too fickle, too distracted by shiny new things to stay doing one thing for too long. He had always thought that when she moved on to something new, he was going to come along with her. Instead she left him right along with the dog and the bed.

Now it was just Big Jack, Little Jackie and a big ass bottle of Jack Daniels.

He stumbled to the back door. The little dog pranced excitedly and shook some more. Jack threw the deadbolt on the door. It opened with an obnoxious squeak; the house was old, the whole place squeaked and groaned and popped. When Jack walked down the hall it sometimes sounded like someone was following him as the boards snapped back into place. It made the house really spooky sometimes, but he had gotten used to it.

The little dog looked up at him and then at the opening. Jack had opened the door just far enough to let the damn dog out. It was winter and it was cold and he was in his skivvies. He didn’t want to open the door any farther than he had to. “Well what the fuck do you want?” He asked the little pain in the ass.

The little dog looked at the cracked open door and whined.

“I’m not going to slam it on you.” Jack said; then added “Again.”

He wasn’t proud about trying to kill the dog. But he had been drunk and the fucking thing reminded him of her. He groaned and opened the door all the way. A cold gust of wind hit him and instantly hardened his nipples and shrank his cock.

“God damn it.” He shivered.

The little dog looked up at him, looked outside and shook some more.

“Now what are you waiting for?”

The dog just shook and whimpered. Jack put the side of his foot against the little dog’s ass and shoved him out the wide open door. The dog went skittering out into the dark, its little nails failing to get purchase as it slid across the redwood deck.

Jack slammed the door and threw the deadbolt. He looked down at the lock, chuckled to himself and unlocked it. The little fucker was going to want back in soon enough.

Jack walked into his bathroom and relieved himself. He was up, after all. He flushed and opened up the medicine cabinet. Grabbing the Xanax bottle he dumped two into his hand. The Jack Daniels was on his nightstand; he put the pills in his mouth and walked back to his bed.

The bottle of Jack was one of the giant Costco bottles. He had finished half of it this weekend. He spun the lid off with his thumb and took a shot to wash down the pills.

He looked at the door. Usually the dog was quick about his business. A couple of minutes then he was scratching to come back in. Jack wondered what was taking so long. He was loath to get back into bed. He knew the damn dog would want back in as soon as he got comfortable. He went to the door and opened it a little. “Jackie.” He called. Nothing. He peered out into the darkness. The night was overcast, there was no moon or stars. He couldn’t see ten feet into the yard. “Jackie.” He gave a little whistle. He didn’t know why, the stupid dog never came when called anyway.

He shut the door and flopped down on top of the covers to wait for the dog to return.

The cold awoke him. He was shivering. He raised his head, the door was open. Cold wind blew into the house. “Jackie?” He called for the dog. He must have left the door cracked a little and the fucker pushed it open.

Pushing himself off the bed, he noticed that he had been drooling. His comforter had a huge wet spot where his head had been. He licked his lips and wiped his slimy cheek. Slamming the door shut he called for the dog again. He listened for the chime of his tags jingling on his collar, nothing.

“Jackie you little shit.” He mumbled. His head was full of cottonballs from the Xanax. He peeled back his blankets and laid down. “Jackie.” He yelled to no avail. The dog must have gone back outside. Well he could fucking freeze, he didn’t care.

Jack’s eyes shot open; he had been sleeping but, he heard a creaking noise. He hated this house. “Jackie?” He called out. Was the dog in the house after all? He forced himself up.

The creaking noises went echoing down the hall. Something was in the house. Something bigger than a Jack Russell Terrier.

“Joanne?” His first thought was that it was his wife but then he remembered. She was gone, and she wasn’t coming back. He struggled to get his fuzzy mind to work.

The creaking noises seemed closer; they were coming down the hall. A jolt of fear went through him. Something or someone was definitely in his house. He scrambled to the edge of his bed and grabbed the baseball bat he had stashed underneath it.

The creaking stopped. “Who’s there?” He shouted down the hall. He sat up, holding the bat in both hands. He listened but there was no answer. He worked up some courage and leapt from his bed. Hitting the light switch with the tip of the bat he warily went out into the hall.

The floorboards gave their usual protests as he walked down the hall. Jack winced at each one. If somebody was in his house they would know right where he was.

He worked his way down to the front room and the kitchen. He tried to keep his back to a wall as he explored his house. He looked at the entryway.

The front door was open. What the fuck. He knew he’d locked that door. Hadn’t he? He cautiously approached the door and gazed outside. It was still darker than shit. “Jackie?” He called into the night, where the fuck was that dog anyway?

He waited a minute before he slammed the door and threw the dead bolt. He’d been drinking too much. It was windy; the wind had opened the door. There was no other explanation. He put the bat on his shoulder and went back through the house, turning off the lights as he went. He left the bedroom light on, what did he care, he paid the power bill and nobody was here to call him a pussy.

He leaned the bat against the night stand, took a big swig off the JD to calm his nerves and climbed back into bed. He adjusted the pillows and the blankets, got everything perfect. Then a scratch came at the door.

“Fuck!” Jack cursed. He threw the blankets off and got out of bed. He stomped to the back door. He wanted the little shit to know he was pissed before he opened the door. Where the fuck had he been, anyway? He threw open the door.


 He flipped the switch for the back porch light. The bulb lit up a tiny sphere in the gloom. No dog. “Jackie you little shit! Get in here!”


The creaks came from behind him, charging down the hall. His bat, Jack thought too late, was back by his bed. The dark form moved too quickly for him to make out what it was. Jack screamed.

The sun rose and Jackie crawled out of his hole in the rose bushes. He found his master’s body half way in and half way out of back door. The smell of blood made him excited, he started to shake, and piss everywhere.

Saga of Bohok- Chapter 7

Chapter 7

They left before dawn. The light of the coming sun winked out the stars above them as they paddled the boat up the river. Kirso sat in the front of the canoe and set a furious pace for their rowing. It didn’t take Bohok long to figure out that Kirso was testing him.

Kirso had always been stronger than Bohok. When Bohok had been exiled Kirso could haul heavier nets than Bohok. He was a stronger rower than Bohok. He was a better wrestler than Bohok. When Bohok had been exiled Kirso was the better than Bohok at every skill the Fish-Eaters held high in esteem.

That, Bohok decided, was before he was exiled. He matched Kirso stroke for stroke and the canoe sped up the river. Bohok had fished hard, worked hard, fought hard to live all on his own all summer. He wasn’t weaker than Kirso anymore. He set his mind to his work and let the rhythm of the oars overtake him. He would not be the first one to break the pace, he would not tire first.

The canoe raced up the river. They flushed a bunch of ducks that had been sleeping in a calm stretch of water. The skein flew inches above the water, their wing tips touching the placid waters leaving pairs of rings expanding behind them. They flew just ahead of the boat daring Kirso and Bohok to catch them. Kirso gave a quick look back to Bohok before quickening their pace. They chased the ducks up the river until the flock finally veered off and headed up above the trees that hugged the banks of the river.

Bohok expected Kirso to slow. The ducks were gone but Kirso kept up the same pace. The muscles in Bohok’s arms were alight with pain but he swore to himself that he would not quit. Kirso stole a quick look over his shoulder. Bohok could see the same determination set in his eyes; Kirso wasn’t going to quit either.

The sun was well overhead when Bohok started to panic. He didn’t know how much longer he could keep this up. His body was screaming with pain. Each stroke was sheer agony. He knew that Kirso had to be feeling the same way. Nobody could row this long, this hard, and not be hurting. Bohok’s mind scrambled for a plan. He needed to end this contest and end it quickly.

Bohok stared at Kirso’s back as they paddled up the river; he saw the sweat pouring off it. He heard Kirso’s grunting with each stroke. He is almost done, he told himself, I just need to push him. With that thought Bohok increased his pace. Forcing himself to paddle even faster than before.

Kirso noticed the change immediately. He shot a furious look over his shoulder and matched Bohok’s new pace, then exceeded it.

Struggling to match Kirso, Bohok’s paddle just didn’t move fast enough. It seemed like Kirso was taking two strokes for every one that Bohok managed. Bohok shifted his grip on the paddle trying to get better leverage, he plunged it into the water and then, the water took it from his hands.

Bohok watched in horror as his paddle drifted away from the speeding canoe. Kirso kept paddling for several strokes before he noticed that Bohok had stopped.  He turned to see what had happened and a wicked smile crossed his face when he saw the paddle far down the river.

“I should have expected a Bug-Eater to drop his paddle.” He said with as much contempt as he could muster.

“It slipped.” Bohok said lamely. “Turn around.”

“What and waste half the day chasing a paddle downstream?” Kirso laughed. “In case you haven’t noticed we are about as far up the river as we are going to be able to paddle anyway. A true Fish-Eater knows the river. The currents get far too strong up ahead. We’ll beach here and start the walk.”

Bohok only nodded. He won’t go back because he knew that I almost had him beat and he doesn’t want to give me a second chance, he thought.

Kirso paddled the boat into the bank and they climbed out.  Bohok and Kirso hauled the boat up onto land and a good ways away from the river before flipping it over. Rainstorms and flash floods could wash a boat back into the river if it was right side up and then it would be gone forever. Kirso started piling up some large rocks around the bow and stern of the canoe to be double safe.

Bohok took out some dried salmon from his pack and sat down. The sun was almost at its zenith and he was hungry. He hadn’t had any properly dried fish in a long time, it was wonderful.

“Aren’t you going to help?” Kirso complained. His arms full of heavy rocks.

“Why should I?” Bohok laughed. “It’s not my boat, and a stupid Bug-Eater like me would probably do it all wrong anyway.”

“Probably.” Kirso nodded his agreement and kept placing rocks until the boat was completely surrounded.

Kirso pulled out some fish from his pack and sat across from Bohok. He ate in silence for a while then said, “So when are we going to do it?”

“What?” Bohok asked.

“Fight.” Kirso growled.

Bohok shrugged. “Now?”

“I figure I owe you one.” He made a fist. “Actually I owe you two. The way I see it we are going to end up fighting sooner or later on this trip.”

Bohok shrugged, his body was sore. He didn’t want to fight, but he knew it was inevitable. “You sure you want to fight me without all your friends to help you?”

“You sure you want to fight me in an honorable fight? You won’t get any sneaky punches.” Kirso stood up and assumed a wresting stance. He drew a line in the sand with his toe. “Cross it.”

Bohok stood and stretched his aching back. He twisted his arms in a circle, and tried to shake out the soreness. He walked up to the line and looked Kirso in the eye. “You ready?”

Kirso nodded and balled his hands into fists.

Bohok stepped across the line.

Kirso’s face suddenly went white with fear. He turned and started running away. Bohok laughed at him. “Come back here, coward!”

“Run!” Kirso yelled, not turning around. “Bear!”

Published in: on February 4, 2010 at 9:48 pm  Comments Off on Saga of Bohok- Chapter 7  
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All Star Week

That is right folks. I have declared this week to be all star week. I will be sending out my next wave of queries to the all stars of literary agents. The famous blogging agents. You know ’em, you love ’em you read their blogs religiously (if you are an aspiring writer anyway). This week I am sending queries to the following big name agents:

Janet Reid the infamous query shark herself

Nathan Bransford

Jonathan Lyons

Kristen Nelson

And I would send one to Rachelle Gardner but she isn’t interested in Science Fiction and Fantasy.

These wonderful people write fantastic blogs. Every writer should subscribe to them. They have helped me understand the publishing industry and I am excited about sending them queries. I don’t really expect to get much back. These people are the rock stars of the aspiring writer world (Janet Reid’s line at BEA Pitch Slam was at least twenty miles long) and get bombarded with queries and attention. I don’t know if my query is good enough to stand out. I do know that I owe these people a shot at my book, after all the help they have given me.



And the beat goes on.

So, my request for full wasn’t an exclusive request for full so after much debating I am going to continue to send out queries. This was a hard decision for me. I want to honor the agent who first sent me the request but I have to be realistic. This is a say no, ask questions later type industry. Odds are that I will get a rejection on my MS so I have to keep playing the field until I get a solid strike, if I don’t this could be up to twelve weeks of wasted time.

So I plan on sending out my next wave of queries this week. I am shooting for around six queries a month. My hope is that if I get any feedback I can use it and not have to re-query anyone.



Published in: on February 1, 2010 at 4:20 pm  Comments Off on And the beat goes on.  
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Ready to Submit

Here is a run down of my life since Saturday.

Saturday- Recieve request for manuscript. Happy dance. Call family and friends. More happy dancing.

Sunday- Printed manuscript. bought red pencil and a starbucks (which I intend to write off if I get published.) Selected Warren Zevon on the iPhone, hit shuffle then play. Started reading manuscript to make sure it was totally ready for submission. Read until 10:00 pm

Monday- Went to work, came home read until 10:00 pm

Tuesday- Went to work, came home and finished reading. Started converting red pencil marks into digital form. Worked until 9:00 pm…passed out.

Wednesday- Finished correcting manuscript. Wrote new synopsis (Agent wanted a shorter one.) Re-wrote Bio. Reformated everything to agent’s very detailed specificatitions. Composed email to send it. Paused.

I am not sending it until tomorrow morning.

Giving myself a good night’s sleep and fresh eyes to look at the synopsis and bio one more time before I send it off.

Put Warren Zevon on the iPhone, select Keep Me in Your Heart, hit play.

Good Night.


ps New bio is on the about lystra page if you want to read it.

Done reading my MS

Meanwhile I finished re-reading my MS for submission. There is a world of difference between thinking you are ready for submission and knowing you have to submit. Reading my MS, knowing that an agent is going to be reading it shortly put a whole new light on my work.

I enjoyed reading my MS. It has been a long time since I’ve just sat down and read it, so I saw it in a different light than before. I liked it. No, I loved it. I am extremely proud of it. A novel is more work than anyone who hasn’t written one knows. A novelist has a lot to think about while he is writting. He has to have more than just the scene he is writing in his head. He has to work with the pacing and the plot for the entire novel in each sentence he writes. He has to be aware of the larger story, even when writing the smallest parts. Reading my story after so long made me realize that I accomplished that goal. The story works well, the plot unfolds with just the right amounts of twists to keep the reader guessing. That is no mean task. I finished reading my MS last night and had to smile. It was a lot of work, but a job well done.

Now if I can just make somebody in the publishing industry to see that.



The scene in my head

Jennifer Jackson tossed her third Starbucks into the trash as she got into the elevator. Her hands were barely shaking anymore as she hit the button for her floor. Today is the day she thought grimly, the elevator lurching into motion made her jump a little. She had stopped taking query letters until January 15, 2010 and today was that day. She was sure when she got into her office the InBox would be full of hopeful letters sent by desperate fools. Her job was to sift through the muck and pull out the nuggets of talent and skill then process the raw ore into fine pieces of jewelry for the world to observe and enjoy. The only problem was that the nuggets were rarer than gold.

The elevator dinged and Jennifer jumped, she took a Red Bull from her purse and popped the top, she still wasn’t ready. Guzzling the can she walked into the front office of the Donald Maass Literary agency. Donald was there waiting for her. He was always the first one in the office.

“Well, it’s begun.” He smiled and handed her a coffee.

Jennifer took a deep drink before responding. “How bad is it?”

“Hundreds, maybe thousands, I lost count.”

Jennifer made a face. “Really?”

“Afraid so.” Donald took the now empty coffee cup from Jennifer’s trembling hands and replaced it with a fresh one.

“Anything good?” She asked hopefully.

“Actually, yes, the first one you received. I liked it. You should read it.”

“The first one Donald?”

“Sent at the stroke of midnight, and the funny thing is I’ve met the author.”


“At BEA last year. You know I usually don’t remember specific people from the thousands I meet at conventions each year, but I liked this guy. He came off really smart and funny too. I am happy to see he got his synopsis done. Of course I only talked to him for about five seconds but hey, some people stand out.”

“Well, I’ll have to read that one first.” Jennifer smiled. Perhaps today wasn’t going to be so bad after all.

I sent Jennifer Jackson a query last night at midnight her time. I hope reality matches what is going on in my head. I might be pushing it with Donald Maass remembering me, but who knows.



Some grim statistics and some boggling information

I am doing my homework and researching agents and I stumbled across a disturbing post by literary Agent Jennifer Jackson. Jennifer works for Donald Maass Literary Agency and represents some great authors (Jim Butcher). She isn’t currently accepting queries but I intend to send her one once she starts again. In her post she lists her query stats for 2009. She received 8004 queries last year and request more information from 47 of them. That’s right 1 in 170, that is long, long, long odds. Of course the odds for drawing a pair of aces as hole cards in Texas Hold’Em is 1 in 210 and I have seen pocket rockets more than once so don’t lose heart. There are a lot of other factors to consider as well, this isn’t putting a quarter in a slot machine and hoping for triple sevens. The agent doesn’t randomly choose which queries she answers it is about what she is interested in. Still, it is scary seeing the numbers.

The astonishing part of her post is that of the 47 that garnered the prestigious request for more information, 3 did not respond. Can you believe that? Why even bother going through all the pain, suffering and heartache if you’re just going to ignore responses. In a subsequent post Jennifer theorized why someone wouldn’t respond, but I can’t believe someone wouldn’t at least send a message detailing why they couldn’t or wouldn’t respond. Rest assured I will respond instantly to anyone who contacts me. Even if I’m trapped under a bus, I’ll have someone bring me my laptop to reply to the email.

This wacky publishing business really shows how crazy a world we live in. I just wanted to share.



Published in: on January 13, 2010 at 10:40 pm  Comments Off on Some grim statistics and some boggling information  
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