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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BEA Writers Conference

I have been going back and forth on whether or not to go to the BEA Writers Conference/Pitch Slam. I had just about given up on it but this post by Janet Reid (the infamous Query Shark herself)  today turned my head back around. Now I don’t know what I should do.

 I figure a round trip shot to NY with hotels and eats would run me about$1200.00 give or take, which is about the same my run to Cincinnati cost me. While that is a lot of money to throw out the window of a plane, it is doable, it’ll hurt, but it is doable. The big question is will it be worth it?

The crux is the pitch slam. For those of you who haven’t heard about this it is at the end of the conference all the agents and editors let the unwashed (or unpublished anyway) masses assault them with pitches for our books.   Obviously no deals are signed on the spot but the conference boasts several book deals a year from pitches made at the slam. The benefit is when I send my new and improved (still working on it) query letter to any of the agents I meet at the conference they might not throw it directly into the slush pile, they might actually read my first five pages, then they might actually read more (dear God let them read more.)

So there you are. Do you see my dilemma?

I put together a list of the agents who will be attending that I want to talk to about my book. (You’ll notice I have Janet Reid on there, while I’m not sure my book is her thing, her blogs, both QueryShark and her own personal blog are awesome. So if I do go, I absolutely have to meet her.) and there are alot of people who seem to be looking for my genre attending.

So how far do you go chasing rainbows?


What do you think?


MIRIAM KRISS (Irene Goodman Literary) is seeking all areas of commercial fiction including, but not limited to: mystery, romance, thrillers, YA, fantasy (especially urban fantasy), and SF.  She is also interested in narrative nonfiction and memoir.

CHERRY WEINER (Cherry Weiner Literary) handles all genres of fiction, and
specializes in science fiction, fantasy (especially urban fantasy), romance, Westerns and Native American works. Some nonfiction has even crept into the mix but she doesn’t consider poetry or children’s.

JOANNA STAMPFEL-VOLPE (Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation) represents everything from children’s books (chapter books to YA, both nonfiction and fiction), to adult fiction (speculative, romance, historical, paranormal, unique fantasy, thrillers, literary, dark comedy, dark drama, horror) and she will occasionally take on strong narrative nonfiction with pop culture, environmental or food elements.

GRETCHEN STELTER (Baker’s Mark Literary Agency) works with creators who write in the same genres she loves to read: middle grade and YA fiction, magic(al) realism, contemporary fiction, and women’s fiction. She is interested in anything with an urban fantasy touch (more Mike Carey than Maurice Dantec), and the middle grade and YA should have edgy, true-to-life characters and dialogue. The contemporary and women’s fiction should have a wide entry point for its audience but a strong hook that makes it stand out from the crowd.

GINGER CLARK (Curtis Brown, Ltd.) represents science fiction, fantasy, paranormal romance, paranormal chick lit, literary horror, and young adult and middle grade fiction.

STACIA DECKER (Firebrand Literary) is looking for adult narrative nonfiction in the areas of politics, history, biography, travel, memoir, current events, and pop culture. She also specializes in hard-boiled mystery and crime fiction.

LEAH HULTENSCHMIDT (editor, Dorchester Publishing) is looking to meet with authors or agents who have a completed romance manuscript of 75,000-95,000 words in the following romance subgenres: historical, paranormal, futuristic, urban fantasy, and romantic suspense.

SANDY LU (L. Perkins Agency) specializes in both quality fiction and nonfiction, with a particular interest in dark literary fiction, edgy urban fiction, historical fiction, mystery, thriller, psychological horror, upscale women’s fiction, and multicultural fiction.  Her nonfiction categories are narrative nonfiction, history, biography, science, pop culture, and food writing.

JENNY RAPPAPORT (The Rappaport Agency) specializes in the genres of science fiction and fantasy, young adult, and romance. 

JANET REID (FinePrint Literary Management, aka QueryShark) specializes in crime fiction.  She also represents narrative nonfiction, reference and how to books.  She’s open to pitches on any topic however.  Good writing trumps all.

Queries SUCK

Okay, In addition to editing and rewriting and polishing my manuscript I am also working on my Query Letter. In preparation for this I have been reading the blogs of several literary agents, queryfail, queryshark and any other information I can get a hold of and my synopsis is this:

Queries Suck.

It seems that while most agents consider queries an essential evil in their world, they still think it is the best method for discovering new talent. I think I am new talent; so it is definitely an essential evil in my world, but I hate it. I loathe it, I have the biggest block in the world to move to get this bastard done. Maybe because so much seems to be riding on a single spaced page, like my whole 500 page book. Maybe because deep down I fear the countless rejection letters that have yet to be written. Whatever the reason, it is killing me.

 The rules for what makes a good query and a bad query vary as broadly as what makes a good novel and a bad novel, the problem with the whole system is that a good query does not guarantee a good novel nor the reverse. It is the most common gateway, unless I can find thousands of dollars somewhere an attend writing conventions all year trying to get a minute to pitch an agent who, if I am charming and polite and everything else I need to be in addition to having a good story, will tell me to send them a query.

I hate my query, I love my story, I am freaking out.

I see why so many authors drink.

Of course I will post it up here to be critiqued before I send it off to anybody so maybe somebody can help me.

Ack, I have wasted all the time I can think of on this post, time to get back to work on the stupid query.