Thursday, August 28, 2008

Whoa, where's that agent post go?

Turns out, in the midst of zeal, I can be a real idiot sometimes. I had a long post here that talked about some recent, interesting correspondance with a couple big-time literary agents but now it is gone. I posted a couple email messages in their entirety, and yeah, it never occurred to me that they were private, possibly even copy-righted. Some helpful people on a message board pointed it out to me; one was another literary agent.

So anyway, to recap what's been going on without breeching anyone's trust, the really great agent that requested a full manuscript eventually rejected it. I was understandibly bummed, but I replied to her assistant, thanked her for the helpful feedback they'd given me, and asked if I could query other agents at their agency. I have yet to receive a response to that, but oddly enough, yesterday morning, another top agent emailed me and asked for a full manuscript. This lady works for an entirely different literary agency, in an entirely different town, and she said something about how 'when your manuscript surfaced, I remembered it'. I guess I just got worked up over that word 'surfaced'. I envisioned the agent in New York throwing the manuscript into the ocean, and then the agent in New Jersey spotting it washing up on the beach.

Its weird is because I haven't sent out any query letters for this book since March. And now, these major players are suddenly asking for it. What happened? Do they have me confused with somebody else?

Anyway, I'm not 'looking a gift horse in the mouth' nor any orifice, for that matter. I went ahead and spent eleven hours correcting the deficiencies pointed out by the first agent, then sent it right out to the second agent.

To any lurkers who are inspecting my blog for 'indescretions', sorry about the whole posting-people's-emails-in-their-entirety thing. I shan't do that again.


bunnyjo georg said...

I had composed a very long comment to the effect:
2. Ok to give painful criticism - IF NECESSARY?
3. What about getting a beta reader who is a die-hard fantasy lover who can give you great feedback from a genre perspective - if such a soul exists....
4. I put my beta reader skills (such as they are) in your hands. I'm best at sentence structure and revising for impact and sharpness.

My lengthy comment disappeared along with your blog post. And it was so articulate, too! Dang.

Hey, did you ever get my edits to your query letter and did you hate them??!?!?

Also, in regard to the weird thing happening....weird is good as long as the requests keep a-comin!

Mary O. Paddock said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary O. Paddock said...

Sometime back I made a decision to not mention agencies' names on my blog. I'm not worried about the legalities of it. Frankly I'm having a tough time with the idea that correspondence might be covered by copyright laws. I am concerned about professionalism (though I didn't see any harm in what you did). That way if I want to express frustration with someone's response or lack there-of, I've avoided direct finger pointing. It just struck me as the best approach.

Meanwhile, I hope this new agent has the sense to say yes.

(The post above was mine. Not enough coffee this morning).

Ray Veen said...

Thanks guys, sorry for pulling the rug out from under your feet (so to speak). Mary, I did see your comment on the deleted post, and I just wanted to say thanks. In regards to your decision not to use agent's names - very mature of you. That's a quality I have yet to learn.

Bunny - I didn't see your comment. But I did get your edits. With my third revision of FIERSOM'S BROOD finally done (one hour before I got the ELFHAME rejection), my next step is to dig into this query letter with all the tenacity I can muster. Your edits will come in very handy then.

Elizabeth said...

You queried in March?!
Ouch, who can wait that long for things to 'surface'?
That's just painful.
But it sounds like things lined up for you with the help of rejecting agent #1, the changes might help you with request #2.

Ray Veen said...

Yup. That's what I'm hoping.

Thanks for stopping by, Elizabeth, I'm sorry you couldn't see my shameless posting of industry professional's private emails.

Tracey said...

Wandered in here a few times from Elizabeth's place. Sorry I missed your indiscretion ... I'll have to check in more often to see if I can catch your next faux pas.

Ray Veen said...

I passed a fox? When? On my way home from work?

And I thought deer were the only thing I had to worry about.

Serena Woods said...

That's weird and exciting!

So, how would a rejected manuscript 'surface'? Seriously? How many agents show things to other agents at other agencies? I guess it makes sense. It's a small world.

Well, good luck!


Ray Veen said...

Thanks, Serena. Actually I think I need to stop focusing on the weirdness of it and just be happy. As some people on WritersNet pointed out: it could just be a colossal coincidence.

This agent is incredible: she represents two of my favorite writers, and I'd be thrilled to have her represent me.

Of course, as I've learned over and over - rejection is relentless. I need to brace myself for that, too.

bunnyjo georg said...

I can't remember who it was...some big guy who's a writer - wait, it was Ray Bradbury - He had 750 some odd rejections before he got published the first time. Just think what an honor it would be to be published with only half those rejections!!!! What an overnight sensation you would be! ;)

I'm guessing that your new posting friends are fellow writers you've met on the www? Glad to see you're getting support from your peers.

I'd be very interested to read your revised edition of Elfhame, by the way!

Vikki said...

BPV, that's so great! And REALLY weird. And kinda crazy. A tiny bit bizarre, even. But mostly great!

Dang I'm sorry I missed that post! I read agent blogs all the time, but it would have been cool to read a "one on one" type of thing. Oh, well...;>)

VeeFlower said...

Dang, I didn't want to be the 13th comment!

Ray Veen said...

Hi Vivi, welcome to my home (I told you it was messy).

Vee - I'm sure glad you posted before me, I don't need any bad luck right now.

Jewel Allen said...

I tried to keep an agent name anonymous on my blog, but somehow it surfaced from a post I did clear back months ago. Fortunately, I was writing good things about the agent.

That's great your ms is getting interest, and for someone to say they remembered your manuscript. It's like getting past the first audition of "American Idol" (not that I watch). You must be doing something right.

Ray Veen said...

Hello, pink ink. Welcome.

I don't think I wrote anything especially bad about either of these agents, but in my imagination, they're googling me and finding my blog, and seeing their emails plastered to the wall for all the world to see. "Insolent worm - how dare he!"

So since Thursday, I've been in a constant stage of 'cringe', which is sad because I should be experience joy and elation and unrealistic hoping.

Love your "American Idol" analogy - I'm going to New York!,

Jewel Allen said...

Hey, if it gets you the attention of agents, I'd say it's worth it:-)

bunnyjo georg said...

I think you are going to Hollywood, Big V, not New York. Duh!