Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Home again, home again

My poor blog, along with everything else in my life, has been a little neglected as of late.  Late July/early August has been a whirlwind: several trips (including one to meet my lovely and amazing agent in London!), an online class, tutoring, writing/editing, and preplanning week at school.  Now that it’s all listed out like that I’m starting to wonder how I got any sleep.  No wonder I’m exhausted!

But now I’m starting to catch up (tell that to the pile of laundry haunting my hamper), so no more blog neglect.  I have a couple of things I want to post about, but since the most exciting thing that happened was London that gets top priority.

It started with a whim.  I get regular emails from Delta airlines with info about sales, and one came the first week of July advertising a sale for one day only, and only to London from certain cities.  Long story short: the rates were bargain basement, the timing was right, and Atlanta was one of those cities.  How could my husband and I not go?  So we booked it—completely oblivious to the fact that we’d be going the day after the Olympic opening ceremonies.  I was 100% focused on the fact that I’d actually get the chance to meet my agent, Clare Wallace of the Darley Anderson Agency, in person. 

My husband spent a semester abroad in the UK, so he chose the hotel and we were off.  Clare generously offered to take me to lunch, so I met her at the agency on Tuesday afternoon.  I presented her with a bottle of champagne and chocolates for the agency to share, as well as genuinely tacky “Georgia: Peach State!” shot glasses for Clare and Vicki.  A good Southern girl never shows up empty-handed. 

I got to meet a couple of people, including Darley Anderson himself (though sadly some of the agency was out of town hiding from the Olympics, so I didn't get to meet everyone).  I got to have a nice conversation with him, as he was kind enough to drive me and Clare to our lunch.  He is really such a fascinating man, a wealth of information about publishing.  Even in a twenty-minute car ride he had a lot of great advice to offer.  The agency is currently preparing for the release of the Jack Reacher movie, starring Tom Cruise and based on one of Darley’s client’s books. 

As Clare and I had lunch we discussed the latest iteration of Blessed Among Women.  I had to pick my jaw up off the floor when she said it’s ready to go out to publishers.  I know that’s always been the endgame, but it always seemed so abstract (a separate post on that later).  Now it’s happening: Blessed is going out to editors in September in advance of the Frankfurt Book Fair in October (again, I’m feeling a lot of feelings about that, they’ll get covered in a later post). 

The thing that struck me most as we chatted was that I couldn’t have dreamed up an agent that would suit me better than Clare.  She really gets my writing and feels so passionately about her work.  As we discussed it I could tell that she understood on a deep level what I was trying to say with the novel, how I wanted to present the characters and their world, their triumphs and failures.  I’m going to stop gushing, but I’ll just say if I was happy to be working with her before we met I’m ecstatic now.

Okay: gushing over.  London was spectacular, although the closest we got to any of the Olympic events was the TV at the pub (hey, we just wanted to experience the games like true Brits, okay?).  We did get to spend several hours at the British museum, which is where I spotted the plate in the picture at the top of this post.  Guess who that is?  That’s Diane de Poitiers.  Of all the treasures the museum could contain, and of the very few I got to see, I stumble on a portrait of my inspiration.  And it’s probably a plate she owned.  

I like to think it’s a sign.


  1. What an amazing experience! A time to remember.

  2. You're so right! I'm trying to hold on to each second.

  3. That's awesome. I'm glad you found an agent who gets you.

    I think that's one of the reasons I am self-pubbing because I'm afraid no agent could ever get me. For instance, I write romance novels, well, they are often a mixture of paranormal or fantasy AND romance and I've always read that in romance novels, the main male love interest should be introduced in the first chapter. That often doesn't happen with my books because I want to world build and make the problems in the world a part of the romance, even if I come to focus on it later. I doubt authors would get that.

    I want to write what I want, too. Like, I'm thinking about writing a series about wrestlers (like professional wrestlers, like on the WWE, but made-up company and wrestlers) and the dramas in their lives. There's no way ANY agent would want to represent this. LOL. I've already heard of other people's sports/drama books being rejected, but I want to do it anyway.

    And I just get scared that an agent will never get me. Because I don't write for trends because you CAN'T write for trends, once you are done, they are gone. I write about things I think about too much, like death. Fantasy worlds. Romance. (I also watch wrestling with my boyfriend all the time.)

    I don't blame an agent for passing up on me. I might not be a good investment for them, but I still want to be me and write like me.

    And this turned out to be way longer of a comment than I intended it to.

    1. I think it's good that you wouldn't just go with any old agent--that's a trap I think it would be so easy to fall into. That said, if you really wanted to pursue traditional publishing, I wouldn't count out that you could find an agent who connects with your vision. Plenty (and I mean PLENTY) of agents didn't connect with my work, but there was a tiny percentage of those I reached out to who did (3 of 130+). All that to say that rejections don't mean that no agent will take you on--only that certain agents aren't interested for one reason or another. And any agent who pushes a writer to write on trend isn't worth having, IMHO. My agent wants me to be a trendSETTER. :)