Wednesday, May 12, 2010

There's no accounting for some people's tastes

Lately I've been reading books that are represented by agents I've either queried or plan to query in case the agent that has my full decides to pass (she returned from vacation yesterday.  Let the obsessive email checking commence!).  I must say reading all these books has been an interesting literary ride. 

I won't name names here, but over the last week and a half I completed two books that are represented by the same agent.  And that fact astounded me.  The subject matter, writing style, genre, characters, everything in the two books were completely different. However, here are the things the two novels had in common:  The first was that the voice practically jumped off the page and dragged you into the story willing or not.  The second was that both were finely crafted, engrossing books from sentence one to the end. 

Here's what I took away from this; buck up aspiring authors.  There are thousands of literary agents out there.  As long as your story has a strong voice and is well written, with their eclectic tastes, one of those thousands of agents will fall in love with your book and will agree to represent it.  Query widely, query well and eventually you'll find the set of literary agent tastebuds that likes the particular flavor of your book.

13 comments:

Piedmont Writer said...

Great post Angie! Thank you for this. I've been waiting for a partial request to turn into a full (praying now, there's 12 days left to the 12 week wait period.) If she doesn't request, well, there'll be a long sad blog post -- either that or I'll drown myself in chocolate.

Crystal Cook said...

@ Anne, you'll get it! I just know it. And if not then you'll know you haven't found the right one yet.

Great post Angie! Very encouraging. And that is what I like about books, voice and if it's engrossing. That's hopeful :)

Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist said...

OMG, you must be on pins and needles!

But you are right. Write the best book you can and query widely. It is all about fit.

Talli Roland said...

Hear hear! Well said, Angie. Thank you!

Amy Jo Lavin said...

Thanks for the hopeful encouragement!

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!

Lola Sharp said...

The good news is that you liked the work she reps. It wasn't crap.
AND she asked for a full.
Squeee!
That means she liked what she saw, and you know she has good taste. Huzzah!

I'm crossing my fingers for you. Even as I (try to) stay out of the blogosphere to finish my revisions and catch up on critiques, I will be checking back often to see what happens. I'm pulling for you!
(Email me if you need to--it helps pass the time. Because you know she just got back and has to spend a lot of time catching up. It could be weeks.)

Love,
Lola

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Yes! Thanks for the positive reminder, Angie. It's all about perseverance and craft. :-)

Jen said...

Well said Angie!! It is great to be reminded when sometimes we forgot or just need to have the encouragement once more! You are right, agents are everywhere you just have to be hardworking and willing to do all the research!

Bring it on!!

Palindrome said...

That's a great thing to hear! I can't wait to be at the researching agents stage. I hope to be ready with one by the end of the year and the other a few months later, thanks to NaNo. Again, I hope!

Joanne said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I think we do learn and improve with each query we send out, in writing the query, targeting agents, etc. Good luck, I hope you hear soon!

Dawn said...

Wise advice, Angie.

Faith E. Hough said...

Thanks; this is really encouraging. I've been noticing the same thing lately, too...
Good luck with your queries! (And...wow...what internal conflict. You have quite a voice yourself. This line: "I clutched up huge handfuls of my wedding gown," was just great.

Old Kitty said...

Awwww Angie

What a lovely positive post!!! Thank you!! I wish you all the luck in the world with your submission - I have everything crossed!

It is such an exciting time for you and you really do deserve success!!!

Take care
x