|image by Pixabay
In my desperation for a sign that I've stumbled upon the perfect match, I grasp onto details like this:
Oh, this agent plays Ultimate Frisbee. My son used to play Ultimate. People who play Ultimate are passionate, energetic, and not afraid to get "messy." This is the agent for me!
This agent loves the actor Natasha Lyonne. I ate up Lyonne in the show Russian Doll, as well as in the series Orange is the New Black. This agent has great taste. She is the perfect person to rep my manuscript.
Oh wow! This agent is crazy about whales. As a grown up, I once sat through the Shamu show--three times in one day--hoping they would choose me to come to the edge of the tank and touch Shamu. Each time, they ignored me and picked a kid. I’m crazy about whales too. It’s kismet. This agent is destined to represent me.
Of course, these connections are all in my mind. It reminds me of the day I saw a car with an Oklahoma license plate, and knew that I would get home and find an email “yes” from a publisher or an agent (my manuscript centers on a Tulsa event). I didn't. Writers are like that. We hang from the most tenuous of threads, hoping…
Writers also are fond of laughing instead of
As I was drafting this post, I read that one writer had the privilege of sitting in on an agent reading queries. The agent went through 19 queries in 14 minutes. They chose one to set aside in the "maybe" pile. When agents are reading that quickly, potential and talent can be overlooked. All a writer can do is hope that a later agent doesn't miss the possiblities.
And if you're wondering how bumpy the road to snag a literary agent is, read this article. In it, Stephanie Elliot recalls telling her mother that when she had sent out 100 queries without getting representation, she was going to give up. Later, she told her mom that her 140th query was the lucky one. Of course her mother said, “But I thought you were going to quit at 100!” Elliot explained that if she had thrown in the towel after 100 queries, she wouldn’t have an agent. In this piece, 11 writers share their stories.
Me? My magic number is 155 queries. (31 days in March, which is now April and will soon be May x 5 queries every day = 155.) Will I be like Stephanie Elliot? Will I hit 155 and if I still haven’t got a yes, will I continue submitting?