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Thursday

I'm Agented!

That's right, folks, and I don't mean real estate! I'm so very happy to announce that Karen Solem of Spencerhill Associates is now my literary agent. I put the contract in the mail yesterday. And I even took a picture. So if you don't believe me, there's proof.

I was privileged to have several agents look at the material, and I am so grateful for each one of them, especially one whom I consider to be a very close friend.

But in the end, I truly believe Karen is the perfect fit for me as well as my work, and what an incredible privilege it is to be working with her and to be counted among her list of dynamic authors, many of whom are heros of mine, like Colleen Coble, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter. My mind is still twirling around that someone with such a great deal of expertise wants to partner with me to make my project the best it can be. Plus, she's just all-around wonderful.

You can find her website here: Karen Solem at Spencerhill Associates

I want to give a little shout-out to two amazing women who have graciously allowed me to "adopt" them as mentors and have guided me in this journey. Cara Putman, my life wouldn't look the way it does without you. And I mean that. And Jenny B. Jones, sometimes I can't even wrap my mind around the fact that we're friends. Thank you for being among the first to believe in my writing and for championing me on. I love you both so much. Free customized jewelry and scarves for you two for life.

Goodnight, faithful readers.

Wednesday

Writing's Like Dating, Part 3: The Courtship

If there's one thing everyone likes about the writing process, it's the courtship phase. You know the stage. It's all chocolate candy and flowers until someone throws around the word "rejection." :)

In all seriousness, though, something that stirred me at the ACFW conference was the complete lack of reverence on a few authors' parts when communicating with very respectable folks. Now, this wasn't a prevalent issue throughout, don't misunderstand, but one or two in a crowd is more than enough. Think about this with a little perspective. Editors and agents are the equivalent to managers, vice presidents, and presidents in businesses (and some of them literally function in both realms). Would you walk up to the president of your company and say, "Hi, I know you don't really know me, but you should go out of your way to listen to my idea, and if you don't like it, that's your loss"?

So what's the appropriate way to woo an editor or agent, and what if--lucky duck--you find yourself to be the object of the wooing?

Well, you've got to think of it a lot like a relationship.

At the conference, Allen Arnold, VP of Thomas Nelson, said entering into a contract with an author is a lot like entering into a marriage. Because if they have doubts about you in the beginning, those doubts are not going to get better over time. :) It's so true, isn't it?

So what can we learn from this?

Don't be a bridezilla.
No, but really, you need to be pleasant to be around. Don't be pushy, but on the other hand, don't be afraid to talk about your work.

Take time to find the right fit.
Just as you wouldn't marry the first guy you dated (mercy, can you imagine?), you probably won't sign with the first editor or agent who expresses interest. That's okay. What's important is that you're following God's plan in all of this. And I assure you, He knows what He's doing.

In the meantime, do your research. "Date" your options. See who's a good fit. And stay true to yourself. Find strength in your writing voice so that when you do finally make that perfect match, you'll have something of substance to offer.

Thoughts for the evening.

Questions for comment:

Have you found yourself courting an agent or editor, or, even better, being courted? What have you learned?

Anyone have any funny dating stories to share?