March 4th, 2009

16 years!

When I was running today, I realized I’ve been with my agent for 16 years - longer than some of the readers of this blog have been alive!

I still have the letter she sent me requesting a full manuscript. A letter! A full! [I was happy if people asked for the first three chapters. Sometimes they asked for the first five pages. One agent only asked for the first page. So to be asked – right off the bat – for a full was amazing.]

For evidence that she took me on, all I have is a list of questions I had scrawled out for her, but I seem to have been too nervous to write down many of the answers. [Full disclosure #2: she was probably the 100th agent I queried.]

And I have some of the rejection letters that first book got. [Full disclosure #3: and that’s all it got. Rejection. Usually with a lot of love for the first part of the letter, followed by a "And yet," or "Despite this," or "However." All were of the heart-breaking close but no cigar variety.] My second book did not even get very good rejection letters. My third sold in three days.

Now everything is done by email and she reads manuscripts on her Sony E-Reader. The only time I affix a stamp to something going to her is on a Christmas card.

And while I think most agents have written contracts with authors, we have never had anything but our word. I would trust her with my life. And I trust her with a new baby every year or so.

This is the article that prompted me to contact her. It was pre-Internet, when it was a bit more difficult to find the names of agents. So I saw her name, thought "what the heck?" and somehow procured the address.

Moral of the story: don't ever give up.



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The power of the double asterisk

I remember when Ensure used to be for cancer patients who were struggling with weight loss. Now it's marketed as if it's more healthy than fruits and vegetables.

And Metamucil used to be for constipated folks. Not any more.

Last night I'm reading a woman's magazine, and I see this add showing a woman in a sleeveless orange mini jumping into the air. Her thighs are so slender that they do not appear to actually meet, even up under the dress.

And the copy says:
4 ways to vitality
Helps lower cholesterol*
Promotes overall well-being**
Good source of natural fiber
Promotes natural cleansing process**

And on the bottom of the page in tiny, light-colored type it says:
* As part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol
** These statements have not been evaluated by the Food And Drug Administration

Okay, now leaving aside the fact that "natural cleaning process" must refer to pooping, I love how they can say things in their ad and not back them up at all.

So I figure I should do that.
Torched promotes overall well-being, plus it may lead to outbursts of spontaneous delight.** And reading Face of Betrayal (A Triple Threat Novel) could make you thinner and more attractive.**

**Hey, anything is possible.



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A giveaway!


Torched releases tomorrow!
When Ellie’s parents are busted for growing pot, the FBI thinks they've finally found a way inside Mother Earth Defenders, a radical environmental group. They give her a choice: infiltrate MED or her parents will go to jail. At first Ellie is more than willing to entrap the MEDics, but the more time she spends undercover—particularly with Coyote, the green-eyed MEDic that she can’t stop thinking about—the more she starts to believe in their cause. When talk turns to murder, Coyote backs out, but Ellie is willing to risk everything to save her family—even if it means losing Coyote and putting her own life on the line.

Kirkus says "the thrills and action will keep readers interested." Booklist says, "The contemporary mix of politics and thrilling action will grab teens, not just environmentalists."

I say: it's time for a giveway!I'd love to give a couple of signed copies away!

It's so simple!
1. Comment on this post and let me know you're in. (If you're not on LJ, give me your email or another way to get hold of you)
2. To get your name in twice, paste the link to this livejournal, or copy this post into your blog.
3. Wait until March 15, when Teen will draw the winners.

Thanks for playing along!



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