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Finding An Agent

Quest For The Query Letter

November 2, 2015 • eparkin1208

There’s more to making books then writing words on paper. There’s editing, where shape and carve the words until they’re the best they can be. There’s marketing where the work is made attractive to others. The Query Letter is an integral part of the marketing process. A query letter, at least as I have begun to think of it, is a lot like a cover letter for a job. Its the vehicle that the writer can use to make a first on the agent or editor.

So how how do I write the perfect query letter? I need a hook. I need something to capture their attention. What would make them want to read my book?

my book is about an Elf who struggles with himself. He’s got a personality like fine wine, in small to moderate doses it can bring happiness and joy, too much of it though, and it can get him, and those around him, in trouble. The commencement of the story finds him as a conflicted Elf in a world of humans. He’s frightened, he’s frustrated, and maybe even slightly bitter. Like The Hero With a Thousand Faces, he’s pulled into something that is so much bigger than he is, he can barely grasp it. He fails, he learns, he succeeds and grows. I think what makes him unique is he gradually learns to take his weakness and turn it into strength. We meet him at the end of the story, and he has everything stripped from him, but he’s able to embrace what he once thought of as a weakness and turn things around, that makes him unique and relatable at the same time.

I think that one of the greatest things that people struggle with is understanding that the difference between weakness and strength are a matter of perspective. At the end of the story, my character realizes that but still understands that its a balance he must maintain for the rest of his life. If I can make people understand what is unique about him and make that come through in a query letter, I have a chance of attracting an agent.

Categories: Finding An Agent

Elevator Pitch

April 8, 2015 • eparkin1208

Imagine you are in an elevator. All of a sudden, it stops, and a literary agent, or publisher, steps inside and you have from here to the next floor to make an impression. What would you say to help them remember you and set yourself apart from all the other writers they hear about? Well, here, in part, is what I would say.

I believe that a writer has two jobs. The first. is to tell a fun and entertaining story, and secondly, to be an observer of humanity and to speak for parts of society that need a voice. I like to use characters with disabilities in my writing because, as someone with a disability, I wasn’t exposed to a lot of disabled characters growing up. I try to make my characters as grounded as possible so that the reader invests their empathy in them and wants to understand what their life may be like. I make the disability only one aspect of the character, because I want the reader to understand that a disability is only one part of life. My stories engage the reader with well thought out settings, gripping plots, and strong, capable, likable characters, whether they have a disability, or not.

What do you think?

Categories: Finding An Agent

Okay, I wrote The Book, Now What?

December 29, 2014 • eparkin1208

It was a few minutes past five O’clock on September 2, 2014, when I hit the last period on the last sentence of the last page of the three year long project. Finally, it was done. I turned my head to the right and spoke to the Elf beside me, “Okay, I wrote your story, Now what?”

“Well”, said Gendar, “If we really want to publish this book there are a few things that still need to be done.”

“Such as?”, I inquired wearily.

“Well for one thing”, Gendar said, “This manuscript need to be edited, it has more spelling errors then a dog has flees!”

“They have dogs where you come?”

“Focus, Erik.” I glared at Gendar. “Here’s another thing”, said the Elf a bit exasperated, “I am from another world entirely but even I know the difference between their, they’re, and there. For Goddess’s sake Erik, think of the context of the sentence!”

“Well I’m sorry” I said, “Writing is tiring and sometimes I miss things.”

“A fair point”, said Gendar “We need to present this to other people and ask them to point out mistakes.”

“Do you know anyone?”, I asked him.

“They’re more humans here then on Ashalla, I think you’d be better at approaching people.”

“I know a few people I can ask.” Gendar nodded.

Changing topic I asked, “Once its edited, what do we do?”

Gendar was silent and pensive for a moment, “Mother wrote letters to bookshops and publishers perhaps we could do the same.”

“Perhaps we should start a blog”, I mused.

“Oh yes one of those ‘Websites’ I’ve heard about.”

I gave Gendar a level glance, “We need to be realistic in our expectations. Just because we do these things is no guarantee that people will publish it.”

Gendar absorbed my warning with equanimity, “I am a master of The Mystic Arts”, he waggled his fingers should these methods fail, I will magically compel folks to read it.”

“We’ll call that ‘Plan B'”, I said. We chuckled together.

Categories: Finding An Agent