LBL AND MCM JOIN FORCES!
October 8, 2015 – You know those my-life-is-so-hard-on-the-road songs like Bob Seger’s Turn the Page or Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead or Alive? (I’m totally dating myself…) I don’t know about you, but I roll my eyes when I hear them. I mean, hey! Come on! You’re living your dream! Why gripe about it?
Since I don’t want to fall into the same category, I won’t bore you with the tedious details regarding the life of an author–the hours of writing, the years of rejections–and just skip to the good part.
How about that classy freebie pen, huh?
It’s what I had laying around. Don’t judge.
The rest of this post may not interest non-writers, so I won’t be offended if you stop reading here. Just give us a congrats and move on. But if you’re interested in the process, here’s how it came about:
The idea for this story found me on the road.
In 2012, I hopped on my Harley-Davidson for a three-week motorcycle adventure from California to Illinois in search of the oldest Route 66 alignments.
During my hours riding narrow two-lane roads, a character kept nagging until a full story formed in my head. The minute I got home, I scribbled out the story, set in 1935 and of course involving a girl and a car, and had a couple of writing friends read and critique.
And then the real work began.
Of my six novels, I’ve shopped four, and had an agent for one, but this latest historical fiction… Man! I felt darned good about this one. I needed the right fit in an agent.
The Agent Search
Unlike how I shopped other novels, with this one I was selective. No big email blasts. No rush to find just any agent. I sat back, pondered my choices, and put on my patience hat.
One name floated to the top of my list: Kimberley Cameron and Associates.
In 2005, while shopping MOTOR DOLLS, I met Kimberley at a writer’s conference. Although my project wasn’t right for her–and I ended up signing with another agent–Kimberley made a lasting impression on me. Kindness matters, you know? Plus, the agency (formerly Reece Halsey North) had pretty stellar pedigree, representing the likes of Aldous Huxley, William Faulkner, Upton Sinclair, and Henry Miller.
So I sent my query. Two months later, Kimberley’s assistant Mary replied asking for the full manuscript.
Mary is my hero in all of this.
She pulled my work from the slush pile. She read it, liked it, and passed it along to Kimberley, who liked it enough to pass along to another agent at KC&A, Amy, who gave me detailed notes. I knocked out another draft and sent it back.
By that time, Mary had been promoted to full-fledged agent, and since she was the one who initially saw something in that first (really rough) draft, the manuscript came back around to her. She gave me her list of suggested edits, and BINGO. We finally found the right course for the story and Mary offered me representation.
For those not out there shopping a manuscript, you don’t know how RARE this kind of feedback is. Yes, it took a long time–over two years from first query to signing, and four full drafts–but I know the KC&A agency is invested in my manuscript. And frankly, without all involved, especially Mary, the manuscript might not have found its way. Although she doesn’t have years of agenting experience behind her, Mary has clear vision, tenacity, and–of course–excellent taste. Plus, she’s pretty darned cool.
So here’s to my new literary agent: Mary C. Moore!
The Next Step
Having been down this road before, I know simply having an agent doesn’t guarantee publication, but it’s the only way to get a manuscript into the hands of the Big Five. The next several months will consist of editing and writing pitches and waiting for publisher feedback and likely more editing. I’ll let you know more the minute we get somewhere.
And if we don’t? Well… we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
To my writer friends out there, the bottom line if you’re beginning the process is to have PATIENCE. And considering you made it all the way through my rambling post, clearly you have some.
Until next time…
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The Lonely Bull and I bond on the road!