Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Nerve

This is just a quick note to mark the fact that I submitted Heirs of Mâvarin to an agent for the first time in several years. Ethan Ellenberg is John Scalzi's agent, and currently soliciting new clients, but that's not the only reason I'm giving him a try. Years ago - five years at least, maybe longer - I read an article by Ellenberg in one of those Writer's Market-type books I tend to buy every year. I don't think it was Writer's Market itself, but some competing directory of literary agents.  In any case, the article stuck in my mind as being especially engaging and helpful, even if I can't remember exactly what book it was in.

More to the point, Ellenberg's agency represents sf and fantasy, especially fantasy, and even YA fantasy. It's always seemed like a perfect match for me. So why did I never query him until now? Fear. The fact that he's Scalzi's agent makes him a major player, at least in my estimation. I didn't want to submit work to him until I was certain I had the best possible query letter, synopsis, and opening chapters. So I tinkered away, confused myself with conflicting advice from friends, and ultimately got sidetracked with school and jobs, blogging and Facebook.

Shame on me.

But no longer. Last night I wrestled with a few paragraphs that have been bugging me for years, and finally conquered them - I hope. This morning, after four hours of sleep, I broke my earlier chapters into smaller chunks, on the theory that most people don't write chapters the length of War and Peace, much less submit them that way. The chapters are edited and formatted, the synopsis looks good, the query email is nice and short, and the whole thing is sent out.

And now I'm going to bed, wired as I am after finally doing something my Inner Weasel had successfully discouraged for years. Now I must try not to obsess about what response I'll get, if any, but get on with everything else I need to do, writing and otherwise.



Mike said...

Awesome! Good luck!

Florinda said...

Congratulations on taking the leap, and best of luck!

John said...

Sounds like you did everything within your power right: research the agent (yeah, I would say being Scalzi's agent constitutes a major player!) and delivering the most buttoned-up MS possible. Yaay, you. Congratulations on getting it out the door!

Barbara said...

Congradulations, I am so glad that you got the book sent out. I wish you luck and look forward to reading your published book.

DesLily said...

I wish you luck on this Karen! Wouldn't that be a kick to have the same agent as Scalzu after all the years knowing him from aol lol

Astaryth said...

This is awesome! It would be great to 'know' another author that I have on my shelves. Good Luck!