I’m going to tell you a very short conundrum about falling in love. It’s not a mushy story, and there will be no tears or chocolates. It’s really just that if you’re a novelist, or even better – an aspiring novelist, you’ve most likely read article after article that says the same thing when it comes to agents and their choices: Understandably, they need to fall in love.
Which means that finding an agent isn’t like finding a job at your local bank, or local clinic, or local book store. Finding an agent is way more like finding the love of your life.
Easy as pie! Right? Right . . .
But since finishing Postcards from Claire, it’s become my job to get it noticed. And traditionally speaking, that first step for any book that’s come of age, is to find an agent who is ready to take its hand.
And that is a-okay with me. I adore working with passionate people, and how much more passionate does it get than love? So yes, I’d love to find an agent who loves Postcards. That, of course, means querying and writing letters and waiting for responses – 99% of which will be (have been) ‘no, thank you’. You can really see that the literary field is full of lovely people, because their rejection letters are always so encouraging (even if generally cut-in from a pre-written form), and I always think, shame, you seem like a nice person.
So, my book and I are out dating, cruising the scene, trying to pick up chi. . . wait a second!
I just realized this today. In looking for a literary agent to represent my book, to fall in love with the Claires, to feel passion over the story lines and plot developments . . .I’ve basically become a man.
How do men do this all the time? How do they chase after girls, hoping to snag a good one, wining and dining them, only to have the ladies always hold the upper hand in the decision making? And if you think I’m being sexist – well maybe I am, but I’ve always thought that girls in North American society had it easier than guys when it came to ‘hooking up’. For instance, take a girl who is a nerd and a guy who is a nerd. Okay, and take them back in time before it was cool to be geeky. Throw them both into that awkward stage of puberty. The girl, despite being different, is still lovely. The guy, while also lovely, is not a girl, and therefore gets thrown into lockers.
So anyhow, when it comes to romance men chase. Okay not always, but often. I’ve been a woman my whole life, so it’s a new experience to court someone as the underdog.
(This makes me sound like Malibu Barbie of the dating scene, which isn’t true. I was and am still that geeky girl who somehow avoids the lockers and managed to find a beautiful nerdy man who loves her like crazy. )
Anyhow, I think it’s kinda hilarious. All I can do is flash my epistolary skills in wooing these agents, so I guess this whole love-affair in the making is very Pride and Prejudice like. One day, some day, someone will love my book. Whether it will be an agent, or readers through self-publishing (i.e. plan b), we’ll see what happens.
The truth is, I really believe in Postcards from Claire. I’m in love with story and that is a very good starting point. And in the meanwhile, I’ll keep searching, keep wooing, keep writing. If that all fails, maybe I’ll try e-harmony.