HOW IS THE AGENT SEARCH, YOU ASK?

April 16, 2008 at 1:37 pm 10 comments

It’s been doing crappy. I haven’t been told no this many times since my son was one. I did get an offer to send my next story. Well, whenever I finish I plan to do so. I particulary liked that agent. Well, I liked all of the ones I queried that’s neither here or there.

So now I’m wondering if there is a formula I don’t know about that will garner more interest in my women’s fiction with STRONG romantic elements. And yes, I did have to cross an agent off my list who said verbatim, “please do not submit WF with STRONG romantic elements.”

Which all just leads me down to is my blurb crappy? Do I commit a grammar faux paus?

I’ll let you judge. Yes, what’s the point of having a blog readers if you can’t use them.
**********

Phoenix Lyons doesn’t believe in fate, so when she mutters the word ‘never’ she doesn’t expect her world to fall apart. It does. Her estranged mother dies of a heart attack; she’s asked to find money missing from the family’s business, and the hot guy she saw in the coffee shop less than 24 hours before, works for her father. Phoenix then mutters fatal last words, “Things can’t get any worse.”

Oh, but things do get worse. The California Accountancy Board suspends her CPA license, and the money she’s been saving up for a rainy day disappears from her bank account. This control freak must get her life back and the only way she can is with the help of her father’s employee, Don Juan, aka Adam Woods. If fate does exist it has a sick sense of humor.
*************

Suggestions? Concerns? I always like to take praise….

AMENDED TO ADD CHARACTER:

Phoenix Lyons doesn’t believe in fate, so she flips it the birdie when she mutters the word ‘never’. Of course, her life goes to hell in a hand-basket. Her estranged mother suddenly dies and now after six years, she must go home. This control freak is determined to get her free-of-family life back. All she has to do is find the 75 grand missing from the family business. The only person who can help is her father’s employee, Don Juan aka Adam Woods. A man who doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of a sex only relationship. Love is the last thing she wants…ever. Yet, fate seems to have other plans.

*********

I know it’s not close to what I want. I think I’m being too wordy. (why am I not surprised?) But I think it’s closer than my first one.

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Entry filed under: agents, query.

THIS JUST MIGHT BE MY BESTSELLING BOOK A NEW VIEW TO THE SAME ARGUMENT

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Amie Stuart  |  April 16, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Take this for WHATEVER it’s worth which might not be much. You have a series of events which obviously cause conflict but where’s the emotional growth? You tell us your heroine is a control freak, but you can show us in one sentence? How are things resolved? I feel like you’re missing something…

    Phoenix Lyons doesn’t believe in fate, so when she mutters the word ‘never’ she doesn’t expect her world to fall apart. Then her estranged mother dies of a heart attack; she’s [what does this have to do with the plot–what part does it play?] asked to find money missing from the family’s business, and the hot guy she met at the coffee shop works for her father. Phoenix then mutters fatal last words, “Things can’t get any worse.”

    Oh, but they do. Her CPA license is suspended, and her rainy day fund disappears from her bank account.

    This control freak must get her life back and the only way she can is with the help of her father’s employee, Adam Woods. [I’M ASSUMING ADAM IS THE GUY FROM THE COFFEE SHOP. WHAT’S THE BEEF BETWEEN HER AND HER DAD? HOW DOES IT PLAY INTO THE STORY?]
    If fate does exist, it has a sick sense of humor.

  • 2. Mel  |  April 16, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Ooh, thanks, Amie. I know I can’t look at it with a critical eye. (I’ve read over it so many freaking times.) But I see what you mean. It is a series of unfortunate events. I did miss out on the character. And Phoenix has a lot of character.

    When I re-work it, I’ll repost it.

  • 3. Pam  |  April 17, 2008 at 3:49 am

    The good thing is you’re coming up to Nationals where you can pitch in person to agents left and right. Of course, you’ll probably have somebody by then, so no worries, right?

    Gahr! Good luck!

  • 4. Mel  |  April 17, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Ha, no worries? Then what would I do?

    Thanks, finding an agent is torture. How has your search been going?

  • 5. Pam  |  April 17, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    I’ve been leaving that one alone and writing a historical–one I hope to have done before Nationals. Where I was going to let the other one sit for a while, I might give it another round of pitching in San Fran, but nothing before then.

    If I think about it, my head explodes. 🙂

  • 6. Mel  |  April 17, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Head exploding is bad, so yes leave it alone. 🙂 Plus, you have three months before National’s. I’m sure you’ll be done and have it all polished and shiny.

  • 7. moosema  |  April 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Mel —

    I’m a little late on the uptake here, but since I’ve had the honor of reading ISN, it’s got a soft spot in my heart and I want the best for it (and you).

    The difference between the first query and the amended one is your VOICE. Your voice shines in that second one … not so much in the first. I know you have a terrific voice and style. I realize it’s hard to do in just a couple of paragraphs, but work on letting that awesome voice of yours show and any agent will want to read more. I’d stay away from the Hell in a hand-basket comment though, and any other cliches, just for fear that an agent will think your book is full of them … and it’s not.

    Just my two cents … hope it helps!

    Wiffer Kim

  • 8. Mel  |  April 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Very good point about the cliche. I’ll try to think of a twist, because as you know I did screw up her life. How about ” an express elevator to hell”?

  • 9. Caryn  |  April 19, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    I definitely like the second one because it shows more character. In fact, I think it’s really, really good. It’s succinct, entertaining, and you actually have some voice in that one short paragraph, which is so hard to do.

    Okay, a few points: I do agree about cliches; the flipping the birdie part is fine, but following up immediately with “to hell in a hand-basket” is too much (although I admit I’m fond of that phrase myself). Can you reword it, or even just change the saying a bit like “to hell in a Volvo” or whatever, and make it something relevant to the story? Or you could just say that her life disintegrates.

    Also, try this punctuation instead: The only person who can help is her father’s employee Adam Woods, aka Don Juan, a man who doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of a sex-only relationship. Try changing free-of-family to family-free, since the former is a little confusing (I had to read it twice). No comma needed after “Yet” in the last paragraph. And, finally, and this is just me, but something about the word “freak” used to describe the heroine, even if it’s “control freak”, is a little bothersome. It makes her seem, I don’t know, completely unstable, which doesn’t give me much hope for her ability to be in a solid, loving, lifetime relationship. I know, I know…a lot resting on that one word, and it may just be me. You could just say she’s controlling or has control issues or something like that.

    All in all, though, this sounds terrific! I’m sure you’ll find the perfect agent soon.

  • 10. Edie  |  April 21, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    I’m lat to the party too, but Caryn said the things I’ve been thinking of — and one that I missed. She has a good eye.

    None of her suggestions are major. All in all, it’s a great pitch!

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