The Literary Agent Puzzle

Hey Guys,

How are you all? I hope if you were one of the many people hit with major snow this week, you’re now beginning to dig yourself out. Me? I’m so very happy to say that my little corner of Upstate, NY was not hit. Like at all. It’s so weird, because we always get hit. But I won’t complain. I’m definitely happy to share the white fluffy stuff for a change!

So my post today may seem a bit out of order. Many of you may have read my post a few weeks ago What Happens After you Sign with a Literary Agent. Well, early this week I had a conversation with a client that prompted me to write this post today. It probably would have been helpful to read sooner, but ideas for posts come when they come. 🙂

Earlier this week, I was speaking with one of my business clients, whom I’ll call Mr. X. After we finished touching base on the status of the project, he asked me, “How do you know if a literary agent is good?”

Before I talk about how I answered, I’ll give you a little background…Mr. X is aware that I recently signed with a literary agent. We’ve often spoke of how difficult it is to get a book published traditionally. In fact, during his career, he has had several business type books self published, and the book I’m ghostwriting for him will also be sold directly on amazon once I’m finished. So upon hearing his question, I figured he was just asking to make conversation.

I came to find out however, that he has also hired a ghostwriter to write a memoir for one of his close friends, and this book, (he feels) may be able to get traditionally published. So he asked me how to find a good literary agent—and if I knew any good ones who represented adult memoirs.

Wow. That’s such a loaded question…and it brought me back several years—seven to be exact.

When I first started writing and thinking about getting my manuscript published, I asked myself the same question. Although I had been writing for a little while, I had no idea what was involved in seeing my manuscript in print. So I set out to learn everything I could about making it happen.

And it wasn’t easy.

In fact, it took me FOREVER to figure it out. Many days I felt like the publishing business was a big puzzle—with hundreds of pieces, not all of which were even in the puzzle box.  I had to search high and low to find them, and then once I did I had to figure out where they fit into the big puzzle picture.

childrens_puzzle_pieces_scattered.png

I read as many books as I could on the business of publishing. I searched the internet for articles on getting a book published. I read author websites, looking for any piece of helpful information. I read writing blogs—endlessly and religiously. I was kind of obsessive about it actually, almost like a sponge soaking up anything I could.

This became my life.

When I wasn’t writing or reading (or doing the mom/ wife thing) I was trying to make sense of the whole publishing thing. And what I learned early on was that if I was going to have any chance of being traditionally published, I needed to get myself a literary agent.  (Easier said than done!) But once my attention was turned to literary agents, I had to learn WHICH literary agents to target.

So over the next few years, I followed and read all I could about any agent who represented middle grade fiction. Then as I became ready to query them, I put together a list. And because the years flew by and I eventually queried three different manuscripts, some literary agents on my list came and went. Others became ultra successful and were becoming more selective. Not that they weren’t looking for the best books early on in their careers, but as the years went on, they only had room on their lists to sign one or two new clients each year. New agents came on the scene and I had to learn all I could about them as well.

So the thing is, it became a never ending search for agents that would be a good fit for my manuscript. It wasn’t something I could find after one day of browsing the internet. And that’s exactly what I told Mr. X. If he wanted to find an agent that might be interested in his memoir, he would need to do some research. A lot of research.

And that’s what I would tell any knew writer looking to get traditionally published. Information on literary agents is out there, but just like writing the manuscript itself, no one can do the work for you. You have to do it yourself.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t ask for help. In fact, if Mr. X had been trying to find an agent to represent a children’s book I would have had more information to share. But in the world of memoirs, I am as clueless as any new writer!

But for the rest of you who are on Twitter and writing sites, gathering all the information you can on agents that rep your age group and genre, you’re doing the right thing. I wish I had a magic wand that I could wave…matching you up with your perfect agent or at least help you find those missing puzzle pieces—but I can’t. It’s all up to you. But, if you keep at it long enough, have a polished manuscript, and are willing to learn, you won’t need anyone’s magic wand.

You will be enough.

Good luck my friends, I hope you find a good bunch of agents for your query list. One of them may just be a key piece to your puzzle…and the one person who can best champion your work!

Ta ta for now… I hope we’ll chat soon!

Jackie

 

 

 

 

Guest Blogger, Melyssa Mercado: Getting the Call

Hey Guys,

You’re in for a treat today. My lovely, talented, and supremely hysterical Critique Partner, Melyssa Mercado is in the house today!!

Cue the applause!

A little louder, please…

Okay, now stop. 

Thanks!

I am so thrilled to welcome Mel to the site as my first ever guest blogger. How cool is that?? I only wish her visit was in person- like at a chic NYC cafe or an Upstate, NY eatery with lots of wine and pasta or coffee and snickerdoodles instead, but we have to start somewhere right, so a little storytelling right here on the blog will have to do. 🙂

Mel writes middle grade fiction (and some YA too) and recently got the call with her dream literary agent. Here’s how it all happened in her own words: 

 

I’m SO excited to be hanging out on my CP’s blog-couch today! Thanks for having me, my friend!! xo

 

*hands out cookies*

 

*primps words*

 

Okay, I have to start off by saying that without Jackie and my other incredibly talented CPs, I wouldn’t be here with a call-story to tell. CP friends are a writer’s truest treasure! ❤

 

*picks gold dust out of Jackie’s hair*

 

So I posted an agent call story on my blog here like two minutes after I accepted my agent’s offer—Needless to say, my adrenaline might have been a weensy bit…accelerated. But now that I’ve had a few months to settle into the story, and Jackie has so kindly asked me to share it here on her beautiful blog, I’d love to give it another go…

 

Calmly.

 

 

Melyssa- Julia Roberts pic

 

 

With poise.

 

 

Melyssa- Kristen Wigg pic

 

And control.

 

 

Melyssa- baby pic

 

 

This is why I can’t be invited to places.

 

But until security is called…

 

My writing road travels back as far as I can remember. Coming up with scripts for a camp play, begging my friends to give me random topics, so I could turn them into short stories, and then there was my diary…well, let’s just say we don’t have enough time. Words have always been a part of my personal footprint—along with my dream of writing a book. Over the years, I’ve accumulated my weight in unfinished stories, ideas, and maybe-one-days. Then, about three years ago—when I could no longer zip up my dream-pants—I decided to go full steam ahead on the publication trail.

 

Little did I know how much there was to learn. Just because I’d been writing my whole life, didn’t mean I was ready my whole life. You guys know what I’m talking about—show don’t tell, info dumps, prologues…yeah, good times.

I joined Twitter so I could participate in Brenda Drake’s #PitchWars (social media always gave me the willies, so this was a really big deal for me).

 

Best decision ever.

 

My marble notebook was soon packed with tips and workshop links, generously offered by our incredible online writing community.

 

Then, like many of my writing buddies, I entered a bunch of online contests. I reached out and found CPs who all had the same dream. We traded stories, revisions, pitches, and queries back and forth. I can’t say enough about the Critique Partner process. These guys helped me shine up my stories and were, basically, the most supportive people on the planet. Who knew I wasn’t alone in this big bold writing world?

 

I wrote, and revised, and wrote, and revised…Fantasy to contemporary. 3rd person to 1st. Present tense to past. YA to MG. Some pitches made it into contests. Some didn’t. Some entries got requests. Some got none. Some queries got partials and fulls, and others got form-rejections all the way home (Dueling Dragons has nothing on this emotional ride, y’all).

 

All throughout, I devoured every single success story I could get my eyes on. I read them not only for the positive pick-me-ups, and to support my friends who’d been in the query trenches with me, but for any hint, or clue to their success.

 

Maybe I could follow their lead.

 

Maybe I could do the same thing they did.

 

Maybe. Maybe. Stick my head in gravy.

 

But then one day, it happened. After a vigorous round of queries for my latest MG Contemporary story, I received an offer of representation.

 

An offer.

 

From a real agent. (I checked)

 

Excited doesn’t even begin to cover this feeling. I blinked for several days afterward, still not convinced it happened. Did an agent really just offer to represent me? And not only for this new story, but for a second story I’d written, too?

 

*blinks and blinks and blinks*

 

But it was true. She offered! All of our communication was done through email. And thanks to the ga-zillion agent success stories I’d read, I knew an actual “call” didn’t always happen, so I was good with it. The offering agent was extremely generous in giving me time to let the other agents know of my offer. She was a real pro and totally understood my need to extend this courtesy without any pressure.

 

Nudge emails went out right away. I informed the other agents of the offer and told them I was looking to make a decision in a week. And true to everything I’d ever read about nudge emails, my querying spreadsheet immediately began to fill with responses. Emails back with either a wish-me-well pass or a request for the full manuscript and time to read.

 

Vicki Selvaggio of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency was one of agents who asked for the full manuscript and time to read. She said she’d get back to me within the requested time frame, and even added a sweet personal note saying she was expecting this nudge-email based on my query. It was an immediate connection. And, of course, I asked her for the following week’s lottery numbers.

 

Now to wait and see what she thought of the full story.

 

Meanwhile, more wish-me-wells came in. Some of the agents were interested in the story, but just didn’t have time to read by the deadline. Some just didn’t connect. But I have to say that I was floored by all the extremely busy agents who took the time to get back to me one way or the other so promptly. By mid-week, my spreadsheet was complete and it was down to Vicki and the first offering agent.

 

Feel free to triple whatever level of nail-biting excitement you can imagine going on between me and my super-power writing buddies during this whole week (especially, since one of them was also going back and forth with an offer of her own at this exact same time *points at Jackie*)

 

While I waited to hear back from Vicki, the offering agent sent me her contract to review, as well as some comments she had on both my stories.  Every one of her emails were lovely, kind, and extremely enthusiastic about my work. I was able to envision implementing most of the notes, while others veered slightly from the story’s path. But I’d done enough research to know that changes are to be expected in publication, so I was totally ready to take on the challenge.

 

During this time, Vicki was also emailing me, requesting additional info: What else I was working on? Could I send a short pitch for all my WIPs?

 

Um, yeah, I could! …Here’s her chance to run screaming.

 

I laid it all out there. WIPs, premises, genres…a particularly odd title for a MG Halloween story, which revealed the full measure of my inner-MG silliness. I even included a tidbit about a Historical Romance I’ve been dying to start. *swoons all over HR*

 

She didn’t run.

 

Or scream.

 

And when Vicki wrote again, exactly when she said she would, and asked for a call that very same night, my blink was off the charts. I still might need a patch.

 

We talked for about an hour. She had notes on my stories also. She loved that I wrote with humor (which was a biggie for me). And the story changes she had in mind weren’t on style, but more along the lines of structure.

 

I could do structure.

 

She asked more questions:

 

How do I feel about the collaborative process?

 

My middle name’s Half Chopstick.

 

How long have I been writing?

 

Just start with forever and count backwards.

 

She filled me in some more on her professional background, and told me how much she loved helping new writers shape and build their careers. We talked about family, life, more writing stuff. And we just clicked. When Vicki offered me representation right there on the spot (for both of these stories and the future WIPs I’d told her about), I just knew in my heart she was the one.

 

The first offering agent was completely awesome, no doubt about it. But sometimes a choice comes down to a feeling and Vicki was just the rightest one for me (yes, rightest is a word). I wrote to tell the first agent of my decision, and she had nothing but genuine happiness and good wishes for me and my new agent.

 

So with my decision made, Vicki sent the contract and I signed! WOO!! *champagne pop*

 

The road is still being paved to seeing one of my stories on a shelf, and I know there are no guarantees on anything, but for me, having someone in your corner who believes not only in what you do, but how you do it is invaluable.

 

I can’t wait to read all of your agent call stories next!! Thanks for spending some time with mine.

 

And thanks again for having me, Jackie! 💜💜💜 You are the purplest!

 

*snags two cookies for the blog ride home*

 

Okay Guys, so forgive me while I wipe the tears of virtual joy away. Reading call stories always get me anyway, but this one really got me because it happened to someone I know and love and treasure.

You sooo deserve this Mel and I’m so very proud of you! Just wait until the world gets their hands on your books. They will never want to put them down!  

And the weirdest part is that Mel and I both signed with our literary agents in the SAME WEEK-just like Mel said. I couldn’t have written the scene better myself! Just as I was freaking out over my call, Mel was freaking out over hers too. So you can imagine what our messages back and forth were like! It was a crazy, unbelievable week and I’m so happy to have had her to share it with.

Thanks Mel, for sharing your story with all of us (and for bringing the cookies!). I know we’ll all be rooting for you- to see your words in print. Feel free to stop by the blog anytime. We can’t to read about your publishing news one day. And next time feel free to bring the champagne so we can celebrate. Oh wait, never mind. I guess I should have it here waiting for you! ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Writers Get in Their Own Way

Don’t be afraid to look at your reflection…

sneaker reflection

Everything you need to reach your goal,

is staring back at you. 

I sometimes wonder if the only thing holding back a writer, is fear. Fear of writing from the heart, fear of being too authentic, fear of letting the reader get too close. Writing is a personal act, especially writing well. The best pieces of writing though are the ones that bring the emotion to the page, the ones that make the reader feel something.

Don’t be afraid to go there. Don’t be afraid to dig deep within yourself to bring your own emotions to the page-the good, the bad, the ugly. All of it, not just some. 

Have you ever cried as you wrote a scene, or laughed until your stomach hurt? Have you ever scared yourself at the thought of being trapped right where your main character is trapped, or energized by their new idea? If you don’t feel these things as your write them, and then feel them again- right in the pit of your stomach, every single time you re-read them, then most likely your readers won’t either.

Don’t get in your own way. Don’t be afraid to really write that scene, the one you need to write. Only you can write what’s in your heart…and until you do, your readers will be missing out on the best you have to put on the page. And I know you can do better than that!

So don’t be afraid to look at your own reflection, the one that only you see when you look real close. The key to your best writing may be looking right back at you. ❤

So guys…that’s my two cents for today. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts. I’d love to know how you get out of your own way when writing an emotional scene, whether the emotion is anger, love, excitement, nervousness, grief, or despair.

I hope you all had a fun weekend, whether it was crazy or calm… Mine was filled with a little writing, a bit of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, a lot of track and field (those high school meets are long!), a house full of teenage boys eating all the food, a stint dropping my daughter off at a team overnight at her soon-to-be college (*sniff, sniff), and a sprinkle of movie time with my hubby (Martian was completely amazing…Go and watch it now!!). Oh and I can’t forget Mexican lasagna night. Yum!

You’ll want to check back here later in the week, guys…probably Wednesday. We’ll be welcoming our very first guest ever to swirl and spark. My fantabulous critique partner, the lovely Melyssa Mercado! She’ll be stopping by to share her getting the call story! I’m so excited for you to “meet” her if you haven’t already. Like I said, she’s fantabulous and her writing is too!     

  *Photo credit- unknown

What Happens After you Sign with a Literary Agent

Hey all,

I thought today I’d chat about a subject that’s shrouded in mystery for most writers:

What happens after a writer finally becomes represented by a literary agent?

This experience is different for every writer. There are hundreds of literary agents out there, and when you match them up with the thousands of writers who sign with them, the results can vary. So, I can only speak for myself when I bring up this topic. However, there are some commonalities that I like to focus on so that maybe, somehow, you’ll feel less anxiety should you ever find yourself courted by your own fabulous literary agent.

For me, the days that followed my signing with Golden Wheat Literary were a whirlwind, and actually not that much different than I pictured, imagined, and dreamed it would be like for the last seven years. A permanent smile was plastered across my face as I made calls to my closest family members and friends. I told everyone who asked the story of how Rebecca Angus requested my pages, how she eventually requested the full, how much she adored my book (yes adored!), all about our amazing phone conversation including her offer of representation and her exciting plan for my manuscript. (Yikes!)

It was an exhausting and exhilarating and crazy and wonderful time! For the full story click here.

That first week was something special because not only did I gain an advocate for my work, I gained a slew of writer friends at the agency including their founder, literary agent Jessica Schmeidler too. It immediately felt like a combination of a family full of encouragement and congratulations, and a team that I had just been selected to.  It felt (and still does feel) amazing to become a part of something so fantastic that I’ve work so hard for, for so long.

I have to admit that suddenly being represented by a literary agent felt like validation—like I had finally made it to the big leagues or something. I can’t explain it any better except to say, I felt like I’d just jumped into the basket of a hot air balloon that was going to carry me to the next level in my quest to get my manuscript published.

 hot-air-balloon-57_3

 Over the course of that first week after signing, Rebecca and I communicated mainly through email.  She let me know what I should expect from her in the weeks to come, and a pretty specific timeline for when I should expect it. It was all so reassuring and made this journey into the unknown somehow less daunting.

So this is the part you’re probably all dying to know. What’s the timeline? How soon after I sign, will my book actually go out on submission to editors? Well as I said before, every writer’s manuscript is different and every agent’s  situation is different.

Overall, here is my understanding of what happens next for most every writer.

A writer will receive an edit letter. But here’s where every agent and letter is obviously different. Some edit letters will indicate massive changes, and some will indicate minor ones depending on the readiness of the manuscript.

The other big question you’re probably wondering is how long after I sign with an agent will I receive my edit letter. Well, that depends on the agent and the condition of your manuscript too. If an agent handles hundreds of clients, it may take her longer to complete it and then send it along to you. If it’s a busy time of year, it may take her longer as well. If your manuscript needs massive revisions, the letter will take a bit longer still.

But here’s the thing, you will probably know the answers to these questions by the end of your call with the agent, or at least before you sign on the dotted line. Rebecca and I spoke at length about the condition of my manuscript and how ready it was to go out on submission during our call. I felt very confident and clear at the end of the call about what the next step would be for me.

Many agents are very good with communication. I am thrilled to say that Rebecca is one of them. She was in constant contact with me immediately after signing and was very specific about the time frame. It made it much easier to manage my expectations and not refresh my email every forty-five seconds. She was also clear with what I should be doing until I received my edit letter. We had talked during the call about a sequel to my manuscript and she was on board with the idea. Since I had already planned out the major plot points, she encouraged me to get started on it.

So that’s what I did while I waited for my edit letter from her. She also put me in touch with one of the other middle grade writers that she recently signed on to represent. The agency has a fantastic “team” philosophy and it was a great way to come off the bench so to speak. Ultimately we ended up reading each others manuscripts… I immediately felt like  part of the team, acting as an additional beta reader for an amazingly talented author. I’m not sure if this happens often or rarely, but that’s what happened for me.

Rebecca also made me aware of the comp titles she would be using to pitch my manuscript in her proposal, and wanted my opinion. (My opinion!) So be prepared for that. A few were titles I had not read, so it gave me a chance to read a couple of recently published middle grade books similar to my own. It was a fun assignment to have because now it was sort of my “job” to read—which of course I was eager to do!

Some agents are more active on social media than others, and depending on how yours is, that may be a way that you communicate in an informal way in addition to phone calls or email. Rebecca happens to be pretty active and I’ve come to appreciate that she’s busy and inundated with emails—from querying writers, clients, editors…so interacting on Twitter is a way we can connect even if I’m not receiving weekly emails from her. When I tweet that I’m working on some new chapters, and she favorites my tweet or replies with a word of encouragement—it’s like an unofficial check-in. I don’t have to email her with my progress, but she’s still aware of what I’m doing. So it’s possible your agent may work this way too.

I received an evaluation of my manuscript and my edit letter from Rebecca a few weeks after signing, and got to work right away on revisions. They were like gold in my hands! I couldn’t wait to read through them and then dig right in. It was time to polish my manuscript up to a shine. 🙂 Meanwhile, Rebecca was busy preparing a list of editors she would target in the first round of submissions, and also the proposal she would present to them with regards to my book. What’s included in that proposal I will include in a future post if I am able to disclose that info. This is all pretty new to me so I want to be sure not to speak on anything that may be confidential.

After I completed my revisions, I sent my manuscript back to her and crossed my fingers. Its always nerve wracking having someone read your manuscript, and even more so when it’s your new agent!  But she loved my revisions and I was fortunate that I didn’t need to revise a second time. However, many writers go through several revisions before their agent feels it’s ready to go out on submission. In fact, its pretty common from what I understand.  So be ready for whatever’s thrown your way—Be open to his/ her expertise, be sure you understand what they’re requesting, and take your time getting it right. As much as you want to hurry and get your baby out into the world, you’ll have a better chance of ultimate success if you make your story into the best possible version of itself.

So that’s it. That’s what happens immediately after signing. Of course there are exceptions to this and if there are I’m sure I’m not the only one who would love to hear them…so comment away! Or comment anyway if you’d just like to say Hi!

I hope this topic has been helpful. I always handle new situations better when I have at least a vague idea of what to expect. Hopefully this info can do that for you.

Because your time will soon come.

If you keep at it long enough and work hard to improve your craft, it just will. Because it only takes one agent to love your work—to become an advocate for your story. I’m so lucky to have found mine! Now go on and write something—and if you haven’t already, go find yours! ❤

dallas-hot-air-balloon-rides-05

*Photo credits- unknown

 

 

 

Time Can Be on Your Side

Time can be on your side.

The ticking clock doesn’t have to be an excuse.

Not everyone knows what they want to accomplish by age 21, or even by age 41. So if you have a vision now, be thankful for the seconds, minutes, and hours you’ve had to figure it out.

Then take that first step—just one.

One day, you’ll glance at the clock and realize your time was well spent, your vision has manifested into reality.

Whether your goal is to write a novel, sign with a literary agent, catch the attention of an editor at a publishing house, learn to speak French, take a Zumba class, run a marathon, or open an on-line bakery, you need to take that first step. Don’t worry that there aren’t enough hours in the day. Everyone has a few minutes somewhere in their day to start doing something.

Take a moment today to start (or continue) working on something great. You have all the tools you need. You know I’m right. 🙂 It took me 8 years to sign with my agent. 8! I’m not worried that the next step will take me 8 more. Worrying is a useless time thief! All I can do is take another step. Write another chapter. Reach out to good people who know more than me. And learn from them.

Happy Monday all…remember, it’s the day of endless possibilities. Check back later in the week. I’ll be chatting about what happens AFTER you sign with a literary agent.

Creativity Requires Courage

Hi Everyone,

Happy New Year! I hope your holiday season was restful and rejuvenating.  January is one of my very favorite months. Not only because my daughter was born this month—18 years ago today, in fact…

Happy Happy Birthday, Princess Danielle!

Hooray for you!! I hope this year is everything you dream it will be.

But also because it’s a month where we wipe the slate clean and begin again. I don’t want to make this post about New Years resolutions because yanno, everyone else has done that already. Instead I’d rather just focus on some positive things set for 2016.

For those of you who missed it, yesterday marked my first guest post on another blog. OMG, it was both terrifying and exciting at the same time! Author Michelle Hauck, host of Michelle4Laughs.com was sweet enough to ask me to share my story of signing with my agent.  Many of you have already read the post, but in case you missed it, here’s the link on her site:  http://www.michelle4laughs.com/2016/01/getting-call-with-jackie-yeager.html

As you can see from the tab on the right, I’ve added manuscript, query, and synopsis editing services to the freelance work I do. I’ve considered making this move for a long while now. One of the reasons I hesitated was that early in my writing career, I was told to never pay an editor- it’s just not necessary. Once you sign with an agent or grab the attention of a publisher, you’ll work with an editor and they will help to make your manuscript sparkle. And to some extent, I agree. However, some writers could really use a fresh eye to look at their work before submitting to an agent.

If you’re one of the lucky writers who has really strong critique partners (who have been through the submission process before and have at least received several requests), then most likely you’re on the right track. However, after receiving editing requests from readers of this blog over the last year, I realized that many of you don’t, or haven’t been able to get past the rejection phase. (I’ve been there, and it can be soooo frustrating!) I now realize that many of my blog readers are looking for an extra hand—a leg up as they ready their work for submission, someone to bring their writing to the next level.

So, I’ve decided to take on critiquing/ editing of manuscripts, query letters, and the dreaded synopsis in addition to the business freelance writing work I do.  I’ve begun work with three amazing writers already and the experience has been fantastic. Helping other writers to bring their writing to the next level just may be my new favorite thing in the world to do!

I’m currently adding writers for January. Click here for more detailed information. My email address is listed. I’d love to hear from you even if you’re not sure how I can help you. I’d be happy to customize my editing/ critiquing to fit your needs.

In terms of the blog, here’s what coming up in the next few months. I’m planning to share some success stories with you. Reading stories of other writers finally getting the call, finally signing with a literary agent, finally getting a book deal have kept me inspired to keep writing all these years. Publishing is a tough business. It’s good to hear when other writers just like us find a way to get their book babies out into the world!

I’ll also be posting on topics very close to my heart—or rather my world right now…

What it’s like to be out on submission to publishers.

Not much has been written on this and I’m not sure why. I mean, what the big secret? Loads of information can be found about what it’s like to be querying, but not so much can be found about what it’s like to be out on submission. So I plan to let you know what it is like for me. But before that, I’ll also touch on…

What happens after a writer signs with a literary agent—but before they actually go out on sub.

That time can be different for everyone, but I can give you a peek into the way it has been for me. I may even ask some of my writing friends (you know who you are!) to share their insights as well. Our stories are all so different, but somehow the same, ya know??

For the immediate future, when I’m not hanging out at this site, or working on my freelance projects, I’ll be in full draft mode. I’m writing Book 2—the middle grade sequel to the manuscript that grabbed my agent’s attention. It’s been fantastically fun to jump back into the world of my five favorite kids—crazy to see what adventures I can dream up for them. I’ll post about my progress on that periodically.

As far as when I’ll be posting, I’ve decided to stick with my once a week schedule, but the days I post may change week to week. (And I may post more often if I have something worthwhile to say!) The pressure of getting a post up on the site every Wednesday by 8:00am has gotten to me. I’d rather post early in the week if I can, and post later if I need to.

So what about all of you? What will you be working on in the next few months? A draft? A revision? A sequel? Something completely new? Tell us about it. I was a cheerleader in my former life so I have my pomp poms ready!

Thanks for checking in, my friends. I wish for you this…that 2016 will fill you with all the ideas, all the words, all the amazing stories, and all the writing adventures you can dream of. Just remember, it takes courage to follow your dreams, so I wish you all the courage too. 🙂

Creativity picture