Writing, Bloggin, and Agents

So I’ve been a little slow on things recently.  Just four days after the death of my father-in-law, one of my aunts from North Carolina passed away.  It never rains but that it pours I guess.  But that’s why I like writing. (I know, rough segue there).  I wrote quite a bit this morning on a novel that I’ve has been rolling around in my brain for a while.  I didn’t get a lot of pages written, but it was good writing – very solid and absorbing.  I love when that happens: when you get so lost in the world that’s being created you can actually lose hold of the world where you live.  It’s a great escape that still manages to be productive.

Blogging is a bit like that, only not in a fictitious way.  I know that there are real people out there who read this, and I even know who a lot of them are.  I don’t kid myself that I’m only “writing for myself” when I blog.  If it was only for me, I’d keep a journal.  The very nature of blogging is that it is for someone else to read, otherwise, why post it?  I’m sure it would sound very artistic and deep to claim that I blog for my own soul, but that’s just baloney.  I blog because I like the connections that come with it.  I like the cyber-friendships I have as a result of it.  And I like knowing that there are people who read my words and find them interesting, even if they don’t always agree with what I might say.  That’s one of the reasons my comments are open to anyone, not just a select few people who might say something nice.  Blogging is an extension of my writing, and it reminds me that, despite the other “jobs” I have, I am first and foremost a writer.

That leads me to my next topic – agents.  Evil spawn of Satan that agents can be, there are the rare few who actually have me convinced that an agent is a good person to know.  I’ve had two agents in the past, one who decided we were not a good mix, and one whom I decided was not a good agent for me.  I’ve sold all my books on my own, and for several years I’ve been convinced that this was the way I would keep it.  Children’s writers don’t make all that much money to begin with (unless you have the initials J.K. in your name), and I couldn’t see the sense in paying ten percent of what little I did make to someone else for a job I was clearly capable of doing on my own.

I’m rethinking that now.  A local writer I know was recently talking on one of our list serves about foreign rights.  Another writer chimed in with a discussion of all the money he had made through foreign rights for a book that isn’t even his top seller.  I know the book, and it’s a good book, but I wouldn’t identify it as one of my top ten all-time favorites.  But I was stunned at the amount of money this guy is making in Europe.  Heck, in Poland alone he is raking in a few thousand each royalty statement.  He gave complete credit to his agent for negotiating the foreign rights. 

I’ve been casually looking for agents for the past few months.  I think I’m shifting from casual to semi-formal now.  Especially with the next book coming out in a year.  I’m very proud of this one, and I know it’s going to do well.  And now I have a few new ones that are making progress. 

So I’m dusting off the cover letters for agents, making a list of new ones I want to contact, and getting ready to file the requisite rejection letters in the appropriate folder in my office.  There is a change in the air, though.  I can really sense it, like you can smell the plum blossoms in April by standing in the back yard.  It’s an exciting, nervous energy that floods me with a desire to spend more time working on my books than I can really afford, but I’ll do it anyway because I know that there is something good right around the corner (apologies to Dean Koontz for borrowing a good line).

The story that is bugging me most for attention is the s/f one.  It’s a challenge to write, but I’ve always loved the genre, so I’m enjoying it.

Now, back to the list of agents.


3 thoughts on “Writing, Bloggin, and Agents

  1. bkclubcare says:

    Fascinating! As in any profession, there are good ones, great ones, sucky ones and evil ones. Good luck and I’m looking forward to reading your works (egads – I suppose that means I should actually read what you’ve already published! I’ll get right on that. sorry I haven’t already…)

  2. kwjwrites says:

    Care –
    That’s funny! I hope you enjoy the books.


  3. kallioppe says:

    I’m know that feeling of nervous energy you describe — good things usually follow. Good luck with the agent search.

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