I was channel surfing last night and came across what I consider one of the dumbest shows on television—Finding Bigfoot. These guys never give up. They follow every possible lead and trample through forests and streams in search of a creature that might not even exist.
Then it dawned on me—that show is about me. The difference is the creature I keep looking for is just as elusive and possibly just as mythical. When I think about it, I personally have no hard evidence that they exist either. Plus, there have been fewer eyewitness sightings. No, I’m not talking about ghosts, UFOs, or the Lucky Charms leprechaun; I’m talking about that transcendental alchemist know as the Literary Agent.
Sure, I’ve seen pictures on the internet and have even read many a blog supposedly written by literary agents, but I’ve also seen pictures of little green men from outer space and have read blogs dedicated to the belief that Elvis is still alive.
Yet I keep following every possible lead and sending out those queries. I have finally moved beyond the form-letter-rejection phase, although I still get my share of those. But in the last few months, I’ve had six agents request a full manuscript, either on my latest or for Reternity, my award-winning novel. I’ve even had an agent request a six-week exclusive and suggest minor revisions before finally rejecting it.
But at least they rejected it in style. “I think you have a great piece here – it’s really, truly, amazing! I love it! Honestly! But I think I was held back because I’m not sure I have the editor contacts for this project.”
Gee, you had me at “really, truly, amazing.”
Right now I have an international agent interested in Reternity. She has several international best-sellers under her belt, but I still would prefer to find an American agency that could represent my books in this country and abroad.
Also, recently, a pretty big author has read a couple of my books and recommended me to his own agent. I was even given a personal email. I sent the query and first chapter as requested and the agent asked for the entire manuscript, so I at least have made it this far. This just happened a few days ago and my fingers are still crossed.
So I’ll keep plugging along. I’ll stomp through woods and wade through streams (metaphorically of course) until I find that secret hiding place of the world’s most mystifying apparitions and can finally utter those two magic words—“My agent.”
Neal Wooten, Publisher/Indie Author/Illustrator/Cartoonist