Sunday, February 17, 2008

I've Been Holding Out.

A few months ago, I sent a query letter and the first chapter of my book to one of the most well known literary agencies in NYC. I won't mention them by name, but one of the many big-hitter-authors on their roster is an author that has carved quite a place/throne for himself in the Legal Thriller genre.

"Why in the world would you even bother, Seth?" you might ask. Well, when you are looking for Agents, one of the things you do is try to find a Novel similar to yours, then look for their agent. Well, I found a novel that was similar to mine in style and I set out to find his agent. My novel is very quirky and (hopefully) funny and weird and you can't imagine how hard it was to find a book similar in style. And you can't imagine how bummed i was to find out that his agent was not only huge, but uber gigantasauras huge, and taking on a new author was probably at the bottom of his to do list... twenty years ago.

Alas, I sent the query anyways and sulked off to bed.

Lo and behold, the next day... I got a request from that agency to read the full manuscript.

That doesn't mean that he will represent me, but I went from a 1 in 50,000 to maybe a 1 in 20 to 50. So, I geeked out pretty hard. That means, out of the thousands of queries they get weekly from new and established authors, they saw something in my query and first chapter that stood out enough to request the full manuscript!

"But what the heck?" I thought, "This guy doesn't need any new authors... he's gets enough money to go to the moon and jump around in a space suit trying to catch zero-gravity m&ms every time "you-know-who" publishes a new novel."

After a little research, I read that this particular agent tries to pick one or two new authors every few years to reinvigorate the business. So, I might have a shot, if not with him, then one of the other 3 amazing agents at his agency. Either way, I am honored and bewildered that he (or his screening assistant) thought mine was interesting enough to put in the finals.

I tell you this news now, my friends, for two reasons.

First, for you to pray that God's will is done, (or that they they will beg like starving puppies to represent me, either one... same thing.) and second, because and its more fun to talk about it while its still a possibility.

At the very worst, I know that it is good enough for them to take the time out of their busy schedule of managing their multi-million dollar producing clients to read me little ole' novel, which is encouraging. And a little encouragement goes a long way, especially in a business where rejection is the norm, especially for a newbie like me.

I know what some of you are thinking... "huh, I always thought Seth was a decent dribbler, but not all that special." Well, that may be true, but I'm happy to say that there is a great difference in the writing you see here, and the intense, sweaty work that goes into shaping each paragraph of a novel like its an ice sculpture... (in my case, the sculpture resembles a short and pudgy man.) or tweaking each sentence until it rings like a bell... or giving it structure and its dialogue authenticity... developing characters until you forget you are reading... the whole time trying to stay spontaneous and crackling with energy... Not to mention correcting the myriadic mountain of cascading grammatical errors. I hope I've achieved, even a little of that. In the meantime, I'll keep crackin' at it.

Anyways, I thought I'd share that with you guys because its getting close to the time they should be letting me know, and because I like you so darn much and I thought you'd find it encouraging too. I hope this encourages anyone who is working at a goal or a dream, and to not give up, and to know that little successes are the ones that get you to the big ones, and that the biggest success is actually doing it! So, if you've had a dream sitting inside of you for a long, long time, maybe its time that you gave it a little life while you can. There are hundreds of thousands of people who don't have the resources that you have, and to do nothing with what you have, is a sin and a smack in their face. "To whom much is given, much is required." Get to it and bless others generously with what you have been given!

P.S., there is no doubt that the novel would be 100 miles of that agency if it hadn't been for my wife's keen, creative, encouraging, and gorgeous green editing eyes. Period. End of story. And, I just bet, that his might be the only novel that was completely edited while waiting on line for Broadway auditions, so, DOUBLE-FUN!

Wish me luck!

Okay, back to German studies.

19 comments:

nancy said...

WOW! I am SO happy for you. I feel like doing a happy dance, but I was raised Southern Baptist, so without the proper dancing upbringing it would be very ugly. But, I'm dancing in my head AND saying WOOHOO just for you.

The Cachinnator said...

You know I'm in your corner. Go on, boy.

majorsteve said...

It doesn't surprise me at all Seth. You've got lots of talent...and Amber. Very inspiring.

Vitamin Z said...

It will be good to have known you when you were just a simple blog master.

z

Chaotic Hammer said...

Rock on, Sethro.

Kristin said...

Congratulations in advance!

MamasBoy said...

That sounds pretty exciting to me.

Godspeed.

Seth Ward said...

Thanks guys!

Keep your fingers crossed.

portorikan said...

Congratulations. That sounds freakin' awesome.

Also, Thank you. Thank you for the encouraging words.

Joanna Martens said...

I'm praying seth!

natalie said...

I've been reading your blog for awhile (found it via Shaun Groves). On more than one occasion I have lol'd out loud, so thanks for that :) This post is particularly encouraging. I'm also a writer (which means I am also an avid coffee slinger, coffee machine wrangler, etc.) and it can be a frustrating journey sometimes. Occasionally I also need to be reminded to use what I've been given and not get apathetic or too frustrated to keep putting words on a page. So congrats on connecting with a great agent and thanks for the nudge! :)

Also, Belle is by far the coolest Disney princess!

Amy said...

Very awesome. I'm so jealous.

In any case, I love your writing style, it's strong. can't wait to read the book.

Seth Ward said...

Thanks Amy,

Have you gone through the querying process yet? Brutal.

I'm assuming you are a writer too.

Stephen said...

Congrats, Seth. I hope they decide to publish it. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Girish G. K. said...

Chnaced by your blog by chance,,... congrats on the book bit.. very interesting blog.. hope to drop by later...
have a nice day
blessed be
G

Susanne said...

COOL! I'm looking forward to your book being on my "Books I Want to Read" list! :)

Anonymous said...

Awesome! I'm a new reader to your blog (yep, through Shaun Groves, too) and it's fun to think about New York life while I safe way down in South Georgia!

I'm a dream chaser, too and it sure feels great!

Blessings!

Kelly said...

Hi Seth, you do not need luck as you have God and your other half. Remember Brody's blog on kid-sized dreams? I always remember that discussion we had then and share it with friends because as I am remaining flexible to His leading, the sky is not even His limit. Go on believing in those dreams...I am sure you will be continuously amazed beyond your wildest imagination!

The Egel Nest said...

Don't know if you have ever been to authorblog...run by David McMahon...you would love his site...a haven for authors both aspiring and spiraling :)

You can find his link on my blog :)


Bradley
The Egel Nest