Tuesday, September 4, 2007
SCANDAL'S DAUGHTER Blog Party--Literary Agent, Jessica Faust
Christine Wells writes: We are very lucky to have with us today one busy lady--literary agent extraordinaire, Jessica Faust from BookEnds Literary Agency. Jessica doesn't sleep, so combined with her business acumen and literary savvy, that makes her the perfect agent for a bandita from the southern hemisphere.*g* (I do try to refrain from calling her too often at 5am!)
Jessica Faust writes: Christine has very kindly asked me to be a guest blogger and write something motivational. Funny thing is that while I write every day on my own blog, suddenly this is very difficult. What do I say to a new audience and, truthfully, am I really the right person to be doing motivational writing?
Writing is an extremely difficult path and whether you’ve chosen it or it’s chosen you it’s guaranteed to be filled with bumps, bruises, tattered egos and lots of rewrites. Few things are more humbling than the search for an agent or publisher, but one of the things I think is so often forgotten during this path is the true joy agents and editors feel when finding that special gem. Despite what many might tell you, we aren’t in this business because we get a kick out of sending rejection letters. No, we are in this business because we absolutely love books and there is nothing more exciting than finding a book you love and being integral in bringing that book to the attention of the world.
When Christine and I first met it was a very unique situation. She was a Golden Heart finalist with an offer in hand. Needless to say this makes it pretty easy to find an agent. Christine will have to pipe in here, but my understanding (and assumption) is I was not the only agent she was considering. And I was sweating it out. There’s a belief that writers are really at the mercy of agents and editors and you’re the only one who experiences the anxiety of the wait. But that is as far from the truth as you can get. Once an agent, or an editor, makes the decision to offer representation, or a book deal, she has fallen in love. Nothing is more important in that moment than winning. She is sitting on pins and needles, hoping against hope that she’s been charming enough, that her offer is exactly what you want and yes, that you’ll choose her. Each time that phone rings she jumps and each hour that passes without word is painful. While Christine’s situation was unique, it would have been no different had she come to me without an offer in hand. Once I am committed enough to offer representation I’m all in.
I was lucky. Christine chose me and her first book, Scandal’s Daughter, releases this month. Not only do I feel lucky to be working with Christine, but I have had the privilege in already sharing in her successes. And yes, it’s true, I screamed when it was announced that she won the Golden Heart. I’m only sorry she wasn’t there to share in my excitement.
So what magical words of advice do I have for you? I don’t. I don’t have any secrets of how to find an agent, become published, maintain a long and prosperous publishing career and yes, make one, two or more bestseller lists. Because sadly, there are no secrets. Instead, there’s good old-fashioned work. Success in this business requires those bumps and bruises, rewrites and sometimes painful edits. The path is never a smooth one and rarely a straight road. And less I forgot, often the path means a little bit of luck, but if you look around you, at all of the truly great success stories out there, you’ll see that there’s a lot of luck to be had. I know I feel a little lucky with each new client I have the privilege of taking on.
Jessica will swing by the bandit lair now and again so feel free to ask questions. There's a prize for one lucky reader who comments--you guessed it! A signed copy of SCANDAL'S DAUGHTER and assorted goodies from Bandita Christine Wells.