In Jeff Herman’s guide to literary agents, agent #9 lists her mix of business as Fiction–40% / Non-fiction–60%. <insert wincing grimace here> That doesn’t bode well for someone trying to push fiction in her face. But then she goes on to say she’s interested in “History that comes alive, anything smart with a good sense of humor.”
All the books I’ve read giving advice to aspiring authors pretty much say the same thing: Write the book you want to read, and that’s what I set out to do. There’s nothing I love more than reading a novel that plops you down into the middle of a certain time and place in a way that gives you a feel for what it was like to live then and there. I hope that I’ve done that with this novel of mine…and the eight more to follow…and I like to think I’ve been smart about it and written with a good sense of humor. After all, I am a Capricorn and one of our better-known traits is a strong, wry sense of humor. Mind you, it’s one thing to snap off a witty line in an email to someone you’ve known for 25 years but it’s another to keep that up over 400 pages (let alone nine books.) I guess I’m not really the one to judge best if I’ve accomplished exactly what I set out to do. That’s what Customer Reviews on Amazon are for. But at the very least it was my aim.
Unfortunately Agent #9 says she only responds to queries for projects she’s interested in so I’m not sure how long I’m supposed to wait until I throw a bucket of water on my Eternal Flame of Hope. But on the plus side, she asks for queries to include a synopsis and the first five pages of my manuscript. So that gives me several chances to impress her before I reach for the bucket. How long should I give her? A month? 10 weeks? Until December 2031?