Sunday, July 25, 2010


This one's for Jill...

Fictional Agent Friday came and went. I had no chutzpah to search for my fairytale agent. Why? Real ones aren't exactly banging down my door.

I love this weekly spot, for many reasons. We get to delve into characters, ones we love or love to hate. Characters, we all have them, real, literary, some of us imaginary. Characters are what we live for.

I do want somewhat of a character for an agent. I'm not normal, as you may have guessed by now. The perfect agent for me must have BIG BALLS. Balls to sell my MS and balls to tell me what sucks, what I am doing wrong, and to scream to publishers what, as an author, I have done right.

Am I looking for a BFF? Hells no. Got those. A friend? Nope, got those two. But I don't was some  stiff either, in other words, NO YAWNERS. 

I want a CHEERLEADER.  My own personal cheerleader. Someone clappin', hootin', and hollerin' all the way to the NYT Betsellers list with me.

I want someone who pushes me to be my best, tough, in your face, take NO SHIT, and no prisoners, a deal making genius.

I WANT ARI GOLD.  Or the literary equivalent will suffice.

There, I said it. We all think it and he is a literal FICTIONAL AGENT. He is the best. He is all about the business of making YOU a STAR. But  more so about you doing your best work. He's a friend, a bodyguard, a spokesperson and the best agent gettin' it done in tinsel town.

But like REAL AGENTS, if we were some schleps walking Hollywood and Vine we probably couldn't get a meeting with the guy. I mean, I'm all for kidnapping Lloyd to get his attention. (Mental note, research possible assistants to kidnap.)

So, how about we channel our own personal Ari Golds and figure this whole literary agent thing out. We can chat about what agents have been blogging about, chat about what WE want as writers.

I mean, let's face it. Agents blog all over about what they want, what the business wants, what about what WE want?

Now it's a business and as with any other, there is a whole lot of crap out there. But there are also great books waiting to be published, maybe the authors are just bumbling through the query process. All we hear as writers is, we need agents. Well, they NEED US too.

Here, we can dish it all out. And maybe one of us will get it right.

So, my fellow aspiring kick ass AUTHORS. Find your balls, bring your A game, and channel your own INNER ARI GOLD.

Let's hug it out bitches and get'er done. Let's find us some agents.

SUNDAYS WITH ARI has officially commenced.

Today's topic: What do you see as your biggest
obstacle to getting an agent?


  1. I don't typically like the idea of agents...but since we're speaking hypothetically here, I think I'd want someone like Atilla the Hun, or Napoleon, or maybe even Alexander the Great. You know, good 'ol boys...they don't take no for an answer (they tend to get their way by sheer brut force alone), they don't take prisoners (you have to feed them and that's just inefficient) and they're all about expanding the empire. The empire being of course, our "brand" as an author...

  2. I like your way of thinking, Breanne. I'd want someone with no give when it came to what they want. To what I want. I'd love to have Mary, Queen of Scots, or Elizabeth the first, even Catherine the Great. Strong, resolute women.

    Great post, Charli! Biggest obstacle? I think is listening to all the BS out there. Like you said, we read blogs, articles, anything we can to find out what agents want. We tailor our queries to each and everyone of their tastes, and for what? The hope of catching their eye? Dude, I've read TONS of agented work, and you know what? Its no better or less cliched than stuff were critiqued for.

  3. Biggest obstacle: they never read my books. My many, many queries sent over the last couple years resulted in...count ' full read. And it was my first novel. Ya know, the one wiser writers than I shove in a dark place. But, really, it's pretty good. Just not excellent, to be honest.

    I also think timing plays a big part in getting agented/published. A friend of mine has been writing and trying to get published for longer than I have. She tried different genres, from medical thrillers to YA, and finally found luck with erotic romances for a major publisher who was looking to start an erotic romance line. Right book, right time. She got a five-book deal.

    Here's hoping the timing gods will shine their lights on us someday soon.

    Thanks for the shout out, Charli.

  4. G. Jillian Stone called dibs on Ari a couple of weeks ago. I hope it's okay I am using her man. LOL.

    J-Lynn thanks for the reciprocated shout-out and thanks for stopping by. Fist taps and shoulder bumps around. Forgot we have 2 Jills now.

    Breanne, how long was it before you decided not to go the agent route?

    J-Lynn, you are sooo right, right book, right time.

    JAWS. I too am tired of seeing the parade of cheese some agents sell and yet I keep getting DENIED.

    Okay, caught up on comments.

  5. How long? Ummm....somewhere around agent #46, who also said, "I like this, but epic fantasy isn't selling right now." They ALL said that. This was well over a year ago. I stopped querying then and didn't even think about it till this past March.


    Plus, there are a lot of agents who highly recommend the small pub route first. They will look at your query differently if it comes with credits. I will be writing that guest blog for you and sending it to you tomorrow and I'll go over some of that. It wasn't an easy choice. Everyone wants to sign their first novel with Random House. But, an awful lot of big name folks out there started out small in the beginning, then their titles were picked up for reprint later. Remember, if a novel does well, a small publisher print run isn't necessarily the end of the line for it.

    I only queried two publishers, one of them went defunct a few months later and the second one offered the deal. I only submitted for four months total time...BUT I submitted 48 queries. Glad I didn't stop at number 47...

    J-lynn, yes, timing is everything. George R.R. Martin had just signed his series into major network television right before I signed my book deal. Then, all of a sudden, everyone's outlook on epic fantasy changed. *sigh*

  6. I am basically starting to feel that this whole publishing, and landing an agent cluster fuck is nothing but a lottery. Which is frustrating, because I've never won a damn thing in my life. My biggest obstacle is my naturally jaded self. I don't know if I have it in me to go gang busters with query letters and cater to their every whim. Basically I'm still that rebellious adolescent who doesn't want to be told what to do. I'm such a

  7. Ari's balls are big enough to share. ;) Jill

  8. Totally agree there. Summoning my own inner Ari from now on, not just with writing, but with all things. Good luck in Orlando. ;)