|Archer is full of WOE! I am not. Oops.|
Of course, we also touched on market trends, completely freaking me out. You may not realize this, but a book that's coming out right now was purchased by a publisher roughly two years ago. So if the current trend is "YA Books About Skateboarding Koalas!" you can't say "Well, that's FAB because I'm writing (or should write) a book about a skateboarding koala!" You've already missed it. UNLESS your book is fresh and new and amazing and defies trends anyway.
(We're going to pretend that my book is the latter, and luckily there are no skateboarding koalas in it.)
So what's a writer to do? In Rachel's words: "Write the damn book."
Then I was lucky enough to take a query seminar with Holly Root, Rachel's Agent of AwesomeTM.
|Rachel Hawkins and Holly Root|
Agents are normal people. Well, as normal as people eat, sleep, and breathe books can be. The most important things I learned from her? Holly said that she strongly believes that "Talent will find a way." That good agents respect you as a writer. They want you to be the best you can be, so that they can sell the best book possible. If you hear 'no', it's not necessarily 'no' to you - just not the right book, not at the right time. Prove that it's the right book at the right time by being you and using your voice.
If you're lucky, which I believe Rachel is, you get exactly the right person to be part of your team. If you want proof as to just how normal an agent really is, get her to admit what the last book she read 'just for fun' was. No, I'm not going to divulge her secret, but trust me. She's normal.
So what did I take away from this conference? A desire to write the best damn book possible, and faith that it'll find its way. But I'll leave out the skateboarding koalas. (And maybe vampires too.)