Sunday, October 21, 2012

Take the Con '12

This year, the Conference saw a lot of changes, and maintained some reassuring familiarity.  As to the latter, as David Sterry said, "This is the best organized conference in the United States!"  We all owe Kristi a massive debt of joyous gratitude.

The "bite" streak continues on my in-person pitches; every time I do one I get one level or another of request for query, partial, or full MSS.  This year I heard a lot of "wow, he is a tough one, his asking you for a partial is huge!" - but the fact is, I heard that a lot last year regarding the woman who requested my full ... and then never contacted me once she had it, either for a rejection or a deal.  Fine by me, she was a longer shot even than this agent, but still I find that unprofessional.  So I'm trying not to go wild with glee.

But then, this guy also agreed to let me interview him RIGHT HERE on my blog - and his preferences and profile as an agent are almost un-Google-able.  The agent is Alec Shane.  He's with Writers House, he's had a fascinating career of his own (easily Google-able!), he's slightly less terrifyingly young than some of the agents look to this old broad.

The main question he asked me during my pitch session was reassuring, though it unnerved me for a moment.  He asked me "how long have you been working on this" (a question I find so hard to deal with in the age of NaNoWriMo and ever-shorter news cycles and instant gratification).  I started A&V seven years ago - but Alec said, when I answered him honestly, "I don't think historical fiction that takes less than five years is really finished."

I was grateful for that.  And for letting me reach out to you again - both with the partial and for an interview.

So much came out of the Conference, but if it's worth specifics on everything it'll have to wait for another day.  I am exhausted (and glad I took tomorrow off).


Jeff said...

The JRW conference really is very well organized, but it's also fun, probably because it's just the right size for collegiality. I'm glad to hear your agent responses are escalating--a great sign.

DLM said...

Your encouragement is always so generous and so much appreciated. Thank you! This year's request was for a substantial partial - but last year I got a request for a full. Of course, that agent then never bothered to contact me again (she was a long shot anyway, but a "no" would have been polite) ...

Here's hoping this one at least troubles to reject those he doesn't want!