by Linda Glaz
I can’t stress enough how important it is, from an agent or editor’s point of view, for an author to do his or her homework before submitting material. A little side not—anytime I offer advice, it means it’s something I did wrong on my own journey and don’t want you to do the same. Spending years not paying attention is lost time when you might be getting published.
If you just blanket all agents with your work and get nowhere (and you’ll get nowhere), then the opportunity to actually make contact is gone. Most of us keep a record of who submits and when. So, if you try to sneak it in the door a second time, I’ll know and will send you a “friendly” reminder that I already said no.
But if you do the research of each agent, ask yourself these questions: Does Agent Smith handle my genre or type of work? Does he take nonfiction, fiction, literary, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, and on and on? Does editor Jones work with new authors or has she said specifically that she will only take a look at work from published authors? If she said it, chances are very good—she means it. Should I try and be sneaky and say I met with Agent Geezer at Such and Such Writers’ Conference? This can really backfire when you are approaching an agent with an amazing memory (Just cuz I’m old doesn’t mean I’m a dope). Does Agent Doozy charge a fee for looking at my work? NEVER pay an agent a cent. They work for you! The most you should ever encounter is copying costs if they have to send your work by snail mail which doesn’t happen often anymore. Have I gone to the agency site to see EXACTLY what the agent wants submitted? So very important; if you haven’t, you will probably get a “not for me” response. No agent wants to work with someone who isn’t going to follow directions. Would the agent be interested in going to my website to see my work? This happens more often than not, and I’ll be very honest, if you’re too lazy to put together the proposal we want, I’m not going to have a read, and I’m certainly not going to drop what I’m doing (unless you’ve already caught my interest with an amazing proposal) and go to your website to look up what you think I’ll be blown away by. And lastly (though the list could on and on), have I formatted my proposal in the correct manner? 1” margins, 12 pt. New Times Roman, widows and orphans turned off, first line set at .5, and finally, no fancy fonts, colors, lines, clip art, pics, etc.; need I say more?
If you HAVE done all you are supposed to, contact the agent or pitch to him or her at a conference and just be yourself. Your work, as well, will speak for itself. Send a couple, wait for responses, and even if you’re rejected, you might glean some wonderful advice that will help your next submission be even better.
Good luck, and good writing!
Meet the Agent and Author:
Linda, married with three grown children and three grandchildren, is a complete triple-A personality. How else would she find time to write as well as be an agent for Hartline Literary Agency? She loves any and every thing about the written word and loves when families pass stories along through the generations. If she isn’t writing or putting together a contract, you’ll find her taking a relaxing bath with her e-reader in hand. Her background in karate, soccer and the Air Force has allowed her to meet a lot of “characters” along the way. If you find a strange and weird character in one of her books, watch it! It might be you!!!
Click on the pictures below for information about buying her novels.
Barbara (Bunny) Richardson lives a perfect life. Wonderful family, amazing voice, and very handsome, very wealthy fiancé. But it doesn’t take long for her to realize he will always make decisions that benefit only him and his business. Barbara will never know the desires of her heart, only that she will be the beautiful woman on his arm. Then, when traveling with her family, Barbara is stranded in a flood in Tennessee, and the handsome man who comes to her rescue turns her perfect life into chaos. Two years later, when they find their paths have crossed again, Jackson, holed up in his room, refuses to meet with her. How could she love a burned and scarred freak, a remnant of Pearl Harbor’s destruction? A man who didn’t save a seventeen-year-old seaman who was counting on him? But Barbara has other ideas. She intends to shame the pity party out of Jackson and when that doesn’t work, she tries a dangerous game of making him jealous at his sister’s wedding. How deep is beauty? And do we get the chance to see real beauty with eyes of love?
When Abigail Richardson visits the Judge family in Tennessee, the war is winding down, and Abby hopes to catch a peek of their youngest son and her pen pal for the last six years since they were stranded in the flood, William Judge. As he steps from the train and walks right toward her, her heart flutters in her chest. Yet, Will keeps on walking, all the way to the redhead beyond her. Jeannine. As he introduces the small orphan, Henryk, that he’s brought back from the concentration camp in Germany, Jeannine makes it clear she doesn’t plan to be a readymade mother. Abby, on the other hand, takes “Hank” directly to her heart, and it’s Will who sees more than just a freckle-faced pen pal. Abby’s all grown up. But what of his promise of marriage to Jeannine?
I love that these are part of a story of a family, and are based around the actual, though fictionalized, friendship of two women. My mom and my aunt. And while some things are VERY loosely based on their friendship, it’s the friendship itself that I wanted to bring to light. Two women who shared more than most close sisters do. The kind of friendship that anyone would give anything they had to possess.
Pearl Harbor is explored in book one to show the true horrors of war. As a veteran who served during Vietnam, I don’t have any firsthand experience of war, but male friends coming back gave me enough grist to help me understand just what our men and women go through. The surprise at Pearl left so many not only wounded, but scarred emotionally in a way that they never recovered completely. I wanted to show that aspect in the story and how a person could turn from God because of it. But also, how love can reach into the soul and help a person find their way back home, both emotionally and spiritually.
The concentration camps in Germany didn’t play favorites, they were horrible to everyone, Jews, Gentiles, minorities, it didn’t matter. If you were on the Third Reich’s hit list, you ended up in a camp, and children didn’t fare much better than adults. Again in book two is a sobering account of WWII, but also a wonderful romance of young love found, love lost, and love found again. And the trust and love of a child who has been through more than most adults have faced in their entire lives, but the innocence that reminds those around him of God’s love.
What happens when a young woman traveling west is aboard a train that derails? Hit on the head and unsure of who she is, she is greeted at the next station by a handsome rancher who tells her they are supposed to get married. That day!
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