Why Did A NY Literary Agent Agree to Represent An Unknown Author?

Victory in obtaining an agent

Don Maass was doing a pre-conference seminar: Writing the Break-Out Novel.  I had no idea who he was, but the day-long seminar sounded interesting, so I signed up, along with over 500 other writers.

I’€™d brought the novel I was working on, Infernal Gates, with me and made furious notes for eight hours.  Whew!  That was the BEST $99.00 I’d ever spent toward polishing my craft.

That night at the opening dinner, I sat two tables away from Don and the other guest speakers, wondering how I could get a few minutes of his very valuable time.  I prayed and asked the Lord for an opening.

Amazingly, after dinner, as the room emptied out, Don was sitting alone at the table, having coffee.  I didn’€™t need a prompt to go over and introduce myself.

I had taken the time on our break to check him out on the Internet and discovered that he was a very well-know NY Literary Agent and divided his time between representing authors like James Scott Bell, writing, and teaching his seminar, Writing the Break-Out Novel.  He had just published a new book entitled The Fire in Fiction which I ordered online from Amazon before dinner.

Now I was telling him about my vision for writing and asking lots of questions, including what was he looking for in the writing of those who wanted him as their agent.  Turns out, he was interested in my take on Fallen Angels, also known as Nephilim.  I was more than a little shocked at that!  I pitched my storyline to him and he told me to send him the synopsis and first chapter when it was finished.  I got his card, gave him mine, and we parted company.

Over the next two days I had scheduled appoints with a total of seven agents and publishers.  I met each of them for fifteen minutes and did my best to get them €œhooked. I had done my homework, called in a few favors from other writers who knew some of the agents and publishers personally, and fully expected that I would not leave the conference without at least a couple of them asking for more of my novel.

Well, out of the seven, five seemed very interested.  I was more encouraged than I had been in over a decade.  I returned home with excitement rising in my heart, sent out the requested information–and waited.  Something I had grown accustomed to over my long years in the €œwriting desert.€

By January I had another five rejections to add to the dozens I’€™d accumulated over the years.  I was well on my way to a Ph.D. in Rejection.

In February, I remembered what Don Maass had offered and so, without much hope, I sent off my synopsis and the first chapter of Infernal Gates.

Don really liked the novel, and in September2010, exactly one year to the day after we’€™d met and talked at that dinner table in Denver, I signed a contract with him.

I’€™m just finishing up my sixth novel, Devil’€™s Cauldron, a follow up to Infernal Gates, and I’€™m still waiting.€”

But now it€’s for a Publisher!

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