Posted On April 27, 2010 by Print This Post

A Debut Author’s Journey with Laurie London: Agent Hunting

Today at RU, we’re continuing our bi-monthly series where we’ll follow debut author Laurie London on her journey from a newbie writer to publication. If you missed Laurie’s first lecture, please be sure to back track for a peek. Today, she’s going to chat with us about her search for an agent, and how she landed Emmanuelle Alspaugh as hers. Emmanuelle will also drop by today!

Queries, Pitching, and Agents

On the first step of my debut author’s journey, I talked about what I did to make myself feel like a real writer. Many of you weighed in and shared your experiences and stories. Whew, it’s nice to know I’m not the only paranoid one. Can I let you in on a little secret? (Move in close to the screen because I don’t want this getting out.) I still worry like that sometimes.

The next step was to find an agent, but I didn’t want to lose myself in this stressful process. What did I do?

Contests/Conferences Being the chicken that I am, I first focused on those agents who judged my work in contests. Personal connections are important to me, and I wasn’t quite ready to query the agent field at large. Fortunately, being a finalist in the Emerald City Opener, not only was I able to schedule several group pitch appointments, but it also qualified me for a private appointment with the agent or editor of my choice.

Pitching Because I’ve done public speaking before, I didn’t think I’d be all that nervous. After all, it’s about being prepared, right? I typed several versions of both long and short pitches. I practiced them at Pitch Fest where a published author sits at each table and gives suggestions to those who will be pitching the next day. Turns out I was a nervous wreck! Talking at business and PTA meetings, as well as to the city council, isn’t the same as talking about what your imagination created and having someone judge whether they want to see it.

Since everything worthwhile is worth getting out of your comfort zone, I sucked it up and pitched anyway. Even though I read my pitch from a piece of paper so I wouldn’t forget (they don’t expect you to be an expert orator—they just care about the story), I made some good connections and received several requests. As a result of a few other contest finals, I received a few more requests.

While I Waited After sending out the requested material, I wasn’t sure what to work on next—especially considering I’d envisioned my story as a series. I knew I needed to keep writing, but I didn’t want to pin my hopes on one idea. Alexis Morgan (RITA nominee who writes three paranormal series) advised me to write the first three chapters of book two, then set it aside to work on a completely different story world. That way, if book one never sold, I wouldn’t have wasted time writing a whole second book. Additionally, if I were knee-deep into another story world that excited me, a rejection would be less disappointing.

Because I couldn’t decide which characters to focus on, I wrote the first several chapters plus synopsis for books two and three before setting them aside. (This became important later during the submission process.) Then I wrote a short story for a Nocturne Bites Pitch contest, worked on a YA ghost story that had been sitting on my computer for awhile, and plotted out and wrote the first few chapters of a historical paranormal. My Sweetblood story world became a distant memory.

Query letter Fast forward a few months later. All but one request came back as a rejection. They were nice, with the invitation to submit other manuscripts, but they were rejections nonetheless. While I waited for that final rejection (let’s face it, we’re just hoping for a nice one, not a debilitating one, right?), I took CJ Redwine’s query class.

I knew the next step would be to query agents I hadn’t met, so I needed to polish that less-than-perfect query letter. She had us research a list of ten agents and helped us with our hooks. At the end of a week, I had a kick-butt query letter and a list of agents I’d like to work with who represented my genre. If you have any doubts about your query letter, I’d encourage you to take CJ’s class, because you’ll get awesome feedback and suggestions to make it better. She’s also a contributor here on RU. (Click Query Writing 101 on the category list to your right.)

Agent Referral I was literally ready to hit send on those queries, when that last rejection popped up in my inbox. But this rejection was a little different. It was from an agent I pitched to at ECO and chatted with in the bar. She liked my manuscript enough to pass it along to another agent friend who might be looking for an exact story like mine. Not only was I thrilled, but the agent, Emmanuelle Alspaugh, was on my list. After a short period of time, Emmanuelle emailed me that she’d read my manuscript and wanted to chat on the phone. I knew this was good, but I tried not to get my hopes up.

Revise Turns out she liked the story but thought it needed a few changes. Would I consider them? Since I wasn’t under any illusion that my story was perfect, I agreed to hear her thoughts. She made some excellent observations, none of which altered my vision for the story. She didn’t tell me how to fix them—that was up to me. I revised the story and sent it back a few weeks later. During this time, I also contacted one of her author references.

Turning a Negative into a Positive I decided to plan for the worst. I mean, seriously. After barely starting the agent search process, what were my chances? If Emmanuelle told me it wasn’t for her after all, at least I had a much stronger story now. I also had very positive feedback not only from her, but from other industry professionals that my writing was pretty decent. Like a pitbull, you’ve got to hang on to any positive you can find, while trying to forget about the negative, in order to move forward again.

The night before she called, I bought one of those expensive agent directories mentioned in the query class, convinced that if I didn’t, I’d jinx things. In the morning, I verified the email addresses on my agent list, pulled up my query letter in Word, opened my email program in another window, and waited for the phone to ring. Of one thing I was certain (or at least this was the self-talk I used), if she ended up declining, it simply meant I hadn’t found the right person to represent my work. I would not let the day end without doing something positive—I was ready to send those queries.

Turns out I didn’t need to. She said she loved it, knew she could sell it, and offered representation. Given that I’d prepared myself for a different outcome, I was pretty shocked. I think I may have even cried. I’d found someone who was as passionate about my story, my characters, and my world as I am—which, as I’ll touch on in my next post, is important not only in the submission process, but also one’s writing career.

***

Do you have a trying-to-find or already-found-an-agent story you’d like to share? I’m hoping Emmanuelle will be able to stop by today and answer your agent questions too. (And if she comes on before me, it’s because she’s in NY and I’m still sleeping here in Seattle.)

RU crew, stop by tomorrow when John Warwick Arden will continue his search for love.

Laurie’s Bio:

A graduate of Western Washington University with a BA in Business Administration and a former tester/programmer for a Fortune 500 company, Laurie London now writes from her home near Seattle where she lives with her husband and two children.

Her debut novel, BONDED BY BLOOD, A Sweetblood Novel, is tentatively scheduled for publication February 2011 by HQN. EMBRACED BY BLOOD, the second book in the series, is coming July 2011.

Her writing has won and been a finalist in several prestigious contests including the Beacon, the Emerald City Opener, the Marlene, and the Orange Rose.

She’s a member of GSRWA, RWA, RWAOnline, SCBWI, and two book clubs – one of which she helps coordinate live online author chats with readers from around the world.

When not writing, she can be found running, reading, or riding and showing her horse. Someday she hopes to qualify for the Quarter Horse World Show – that is, if her horse doesn’t get hurt again.

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47 Responses to “A Debut Author’s Journey with Laurie London: Agent Hunting”

  1. Laurie,

    What an absolutely wonderful story! Good for you for being prepared to end your day on a positive note, even if Emmanuelle declined. That’s real courage, because there’s no way that alternate situation wouldn’t have hurt, and hurt deeply.

    On a side note, I met Cherry Adair this weekend. What a hoot! It’s so evident in every word she speaks how much she wants writers to succeed. You’ve got a real classy friend there.

    Thanks for sharing your story!
    Tracey

    Posted by Tracey Devlyn | April 27, 2010, 6:47 am
    • Thanks, Tracey. Because negative things bring me down so much, I do anything to spin them into a positive light–whether they’re a little goofy or not! Plus, it’s that feeling you don’t have any control once you’ve pressed Send. You’ve got to forget it and concentrate on the things you can control.

      Yes, isn’t Cherry awesome! I’m so glad you met her. She’s really a wonderful person and truly believes that if you put in the effort, don’t give up on yourself, you’ll succeed.

      ~Laurie

      Posted by Laurie London | April 27, 2010, 9:11 am
  2. Laurie – Welcome back! I hope visiting RU is a nice respite in your uber-busy schedule! How did you know Emmanuelle was the right agent for you?

    And Emmanuelle – we’re glad to have you stopping by! Would you be willing to share what attracted you to Laurie’s writing?

    Thanks so much,
    Kelsey

    Posted by KelseyBrowning | April 27, 2010, 7:36 am
    • Thanks, Kelsey, for having me again!

      With Emmanuelle, I knew the following:

      1. I’d enjoy working with her. Not that we have to be buddies, but I wanted someone who “gets” me and has the same vision and enthusiasm for my story and characters as I do. And she does.
      2. She’s willing to take the time to explain things to a newbie.
      3. She sees this as a long-term partnership, not just a book she could sell. I love YA as well, and she’s been very supportive of this.
      4. She’s very knowledgeable about the business. I liked the fact that she used to be an editor and has worked in the publishing business on the other side of the fence.
      5. She’s very responsive and accountable. From day one, she’s always gotten back to me when she said she would, and I’ve never been left wondering what’s going on.
      6. She’s very enthusiastic about my work and believes in me.

      Everyone will have a different “list,” but these were important things to me.

      ~Laurie

      Posted by Laurie London | April 27, 2010, 10:48 am
  3. Morning Laurie!

    What a great read. I admire you for your pit-bull attitude…lol. Great determination!

    You’re obviously continuing on with the Sweetblood series, but what about the other books you worked on while waiting? Will any of those be heading toward publication land?

    Thanks for posting today!

    carrie

    Posted by Carrie | April 27, 2010, 8:30 am
    • Thanks, Carrie! Sometimes you’ve got to be aggressive about maintaining a positive attitude, because it’s so easy to let things bring you down in this business.

      One of them is a short story that I’d love to see end up somewhere. The other two have been shelved for now, since they involve completely different story worlds.

      ~Laurie

      Posted by Laurie London | April 27, 2010, 10:55 am
  4. What a great story! I admire your businesslike attitude toward the query process. I’ve only heard good things about Emmanuelle Alspaugh.

    Posted by Edie | April 27, 2010, 8:38 am
    • Thanks, Edie!

      It’s almost like being two different people. Your emotional self–the one you use to create characters that people care about and stories they want to read–needs to be set aside when you’re focused on the business stuff.

      ~Laurie

      Posted by Laurie London | April 27, 2010, 11:02 am
  5. Great agent hunt story, Laurie. While plenty of authors get requests from querying, these days I think it pays to use more than 1 method the way you did. We’ve talked about the importance we both felt about making connections in this business. But hard work and the willingness to revise are at the core of your success. Can’t wait to read BONDED BY BLOOD! Cheers!

    Posted by Vicky Dreiling | April 27, 2010, 9:02 am
    • Hey Vicky, thanks!

      I agree. It’s important to not rely on ONE method or to think there’s only ONE way to do something, but to be willing to try a lot of different things. Eventually, something’s gonna stick if you’re willing to take a chance.

      ~Laurie

      Posted by Laurie London | April 27, 2010, 11:18 am
  6. Congrats, Laurie, and thanks for sharing your story.

    I laughed when you said you had to buy the directory, or you’d jinx things. LOL I am like that in so many ways, convinced that half of what happens is because of my elaborate superstitious routines. 🙂

    I’m looking forward to reading your book when it comes out.

    Posted by Donna Cummings | April 27, 2010, 9:26 am
  7. Hi Laurie!

    Thanks for another informative and interesting post. Wow, talk about getting out of your comfort zone. My stomach was sick for you as I read about pitching as there is nothing that scares me more than public speaking (well, heights but that won’t ever apply when trying to get a book published, I hope).

    I’m so impressed by your tenacity and am thrilled that your dreams are coming true.

    What is your advice to writers that unfortunately don’t live in areas where conferences or pitch groups, etc. are held?

    You had mentioned that you had a list of agents that you wanted to work with. What was it about these agents that attracted you enough to want to work with them? Do they represent other writers whose work you admire?

    Perhaps the next question might be more for your agent but do you send out your entire story or just a summary of it or both? I’m assuming that agents would rather read a synopsis of a story and see whether it grabs their interest before having to dive into the whole story.

    Thanks so much for your great advice. I really enjoy your posts and look forward to the next one.

    Janna

    Posted by Janna | April 27, 2010, 11:04 am
    • Hey Janna!!!! Thanks for coming by!

      There are some wonderful writing communities online. In addition to blogs like Romance University, check out Absolute Write, Romance Divas, RWAOnline, and the forums on the eHarlequin website. (I know there are others but my brain is mush right now. Anyone else have other suggestions too?)

      On the eHarl website, they run lots of pitch contests online. They’re really fun, and you get to meet a lot of people who are just as nervous as you are. I did it once, my pitch wasn’t chosen, but I learned a lot and met a lot of nice people. A friend of mine entered several pitch contests there but wasn’t selected either. She sent her story in the old-fashioned way (they have their guidelines specified on their website). It was picked out of the slush pile and it’s being published this summer!

      Follow agents who blog. They will sometimes run pitch contests online.

      If there’s an agent you really like, set up a Google Alert for them. That way, if they run a contest on one of their clients’ blogs, you’ll see it. Fellow debut author Amanda Forester recently had a fun contest on her blog with her agent, Barbara Poelle. Best first line won a 3 chapter critique from her agent. How cool is that!

      So even if you can’t attend a conference to pitch (although, many small, local conferences get agents and editors too), look at online ways to get your stuff in front of people.

      I think I may have answered your question about what I was looking for in an agent when I commented back on Kelsey’s question.

      Most agents have websites where they detail their submission requirements. Also, you can get general guidelines in reference books like Writer’s Market. (That expensive tome I referred to earlier.)

      ~Laurie

      Posted by Laurie London | April 27, 2010, 12:05 pm
  8. Hi Everyone!

    It’s so great to be here and thanks so much for stopping by to read Laurie’s wonderful–and so thorough!–post.

    I have to say that what immediately attracted me to Laurie’s debut manuscript, Bonded by Blood, was the characters. The first image of her heroine Mackenzie Foster-Shaw straddling a white motorcycle and skidding to a stop outside an abandoned cemetery was seared into my mind. I knew Laurie had vision, and incredible world-building talent, and that I had to work with her no matter what. We worked on the manuscript for several weeks and then sold it to an editor, the lovely Margo Lipschultz at Harlequin, who we knew would publish Laurie in a big way. And we’re excited to get to the next step, which is to see a cover image very soon!

    Emmanuelle

    Posted by Emmanuelle Alspaugh | April 27, 2010, 11:21 am
    • Oh, now I can’t wait to see the cover! I hope Laurie can share it soon.

      Emmanuelle – thanks again for dropping by. Based on your comment on working on Laurie’s manuscript before subbing it, I get the feeling you’re an agent who likes to have editorial input, which would make sense given your background. Is that the case?

      Best,
      Kelsey

      Posted by KelseyBrowning | April 27, 2010, 11:45 am
    • Aw, thanks for the nice words! And thank you for coming by.

      (See why I love her?!)

      And Margo has been wonderful too. I’m thrilled (and humbled) to be working with her.

      I can’t wait to see what they come up with for covers. HQN has some of the best out there!

      In going through the cover process, I decided if I were a talented artist, with a vision for the marketplace and how readers make buying decisions, I’d love to do what they do. To take words and a story theme and translate it into one eye-popping image is amazing to me. What fun to have such talent.

      ~Laurie

      Posted by Laurie London | April 27, 2010, 12:19 pm
  9. Hi Laurie and Emmanuelle. Thank you both for being here. Laurie, I loved the point you made about writing the first three chapters of book two in a series and then stopping. I’m closing in on the end of a book that I would like to make into a series, but wasn’t sure what to do next. You just answered that questions for me!

    Emmanuelle, who owns the characters in a book after a series is sold? For example, if it’s a three book deal and the series takes off, but the agent and author decide to leave the the original publisher after the three books are complete, does the publisher own the characters? Or can the entire series be moved to a different publisher?

    Thank you both for being here. Laurie, these are wonderful posts you are putting together for us.

    Posted by Adrienne Giordano | April 27, 2010, 1:37 pm
  10. Congrats Laurie! I am so excited to read your debut novel!

    Posted by Ciara | April 27, 2010, 2:02 pm
  11. Thanks so much, Adrienne! I really love the community you’ve all put together here.

    There are probably other opinions out there regarding whether to write that second book before the first one is sold. (Read a blog recently where an author finished book 2 while book 1 was being shopped. Publisher was on the fence, but when they found out book 2 was done, they bought them both.) This is just what worked for me. And it lessened the impact of rejections since I was loving the current project I was working on.

    Ciara, thanks for coming by!!!!

    ~Laurie

    Posted by Laurie London | April 27, 2010, 3:18 pm
  12. Hi Kelsey,

    Thanks for having us! And kudos to Romance University for providing so many valuable articles for the romance community.

    I do tend to provide editorial input, as many of my clients can attest. That said, if a manuscript were to come in to me in tip-top shape, I wouldn’t change a thing. 🙂

    Emmauelle

    Posted by Emmanuelle Alspaugh | April 27, 2010, 3:37 pm
  13. Personally, I’m convinced there’s nothing Emmanuelle can’t sell 😀 But it sounds like you made her job awfully easy.

    Thanks for sharing this story. Did you keep the receipt for the expensive agent directory, I hope?

    Posted by Cecilia Grant | April 27, 2010, 3:50 pm
    • Hi Cecilia! Thanks for stopping by!

      I totally agree you on that. 🙂 Seriously, she’s like a dog on a bone, and her enthusiasm for projects she believes in is infectious. I feel fortunate to have her on my writing team.

      LOL on the receipt. I sure hope I kept it. That sucker was expensive and it didn’t get used.

      ~Laurie

      Posted by Laurie London | April 27, 2010, 4:45 pm
  14. Hi Adrienne,

    Laurie will always own her material; it’s copyrighted in her name. When you make a deal with a publisher, you’re selling them the right to publish and print a literary property in a given territory, usually for a certain amount of time (for example, until the book goes out of print). You can technically publish three books of a series with one publisher, and then subsequent books with another publisher, but it’s not a good idea and rarely done. One reason is that you want all the books in a series to have the same look and feel, and to be sold via the same sales channels. That’s nearly impossible to do if you change publishers. More frequently, authors will wrap up a series with the first publisher and go to a different publisher with a whole new series. Ideally, however, the author forms a strong relationship with their first publisher that improves and strengthens over time. It isn’t always possible but it’s the aim!

    Emmanuelle

    Posted by Emmanuelle Alspaugh | April 27, 2010, 4:09 pm
  15. Aw, thanks, Cecilia! It’s nice to see you here. 🙂

    Posted by Emmanuelle Alspaugh | April 27, 2010, 4:28 pm
  16. Hi Emmanuelle,
    Since the RU community consists of so many aspiring writers, some of whom are literally on the cusp of seeing great things happen, can you share what sorts of manuscripts you’re currently looking for?

    Also, are you seeing any trends in the marketplace? Are you hearing anything that publishers are asking for now but not seeing?

    Thanks!

    ~Laurie

    Posted by Laurie London | April 27, 2010, 4:30 pm
  17. Hi Laurie,

    Absolutely! As far as trends, the historical and paranormal romance categories are still very strong. That said, there are so many good ones out there now that debut manuscripts have a much higher bar to pass than a few years ago when the paranormal trend was new. We’re also seeing “urban fantasy romance” or “romantic urban fantasy” doing well. You might ask what’s the difference between that and paranormal romance, and I would say that romantic urban fantasy always has a super strong heroine capable of kicking some major butt and fighting a battle of epic proportions. There’s a bit more focus on that battle and the plot than on the hero/heroine relationship, or they are equally important. And the setting for UF is often a near-future but recognizable urban world, sometimes an alternate reality that is not too different from our own. Think Nalini Singh, Patricia Briggs, early Laurell K. Hamilton, and Rachel Caine.

    I’m also very happy that contemporaries are starting to make a come-back. What’s working in that category is a small-town, often Middle American, setting with an everywoman heroine. The story should be heart-warming, and humor helps. Think Susan Mallery, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and Kristan Higgans.

    As for what I’m looking for: all of the above categories, plus high-concept women’s fiction, Europe-set historical fiction, thrillers with a female protagonist (I love what Linda Castillo is doing), and YA. I would really love a fantastic urban fantasy series.

    Cheers,
    Emmanuelle

    Posted by Emmanuelle Alspaugh | April 27, 2010, 4:56 pm
  18. Laurie, great post and so much great info. to read through! I’m not a writer, but am fascinated by the processes you all go through. As a huge reader of the genres listed above, it makes me appreciate the final product all the more! You love what you do and it shows. I can’t wait till your books are on the shelves Laurie! 😎
    I am wondering who gets the final say about the book covers? What if the author and publisher really disagree about it? Who actually designs them?

    Posted by Kathy H. | April 27, 2010, 5:38 pm
    • Aw, thanks, Kathy!

      Good question! Hopefully, Emmanuelle knows.

      All I know, is when HQN uses cover models, they use really hunky ones. Gena Showalter recently reposted a picture on her website of her posing with one of the real cover models they use. Yowza! I’m hyperventilating just thinking about it.

      ~L

      Posted by Laurie London | April 27, 2010, 5:50 pm
  19. Wow, thanks, Emmanuelle!

    Folks will find this helpful, I’m sure!

    ~Laurie

    Posted by Laurie London | April 27, 2010, 5:45 pm
  20. Hey Laurie–
    Another great post from you. Even though I knew all this information from you firsthand, it’s great to see your story in print. I know it’ll be very helpful and inspiring to writers shopping for an agent.

    I’m so excited you found an agent who loves your work. 🙂

    Emmanuelle–I’m thrilled to hear you say that contemporaries are coming back. Yay! I love reading a good paranormal or kick-ass urban fantasy, but it’s not what I enjoy writing.

    :)Becky

    Posted by Rebecca J. Clark | April 27, 2010, 5:53 pm
    • Hey Beck, thanks for coming by! 😀 (She’s my sister.)

      I hope people will find it helpful. Except for being professional and writing the best book you can possibly write, there really is no ONE way to find an agent. You have to be willing to put yourself out there, try stuff that makes you nervous, and just do it. What’s the worst that can happen?

      Remember when I made you do that pitch contest with me? We sat at a coffee shop and worked on our 3-sentence pitches for hours. Neither of our pitches got picked and, look, we’re both still alive!

      Yay for contemps! How’s that for motivation hearing that they’re coming back?!

      Posted by Laurie London | April 27, 2010, 7:19 pm
  21. Hi Kathy,

    Publishers get the final say on book covers, but they often consult with their authors and solicit their input and ideas. For example, authors are generally invited to send in their character descriptions, background ideas, etc.

    I have to run to a dinner meeting now, but I’ll check back tomorrow morning in case there are any other questions I can answer.

    Thanks, everyone!

    Emmanuelle

    Posted by Emmanuelle Alspaugh | April 27, 2010, 6:10 pm
  22. Laurie and Emmanuelle,

    Thank you for your candid answers. Such great information!

    Emmanuelle, besides offering representation and connecting an author with the right publisher, what is the best part of your job?

    Thanks, Tracey

    Posted by TraceyDevlyn | April 27, 2010, 7:39 pm
    • Hi Tracey,

      There are soooo many things to love about the job, so I’m going to pick two besides the ones you already listed, which are fabulous. First, discovering a new unpublished manuscript is incredibly exciting, whether it’s by a previously unknown author or one of my current clients. I’m just now reading RITA finalist Alissa Johnson’s new manuscript and it’s possibly her best book yet. I’m so excited because she just keeps getting better and better, and she’s already pretty amazing. And second, in chronological order, I love the high of negotiating a deal, getting the author the best possible terms.

      Best,
      Emmanuelle

      Posted by Emmanuelle Alspaugh | April 28, 2010, 4:46 pm
  23. Laurie–
    What an encouraging agent search story! I’m looking forward to your book coming out.

    I’m with Becky, too, I’m glad to hear contemporaries are making a comeback.

    Posted by Gina Robinson | April 27, 2010, 9:01 pm
  24. Such a fun and informative article, Laurie! I loved reading more about your path to publication. Your positive attitude and determination are inspiring, and I really enjoyed reading through your advice to aspiring authors. I can’t wait to see your Bonded by Blood cover and to see the Sweetblood series in bookstores everywhere! 🙂

    Posted by Violet | April 27, 2010, 10:07 pm
  25. Thanks so much, Gina, for stopping by! Yes, exciting news about contemporaries. Can’t wait to hear about a debut author coming out with a contemporary.

    Violet, thank you too, for coming by! Aw, you’re so sweet. When I first see it in the bookstore, I’m sure I’ll be a blubbering pile on the floor. I’ll have to walk in carrying a box of tissues.

    Posted by Laurie London | April 27, 2010, 10:20 pm
  26. Laurie, I love this post! And your top 5 list is very similar to mine 🙂

    As for my agent story, I didn’t have any contacts through conferences or pitching online. I sent email queries to my top 5 agents, and signed with Emmanuelle less than a month later. The slush pile does work!

    Posted by Christina Phillips | April 28, 2010, 2:18 am
  27. Hey Christina!!!
    That just goes to show you that there is no one right way. You just do what makes sense for you and your situation. So for Janna (^^^ above) and writers like her who live nowhere close to anything either, I’m sure that’s encouraging. Thanks for stopping by!

    ~Laurie

    Posted by Laurie London | April 28, 2010, 8:48 am
  28. Hi Laurie,
    Your post rocks! I just signed up for CJ Redwine’s query letter class. I just started the submission process, hearing about your experiences is so encouraging. Look forward to seeing you at GSRWA.

    Jen

    Posted by Jennifer Hilt | April 28, 2010, 10:11 am
  29. Hey Jen!

    Thank you! Yay for signing up for CJ’s class. Be ready for her to pick it apart and don’t be afraid to post. You’ll learn so much by reading everyone else’s befores and afters. Sometimes it takes the feedback from someone who’s never read your story to help you formulate your hook just right. After all, a potential agent has never read your story either.

    Looking forward to seeing you too. Are you going to the big Romance Extravaganza this Saturday? (GSRWA is hosting this popular event at a big regional library with lots of authors including Cherry Adair who will be doing the keynote.)

    ~Laurie

    Posted by Laurie London | April 28, 2010, 10:41 am
  30. Thank you so much for all the great advice. Your tips are invaluable to someone who is just starting out and feels lost in the process!

    Glad (and encouraged) to hear the slush pile works.

    Looking forward to your next post.

    Janna

    Posted by Janna | April 28, 2010, 10:58 am
  31. Yay Laurie!! So thrilled to hear about your pub deal. I can’t wait to read your books!! 🙂

    Posted by C.J. Redwine | April 28, 2010, 4:19 pm
  32. Thanks, Janna!

    Howdy CJ! Thanks so much! I was part of your guinea pig class and just having that workshopped letter was a real confidence boost. Although, technically, it never got used, it was great for my state of mind.

    ~Laurie

    Posted by Laurie London | April 28, 2010, 5:10 pm

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