Friday, March 15, 2013

Spring Break = Enforced Vacation

By Kim

Photo by Deborah Downes
It’s spring break for the kiddos this week, which means I’m lucky if I get anything at all done – hence the short post today. I’m not even trying to deal with queries or putting together submissions. Instead I listen to my seven-year-old daughter prattle on about Star Wars – her recent obsession – and watch my eleven-year-old daughter construct an enormous Lego battle scene from Lord of the Rings.

This week is an enforced vacation of sorts, and a welcome one, despite the occasional bickering. I’ve even managed to get out of the city, which is always a welcome prospect. A couple of days ago my parents and I took the kiddos out to Mineral Wells, west of Fort Worth, where there is a park littered with fossils that are over 300 million years old – back when this area was part of the ocean. It’s free and, even better, you get to keep whatever you find.

The kiddos and I - Photo by Deborah Downes
The search reminded me a bit of the agent hunt – there are a lot of agents out there, but it takes time, persistence, and a bit of risk to find one that is a perfect match. And luck, of course. The longer I’ve been writing, and the more authors I meet, the more I think composing the right book at the right time and getting it on the right desk is a prime factor. I’m not sure whether to be encouraged or depressed about this.

In hindsight, perhaps the fossil hunt is a better illustration of how the agent feels. Everywhere they go, they see segments of crinoid stalks. Some are ordinary, some are beautiful, but there’s so many of them that everything begins to look alike. It would be easy for them to overlook the primitive shark tooth they seek. Everyone wants those shark teeth. Unfortunately, they can appear like an ordinary rock unless you look closely enough and who has time to examine every rock?

I’m sure that every time a book becomes a runaway bestseller, a whole bunch of agents check past submissions and think to themselves, “Please tell me I didn’t let that one slip by.”

Fifty-nine of them did just that to The Help.

1 comment:

  1. Kim, great twist, though it is definitely disheartening to one trying to stand out! It will happen!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...