by Leanne Dyck
British Columbia is the place to be this year first for the Olympics, now for the hockey play-offs and last weekend for Bloody Words.
Bloody Words is the largest gathering of crime writers—and related genres—in Canada.
In one sentence, I loved it.
It was the first time I attended such an event as a published author. I had the opportunity to sit on a panel and meet with a literary agent. Both experiences took me out of my comfort zone, but I’m so glad I made the leap.
I know that many Decadent authors have a literary agent. I’d like to invite them to share something of their journey in the comments section.
Please, join me on mine.
At home, to prepare, I…
-asked more experienced authors for advice.
-used a search engine to research the literary agent I was to meet with.
-visited the Preditors and Editors site. This site lists agents and gives information regarding their legitimacy.
-worked on my presentation. This was the most daunting task. I wanted to represent myself fairly in terms of my past success, my current project and my future goals. I had a presentation time limit of fifteen minutes.
-gave my presentation to my writers’ group. It was forty-five minutes too long so they suggested I revise it and use cue cards to stay on topic and cover the main points.
-cut fat from my presentation—reducing it to seven minutes.
-did additional research. Fearful that I’d forgotten something, I read writers’ magazines.
-developed questions to ask the literary agent.
On the ferry, sailing from Mayne Island to Vancouver Island, I rehearsed with my travelling companion.
Just before meeting the literary agent, I took ten deep breaths and remembered to smile. Thankfully, the literary agent smiled back.
It was a pleasure meeting with her. However, the meeting didn’t go as I had imagined. For example, she didn’t throw her hands in the air and shout, “Oh, my gosh, I’ve finally found YOU!” For another, she didn’t want to listen to my carefully rehearsed presentation. Instead, she wanted to get to know me. She did say, however, that she was pleased that I was so well prepared. So, I don’t feel that the time I spent preparing was wasted.
I was delightfully surprised at how well I conducted myself—smiling was easy and words flowed. Even without my cue cards, I was able to highlight my past successes, current project and future goals.
At the end of the meeting, she gave me her business card.
I had thought that meeting with a literary agent would be the end of a journey. As it turns out, it’s just the beginning.