I saw a friend this morning from my old writers' group, and...she has an agent! One I've heard of and seen interviewed on blogs. Talk about a major step forward.
I will report back when the agent sells something for her.
This news has started me thinking once again about how I might be looking for an agent soon. As part of my preparation for that ordeal, I've skimmed some of Nathan Bransford's Be An Agent for a Day posts. He put up 50 query letters so that his hundreds of followers could play agent and respond to them.
Note that many of the letters begin with a carefully composed hook. Query letter advice articles tell you to do that.
Here is what I'm thinking of for my hook:
Look, I've been around the track a few times. I'm tired of making the trip by myself, but I want to remain in the driver's seat. I do not like to ride with others. I get nervous when someone else is behind the wheel. I find that other drivers often have too heavy a foot. Or else they go the other way and take forever to get anywhere. Or they tailgate. Or they don't pay attention to what they're doing. What I'm really looking for is someone to ride shotgun for me.
I think that makes my point, don't you? Or am I over extending the metaphor?
Training Report: Two segments done and several planned. I also did some desk cleaning and found some promotional material I picked up last summer for Clarkesworld Magazine. Note the editors' very clear instructions about what they consider hard sells.