Monday, November 22, 2010



No more queries for this couch potato! Well, the couch is actually a chair in the man cave, seemingly chained to a desk and computer.


Something magical happened on Tuesday, November 16.  A long process of getting someone to believe in my 92 thousand word espionage thriller payed off.  I now have a literary agent!

Thank you Kate Folkers of the Martin Literary Management Agency.

Is it coincidence that a Field Of Dreams is on right now?

I realize this is just another phase of a continuing process, but it feels awfully damn good right now.  Of course, for all the hard work leading up to this moment, there remains plenty to accomplish.  Getting a book deal is no guarantee.  Over the past few months, I felt I was close to securing representation and I have all the rejection letters to prove it.  From the early stages of form written setbacks to letters of encouragement, some of which offered sound advice. 

Thanks to a connection with author Sara Paretsky, agent Dominick Abel gave me a phone call during the early stages of my search.  He offered sound criticism that I took to heart, leading me back to the dark, lonely days of rewrite, rewrite.  I'd come up for air to try again, only to realize I wasn't there yet.  The thought of giving up though, never crossed my mind.

Along the way I discovered the Guide To Literary Agents blog, a tremendous source of updated information.  I also stumbled across Thrillerfest, which I attended for the first time in July.  Talk about an invaluable learning experience!  I've interviewed Presidents, A-List actors and world class athletes but nothing was as terrifying as having to prepare for a pitch session before some the industry's best and brightest.  To help get me there, I owe a huge thanks to the kindness and advice of people like authors Shane Gericke and Lisa Gardner.  They were warm and inviting during a reception the night before as were a number of other authors.  JJ Cooper, my Down Under friend, thanks for the encouragement!  If you write thrillers and haven't yet sampled Thrillerfest, you really must give it a try.  Besides, it's in New York!

So why did Kate Folkers decide to offer me representation?  Why did I decide to sign with her?  From my end, it was a comfortable connection.  She got what my book was about.  She took the time to delve into it, offering both praise and criticism.  She was honest and had a plan.  I also was impressed with her multi-faceted background which I believe in the long run will pay off.

Since November 16, I've had plenty of time to come down from Mt. Small Achievement.  There's hopefully a book deal out there and I've got plenty of polishing up to do.  At least I'm not doing it alone anymore.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


John Carr, aka Oliver Stone is back
 Best-selling thriller writer David Baldacci has bested me again.  In releasing Hell's Corner today, he now has 20 published books to my 0!!!

Whew, I've got some catching up to do in the second half!

In the meantime, I spent a few good minutes with David this morning discussing his latest release, where he writes and how he combats writer's block.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Until you actually go through the process of trying to secure an agent and get published, the majority of newbie authors have great expectations.  Walking by a bookseller and seeing your work displayed through the window is the stuff dreams are made of.  What's that? New York Times Bestsellers' List!

Count me dreaming!

Ah, but they're not called dreams for nothing.  The truth has a way of slapping you back into reality.

Terry McMillan's latest novel
Overnight sensations are rare.  Rest assured a number of successful authors spent countless months in rejection land.  In September, Terry McMillan stopped by upon the launch of her latest novel,
Getting To HappyThe book is the long overdue and awaited sequel to Waiting To Exhale.  After achieving blockbuster gold with Exhale, most would put a rush order on a followup.  Strike while the literary fire is white hot.  McMillian waited more than 15 years!  She wrote several books in-between but none achieved the same legendary status.

So why the delay?  McMillian told me she never gave most of the characters in Exhale too much thought after it was released.  The countless chatter, interviews and "when are you going to write a sequel" questions distanced her even more.  Finally though, Savannah, Gloria, Bernadine, and Robin won out.  Characters who's advancement in life had to be told.

I hadn't seen Terry in a couple of years so it was nice to catch up.  When I remarked to her that I had written a novel and how frustrating it was to secure an agent, she asked how long I had been looking.  When I told her since the end of July, she crossed her eyes and threw out a well placed "Child please."

I don't recall the name, but she mentioned a guy who'd won a Pulitzer Prize that couldn't land an agent for a couple of years before it finally happened.  The message was clear.  Keep plugging away and if it's something you want bad enough and you're talented enough, a breakthrough will eventually come.

So, I'm looking forward to exhaling myself one day.