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marthawells

Martha Wells

My Flying Lizard Circus


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marthawells

Writing Question

I'm answering questions in the order they showed up in my inbox, from this post and the Dreamwidth mirror post:

Vaughn Roycroft asked: How did you land Ms. Jackson? Was it a blind query, referral, had you met her? Is she as great to work with as I imagine?

I had never had to look for an agent before, because my first agent found me when I was writing The Element of Fire (he was referred to me by another writer). So when I started writing The Cloud Roads in 2007, and I was looking for a new agent, I really didn't know where to start. I put together a query package (the first two chapters, synopsis, and a letter) and sent it to an agent who had contacted me about the time City of Bones came out. He had been interested in representing me then, so I thought I'd check with him first and see if he still was. I waited a couple of months, still working on the book, then finally got an email from an agent in his office expressing interest in the book. So I emailed her back, and then waited and waited and waited. A couple of months later, I finally got an email from the agency, but from someone else, who told me the agent I had been speaking to had left the agency and that they were "only interested in established authors." (Yes, I had listed my past published books in my original query letter, and also mentioned them in the email I had sent.) So that was a combined punch in the face/huge waste of my time.

So then I emailed Rachel Caine to cry on her shoulder and ask for help, and she gave me a referral to her agent. I queried her agent, who got back to me in a couple weeks but didn't want to represent the manuscript. Rachel had also recommended Jennifer Jackson. So I looked up the Donald Maass website and found the query instructions, and sent a query to Jennifer. I heard back from her right away, and ended up sending her the first half of The Cloud Roads (it was December of 2007 at that point, and I had about twelve chapters of the book finished.) She liked it, and signed me up, and when the book was finished in early 2008, started sending it out to publishers.

Is she as great to work with as I imagine?

Yes!

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She is my dream agent!

Couldn't agree more. Jenn is the best!

I have heard what an arduous process finding a good agent is. I'm so glad you found someone wonderful who properly appreciates your work.

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