So, the last few months have been a bit rubbish for me BUT I have had a partial request from an agent which is a real confidence boost and makes me believe I can do it. Even if she ultimately rejects my ms, at least she has confirmed that my writing isn't completely horrible.
Wanna know how I got this much appreciated request? Through Twitter! Ah, the power of social media. If you aren't on it, you need to be. There's always someone tweeting an interesting article or a blog post full of great tips. I caught the attention of an agent with my 140 character pitch for my novel on #pitmad day. I sent her the first ten pages and she asked for the next four chapters - hurrah! I'm waiting for her to ask for the rest of it now... :)
Today on Twitter, agents are tweeting their ms wish list all day - #mswl. Search #mswl, check out what they're asking for and query away! I think a lot of them will be Stateside so I'm heading over to Twitter as soon as this post is published! I'm not missing out on any opportunity to query agents at their bequest!
So, buoyed up by the partial request, I hit the library, grabbed the 'Writers and Artists Yearbook 2014', listed all the agencies who take on women's fiction and then headed home to research, research, research.
Boy, it takes a long time but I have a comprehensive list of agencies, their submission guidelines, the agent most relevant to me and, crucially, a top five wish list of agents I would really like to represent me. I'm not going to reveal them here but they represent authors who I really like and think my writing is most similar to.
So, this week's writerly task is to compose a really good query letter which intrigues my five agents enough that they ask for more, more, more!
I think the most daunting part of that is convincing them that I am qualified to be a good author when I have no evidence to back that up (apart from my writing). I haven't won any competitions or been published in anything since I was nine years old. I have zero writerly credentials and nothing that qualifies me to write about musicians (apart from a few years of enforced piano lessons. Not sure an agent would count that as a qualification to write about rock stars...)
So, how do I bolster my writing CV? I'm not sure I can. I think I just need to make myself sound as interesting as possible - quirky hobbies, having lived abroad, weird achievements. Anything that sounds marketable and is sufficiently interesting enough to set me apart from all the other debut writers out there are the things that are going to go on my 'CV'.
So, whilst I ponder what makes me marketable, I shall head on over to Twitter and check out #mswl for agents wanting contemporary romances with super hot heroes and a rockstar vibe. Wish me luck!