That picture has nothing to do with anything but, still, it’s pretty awesome.
Also awesome is that, today, I acquired a literary agent. Charlie Olsen of Inkwell Management out of NYC. I can’t tell you what a relief that is. I’m going to try anyway.
I took an unusual route to getting published. (Though, these days, they all seem to be unusual routes.) The standard routine, as it was laid out to me, was to sell a few short stories to the large markets, use those to land an agent, then work on a novel and have the agent sell that. Tried, tested and true.
My problem is that I write very little short fiction.
That left me with trying to sell a novel to a limited amount of publishers while have no significant publication history behind me. (I had sold a few short stories but to the big markets.) Most houses won’t even deal with you unless you have an agent and most agents won’t deal with you unless you have a publisher. It’s a catch 22.
While I looked for a publisher, some writer friends referred me to their agents but none of these wanted to touch Technicolor Ultra Mall. I received nice letters telling me it was too violent.
I did, finally, manage to sell the book without an agent. To Canada’s largest dedicated publisher of SF, EDGE Press. I remain thrilled and grateful that they took a chance when no one else would. To one of my first round picks, no less. They also provided the book with a terrific cover by the best artist working in Canadian SF today: Erik Mohr and me with a terrific editor, Susan Forest.
And we all know how it’s gone. The book is shortlisted for two of the top awards in Canadian SF, The Aurora and The Sunburst, and the response and reviews have been terrific.
Going in, I had one goal as far as my career went. And that was to sell another book. An agent is a really important of that. Maybe even necessary. Unless I wanted to start back at the beginning.
And I don’t.
Though I wanted an agent, what I learned through the experience of being published, is that I need one. I want to spend my time writing, not dealing with the business side of things. The industry is complicated and it doesn’t interest me. I just want to write.
Having to dedicate my time to sales irritates me. I also find it impossible to successfully wear both hats — writer and agent. Sometimes the relationship you need with your publisher as a writer is opposed to that you need as a business person, Co-operation can be opposed to negotiation. At the very least, it can put you in a bad position to do either.
The whole thing made me feel a little . . .
So I wanted to have someone help me with all that.
I feel like a massive weight has been lifted off my back.
Or at least like there’s someone to help carry it.
Also, that Shining pic is from here and they have plenty of terrific stuff.