Monday, December 13, 2010

An Unexpected Surprise from an Agent

Discovering Absolute Write Water Cooler was one of the best moves of my writing career. As I’ve said before, the forum participants helped me fix my query letter and the first few chapters of my novel, and without their help, I don’t think any agents would have been interested in me.

On the forum, I post and answer questions about novels, I critique excerpts of other people’s work, and I read about agents. I’ve posted first chapters as well as my query, and in my signature at the bottom of my posts, I wrote, “Author of Sacred Fire, novel of the Vestal Virgins of ancient Rome.” I don’t know what of that caught his interest, but an agent sent me this private message:

I am an associate agent with **** Literary. I have an interest in Roman stuff. If you'd like, I'll be happy to take a look at your submission as soon as you feel it is ready for wider distribution.If you're interested, please send me your query letter and the first three chapters as a Word attachment with REQUESTED MATERIAL in the subject line. I try to reply within three to four weeks.My personal email is ****** We generally take subscriptions through the submission form on the web site, where they are first screened by the intern, so please do not distribute this email.

I knew agents went on the forum occasionally, but I never expected that I’d catch someone’s eye. My only complaint is that he, like the other agent, only asked for three chapters. I’m eager to get the whole thing read!

This is how I will reply: I am writing in response to your message in Absolute Write Water Cooler. You expressed an interest in my novel Sacred Fire, a historical fiction complete at 88,000 words. I appreciate your request. I have attached the first three chapters to this email. Then I'll include the body of the query.

I had already found this agency in my search, but their website lists genres they’re interested in and it says nothing about historical fiction. While I think you should research your agents before you submit, it just goes to show that you never know what an agent will like.


  1. That is AWESOME to be approached instead of having to do the approaching. Well done, and good luck!

  2. This is great news for you. ^^ Have you ever heard back from the other agent who asked to see your first three chapters?

  3. Thank you so much for the support!

    I haven't heard from the other agent yet... she said she'd take at least three to four weeks, but agents can take months if they want to.


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