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Agent Search 2016


I’d rather be here…

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m on the hunt for an agent. A young woman I know is attempting to do the same and she asked my advice on where to start. Not that I’m an expert on getting an agent (obviously), but I’ve been doing this long enough to learn a few things. So I put together this little guide for her and decided to share it with the world.

So here goes…

1.  Be sure the first 50 pages of your completed manuscript (fiction) are as perfect as you can get them since agents typically don’t ask for more than that when you query them (of course your whole manuscript should be fabulous, but those 50 pages should really shine). Some agents want 20 pages, some want the first 3 chapters, some only 5 pages. Make sure you watch for this. Also, most agents want you to include your letter/synopsis/sample in the body of the email, but some want some parts (like the sample and synopsis) included as an attachment. Nowadays many agents only do email queries, which is great since it saves a lot of time and money on everyone’s part. Not to mention trees. [I might have to take this back. I’m currently using AgentQuery and lots of the agents I’m finding don’t do email queries at all. I wonder if this is to keep the submissions manageable? Seems a bit 1990s to me.]

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The Hunt Is On

I have been terribly remiss in my posts lately. I’ve been writing a new book that I really love and I’m going to try to find an agent for this one. Seriously! After putting out thirteen books on my own, I think it’s time to take my career to the next level. I hope it’s time, because I really, really want to make this work. I’m so ready! But between helping my mom get her books into print form, writing a book, and raising my three boys, I’ve been a bit distracted. I’m still doing FB and Twitter posts, though, so that should count for something, shouldn’t it? Yes. It does.

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That’s me on the far left with the big, cheesy grin…

Sending out query letters is a bit challenging. Everyone wants something different, which is perfectly legit, but the problem is you have to be on top of that and I think I already screwed one up. I should have delved further into what the agency wanted, and for some unfathomable reason I didn’t. I just wasn’t thinking at all. Maybe it’s because I got up too early this morning, or that it was only mid-afternoon and I was already hungry for supper (which should be against the laws of nature). Maybe I thought I’d lucked out with an easy one. I don’t know. But, dang, it taught me not to do that again.

I think the worst part is that a wonderful outcome is not guaranteed at all. I think we’re all happy to put in the work and effort and put up with the cringe-worthy moments after realizing we screwed up, if at the end of it all, something good and magical would happen. But I guess that’s life. No guarantees of anything.

I say boo hiss to that.

But I’m not giving up. One way or another, I’m going to make this work. I’ve been dreaming about being a writer since I was a little kid, and I’m not letting that little kid down.

Though I might miss a few more blog posts in the process…

Making Mental Illness Fun

Eldritch_SI have finally finished writing the third book in the Pandora Belfry Adventure Series: The Eldritch Affair and thought I’d share with you why I decided to write about a 14-year-old girl growing up in an insane asylum during the 1980s. The topic of mental illness can be very dark and, frankly, depressing, but it needs to be talked about. So I decided to do just that, knowing that if I wanted to inform and educate others, my best bet would be to entertain them while doing so.

My main character, Pandora Belfry, is a joy to write about. She’s quirky and feisty, she’s odd and rather morbid, and terribly opinionated. As a brief introduction to her, here’s an excerpt from book one (Mayhem at Nepenthe Manor) where she meets a new inmate…

New inmate:  “I don’t know who you are or why you’re here, but I’m telling you this. I. Don’t. Belong. Here.”

Pandora smirked. “I may not know much…” Lie. “But I do know you don’t get the mummy treatment for good deeds.” Her eyes swept over [his] straightjacket.

He frowned. “Yes, well, I suppose. But it wasn’t… I didn’t…” He gave up and slumped back on the narrow cot. “I just want out of here.”

“Yeah, well, you and everyone else in this place.” Another lie. But a necessary one. They had a reputation to maintain.

She turned to go, but his next words stopped her. “You didn’t really eat people…”

She gave him a ghastly grin. “I made them into stew. Added a few carrots and potatoes, some garlic and onion for flavor.” She stuck the feathery end of a black braid in her mouth and chomped on it. “It was delicious, if I do say so myself.” Smacking her lips and making yummy noises, she slipped out the door, making sure to lock it. Behind her the Newbie howled.

Per-fection, she congratulated herself, already plotting her next visit to the new arrival as she ran off to tell the inmates everything.

~Yes, Pandora told the new guy she’d been incarcerated for eating people

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Holiday Craft Fairs Already?!

I’ve just signed up for three holiday craft fairs…so far. The first one is on Halloween, which isn’t exactly a holiday, but close enough. I might just have to dress up for that one. What should I be? One of my characters? Spooky? Fantastical? Whatever it will be, I need it to be fab-u-lous. I own a long velvet, emerald green dress that is quite beautiful. It can be spiffed up to look warrior princess-y. I also have a long black dress, which can be transformed into witchy goodness.

Oh, the choices!

Here are the events…I’ll add more as they come.

October 31, 2015 ~ The Coe-Brown Northwood Academy Holiday Craft Fair. Location: Gerrish Gym at CBNA in Northwood, NH. It runs from 9 – 2. My first holiday craft fair of the year and it’s on Halloween! If all goes well, I will have a new book to sell, a paranormal gothic romance called Moon Dweller. This is my first time at the CBNA Craft Fair and I’m really looking forward to it!

November 14, 2015 ~ Barrington Holiday Craft Fair. Location: The Barrington, NH, middle school gym. It runs from 9 – 3. I will have two new books (if all goes well) – a new paranormal gothic romance called Moon Dweller and the third book in the Pandora Belfry Adventure series. I will also have my other 11 books available for sale. Looking forward to visiting my old stomping grounds!

November 21, 2015 ~ New Durham Holiday Craft Fair. Location: New Durham Elementary School Gym. The fair runs from 9 – 2. I should definitely have my 2 new books available! I haven’t been to New Durham for a couple years, and I’m looking forward to my visit!

The Dark Lord’s Minion

While at the Author Expo (NEAE) in Danvers, MA, yesterday, I encountered a LOT of authors and illustrators, a mythical fey creature, and three wizards.

And those three wizards wouldn’t stop staring at me, like I was one of the Dark Lord’s minions.


Ron, Hermione, and Harry Preparing to do battle with Author, Kristina Schram


Look at that stink-eye they’re giving me!

But by the end of the expo, I convinced them I wasn’t evil and we became friends. Sort of…


Happier times with Harry and those other two…

I made new contacts and did a fun, brief interview about monsters with Christopher Ouellette for an upcoming podcast for bestselling author, Jeremy Robinson’s Beware of Monsters, which I’ll link you to when it comes out. To top it off, I developed a new story idea for a paranormal gothic romance. I think my new wizard friends were helping me out. It pays to have wizard friends, don’t you think?!

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