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An Interview with Deidra Kerce upon receiving an offer of representation.

Deidra Kerce (DKMarley on QT) has signed with agent Albert Longden of Albert T. Longden Agency.

How long have you been writing?
I've been writing for the past 15 years.
Was there ever a time you felt like giving up, and what helped you to stay on course?
Yes. It's part of the routine, I have learned, of being a writer. Thanks to the huge support of a family of writer's that I met at a retreat I went to about three years ago, I have been able to stay on course. We had this joke about this little "POS" sign we would wear around our neck during the retreat when we felt like our manuscript was worthless, but always after a few hugs and encouraging words, the words would flow again and our manuscripts were safe from being chucked into the bonfire. A support circle is essential.
Is this your first book?
Yes
How long have you been working on this book?
I have been working on this one for ten years.
Do you have any formal writing training?
I attended the intensive Writer's Retreat Workshop in Erlanger, Kentucky founded by reknowned writing instructor, Gary Provost.
Do you follow a writing "routine" or schedule?
Yes. When I'm in the midst of completing a manuscript, I require at least 10,000 words a week of myself.
How many times did you re-write/edit your book?
I revised and edited at least eight times.
Did you have beta readers for your book?
Yes, several.
Did you outline your book, or do you write from the hip?
I always work from an outline and story cards, although my story has sometimes veered off in another direction.
How long have you been querying for this book?
I began querying for this book only three months ago when I discovered Querytracker. Over the three months I queried between 30-35 agents.
About how many query letters had you sent for this book?
Around 30
On what criteria did you select the agents you queried?
Only if they accepted historical fiction. I did research from their agency websites and noted the type books they sold before querying. Some of the agents I queried I met at writer's conferences.
Did you tailor each query to the specific agent, and if so, how?
Yes, by personally using their full name and if I had met them before, also, if I was referred by someone they know.
What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
Have a professional editor look at your query letter before you send it. And, don't give up! The advice I was given is true - there are thousands of agents out there, all it takes is one to believe in you and your voice. Also, take advantage of using Querytracker, I highly recommend it!
Would you be willing to share your query with us?

Dear Mr. Longden,

Many people speculate that Shakespeare did not write the plays. My completed 138,000-word historical novel, A Reckoning for the Sparrow, delves into an alternate story, that Christopher Marlowe, a playwright from Canterbury, is the true Bard of England.

Unfolding in the structure of Ken Follet's The Pillars of the Earth and the historical style of Jean Plaidy, the story begins Marlowe's life in 1572, at the age of eight, amidst the bloody intrigue and artistic renaissance of Tudor England. The muse, Calliope, and the Queen's spymaster, Sir Frances Walsingham, both discover this young prodigy and lead him onto a path wherein he sells his soul for his art.

For forty-six years, Marlowe traverses and bears the whips and scorns of time, losing his innocence at an early age, his identity as a playwright, and the rights to his own name, as he is pulled into the depths of blood and murder within the Queen's secret spy ring. Marlowe suffers the pangs of despised love, the spurns of unworthy men, broken promises and thwarted justice, even becoming his own character of Faustus. He undertakes a faked death in Deptford and exile, a masque created to protect his life from those seeking to destroy him. Like an opportunistic shadow, the ambitious actor from Stratford, William Shakespeare, steps into Marlowe's shoes as his well-paid proxy.

Like a single blue thread coloring a tapestry, Shakespeare's ambition and point-of-view weaves into Marlowe's life, from childhood till death, culminating in a struggle at Shakespeare's deathbed for the most valuable thing a man can possess: his name. History prevails; Shakespeare wins, until now.

I am a member of the Marlowe Society of America, the Shakespeare Fellowship, and a signer of the Declaration of Intent for the Shakespeare Authorship Debate. A member of the Middle Georgia Writer's Association, I am editor-in-chief of the Middle Georgia online literary magazine, Soliloquy Literary.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration and I look forward to hearing from you.