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An Interview with Lynn Bartels upon receiving an offer of representation.

Lynn Bartels (MyladyFalina on QT) has signed with agent Nancy Coffey of Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation.

How long have you been writing?
I have belonged to a serious writing group for about 8 years. For the first 6 years I would bring Essays and Short stories to group, workshop them and then just take them home and file them away. Finally a few of the group members got together and held an "intervention" and told me it was time for me to submit some of my work, instead of just filing it away, that my work was of good quality and I was the only unpublished member of the group because I never submitted anything!
Is this your first book?
How long have you been working on this book?
About 15 months when I sent it out.
Do you have any formal writing training?
Only one Non-fiction essay class at OSU from back when I was attending college.
Do you follow a writing "routine" or schedule?
How many times did you re-write/edit your novel?
Did you have beta readers for your novel?
Yes my writing group read the first 50 pages, gave their opinion and then read it again when it was finished.
Did you outline your novel, or do you write from the hip?
I have a very basic outline, which I do change as I write.
How long have you been querying for this book?
For about two months.
On what criteria did you select the agents you queried?
I started looking up agents and what genres they handled. Then I would research the individual agents name on the internet and see what I could find out about them.

I read an article written by Nancy Coffey and thought - wow this sounds like the type of agent I would like to have - so I looked up her address and sent my query out.

Did you tailor each query to the specific agent, and if so, how?
I had a basic query letter in which I changed the last paragraph depending on what the agent wanted as a writing sample. Some want 30 or 50 pages. Some want 3 chapters. Some want a synopsis, others do not. I was very careful to follow everyone's guidelines exactly.
What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
Send out 6 - 8 query letters, then wait about a month. As you get rejections have your next letter ready to send out so you always have 6 - 8 queries out there. Keep track of who you have sent to, and when you sent it. Then start writing on a new project, or you will spend most of your time staking out your email or your mailbox. I suggest snail mail over email (that way you have sent a self addressed stamped envelope so you are more likely to at least hear something!). I also received the best responses when I could send 50 pages - so though I can't prove it - I suspect that 50 pages gives an agent a better grip on your writing - 10 and 15 pages is not a lot to make an an outstanding impression when there is so much stellar writing out there.
Here is your chance to plug your book. Tell us a little about it.
Here is the blurb from my query letter:

Recently divorced, forty-something, Realtor-in-training Vicky Andrews has enough to worry about. Her teenage daughter has gone Goth, her son is failing Spanish, her mother has become a recluse, her ex-husband and his child bride refuse to keep their opinions to themselves and the widow next door has given up Pinochle for witchcraft -- so Vicky doesn’t have time for a naked dead boss in the bedroom at her very first Open House. And she doesn’t have time for the hunky Detective Carson, the officer in charge of the murder investigation, either...