Wayne Santos (Shoeless on QT) has signed with agent Jennie Goloboy of Donald Maass Literary Agency.
The thing that got me through the periods of doubt was sheer, bone-headed stubbornness, combined with a little pragmatic pep talk. Jennie Goloboy is actually not my first agent, I'd had short stories and comics published prior, and I'd even had representation before. So even when rejections came in on a soul crushingly regular basis, I always tried to remind myself that people had thought my work was good enough to publish and even represent in the past. It was just a matter of sticking with it. And at the bottom of it all, I still liked the stories I was telling, and the characters in my head, even if no one else seemed to, and I was always curious about what they'd do next.
More importantly, however, it's just good to get another set of eyes on your book. You're too close to it. There are things that will be abundantly obvious to another writer that you won't see, because you've been staring at these words and paragraphs so long they've nearly lost all meaning. But the second someone else, who's judgment you trust, says, "I'm not sure the motivation for this character actually works," and then explains why, and then provides some alternatives, you suddenly feel very foolish for not having seen this, and very grateful that someone else did, because making that change will actually make your book better. As long as you've got good beta readers on your side, you've got an ace up your sleeve in terms of just how much your book can improve after that first draft is done.
The other piece of advice I'd give is about dealing with negativity. It's going to happen to you at some point, especially if you don't see positive results quickly. I have to admit, seeing Pete McLean's rapid acceptance and publication deal with Jennie Goloboy was actually a source of major demoralization for me when he posted his stats and I saw how quickly he'd advanced, while I was querying. Now, ironically, he's an "agent sibling," and he gave me great advice about Jennie and Red Sofa literary. But it all boils down to this; you're going to get rejections. You may even get a lot of them. The book that you're shopping around now may not be the one that gets you an agent, and that could be for any number of reasons. Maybe the market is over saturated with what you wrote, or maybe it's a little too unique for the market right now, or maybe you still need to improve as a writer and you still need to get a few more books out of your system before you hit that level. There could be any number of reasons, but there will be a lot of "nos" and a lot hopes that will get dashed against the rocks, and this is something that may keep happening to you again and again. How you deal with it, and where your limit of tolerance for it is is very important. Some people are going to nope out in rage or despair after a dozen rejections. Others are going to take longer, but, as the months and years roll by, seriously question their life choices and let it get to them. Others are going to feel sad, let themselves feel sad, do what it takes to look after themselves, then roll up their sleeves and keep writing. Nobody wants to be a failed writer, but the one way to guarantee that that's exactly what you are is if you decide to quit.
Dear Ms. Goloboy,
I’m seeking representation for CHIMERA, a completed 114,000-word science fiction novel with series potential. I have had short fiction published in On Spec, and the comic book anthologies Liquid City Volume 1 and Volume 2 (Image Comics). I was previously represented by Jack Byrne of the Sternig & Byrne Literary Agency though we parted under amicable terms.
Cloke is a top combat mage of the 22nd century, rising from a life of gangbanging in urban warzones to one of the most notorious mercenary units in the world. She leads a combined arms unit that fights with hackers, cyborgs and magic, and she just got her weirdest job: A dead mage wants to die again, and he needs Cloke to pull the trigger.
On the other side of the world is Zee, with no past, and, if things keep going this badly, no future either. Zee is a hacker without history, or gender—a manufactured science project now on the run. The escape has resulted in an underground, fugitive life seemingly destined for low level, black market hacks. Then Cloke arrives, in need of a new console jockey for a job no one sane would accept.
CHIMERA is what happens when Neuromancer adds magic missiles and William Gibson’s post-modern vision gets a dose of anime-inspired mayhem.
My past experience in professional writing includes ad copywriting, editorial for magazines and script writing for both documentary and dramatic television in Southeast Asia. I have contributed to video game related websites such as IGN and the Games & Hobbies section of the Examiner as the Canadian National Video Games Examiner as well as acted as Senior Content Editor at CG Magazine, Canada’s first video game publication.
Full manuscript available on request.
Thank you for your time and consideration.