the glamorous struggles of an aspiring author...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Agent Write

I’m sure I’m not the first to come up with the term “Agent Write” for THE PERFECT AGENT, but I like it. It beats TPA, anyway, and it has the right mysterious overtones, like Agent 007, or even the deadly connotations of Agent Orange. I have been hunting for Agent Write for a while now. And just recently, I found out how terrified I am of her.

I’ve been told that you shouldn’t get in to a business relationship with anyone you would not marry. I take this to mean if you don’t trust the person enough to give them the keys to your house and let them change the baby’s diapers: don’t sign the papers.

I have personal experience to back this claim. In the ‘90s when I ran a computer programming business, I ended up with more work than I could handle alone. I was also pregnant, and more than a little worried about handling work and a new baby without a backup. I went into a partnership with someone I would never have married. It was convenient; it was expedient; it was as wrong as a one night stand in Pittsburg.

So here I am, years later, manuscript burning a hole in my laptop, casting a jaundiced eye over the directories, working the blogs, surfing the net, and then it happened: I found my Agent Write.

She is a working woman and mother, like me, with the same kind of screwy career and superfluous degrees necessitated by meeting family commitments. I’ve read half of the books on her list of published titles and the other half could have just fallen off my dresser. We could be sisters, but the best is yet to come, she says she actually prefers to represent YA fantasy!

I nearly sprain an index finger in my rush to open a fresh email window. Finally the damn thing opens. I paste in her email address in the “to:” field and the cursor blinks at me expectantly in the top left-hand corner. My fingers rest, properly curled, wrists suspended ergonomically, and… nothing happens. This is like that nightmare I get where I try to deliver a speech and no sound comes out comes out of my mouth. A half hour of staring at the screen and my fingers twitch. The keys cling to my fingers, sweat making them tacky. A quote prints itself as if it’s expecting me to say something pithy, winning and utterly irresistible.

It’s too much. With shaking fingers, I close the email window. Microsoft Exchange prompts me to save my single quote email as a draft. I agree thankfully, and worship Bill Gates for a fleeting moment for an otherwise useless feature I have never dreamed of needing before.

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