Friday, December 22, 2006

Making a Literary Life Friday

It's been a very exciting week here at the Writers' Group. You may have noticed Lisa updated her profile to include her wonderful news: she now has an agent. Brava, Lisa! The rest of us have been busy as well. Here's a sampling of what we've done to broaden our literary lives. We'd love to hear what you've been doing, too.

This week a dream came true! An agent at a well established literary agency left me a message Friday afternoon. On Monday morning I returned the call. He told me the ins and outs of how their agency works. He detailed his plan for submitting my novel to publishers. He even complimented my work, telling me what drew him to my writing. I told him about my background and my writing aspirations. Though I had planned to tell him I would consider his offer and contact other agents looking at my full manuscript, I didn't. I told him I would be thrilled to have him represent me. I have never been more sure of a decision. My manuscript is being sent to publishers in early January.

My writers' group gave me such amazing support and reacted with such kindness to this news: each of them called me to congratulate me, one dropped off a thoughtful gift that made me laugh. I know I will be there to congratulate the next person when good news arrives.

I discovered a stunning writer: Robert Olen Butler. He was awarded the 1993 Pulitzer for Fiction and, best of all, has 14 more books I look forward to reading. Naturally, I have my lovely stationery out and am about to compose a charming note. His writing leaves me breathless. If you recall last Friday's post, I mentioned I was writing Tom Perrotta to congratulate him on his Golden Globe nomination. Literary gem that he is, he wrote back. Remember when you become a famous published author that charming notes work both ways. Also, you may have noticed the multi-talented (she writes in two genres!) Tish Cohen (Town House, May 2007) commented here this week and I returned the favor over at The Debs. It seems we both have panic attacks, though hers seem far more reasonable. And if you're a frustrated writer (who isn't?) in need of a little reassurance as we close out another year, I urge you to read literary agent Rachel Vater's December 19 post, Consolation and Inspiration. Then hop on over to mother-of-all-multi-taskers Allison Winn Scotch and learn why you can never again complain about not having enough time to write. Yes, that's me in the comments section marveling at Julia Glass again. What will you be reading over the holiday break next week? I have Butler, Alice Munro, and Kiran Desai waiting for me. Here's wishing you lots of gift cards to your local independent book store.

Per a long-standing agreement with my husband, we purchase our own gifts and act surprised when we unwrap them at the holidays. Thus, I have a strong suspicion I will be opening the current copy of Pages magazine, and then be doubly thrilled to find out I am getting a subscription. Nick Hornby's Long Way Down may be in the white paper with the gold bow, while Gabriel Garcia Marquez' One Hundred Years of Solitude may have a silver bow. Needless to say, there will also be chocolate, which is not completely literary, but surely inspirational. Almost as wonderful, I have been promised some solitude of my own for writing during the vacation week. The gift of time is a beautiful thing!

This week I reached a major milestone in my writing career. I finished the edits on my first novel and sent the manuscript to my wonderful agent at Trident Media Group. Here's hoping she likes it. I spent my holiday shopping time supporting my local booksellers. The gifts under my tree for my family include, The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman for my husband. The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers and three of the Ross MacDonald classic mystery novels for my son. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott and A Writer's Book of Days by Judy Reeves (no relation) are wrapped in beautiful paper for my daughter, the emerging writer. I can only dream about which books are under the tree for me.


Anonymous said...

Big congrats to Lisa! What super holiday news!! I hope your book sells fast, fast, fast.

Amy - I'd love to hear how your math teacher spurred your panic attacks...

Hannah - I, too, adore Nick Hornby. Just re-watched About a Boy last weekend. So good.

Lynne - good luck with the ms, I know that feeling well.

Anonymous said...

P.S. I just linked to you guys on the Deb site.

Anonymous said...

Clearly I'm comment-challenged today. The above posts are from Tish Cohen

Anonymous said...

Hey all!

Coming out of lurking to say happy holidays...

Your blog is such a treat-- it's
always so honest, so open, and um, so well-written.

Lisa--congratulations on your agent. You'll have moments when you forget, and start worrying about getting an agent--then you'll realize--wait I have an agent. I can't wait to buy Little Boy Hiding. Won't it be amazing when it's on people's holiday wish lists?

Happiest of new years--