Who Do Literary Agents Think They Are?

Never Act on Impulse.

Never Act on Impulse.

Let’s share our stories about Literary Agents. I’d love to hear from you about your experiences, after I tell you some of mine. My last encounter with a literary agent was with a young agent out of New York. The first question he asked me was, “Name three writers who influence your work.”

I replied. “Tom Clancy, Stieg Larrson, and Tom Harris.

He said, “Old thinking. Not interested.”

Okay. He didn’t ask what I wrote or what I was reading. One rejection doesn’t bother me, and I could rationalize the reason for his lack of interest. Going back a year, I interviewed with an agent from California. His opening line to me was: “You can’t make it as a writer without a lawyer/agent, which I am. So in one sentence, tell me the premise of you novel.”

I answered, “If you’re going to steal, steal big.”

He said, “I like concise. How long have you been writing?”

I said, “Four years.”

He frowned. “Well, see me in another two, and we’ll talk.”

Finally, there was a lady agent from Chicago who told me she liked my presentation. She wanted an exclusive look at my work for six months. She asked for 50 pages plus a three page synopsis. I sent them. Three months later she asked for the whole novel, saying my writing was very strong. I mailed the entire manuscript. As the six month mark came and went, I contacted her by Email asking for her to make a decision. She mailed back my manuscript. The second submission was never opened, and her comment was: I just couldn’t get into the story.

There are some terrific agents out there. So let us hear about the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I’d love to hear your war stories. Reply to my blog and check out my newest novel, The Literary Murders on Create Space, Amazon, and/or Kindle.

2 thoughts on “Who Do Literary Agents Think They Are?

  1. One agent I talked with started our conversation off by telling me it was her job to identify good writers, point out their literary defects and improve their work. “We (agents) are good people,” she told me. I responded, “Show me. Don’t tell me.” I don’t think she got it.

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