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Finding an Agent for Literary Fiction March 22, 2014

Posted by lycan librarian in Uncategorized, writing.

Whale tail mug       I have been looking for an agent for my latest novel, a story about the boyhood of Captain Ahab. I studied Moby Dick and Herman Melville extensively and interjected a peppering of Melville’s phrases and many of his themes into my work. While sending it out, I got a few very strange replies from agent asking to see a partial or complete manuscript. The oddest comment was, “This isn’t a thriller. Wasn’t Moby Dick a thriller?” I began to realize that a lot of agents who said they represented literary fiction have no idea what serious literary fiction is. So when I got good comments about how beautiful my writing is or how with the right agent my career and I could go far, I savored them. The rest I discarded.
Presently I have received positive responses from eight agents including one of the biggest in the U.S. and one of the biggest in the UK . They were both taken with the partial they were sent and asked for the entire manuscript. I am convinced this is my breakout novel that will launch my career.

It took time and patience, but I didn’t give up on my book. I took early comments to heart, put the work aside for a while, then went back and rewrote the book. Now that it’s finished, I’ve gone back to work on another I had completed some time back. I’ve finally learned that it’s important to let the work sit, digest feedback, and go back to it fresh. I probably would have given up on this book by now, but received some very strange messages from the universe. My brother and I don’t exchange gifts anymore, so I was surprised when I suddenly got a package from him. Bear in mind he had no idea I was writing a book that referenced Moby Dick. I opened the package to find a whale tail mug. (See photo.) The handle came up and attached to the mug in a whale tail. My brother knows me and he knows I love color, but the mug is white. Spooky, huh? Then, everywhere I turned, there were Moby Dick, whale and Ahab references. In crosswords puzzles, comics, commercials, magazines, and every time I turned on the TV. I even found a whale tail charm at a garage sale I had no intention of stopping at. The car just turned in without me even thinking about it. The strangest was one day when I was feeling down and asked for a whale sign. I turned on the TV and Moby Dick, the opera, was on. I can’t help but think this is all positive and means something.

Stay tuned, I’ll let you know how things turn out. Is the universe just screwing with me (again) or is it guiding and helping me?



1. Heidemarie - March 24, 2014

NO doubt in my mind that it’s guiding and helping you. 🙂

2. Steve Buchheit - March 29, 2014

I’m hoping it’s the helping and guiding thing.

3. Theresa - April 11, 2014

Those were some serious signs!!! Fingers crossed!

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