Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Agents. Writing. Heroines.

One reason I started this blog is I wanted to share the step-by-step adventure of getting published. I think I did a pretty good job of giving my readers the facts of what happens after you sign a publishing contract. It was an eye-opener! And it was fun! I had no idea what it would be like, and so I figured neither did my fellow aspiring authors. 

So now, I'm moving along in a new path, a new experience. I've been writing for years, and now I have a literary agent that is in my corner, in my ring, coaching me, routing me on, rubbing down my aching muscles (figuratively), putting me back in the ring and keeping me on my feet. That's right. Writers keep your feet on the ground.

So now, InSpire too will be moving in a different path. I'll be blogging about my experience with my agent, in such a way that you will know what to expect when you are offered representation.

Let me begin by saying my agent is first class. She is approachable, kind, friendly, and I felt a connection to her that was a sheer joy. You all know about queries, the etiquette of approaching agents, and the agent search. What happens when an agent replies to you with an offer of representation? Well, first you will probably sit stunned for a few days until it starts to sink in that this is real. You'll receive copies of the contract in the mail. I signed four and sent them back.

It's sinking in now. My heart is beginning to really race that this is for real. I had a phone chat last week with Diana, and when she asked me who I liked to read, I stumbled. I finally got out 'Marylu Tyndall' and 'classics'.  But I failed to say Liz Curtis Higgs is one I greatly admire. Phillip Lee Williams is a favorite secular historical fiction author who I think is the next Mark Twain with his Jenny Dorset novel, as good as John Jakes with his Civil War novels. I kind of froze, and said I pick books out by the back cover blurb. Doe!

We discussed the series I want to write and I gave her a deadline of six months for the first book. However, the sooner I write, polish, and finish it, the sooner she can begin to rep it out there to editors. 

I went out and bought a thick spiral notebook, labeled it 'Before the Scarlet Dawn', and began writing. I already had 30,000 words in my Word document, so I picked up from that point. I've been writing everyday, all day for almost over a week, by hand, and have several chapters written in rough draft. Tomorrow I'll transcribe them to my word doc, edit and revise. I'm going to have this book finished sooner than six months. Writing scenes out by hand for some reason causes my brain to visualize and write faster.

The awesome thing about having an agent like Diana is I now have time to write, instead of sending out queries, proposals, and manuscripts. How wonderful!
My feet are now held to the fire in many ways. Get the books written...but written well. I promise to give my readers a series that will keep them glued to the pages until they read 'the end'. 

If I were to chose actress to play the heroines in this Dusk to Dawn series, they would be the following:

Anne Hathaway as Eliza Breeze Morgan

Natalie Portman as Darcy Morgan (Eliza's daughter in Book 2)

Billie Piper as Sarah Cameron (Book 3) 

Tell me what kind of visual these photos give you of the heroines by posting your comments. What kind of temperament do they possess? What kind of woman do you think each shall be in their respective stories? Do you use visuals to help you develop your characters?


Bonnie Toews said...

My first impressions from these pictures are:
1. Eliza carries a deep sadness in her eyes as if she has a hole in her heart that never heals.
2. Darcy is tenacious, rebellious, smart and stubbornly independent. A true survivor, she lives life on her terms.
3. Billy is harder skinned and more self-absorbed. She will take whatever means available to achieve the ends she desires. Perhaps another Scarlet O'hara but she is not as coquetish or as alluring.

Are you going to let us know how close we are to describing your actual heroines, Rita?

Jessica said...

Great pictures. You're right, they each leave a definite impression.
Congrats on your agent and your word count! :-)

Jeanette Levellie said...

I am soooooo happy for you, Rita, and for Diana. You both win! I feel honored to be in the same authors' group with you, dear.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rita -

I'm excited for you and looking forward to hear about your experiences with Diana. I met her at Philly, and was impressed by her kindness.

I agree with Bonnie's assessments of the three pictures.

Susan :)