Posts Tagged ‘Agents’

7 Years in 1776

January 29th, 2016 • by Karen A. Chase • 6 Comments

Many years ago, when I worked at a corporate job, my employee review indicated I was doing well, but “lacked patience.” I was not surprised. I’d heard it before, and was well aware of both the positive and negative aspects of such a trait.

Fast forward, and this week my novel, in the hands of my agent, is going out for the next round of feedback from publishers. As I wait, once again, I’m reminded of that review, and I wonder if this novel shows how my lack of patience was probably not a trait, but a symptom of circumstance.

Back then, I wanted to my career to advance faster (now), because I was working jobs that fit me about as well as that too-tight pair of wool pants I can’t seem to part with.

But this book, set during 1776, is a passion project. Potentially a new career. And so it’s more like a cozy sweater-dress I bought at Goodwill a couple months ago–it fits so easily, and makes me feel fantastic. Consequently, my dedication to it can been seen in the numbers:

I began researching 7 years ago, worked with 5 different editors, 9 early readers (friends who gave advice and corrections), 100s of historians, librarians, museum directors and more. I wrote and rewrote a total of 8 drafts. Went through 6 months of agent-query rejections, and now, after 1.5 years editing with my agent, we’re heading for the final gate–a publisher.

I’ve grown. I’ve matured. And yet all I can think is, “Now? Have you heard from a publisher now? How about now?”

(I will indeed let you all know when I hear, per this old post about getting the agent, I will fly the Canadian flag when I have a publisher.)

Let That Banner Wave!

August 1st, 2014 • by Karen A. Chase • 10 Comments


I have an agent!

About eight weeks ago I promised I would fly the Canadian flag and replace it with the US flag when I found an agent. I can scarcely believe it’s happened so quickly, but last week the joyous news came in. A call. Early morning. Area code 212. New York.

“Hi, this is Rebecca Gradinger with Fletcher and Company.” My ears thrummed. Once my composure returned I found Rebecca saying things all writers hope for. “I was reading it on the subway… I only got to page 100… I just had to call…”

However, it was not her praises that made me say yes. She was professional and warm. Thoughtful and engaging. She knows this business well, but she is also known for being nice. I said yes, because I feel like she is going to be someone to count on. With Rebecca and her assistant Jennifer in my corner, the next rounds are going to be less of a fight. More of a joy.

She’ll be here to help with editing, finding a publisher and more. Rebecca best describes the role of an agent in this post from Poets and Writers.

So, I have another enthusiastic partner in the building of my literary career. That’s only right for I did not get here alone. Freelance editors. Early readers. Researchers and historians. Other authors. Even finding Rebecca came with help. I was introduced by another historical fiction author, Kathleen Grissom (a Canadian). Rebecca (also Canadian) has been her trusted agent.

Isn’t that ironic? After six years writing about the American Revolution, among those helping me find a publisher are two other Canadians. So here is promise to them.

I will fly this American flag until we find a publisher, at which time that Canadian flag will go back out.

For now, let these stars and stripes wave! Carrying Independence and I have an agent.

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Stay tuned for more posts about what comes next. How does a writer work with an agent? What is the process toward publication? I hope you’ll follow along. Sign up for the blog (in the right-hand column) and the tales will come right into your email.

A Dickens of an Agent Search

July 18th, 2014 • by Karen A. Chase • 2 Comments



I have decided that querying agents is a lot like reading Dickens.

First, you must enter the process knowing it is going to take some time. Our book club read David Copperfield last year. 1019 pages! I hope I have the patience of my friend who read that whole thing on her iphone.

Second, there are pages and pages of characters. And you don’t get to know much about them in the beginning. I query agents based on what I can find in Google searches and in websites like QueryTracker and AgentQuery. I have to be prudent and savvy. A couple of weeks ago I chose poorly. The rejection from the agent’s assistant said readers already know “what really happened to the Constitution.” Yeah… uhm… my book is about the Declaration.

Third, Dicken’s dialogue is polite, even when things are going poorly. So are my rejection emails. “We wish you luck with finding a home for this intriguing work.” That’s so nice, but it leaves me feeling like Oliver Twist. “Please, Sir, I want some more.”

Lastly, (and I hope this is true), a darn good ending is coming. I read Great Expectations many years ago, slogging through that thing for weeks. The ending left me stunned. The anticipation, and the unexpected ending with one person showing great character, made me rethink and appreciate all the writing that had come before.

So on I will go. Happily. I will revel in this moment. For this is the best of times. It is the worst of times.