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JennaPetersen
February 28th, 2007, 11:13 AM
Hi everyone!

If you're reading this, it probably means you're at least somewhat interested in taking part in my March workshop, The Great Agent Search! Welcome! I hope you'll find the presentation useful, as well as entertaining.

I hope you'll introduce yourselves here. Tell me how long you've been writing and where you are as far as literary agents go (never looked, actively looking, have an agent, have had one in the past, etc). I like to have a sense of the 'audience'.

And let me introduce myself, as well! I'm Jenna Petersen. I write historical romance for Avon Books, as well as erotic historical romance for Avon's Red line. My releases have included:

Scandalous (October 2005)
From London With Love (August 2006)
Desire Never Dies (January 2007)
Seduction is Forever (Coming October 2007)

Parlor Games (Jess Michaels, June 2006)
Everything Forbidden (Jess Michaels, November 2007)

And there are more books coming from both my names in 2008. You can check out all the details on my books at http://www.jennapetersen.com

In addition, I created and have maintained a site for aspiring authors called The Passionate Pen since 1999. http://www.passionatepen.com

The site contains a comprehensive listing of publishers who take romance, agents who represent romance, articles for authors and my popular diary of my journey to and beyond publication. I hope you'll come check it out if you're an aspiring author.

Now introduce yourselves! :)

JennaP

loridbingley
February 28th, 2007, 12:42 PM
My name is Lori Derby Bingley, and though I've been writing for what feels like forever, I've been published for five years.

I have six books under my belt, five of which are romantic suspense (my favorite), and one that is more of a contemporary romance. I have often thought about getting an agent, but didn't know if it was the right thing to do. Anything would have to be better than sitting back and watching your books rust!

I'm a stay at home mother with five kids, plus I watch two more during the day. I don't get much writing (or any, really) done in the daytime because I refuse to take that time away from the kids. Plus, let's face it, trying to concentrate while three 2 year-olds are playing/fighting is NOT easy!

I would love to hear more about how to go about snatching an agent, and how to keep him/her happy. I have submitted to an agent before, but then retracted because I really hadn't done my homework first. You hear different things about whether this is the right track for an author, so it'll be refreshing to see what you have to say.

Again, thanks for being here, and I look forward to reading more about you!

Lori Bingley
www.loriderbybingley.com

JennaPetersen
February 28th, 2007, 05:47 PM
Welcome Lori! You sound busy, but it's great you still make time for the writing. Hopefully I'll be able to answer most of your questions during the workshop and get you on the right road. Please don't be shy about asking them if I don't!

Anyone else lurking? Come on... I don't bite!

Regina
February 28th, 2007, 07:25 PM
Hi Jenna,

My name is Regina Paul, and I've been writing for years. I went the self-published POD route for my first 3 books and have just signed my first book contract recently after winning a contest for my romantic suspense novella Destiny's Choices.

I'm not presently considering getting an agent because I'm not sure yet if this is something I want to do. I've enjoyed learning what I have so far from the ground up so to speak (you do everything yourself when you self-publish, as you know! LOL) and I like having that control, and understanding the different facets of how everything works. So, for me it would depend I think on a number of factors as to whether or not I would use an agent. I know I need to learn more about the process so that if I do decide to use one later I have a good understanding of how this works. So, that being said I'm looking forward to this workshop. :-)

Regina

JennaPetersen
February 28th, 2007, 08:47 PM
Hi Regina and welcome! I hope I can be helpful to you in deciding if you want to go for an agent or not. :)

Anybody else out there?

BarbaraSheridan
March 1st, 2007, 07:09 PM
Hi everyone!

I've been writing "seriously" for about 16 years. I had two paranormal releases with Berkley/Jove in '99 and 2000. Family issues got in the way and I didn't write for quite some time. In 2005 I tried to make a bit of a comeback and since then have sold a number of solo romances to Cerridwen Press, LindenBay Romance and Vintage Romance.

Last year my friend Anne Cain and I sold our first co-written m/m erotic and we now have four books out, two each with Loose ID and Samhain and a couple more on the way.

Anne and I have bene trying to find representation for some urban fantasy work but apparently the combination of the m/m pairing and the fact that our main characters are Asian create a major drawback, according to agent/editor comments.

JennaPetersen
March 1st, 2007, 08:39 PM
Barbara,

Welcome! You're in a tough position. I would keep at it, keep trying, but you've probably figured out that it's a tough road. Agents want to make their 15% and if they feel like there isn't a big market for something, they may be less willing to take it on. It's just a business decision for them. Also, they may not have contacts with editors who take on those kinds of stories, which limits their ability to advocate for you and is sometimes why they refuse something outside of their 'norm'.

However, if you can approach them with strong sales numbers, that may help you win someone over who likes the work, but is on the fence about the marketibility. Just something to keep in mind.

Liadan
March 1st, 2007, 08:40 PM
My name is Tanya Greene but my pen name is Liadan. I have several stories written but not published. I just entered my first ever writing contest about a week ago. I don't have an agent and don't know much about how that works.

I do have two books in the works at the moment and hopefully I'll be finishing one of them up very shortly and submitting to publishers.

jennzilla
March 1st, 2007, 09:42 PM
Though my screen name says Jennzilla, I'm Jenna Leigh. I've been a published author for almost a year now. This year will see me having three full-length and two novellas out.

Lorraine
March 2nd, 2007, 12:57 AM
Hi Jenna,
First of all, how does everyone get those neat pictures in their posts?
Seems like I've always wanted to be a writer, but got serious when I joined a Children's Writer's group about ten or so years ago. I quickly realized how much I didn't know so I listened and learned and after much labor...produced a complete book. I contacted my writing mentor's agent and she accepted me. Long story, short. After my rounds, the book was rejected by editors and came home with its tail between its legs.
I wrote a few more stories but it appears my motivation lagged when I didn't have a writer's group. I did write for my local freebie paper and loved doing human interest stories (people always have a story to tell).
I have about three unfinished books hiding somewhere.
I won a Romance Contest (1500 words max) about a middle aged wife coping with husband's beginning Altzeimer's.
So, I am now interested in writing romances and quite excited about it. I know I need an agent, but first I need a book.
Jenna, it will be up to me to get the book out of me (currently, I am facing white page disease), but I am very interested in how to approach an agent. More importantly perhaps, how to approach a good agent.
Can you help?
Lorraine (Rainy)

JennaPetersen
March 2nd, 2007, 04:13 PM
Hi Liaden, Jenna (yay for more Jennas) and Rainy!

I'm so glad you're all here. Sounds like we have a really eclectic group here, from those just starting out to those you have a few mainstream published works under their belt already. Hopefully the info I post will be helpful to you all.

If you haven't already, check out the first lesson I posted yesterday. If you have any questions about it, feel free to ask! I'll be posting more lessons this month, from how to approach an agent to what to do once you have an agent interested to how to work with your agent once you've hired her and even how to fire her (I've done that twice and lived).

I'm in Kansas City this weekend (dealing with the internet problems of death, apparently) but I will be checking in and answering questions if you have them!

JennaP

JudyThomas
March 12th, 2007, 08:41 AM
Hi. I'm a newbie here at Coffee Time Romance and hope I'm not too late to jump into this class. I've had one book "published," albeit by a publisher I later found out to be... hmmm.... not where I needed to publish (where was Preditors and Editors when I needed them???). I've had several poems and short stories published online and in print. I have just finished the final editing of a biblical romance and have been working on the query letter and synopsis for it. I've also started work on a contemporary romance/mystery. My husband and I also own our business, which keeps us mighty busy so writing is catch as catch can!

Thanks for offering a workshop like this. It couldn't be more timely.

JennaPetersen
March 12th, 2007, 08:56 AM
Welcome Judy! It's never too late to join in the conversation! :)

Marianne Arkins
March 12th, 2007, 08:58 AM
I'm a bit late to the forum, but excited to be here. I plan on starting the great agent search this summer -- the novel I'm polishing should be ready by then (if all goes according to plan).

I've been writing since I was quite small, and finally got serious about it a few years ago. I've had two short stories published by The Wild Rose Press, with one more contracted, as well as a few flash pieces accepted by online eMags.

Jenna -- I love the Passionate Pen site, and can't wait to check out the information you'll be sharing with us this month!

JennaPetersen
March 12th, 2007, 09:10 AM
Thanks Marianne! I'm glad Passionate Pen is helpful to you! :)

Rae Lori
March 13th, 2007, 01:33 AM
Hello! *waves*

I'm Rae. I found out about the workshop via my publishing company Lavender Isis Press, but I'm here mainly as a writer. :-) I've been writing for about 16 years now and only now have I realized what a business writing really is! I'm starting to get the hang of things, but I'm still really new at most things so I may be asking a lot of questions!

I like to write for different genres, mainly science fiction, and I'm an avid reader of multiracial romance books!

I'm going to take a look at the forum and dive into the workshop now. I'll try to absorb everything I possibly can! lol.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far! :-)

JennaPetersen
March 13th, 2007, 09:51 AM
Welcome Rae. And interesting that your publisher let you know about the workshop. Hope you'll find it interesting!

Vicki M. Taylor
March 23rd, 2007, 01:58 PM
Hi, I'm Vicki M. Taylor and I write women's fiction. I have two books published with Mundania Press and have a manuscript I've been entering in contests and currently working on another.

I have many short stories and articles published on the Internet and in magazines.

I belong to RWA and attend my local Chapter meetings. They are a wealth of information.

I've just finished reading all the Agent lessons and want to thank Jenna for all the hard work she put into her workshop. Will these lessons always be posted her at CTR? If so, I'd like to link to them for my writers' forum.

I don't have an agent, and I've submitted to my A list, but received rejections. Dejected, I haven't built up my "confidence" or "courage" to submit again. I'm thinking I'll go the contest route for awhile and see if I can garner interest that way.

Regardless, though, I won't stop writing.

Thanks again for a great workshop.

JennaPetersen
March 23rd, 2007, 03:32 PM
Welcome Vicki! I think the workshop is going to be up until the end of April and then it will come down. I still present the workshop in other places, so we figured that would allow people to check it out for free, but no affect my ability to still present it to groups.

Thanks for coming and I'm glad the presentations have helped you. :)

Will_Belegon
March 25th, 2007, 03:37 AM
Hello *wave*

Will Belegon here. I'm a writer with Phaze. I have co-written four short (novella length) works released by them, with another one on April 20th. It actually collects earlier work and adds a new story...and it is my first thing in print outside of the Coming Together anthologies. Then I'll have my second print release and my first solo piece coming out in May.

I normally hang out where I got my start, at the AH on Literotica. But I'm looking to expand and this caught my eye. I'm looking forward to reading the other posts....