Blogger: Rachel Kent
Part 3 of 3: Shakespeare’s Lady
The third release of 2012 for my clients is Alexa Schnee’s Shakespeare’s Lady. The novel releases on April 3, but you could pre-order the book online. My agent copies arrived last week, and the book is beautiful!
For centuries, readers have debated the identity of the mysterious Dark Lady in William Shakespeare’s sonnets. Emilia Bassano–lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth and one of the first women poets in England–could be the answer.
Emilia Bassano is one of the most dazzling ladies at court when she meets the little-known playwright William Shakespeare, and they fall in love. But the course of true love never did run smooth, and the Virgin Queen does not take lightly to her ladies straying. These star-crossed lovers must fight for their love–and, eventually, their lives.
From the plague-ridden streets of London to the throne room of Greenwich Court to the stage of The Globe Theater, Shakespeare’s Lady explores grace, forgiveness, and forbidden love between the greatest poet the world has ever known and the woman who may have inspired him.
Alexa wrote this story when she was 16 years old. She had completed the book by the time I met her at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference in Mount Hermon, California. She was 17 at the time of the conference. Alexa is a wonderful writer and was blessed with an opportunity to practice her writing with her mentor–multi-published author Tricia Goyer. Tricia taught writing classes to homeschooling teens in the Kalispell, Montana area.
During the Mount Hermon conference I met with Alexa, and she also met with Beth Adams, an editor from Guideposts Books. Beth and I were both intrigued by Alexa and Shakespeare’s Lady, and we requested the manuscript. Alexa then won the Mount Hermon “Most Promising Writer” Award. She is the youngest recipient of that award.
Alexa sent the book to Beth first, and I was then informed that Beth was taking the book to committee. I quickly requested that Alexa send me the proposal and manuscript, and I read it as fast as I could. I believe I wrote to Alexa to arrange a phone call about representation the day she heard from Beth with an offer on the project. Another agent was also interested in representing Alexa, so she weighed her options and decided to go with me. I’m so glad she did! I think we make a great team. Alexa’s book offer came about four months after she pitched the project at Mount Hermon.
I believe that a couple of aspects of Alexa’s character have helped her to excel in the publishing world. First, she can overcome her fears. Imagine being 17 years old at one of the biggest Christian writer’s conferences in the nation. I bet a lot of you get some serious nerves when you are meeting with editors and agents; I know Alexa did too, but she came across as a professional. If she didn’t look young, I would have never guessed she was a teenager because she handled her meetings so well.
Alexa is also a very generous, giving person. She’s eager to help a writer in need, and she’s sponsored the Mount Hermon “Most Promising Teen Writer” Award for the past three years. Recently, she even volunteered to contribute to Bekah Hamrick Martin’s upcoming release, The Bare Naked Truth About Waiting. When you give back to the writing communit,y you’re going to find that you get lots of support in return. I believe this will be the case for Alexa.
Please connect with Alexa on her blog or through Twitter:
How have you benefited from being a part of the writing community?
Are you giving as well as receiving support from fellow writers? How?
How do you overcome your fears before appointments with editors and agents or before you send your query letter?
Jessica R. Patch
Before my appointments, I took a few minutes alone in my room to pray and that calmed me down.
So many writers have helped me with numerous questions and encouragement, I always work to do the same. It’s a wonderful community and I’m so glad to be involved!
Prayer is always a good idea! 🙂
Thank you so much, Rachel! You have been such a wonderful support for me. I feel so lucky that you are my agent.
Alexa, your book looks AMAZING! And 17?? I was writing dorky short stories at that age. Well, I still write dorky short stories sometimes. :)I’m really impressed! Congrats on your upcoming release!
Thanks, Alexa. And thank you for stopping by the blog today!
Love this story, and so cool that Alexa has achieved so much already!
I have been surprised and blessed by the community of writers I’ve met online. I call these people friends and I’ve never even met them face to face. It’s the strangest–and coolest–thing.
I love the idea of supporting each other. I’m serving as an early influencer for five debut novelists this year. I can’t wait to help them get the word out about their books.
Serving as an influencer is a great way to give back!
Rachel, another super-inspiring post! I do try to give back to the writing community, mainly by helping others promote their work online. I love sharing if an author just started a blog, just put up a Facebook page, or has a book release coming out. It’s easy to spread good news, and it makes me feel all good inside.
Another thing I do is share tips for writers about getting started with various social media sites. It can be so intimidating to get our names out there, and I hope to take some of the scariness out of it.
Honestly, I feel as if I’ve gotten more from other writers than I could ever give back, though. It’s humbling and encouraging to see how many generous authors are out there.
Thanks for such a motivating series!
You sure helped me when I was getting started on Twitter! 🙂 Thanks!
A big “Amen!” from my corner, too! Jill’s the queen of all things social media. (And a huge, all-around blessing.)
Congratulations, Alexa! Shakespeare’s Lady looks awesome!
Thanks again, Rachel, for an encouraging post.
Thanks for stopping by my fledgling blog!
Rachel, Ha! I’m glad I could help!
Cynthia, you are so sweet. I want to give you a hug right now!
Ann, happy to! It’s always nice to meet other writers. Blessings to you!
Stories of young authors always capture my attention. To think that one can know what she is called to do in life so early on is amazing.
I couldn’t make it in this business without the support of my critique groups. Sharing our honest thoughts in a constructive way helps all of us.
My blogs give me the opportnity to support my fellow writers. It helps that I love blogging, but it’s important to me to provide exposure–especially to new or unknown authors.
I do my best to be as prepared as possible for meetings. I’m always nervous, but at least I’m prepared.
Thanks for a great series of posts this week, Rachel. Love the cover on this book. 🙂
I love this story today, Rachel. Proof positive that age has nothing to do with a writer’s potential. I say the same thing about the other end of the spectrum. I just heard from someone I’ll meet at Mount Hermon. Her father just finished his novel– he’s 91.
Writing is one of the few endeavors that is not inherently sexist, racist or ageist. We always say it– great writing trumps everything else. It’s true.
Thank you so much for your comment about Alexa’s
father. I’ve read a few statements on blogs that 40 or even 30 is too old to try to get published. I have been working on a novel for over ten years now (I’m starting the sixth draft)and I am now over 40. It seems to me that the quality of the writing is what should matter, not my age. Thank you for confirming that. Blessings!
I’m giving back to my RWA group by being the assistant coordinator for the Heart of the West conference this October (we’re looking for agents to take pitches, Rachel. Are you or anyone in your agency interested?). I’m also an administrator with the Fictionista Workshop, serving as Lead Moderator, and also moderating workshops for many authors.
I say I give back this way, but to be honest I’m certain I’ve received far more than I gave. They’ve all taught me so much. Their support is priceless.
I won’t be able to go to the October conference to take pitches, Ann. Thanks for thinking of me! I’m not sure about the rest of the agents here. We have our Books & Such client retreat in early October, but I suggest you email Mary and Rachelle about the Heart of the West conference to see if they are interested and available.
Coordinating conferences is a huge job! I think you’re giving back quite a bit. 🙂
I’m so proud of Alexa! And I agree that Rachel is a perfect fit. This is whar working together for His kingdom is all abe–each doing his & her own part!
Thanks for stopping by Tricia, and thanks for the part you played in Alexa’s journey!
Thank you for this series of blogs, Rachel. I am new to your blog, but from what I’ve seen both in your entries and in your comments to writers, it’s not surprising that Alexa went with you. You seem to be a welcoming, warm-hearted person.
I try to encourage and affirm other writers both in person and on social media. It’s easy to get discouraged, especially for those of us who haven’t been published yet.
Congratulations to Alexa and blessings on you both.
I appreciate your sweet comment, Christine. I’m flattered and blushing! 🙂
Being an encourager is a huge blessing to others in this industry. I’m glad you’re there to support your fellow writers.
Thank you and blessings!
Janet Ann Collins
The first time I attended Mount Hermon probably the most important thing I learned was that the stars -i.e. editors, agents, and best-selling authors – didn’t glow in the dark and were human just like me. They need to be treated with patience and consideration like everyone else.
Lol! I remember the first time I took appointments. I think I was more nervous than the people pitching to me. We are definitely human too.
Thanks for the comment, Janet.
Janet Ann Collins
You’re welcome. I sure wish I could be there this year.