Blogger: Rachel Kent
The ACFW conference is just around the corner! Rachelle is going to be there on behalf of Books & Such. I wish I could make it work to go this year, but it isn’t going to happen. Hopefully 2013!
I know many of you are planning to attend the conference or another conference this upcoming year and I’m sure you are all eager to pitch your projects to agents and editors. Pitching is a big part of these writer’s conferences but meeting an agent or editor in person also gives you the opportunity to connect with them on a more personal level. You are actually able to interact with that editor or agent. You aren’t just sending an email and hoping for a response from the unknown publishing professional on the other side.
Share information about yourself and your interests while you eat lunch at that publishing professional’s table or even during your meeting time. Ask questions about the editor or agent’s interests. Respect general privacy, of course, but most everyone is happy to talk about their kids, pets, favorite TV show, etc. It’s often a nice break to talk about something other than a book pitch for a couple of minutes anyway. I’ve found it is helpful for nerves too.
One of my clients recently attended the Oregon Christian Writer’s Conference and was able to connect with an editor who loved the show “Dr. Who” as much as she did. They are both huge fans and now they are fast friends even if that editor never makes an offer on my client’s book. Their personalities and interests meshed. You don’t get that type of interaction from an email exchange.
As an agent, I find that when I’ve talked with someone about something other than their pitch, I’m more likely to remember them and their pitch in the future as well. And when an author mentions what we talked about to me in an email, the conversation usually jumps to mind and I’m able to remember the meeting. It’s a big deal to be remembered by an editor or agent since they meet with SO many people each year, so don’t be afraid to open up a little bit and share some of your personality and interests in hopes of making a connection. There’s no need to force anything and you can just be yourself.
Have you ever had a conversation that lead to a personal connection with an agent or editor?
Do you get nervous before meetings with editors and agents? Do you think that talking about something other than your book for a couple of minutes up front could help you relax before your pitch?
What are some of your interests? What topics would you feel comfortable discussing with an editor or agent? Maybe list five like this:
A little about me–just for fun:
1) My four favorite animals are dogs, wolves, buffalo and cows.
2) I’ve lived in California my whole life.
3) I love camping more than staying in a hotel.
4) My favorite book series is Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion series.
5) I’ve been to Canada, Nicaragua, Mexico and Italy and look forward to seeing more of the world in the future.
Jennifer Major @Jjumping
I’ve given birth 4 times. One sweet darling baby was in a hurry, he took 10 whole minutes once we were in the delivery room. But that’s fine, because I had 20 minutes to get used to the hospital.
I’m glad I mastered labour breathing, because when I finally meet an agent, I’ll be holding onto a wall/chair/perfect stranger huffing and puffing like a 49 year old new mom…or a psycho. Feel free to choose whichever awkward image is your favourite. 🙂
As you may have perceived, I can pretty much talk about ANYTHING.
But not hydro dams. :/
*Meeting* an agent is not a biggy. *Pitching* is. I’m fairly certain I’d resemble a flamenco dancer with the amount of shaking going on.
Topics I’m comfortable discussing? Hmmm.
1-the overwhelming success of solar powered, fixed tuned short wave radios in evangelism of the Quechua Indians of the High Valleys on the Bolivian Andes.
2-the “forced surrender” and attempted destruction of the entire Navajo Nation between 1863 and 1868. How forced linguistic assimilation in residential schools has weakened the strength of oral history and communication thereof amongst Navajo elders.
3-the importance of athletic, academic or artistic pursuits for children under 18 and the role that individual acheivement has on self esteem
4-how prodigal children can either erode or strengthen a marriage depending entirely upon the bond and committment of that child’s parents
And before you think I’ve gone all “smart” on you….
5-the incredible superiority of Canadian chocolate
Oh, and one for the road…
6-I have swam in the Amazon RIver.
You have gone “all smart!” Actually, I think you already had it in you. Your topics are interesting, Jennifer. 🙂 Now, WHY is Canadian chocolate superior?
Jeanne, you THOUGHT I had it in me??? Hahahaha!!!
And umm, have you tasted Canadian chocolate? Buh bye Mr Hershey. Hello comfortable sweat pants.
Jennifer, you SWAM in the Amazon? You’re my new hero. My husband and I took a mission trip to Brazil a number of years ago, and I lost sleep beforehand, fearing I’d end up lost in the Amazon and surrounded by anacondas or something.
Turned out we were way south, like two-thirds of a nation away. Which was plenty fine with me. Couldn’t pay me to go near that river. Or region.
But Brazil itself I loved. Beautiful country–and awesome steak restaurants!
Oh I loved the country and the people!! I stayed in the jungle, >>IN THE JUNGLE<< for a week. Fire ants, tarantulas, tree pythons, cockroaches the size of my shoes, palm trees, monsoons…ahhhh!! Heaven!! I stayed in a town called Fortaleza for about 3 weeks. Body surfed in the warm waters of the Atlantic. Ahhhh! More heaven.
Went swimming with some friends in Manaus , right in the Amazon River, got hollered at for being somewhat pale. It was actually very funny.
Ate some bad lettuce because I was ordered to…25 years to rid my body of the parasites.
And our lesson for the day? Lettuce doesn't grow at altitudes of 15,000 feet. Hello Bolivia.
Jennifer, you are as entertaining as ever. 🙂 Ooh you swam in the Amazon! Awesome! Hmmm…I just might need to pick apart your brain when I start brainstorming for my future novel about a mission trip that goes wrong in the heart of the Amazon. It’s going to be action packed. I think you will love it! 🙂 ttyl
You have more of my respect than you did before, Jennifer. Now I feel downright boring and unadventurous. LOL!
Thank you, ladies. trust me, I’m not that adventurous! Bear Grylls’ wife? Now SHE is amazing!
Love this! There are so many “list of guidelines” posts about the conference, and thank God for those, but it’s refreshing to read one just about relaxing and being ourselves.
Now, my 5 topics… Hmmm…
– I’m from Brazil, but became obsessed with books in English because they hadn’t translated all of Robin Jones Gunn’s series yet (so I had to order them all through Amazon);
– My dog is called Cotton because he looks like the puppy from Cottonelle (the toilet paper brand);
– I’m a carnivore (I joke with my friends, that if I was a dinosaur, I’d be one of the mean ones that eat people, not the nice ones that eat trees lol);
– I can’t run (when I try, I just look like Phoebe from Friends);
– If you crave chocolate during the conference, you can ask me ’cause there’s a 90% chance there’ll be some in my purse :).
Thanks for this post, Rachel. You bring up good points. 🙂 In answer to your questions, I am a little nervous about meeting agents and editors as I attend my first ACFW next week, but I’m more nervous about pitching. 🙂 I know I’ll get through it.
I haven’t yet met an agent or editor, but the people I read online are very relatable, so I’m looking forward to that.
Topics I’m comfortable talking about–kids, travel (I’ve been to Istanbul, Canada, Mexico and a few places in Europe), interests. Hmm, I’ll have to think about what else I can talk about.
I was just thinking about this general topic yesterday, Rachel, so your thoughts and tips are very helpful!
You’re going to do great Jeanne, I know it. You’ll be fine once the butterflies wear off at ACFW.
You go kick some butter!!!
I second what Jennifer said, Jeanne! You will do awesome! 🙂
Also did you go on a mission trip to Istanbul? I may be going on one in the future. 🙂 ttyl
Actually my trip to Istanbul was a mini-vacation with my sister-in-law. But I did take a missions trip to the Philippines. 🙂 Istanbul is one of the more open cities as far as sharing about Jesus. When I went (many years ago now), we went as part of a tour. It was a safe way to go and explore the city. I hope you get to go. It’s an amazing place. 🙂
My parents went to Istanbul last summer on a “Great Cities of the Bible” tour.
They loved it!!
That’s awesome, Jeanne! I hope I am able to go too! 🙂
My experience connecting with an editor was a few years ago after my Chicago Bears had lost the Super Bowl to the editor’s Colts and Peyton Manning. I managed to smile and be nice as we talked about that nightmare–er, game. What a big girl I am. 🙂
I don’t know how much it helped, though, as we had the same conversation later on in the week. Maybe trash-talking Peyton Manning would have helped? Ha.
I knew I liked you, Rachel. Pretty sure we could sit all day and talk about our dogs and the Mark of the Lion series, which is also MY favorite. Oh, and Pride and Prejudice. 😉
Like others have said, I don’t mind talking with agents and editors about personal stuff. It’s when it comes to pitching that I’m a bit nervous. It’s not even a “will they like my story” nervous, because I can’t control that. It’s a “will I make an idiot of myself” nervous. But I suppose practice makes…well, a better shot of not sounding like an idiot. 🙂
Ooh yeah…Pride & Prejudice! 🙂 I am sooo behind & must read the Mark series! Too many great books to read & not enough time. Lol.
Yes, Morgan, the Mark of the Lion series is a serious MUST!! I’ve read it two or three times already and plan to do so again…soon!
You’re going to do GREAT, Lindsay, I just know it!!
Thank you, Jennifer! I hope so. 😛
I’ll pray for you if you’ll pray for me! 🙂
Done, Jeanne! 🙂
Topics that I would be comfortable discussing with an editor or agent include the following
1) My favorite domestic animals is the dog. West Highland Terriers, in my opinion, are the best. I also like Scottish Terriers and Cairn Terriers too. My Westie is 12 1/2 years old and has been a diabetic for 3 1/2 years. I find that authors that I have met or been in contact with are interested in that and will ask all kinds of questions regarding it. By the way my Westie is in good health for being a diabetic and has absolutely no problems with cataracts.
2) I lived in New Jersey and in Ohio.
3) My favorite books are “Gone with the Wind”, “The Thorn Birds”, and Rumer Godden’s “In This House of Brede”. My favorite audio book is “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”.
4) I’ve been to Canada, England, Austria, Czech Republic, Greenland if you count the emergency landing we made when the plane I was on lost two of its four engines, Peru (been to Machu Picchu and flown over the Nazca Lines), Honduras (which included two mission trips and getting locked in a museum at Copan), Guatemala, Belize, South Africa, Zambia, a safari in Botswana (the giraffes I saw in the wild were amazing plus I never saw so many elephants in my life), Victoria Falls (awesome!!) in Zimbabwe, and Namibia. I want to go eventually to Tibet and to Bhutan.
5) I’ve designed a labyrinth that will be going into the ground. It is a Butterfly Grief Labyrinth based on my interpretation of the Five Stages of Grief by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.
Wow, Lori! You designed a labyrinth…that is impressive. I love the one at Leeds Castle in England.
I think we are kindred travelers! :). I’ve been to over a dozen countries too. Do you write about your trips? I do on my blog, http://www.pensonaworldmap.com. I want my blog to be a place for fellow writers and travelers to connect and share their experiences. I would love to hear some of your stories. Everyone is invited! 🙂 have a great day!
No I don’t write about my trip. But, I know I should.
Christine Dorman / @looneyfilberts
Is the labyrinth going to be in the back of your house? Is it for someone else? For a public place? I find that fascinating, perhaps simply because I love labyrinths. It’s even more impressive to me that you designed it. Not an easy thing to do. How long did it take you?
No it will not be in my backyard. I live in a condo so there is no room for an in the ground labyrinth. The in the ground labyrinth will be at a retreat center in Medina, Ohio. See this link for more info http://blessed-foundation.com/labyrinths.html and scroll down. Last year we had issues with the weather and this year there were issues with the bulldozer that we need to level the ground. We have part of labyrinth done on a tarp that we will need as a pattern when we do it on the ground.
Right now six finger labyrinths (models) have been carved (see Web site for one example). Currently, I own three of the models. The retreat center owns one, a dear friend owns one, and a renown writer whose specializes in grief owns one. (Actually, it was given to her foundation.) From what I understand from this writer is that she uses it regularly with people who she works with.
As for how long this has been taking; it has been an on and off process for quite a while.
Lori, we would have stuff to talk about–I have a 10-year-old Westie and a 2-year-old Scottie. 🙂
Oh, Rachel, I have a question for you. When agents meet with writers at conferences, do the agents usually guide the conversation, or do they wait to see where the writer will take it? Just wondering. 🙂 I know, I’m probably over-analyzing. 🙂
Jennifer Major @Jjumping
Jeanne, that is a very good question. And you aren’t over analyzing, you are preparing as best as you can.
This is a great question, Jeanne. I would love to see Rachel’s comments on this, too. I feel a bit tongue-tied at times.
I think it depends on the agent/editor. I usually try to read the person to see if nerves are making it too hard for them to think straight and then I’ll prompt more. We want to hear what you want to tell us though, so I try to allow the author to direct the meeting if he/she is comfortable with it.
Thanks, Rachel! I appreciate your thoughts. 🙂
If you love buffaloes, you need to come visit us in Oklahoma. I can get you up close & personal with them. And my father in law is a cattle rancher so we’ve got those covered, too. 🙂
I was in Oklahoma in July and spent some quality time photographing a vain buffalo. As soon as he saw the camera he walked right over (there was a fence) and posed. I was surprised he didn’t ask for a wind machine and a touch-up.
In Yellowstone this summer there was a buffalo within six feet of our car. Got a great pic of him. From inside the car, window rolled down. 🙂 That’s about as close as I’d care to be to one of those big ole wooly animals. 🙂
Aw, that would be so fun! 🙂
Great post, Rachel! One thing that I find is fun is finding a book, or author that an editor/agent has worked with that I like to read. Then we chat a bit about what I loved about the book/or the author’s writing. Always sincere though. No digging up brownie points. It is more just a point of mutual interest.
Thanks for the perspective and the tips, Rachel! Sometimes it’s hard to remember that agents/editors are just as human as we are. This will be my first writer’s conference, so I don’t know what to expect, but my hope is that I can relax and have a great time getting to know all the other attendees!
Christine Dorman / @looneyfilberts
Blessings, Gabrielle. I hope you can relax and enjoy it–and that great things come out of it.
You’re going to do great, just breathe!!
Sharon K Mayhew
I’m going to a SCBWI conference in November. I’m super excited about meeting the editor that is critiquing for me. The project I am submitting is an mg novel that started as a pb. I’ve had three agents and one editor say they would like to see it as a mg. I’m looking forward to the suggestions on how to improve my story. And maybe making a new connection. I email regularly with a couple agents I have met at conferences. Getting to know their personalities in person really helps you know how to approach them in emails. Great post! I encourage anyone who goes to a conference to not be shy, get up and talk to the faculty and by all means get a critique. I’ve heard so many people say they are too scared to get a critique. The only way you are going to become a better writer is by learning from successful people. Editors and agents love books and writers, they want to meet you too. Who knows you might be the next JK Rowling.
Christine Dorman / @looneyfilberts
Thanks for the encouragement, Sharon.
Fabulous post, Rachel. I know I would feel less nervous if the conversation stayed away from my pitch for the first few moments. It takes me a few seconds to settle in.
I’m pretty much open to talking about anything, but my interests are: the pioneers, the American Civil War, gardening, cross-stitching and youth ministry.
I like the American Civil War history too, Cheryl! I even did re-enactments in high school with my brother. 🙂
Not such a big Civil War buff…now the War of 1812? Which WE won? Very interesting.
Buffalo? Did you see the video of the buffalo that charged the group of kids? It was wild!
Thanks for the tips, Rachel. It’s easy to get so caught up in “preparing,” I forget to just relax and be myself. 🙂
I didn’t see that video but I’ve heard of it happening! I can’t believe that some parents will try to put their babies on the buffalo’s back to get a picture. They are wild animals!
Yeah, and the buffaloes weren’t too tame either. 😉
No doubt!! Scary!
Rachel, You are so right about connecting on a personal level. It’s not all about me and my book. When I met Debbie Macomber at the Mt. Hermon Writers Conference I was a little nervous. She was the keynote speaker and I was just lucky enough to sit and her lunch table. Everyone at our table was asking her about her books and writing process. I didn’t want to ask the same thing so when I got a turn to jump in the conversation I asked Debbie what she was knitting. She brightened right up and actually pulled out her knitting bag to show us all what she was working on. It was a small thing but it made my day, and I could tell she was glad for the break. Fast forward a few years and Debbie was gracious enough to endorse my book, Knit With Love. So my meeting lead to something very useful and wonderful but that was not the reason for my interest in her it was just so fun to meet another knitter!
Christine Dorman / @looneyfilberts
Great post, Rachel!
Yes, I would be nervous talking with agents and editors, even just mealtime conversation, at least at first. In all honesty, I am a little shy about talking with anyone. However, I have worked on being outgoing and once I’m engaged in a conversation with someone, the nerves go away.
Some things about me and things I would be comfortable talking about?
1) I love history, especially anything about the Middle Ages. Also, since I was very young, I have read and watched anything about the Tudors.
2) Music is one of my greatest joys, both listening to it and making it. My taste in music is fairly broad: Bach, Fleetwood Mac, Carpenters, The Corrs, Boogie Woogie, jazz, blues, swing and more.
3) I love fantasy and some science fiction. J.R.R. Tolkien’s works are among my favorite books and I am thrilled that The Hobbit is not only going to be a movie, but a trilogy. Among my other loves are Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Quantum Leap and The Big Bang Theory. So you’ll understand that my favorite animals are unicorns and dragons.
4) I love British shows, especially comedies. As Time Goes By is one of my two favorite of all time t.v. series. The other is All Creatures Great and Small. James Herriot is my favorite writer (although Tolkien and Mark Twain are nipping at his heels).
5)I adore nature as it is often beautiful, endlessly intriguing and a constant reminder of God’s goodness, presence and creativity. I particularly love skies and am continually awestruck by clouds and stars.
Blessings on your Wednesday!
I miss Quantum Leap!!! We watched every episode of All Creatures Great and Small. And read every book.
Christine Dorman / @looneyfilberts
Yup. I could watch the series over and over. I have all his books and re-read them periodically. They’re great anytime, but especially if I’m having a bad day. His stories always make me feel better.
And Quantum Leap, absolutely. I so miss Sam and Al, not to mention looking at Scott Bakula. I just love Dean Stockwell too. Rumors about a QL movie keep coming up, but nothing materializes.
I’ve definitely enjoyed conversations with editors that have turned into friendships. One editor who declined a proposal because she wanted my protagonist to be the girl instead of the guy drops an occasional email to stay in touch and to see if I’ll be at upcoming conferences, which is fun. One time I sat down for an appointment, and the editor said, “Oh, [name of her male colleague who didn’t come to the conference] says to tell you hello!”
Any writer who attends conferences only to gain the contract is missing out on getting to know some really special people in the industry.
Rachel, you are so right about connecting on a personal level. I had an appointment with an editor who already had my manuscript. It was great because our time was spent talking about life. A few months later, this editor offered me a contract. Now any time we see each other at a conference we like to meet for coffee.
I’m loving these comments! Thanks for the insight and for sharing some of your personal interests. We have a dynamic group here! 🙂
Carole Lehr Johnson
My question is, how do you get a word in when you are at a table and everyone is talking 90 miles an hour? I don’t like to interrupt people. When there are so many involved and they all want to talk about their work–it is a bit overwhelming for me. There just doesn’t seem to be a lull in the conversation long enough without seeming like you are standing on the edge of the diving board to a crowded pool just waiting for an open area so you can jump in. That is stressful! Anyone else feel this way?
The editor/agent or table host is supposed to make sure that everyone gets a chance to speak–at least that’s how it is done at the majority of conferences I go to.
If you aren’t getting a chance to talk with the editor, I’d say go ahead and politely interrupt the table and ask if it would be okay for everyone to introduce themselves and talk a little about what they are writing. I think that would come across fine as long as you are nice about it.
Carole Lehr Johnson
Rachel, that’s a great idea. That way, everyone has a chance for a minute or so. Thanks!
Thank you for sharing this post. I wish there wasn’t so much emphasis on the way an author presents a pitch. Sometimes it can seem like we’re cramming for a test and what comes out when we’re asked “So what’s your book about?” is a rote rendition of our one sheet. Not that we shouldn’t have an answer prepared for that question. Of course we should. But, like you said, getting to know that author a little bit will help him or her stick out in your mind. I know when I have a chance to warm up to my subject, so to speak, I can better articulate why I write the books I write. It’s not just about a hook or a one line or a market trend, it’s about my passion to explore themes of love and grace through a supernatural lens. But can I walk into a pitch appointment and express that right away? No, I need to tell you about my dog and my kids and my complete adoration for David Tennant who is and always will be THE Doctor Who.
Evangeline, I think we’d get along perfectly. I could talk all day about dogs, kids, AND David Tennant. It’s a good think we’re not pitching to each other, we’d never get around to it. 🙂
No, probably not, but we’d have a great conversation.
Thanks for the great tips, Rachel! It’s neat to know fun facts about you too. Here are some facts about me.
1) I’ve lived in Louisiana for the majority of my life, except for 10 months in Iowa. I was born near the Mississippi River in the historic city of Natchez.
2) I am glad I have friends who live around the world, so I can stay with them. I don’t like to use my travel funds for hotels! Lol
3) I recently realized that I’m not a book savourer. lol. What I mean is that I don’t like surprises, so I tend to plow frantically through a book to see the ending and not slowly meander my way through the lovely prose. (I realized this about myself when my CP and I were discussing our reading habits one day. She’s a savourer.)
4) I wish I could invent a time machine and visit the 1940s for a day. I’ve watched “White Christmas” and “Casablanca” way too much…
5) I visited over a dozen countries in six years and before I turned 25…This fact blows my mind.
6) The Lord has blessed me to live my small town childhood dream: to travel the world and write. I hope to continue doing both for the rest of my life. 🙂
I think my biggest issue in a one-on-one meeting with an agent or editor would not be speaking purposefully about my book, writing credentials, etc. I really like to talk and meet new people, so I think my concern is that I would jabber their ear off and not talk about what we’re supposed to talk about. 🙂
Janet Ann Collins
Here’s another question. When you’ve become friends with an agent how do you balance that with the business? I’ve never pitched my writing to agents I feel have connected with me personally because I’m afraid it might spoil that relationship.
I think that agents and editors typically understand it’s a professional friendship. If you are actually buddies, like you chat on the phone once a week and get together for BBQ, I am not sure that you should pitch to that editor, but professional friends is fine.
Buffalo? Really? Huh, never would have guessed that one. I used to work with them at a wildlife park up in Washington. I could definitely tell you some stories.
I still remember being terrified sitting down with Sue Brower at ACFW. She scanned my one-sheet while I mentally rehearsed my pitch. Then she looked me in the eye and asked about my dog. It totally took me off-guard. I was all ready to talk book and we ended up chatting about dogs. It was awesome! We got around to the book, of course, but by then I was much more relaxed. I’m sure it was intentional on her part. What a pro!
And I’m a hopeless Doctor Who addict. I inherited the geek gene.
Do I get nervous before meeting with editors or agents?
Not particularly; I get nervous before meeting with anyone.
As far as five of my interests: writing (of course), blogging, movies, reading, and — my wife!
I am very shy and inexperienced. I attended the Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College this past spring.
I walked into the area for agents and editors did a sweep through and never got the courage to speak to anyone:)
Later, while walking to a session, I began talking to a fellow festival go-er beside me. It turned out she was an editor with a major publishing company and even though they were not taking unsolicited manuscripts she let me know when I could meet a specific editor in my genre. I worked up the courage and she gave me here direct email, for when my manuscript is ready. Nothing may ever come of it, but the experience gave me the confidence to move forward.
Be encouraged, God has a way of working through our weaknesses.
I love the Lion Series, too. I read it while I was recovering from a painful shoulder surgery.
I’ve found it helpful and enjoyable to chat with editors and agents about their interests at writer’s conferences. Editors are people, too.
It’s led to a few opportunities. One was a blog for the Christian Writer’s Guild with the above title, and a blog and devotional on CBN. Plus, I made new friends.
I’m fine with talking with agents/editors, as long as it’s not pitching! Then I do a complete brain flush of all valuable information and I’m sure I come across as a complete blithering idiot. Luckily, they all seem to understand.
As far as me:
1. I don’t think there’s an interstate built before 1980 that I haven’t been on. My father drove us to 49 of the 50 states, visiting a new area each year. I’m sure if he could have driven to Hawaii, we would have gone. I finally made it there a few years ago.
2. I love to travel (see #1, I’m sure I inherited the gene). I’ve been to Australia, New Zealand, most of Canada, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and the Bahamas. My goal is to step foot on every continent, followed by visiting every country that is safe.
3. I’m married to the greatest guy on earth. When I talk about my husband, other women get jealous.
4. I can talk for hours about gardening (flower and vegetable), canning, and the American Revolutionary War.
5. My favorite animal is the penguin, followed closely by my children, dogs, and cats.
6. All my kids are adopted from foster care, so I have a more knowledge than I ever wanted about reactive attachment disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, bipolar disorder and PTSD.
“What are some of your interests? What topics would you feel comfortable discussing with an editor or agent? Maybe list five…”
1. Genealogy is my favorite avocation. I can discuss it for hours with anyone.
2. My professional career, civil engineering/heavy construction is another thing I can talk about for hours, though I doubt many agents would be interested.
3. The travel I’ve done is something I like to discuss, including my five years as an expat in the Middle East and the thirty or so countries I was able to travel to as a result.
4. I’d enjoy talking about what was a high point in my life: smuggling Bibles into China on a family trip there in 1983. That experience will eventually be in one of my novels.
5. hard to pick between other interests.
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