Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Yesterday was all monkey business; today I'm getting serious. Because I seriously need help.
I will be speaking (and/or skyping) with two agents soon (thanks to you and Shelli!), and I have started a list of topics I want to talk about and questions I want to ask. I really want to make sure my list is thorough, so I don't end up with five minutes left talking about the weather or about the last concert I went to (well, actually I like talking about concerts to anyone who will listen to me, but I should be using this time more wisely...). Could you please help me brainstorm?
1. What question(s) would you ask?
2. What topic about publishing or querying would you want to know about more?
Thank you for your help with this.

Here are some appropriate tunes for Tuesday by some band you've probably never heard of.
Help! (How'd Ringo get stuck with the umbrella?)

With A Little Help From My Friends

I've added onto today's post, because I've been generously awarded two awards in the last twenty four hours!
Rena Jones, author of A New Job for Dilly and Lemur Troops and Critter Groups, awarded me with the Creative Writer Blogger Award. Thank you, Rena!Photobucket
Here are the rules:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link them.
2. Add the award to your blog.
3. Tell six outrageous lies about yourself and one truth.
4. Nominate six creative liars ... I mean, writers and link them.
5. Let your nominees know they've been nominated.

Here are my five lies and one truth. Guess which one is the truth!

1. The summer before my senior year of college, I was a roller derby girl for the Windy City Rollers until I broke my wrist.

2. I attended the University of Illinois on scholarship for three of my four years there.

3. I have a small cameo in a Motley Crue video.

4. I was prom queen in high school, and my boyfriend at the time was prom king.

5. My minor in college was mathematics, but I have forgotten half of what I learned.

6. I write articles for the National Enquirer under a pen name.

7. My favorite meal on St. Patrick's Day is corned beef and cabbage.

I give this award to these creative people: Jonathan, Heather, Tina, (who all three so creatively created WIBIJ), Anita and Murph (because I want to hear what funny lies they come up with), and Ray at Big Plain V (because I'd like him to post more).

C. Lee McKenzie, author of Sliding on the Edge, also awarded me The Sunshine Award! Thanks so much, Lee! I award it to anyone that reads this, because you took the time in your busy life to read my blog today. Thank you!


Solvang Sherrie said...

I think it depends on whether you have something ready to submit or if you're just getting a feel for the agents and whether you would mesh with them. Good luck!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

If you have something to submit, I imagine that your time will go by rather quickly! Have fun and don't forget to tell us ALL ABOUT IT!

Kelly H-Y said...

Wow ... what a fantastic opportunity! And, congrats on the awesome awards!!

Suzanne Casamento said...

All of those could be true about you! Roller Girl, Prom Queen - I believe it all!

As for the agents, I'd study their websites so you know who they are and what they like and then maybe ask what it was about the last query they asked for a full on that peaked their interest. You might learn a lot that way...

Kimberly Franklin said...

I'm bad at thinking up questions... sorry. But congrats on awards and the agent skype! That is too cool.

And I choose #1 as your truth. I can picture you as a roller girl. : )

Anita said...

Hah! I think the prom queen thing is the truth.

Thanks for thinking of me...I will try and get to this.

Husband and I are looking at U2 tickets...not much left and Husband is setting unrealistic $ limits! Humph.

Kim Kasch said...

You have a cameo.

I would ask specific questions. Like if your story is a MG novel I'd ask what aspect of my story I should highlight in my query letters. Should I focus on the action, the characters, or . . . ?

Jonathon Arntson said...

Kelly, awesome, thanks!

So, obviously "HELP!" is in the top 25 of my Beatles faves...so nice job there!

I love umbrellas and the answer is Rocky Raccoon.

Uh, number 2 is the truth because you like number 2.

As for your agents chats...hm...when are they? I need to think. If they are like in a day the only thing I can think to suggest is to make it all about you!

Sharon Mayhew said...

Kelly--I have about 25 questions written down. I broke them into categories and then marked the ones I thought were most important. Good luck with your chats.

The Sunshine Award definately fits you and I think you forgot half the math you learned in college.

Rena said...

Thanks for playing along, Kelly. Those are hard ones, but I'm guessing Prom Queen.

Kelly said...

Thanks, Sherrie and Terry. Thankfully, I do have a submission ready manuscript and query!
Thank you, Kelly!
Suzanne- great idea on asking about last query they accepted!!
Kimberly - Thank you, and I have to learn how to skype in a few days!
Anita - My husband is like that about $ on concert tix too. Then I remind him how much he spends on fishing guides :). Good luck, hope you get to see them!
Kim- Thanks for the great suggestion!
Jonathan - One chat is probably Friday and I don't know about the other one.
Top 25? I find it funny that you have a top 25 Beatles list in your mind! (They do have so many great songs though!)
Sharon - I have started a list as well. I have a good handle on it, just making sure I don't miss anything. Good luck to you!!
Rena - This was a fun award, thank you!

And thanks for playing along and guessing, everyone! I had fun with this one! Keep guessing and I'll post the answer Thursday!

Bish Denham said...

You might ask what they (the agents) are currently looking for, what kind of books they want to see.

As for the truth in your lies...I'm going to go with #3 because you are such a big fan of rock bands.

Jonathon Arntson said...

9 Beatles songs appear in my top 25 songs of all-time, and they're not in my head, they're framed and hanging on the wall.

I can't wait to see the answer!

Kelly said...

Thanks for the great suggestion, Bish!
Jon - Do you really have it framed? That sounds like something I would do! I may have to compile a list of my 25 songs of all time. I want to see yours too!

Heather Kelly said...

Wow--Kelly, thanks for the award. I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with. And I love your truths and lies. I'm going to say the Motley Crue thing. Because I totally believe that you could dance your way into one.:)

About the agent thing--congrats about winning that! I would just have a conversation with them about your work. I wouldn't flood them with a ton of questions. But-- Casey at Lit Rambles had a great post about this very thing not long ago.


I wish you the best luck--and I think it would probably be fine to talk about your last concert too--you never know what level you'll connect on.

Tina Laurel Lee said...

Kelly- You are so good at questions I bet you could come up with a few! But how about what do they look for in an internet presence for writers? I have heard a few other agents answer this but as different agents have different presence themselves I am always curious about different answers/ideas.

AND Thank you so much for the award. This means a lot coming from you because I always look forward to seeing your creative-writerly face out and about and I think you would and will be a totally fun presence when the games really begin!! Thank you, thank you for thinking of me/us!

Angela said...

Is this for you personally or more general info about agenting to blog about? If it's for you, you want to ask questions about their communication (type, frequency, approachability) w/clients as well as how they nudge editors (agents have to be savvy at this!), but if it's more for general info, I would ask about what niches they feel are being overlooked by writers no wand what areas they suspect could see growth down the road.

Have fun!

Laura Pauling said...

I would definitely have your elevator pitch ready. That really should be squeezed in there, especially if after researching them, they represent what you write. I would think they would ask you about it anyway.

I like the question about what piques their interest in opening pages and queries.

Do you have questions on the industry or finding an agent or on a current manuscript that you want their wisdom on?

Ask smart questions and even if you don't get to the pitch, you can query them with a personal connection. Good luck! I'd be freaking out with the skype thing. :)

Elana Johnson said...

Very cool that you're going to be talking with agents! I really don't have anything you should ask them, but I do know this: Just be yourself. They're people too! :)

Kelly said...

Heather - You are very welcome! That is true, the phone call will probably go too fast, and I certainly do want tips on my query/manuscript. Thanks for the link, I actually used that post last night to start my questions! It's awesome!
Tina- You are welcome! I actually have a good list started, I'm just so nervous and want to make sure I am thorough. The importance of internet presence will definitely be asked.
Laura - I'm going to use the time for both: asking about my manuscript/query and general or specific questions about the industry. Yeah, I'm nervous about skype, I just downloaded it today, so I have to play with it!
Elana- Yes, I will try to be myself. I hope they like nervous goofballs. ;)

Sharon Mayhew said...

Kelly--Mark was really nice. You'll have to read my interview. :) I had some technical problems at first, but we figured them out. Don't be nervous. Have fun with it. You can Skype me if you need to practice. :) skmayhew

Denise said...

Yeah, I'm not sure what is up with the umbrella. I think because he had nothing to do with has hands since a drum kit didn't fit on his lap. Hmmm. Good luck with the agent!

Wendy (aka quillfeather). said...

I was going to post the very same question. I'm delighted to witness you got there first! Will pop back and see everyone's replies before I email Mark :)

All the best, Kelly!

Serenissima said...

I'm guessing the time will fly with the agents. I'd ask what gaps they have in their client lists, and whether their submissions strategy has changed with this slow market.

As for lies vs. truth, my guess is the true one is you were prom queen -- although it would so cool if you were in a Motley Crue video.

Best of luck with your agent chats!

Kelly said...

Sharon- I'm looking forward to my chat with him! And yes, I'll be skyping you!
Thanks, sis!
Wendy - Make sure you check the link Heather put for Literary Rambles. Good questions there!
Serenissima = Yes, I imagine the chat will go by and I'll be, "Wait! I have one more question!" :)

Paul Michael Murphy said...


Christina Farley said...

Congrats on your agent talks! So exciting! I would ask about their thoughts on your genre. Also, what weakness do they tend to see in submissions. And maybe books that they love?

Have fun though! Tell us all about it!

Heather Kelly said...

Kelly--I just had one more thought. Even though one of my works is closer to being ready for submission than others, I would love to know which one would be a better first book to start a career. So, maybe you should ask which of you WiP should be queried first. (Assuming you have more than one in the works...)

Kelly@ JustWrite said...

Just found your blog, Kelly! Good luck with your agent questions. It sounds like you have some helpful friends here! Can't wait to hear how it goes. :)

And, I just met you, but I'm thinking Prom Queen is your truth? Because you're still so likeable!