Pub Rants

Feeling A Little Warm Fuzzy

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STATUS: I almost cracked the cover last night but refrained. It’s going to be a long week. Good thing there are exciting things happening at the office to distract me.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? MACK THE KNIFE by Louis Armstrong

I think I’m allowed to pat myself on the back every once in a great while. Today I passed on to several agent friends a manuscript that I liked but wasn’t right for me. I thought they would be a better fit.

Then I got this email. I’m a former English professor and corporate trainer so I’ve always enjoyed teaching. Last April, I did a query workshop at the Pikes Peak Writers Conference and Aaron was one of my victims—I mean volunteers. I really enjoyed his writing (and yes I looked at sample pages) but I knew the project wasn’t right for me. Armed with a great query letter, he obviously found the right person.

Yea Aaron! Yea Kristin for giving a query workshop where a participant actually learned something! (I always wonder if I’m being helpful…)

Hi Kristin,

I’m not sure if you remember me, but you gave me a tremendous amount of help drafting a query letter at this year’s PPWC–I was lucky enough to be one of the “projects” in your stellar workshop on query writing. In addition, I read and reread all the blog entries I could find of yours about how to write a great query. I wanted to let you know that I just found representation for my novel and I couldn’t be happier. My new agent is at Levine Greenberg in New York.

I made it to my agent thanks, almost entirely, to you. Not only did I use your advice to write (and edit and edit and edit…) my query letter, but I also used your list of agents that accept email queries as my sole source for submissions. After submitting to every agent on your list, I had three requests for partials, which quickly turned into two requests for fulls, which turned into two agents for me to choose between.

In addition to being my query guide, you have often inspired me and made me laugh with your blog. I really don’t know how to thank you for how much you’ve helped me and, I’m sure, countless other writers eager to enter this business–so I’ll just say: Thank you, thank you, thank you for your incredible generosity, wisdom and good humor. I hope the karma bank keeps paying you dividends for years and years to come.

All the best,
Aaron Brown

By the way, that list can be found online here. (Reminds me, I need to update that darn thing…)

20 Responses

  1. Julie Henry said:

    I just wanted to say that I am not surprised Aaron would write to Kristen to tell her how much help she was. Just reading this blog every day is teaching me so much about the industry!
    Congrats Aaron and thanks to Kristin for taking the time every day to write such an informative and interesting blog.

  2. The Anti-Wife said:

    I agree with Aaron. I learned a very valuable lesson from Kristin at Backspace that will serve me well in the future. I too am grateful for the blog and the advice and really appreciate her willingness to continue.

  3. michelle said:

    Yes, congrats to Aaron!

    And I’m with Julie – it’s no surprise at all that you’d be getting such a letter, Kristin. You are an amazing teacher.

    Oh, and you KICK ASS, too. I heard nothing but praise (and affection, in an entirely uncreepy way) from editors and authors alike when your name was mentioned at National. 🙂

  4. dead url said:

    The url for Agents Who Accept Email Subs takes us to a page where all the agent urls yield this:

    The Backspace website recently underwent a redesign. Due to this upgrade, the page you are looking for has been renamed.

  5. bran fan said:

    I used to read (and worship a little) Miss Snark. Now I read you. You are a worthy sucessor and I have learned tons from this blog.

  6. Manic Mom said:

    Oh, quick note to bran fan–while I too LOVED Snark, telling Kristin she is a ‘worthy successor’ is kind of off the mark… Kristin’s been doing this blog for a long time, and is worthy in her own right!

    But still, all hail Snark, if you’re out there!

    And Kudos to Kristin for being so great.

  7. Karen Dionne said:

    The url Kristin linked to goes to our table of contents for me.

    Here’s a more direct link: Agents Who Accept Email Queries

    And yes – Kristin’s the BEST. It’s not for nothing she was awarded Backspace’s Bob Kellogg Award (for outstanding contributions to the Internet Writing Community.)

  8. bran fan said:

    Manic Mom, you are correct. I stand corrected.

    I meant it as a compliment. When Miss Snark quit, I was bereft, then I came here and it was better.

  9. kennedysmyth said:

    Congrats, Aaron! I attended that workshop, and as I remember it, we fellow writers gave you a pretty hard time. You definitely earned your great query that day! The book sounds great — can’t wait to read it.

  10. chris o. said:

    Congrats, Aaron. I am so happy for you. Kristin is one of my favs at PPWC.

    Thanks Kristin for sharing this success story. Thanks for accepting my invites to join the faculty at PPWC for so many years.

  11. The Writing Nag said:

    I was also at that PPWC workshop and remember Aaron’s query. Congrats Aaron, you are inspiring! Now I know where to research when I’m ready to write my agent query, thanks for the information Kristin.