Sunday, March 28, 2010

A happy coincidence

Spring weather report: A little cooler than usual this weekend with a cool breeze though the sun is out, and we had guests enjoying the area on bicycles yesterday. Beach report (at 7 AM this morning): Water a granite grey-green, with small, choppy waves. Great day for a brisk walk on the beach with someone you love.

All the harbingers of Spring are present: fat red robins out on the grass, the first daffodils in the garden, buds on the forsythia just showing a hint of their brilliant yellow flowers to come. Yesterday Chris reveled in his first sunny Saturday spent in the garden, turning over the vegetable beds and starting seeds for lettuce, peppers, and both edible and ornamental sweet peas among other horticultural delights.

Many of you know that I write books in my spare time; that in addition to A Butler's Life  and our cookbook, I've written two novels of psychological suspense and, most recently, one of women's fiction. Alas, if there's something harder for me to do than to find time to write, it's to market the books to a potential agent (who in turn hopefully sells the novel to a publisher). Nonfiction, such as the memoir A Butler's Life is sold by proposal and, on request, an outline and sample chapters, meaning you needn't necessarily have the book completed before you query. Fiction, on the other hand, is sold only when the book is completed, editied and polished to within an inch of its life.  But you don't send that polished manuscript in unless you're invited to do so. Before that, you send a query and if the book interests the agent you're targeting, he or she may ask to see more of it.

I've been committed to trying to find a home (besides mine) for this new book, and last week I queried a particular agent. Her name was familiar, but with the research I've done on agents, after awhile names DO look familiar, and besides, I knew from my records that I had previously (unsuccessfully) pitched a book to her. A day or so later I received an email saying that she would be happy to look at a few chapters, especially as she remembered me and had such a nice experience while staying at A Butler's Manor last fall. Eeeeek, no wonder her name had sounded so familiar! Since Chris and I rarely learn what most of our guests do for a living, I'd never connected the dots. Still, whether or not it pans out, I'm still grateful that a happy association with our inn afforded this opportunity!

Wish me luck!

Quote of the day:  The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.  --Benjamin Disraeli

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