SUSAN M. BAGANZ chases after three Hobbits and is a native of Wisconsin. She is an Acquisitions Editor with Prism Book Group, specializing in bringing great romance novels and novellas to publication. Susan writes adventurous historical and contemporary romances with a biblical world-view.
My first ever pitch, I sat across from Blythe Daniel and a mentor had told me to start out with something personal. I looked at Blythe and said "Is your hair naturally curly?" We had a little commiseration over that. Later she came to me and we talked about kids with chicken pox. The next morning she sat across from me at dinner and we chatted about life and kids. A day later she came to sit with me at breakfast which, at that conference, was a time when authors were forbidden to connect with faculty (so they usually ate separate). I told her I was beginning to think she was stalking me. She never did become my agent, probably because she didn't get my weird sense of humor.
Another day, same conference, I sat with Eddie Jones and pitched my book. We engaged in a spirited debate on various aspects of the project for a good ten minutes before he finally said, "Send me the full manuscript." We ended up not working together but I remember how once I had done that, I wasn't afraid to pitch anything to anyone anymore.
You can learn more about Susan by following her blog www.susanbaganz.com, her twitter feed @susanbaganz or her fan page, www.facebook.com/susanmbaganz
JODIE WOLFE got bitten by the writing bug as a young girl after reading and watching Little House on the Prairie. She loves writing stories about feisty heroines and strong, godly heroes. The power of story to influence lives and change hearts is what motivates her to weave tales that tell of the Savior’s faithfulness and forgiveness. She writes a column for Home School Enrichment magazine and has received awards in contests.
An impression. A prompting. A thought. A single step of faith. An act of obedience. As Christians, we often have them throughout the day. Times where we feel God (the Holy Spirit) is prompting us to do something. It could be as simple as expressing a word of encouragement, praying for someone, moving in a direction He is showing you to go. It can be a reminder to call someone.
I had such an opportunity a week ago. I felt prompted to ask a question concerning a contest that was held just days before. I figured it was closed since it was to take place over the weekend and that entries were no longer accepted, but I couldn't get past the feeling that I still needed to ask.
The answer came back, yes the contest was closed, but the blogger was open to still taking a look at my writing pitch. I debated and prayed and almost didn't send back what was requested. But I couldn't deny the overwhelming sense to follow through.
Linda S. Glaz emailed back within 20 minutes and loved my pitch. She wanted to see more and asked for the first five pages of my book. I admit to starting to feel a bit panicked at this point. I realized then that Linda was an actual agent. Yikes! What had I gotten myself into? While she read I perused the site she represents - Hartline Literary Agency. Honestly, when I looked at all the requirements they had for submitting to them I was overwhelmed.
I prayed, "Lord there is no way I can do something like this. You'll just have to work it out and provide an agent when the time is right because it's not something I can do on my own." It was soon after my prayer that Linda corresponded again wanting to see more of my novel - the whole thing - providing I wasn't already represented by someone.
Again with much prayer I emailed her my whole manuscript, seeking God for His wisdom. His timing. She responded back hours later after reading it and offered to represent me.
God opened a writing door when I wasn't even expecting it. A single act of obedience provided an open door. I'm forever grateful.
You can find Jody’s ponderings on her website, http://www.jodiewolfe.com.
PATRICIA BEAL Originally from Brazil, Patricia is a Christian author, Army wife, and ballerina. She writes contemporary romance and is represented by the Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency. She is a 2015 Genesis semi-finalist and has completed two manuscripts.
My grandmother died on the first night of my first ACFW conference, the one in St. Louis last year. My mom called me soon after the last spotlight session. It was almost midnight in Brazil, where I’m from and where it’d just happened. Back home people get buried fast, so I knew there was nothing I could do. The following day my mom gave me the website of the funeral home, and in the afternoon I would be watching the cremation ceremony online. I didn’t want to do conference anything—I was a mess. But I had a 10:15 editor appointment with Amanda Bostic, editorial director of fiction at HarperCollins Christian Publishing.
My mom urged me to go. It’s 15 minutes, she said. So I got dressed, got my folder, and I went.
I knew I looked like I’d cried all night, so I told her what had happened, but also said I was glad I’d got it together and that I was there—ready to pitch. I jumped right into pitch mode, and the pitch was good, praise God.
Amanda was so sweet and caring. She gave me her card and asked me to email the proposal to her after the conference. She urged me to meet as many agents as possible while in St. Louis, because even if she liked the proposal, she would need me to have an agent. Then she asked if she could pray with me. She reached for my hands and prayed for me and for my family. And I was so touched. And she was so touched. I will never forget that moment.
That afternoon, I watched my grandma's funeral online from my hotel room. Not a good day. But with the conference worship events and the prayers sent my way, I woke up well on Saturday and booked tons of extra pitches, all with agents, like Amanda said I should. I just kept getting back in line and pitching to anyone who had an opening. I pitched to each of the four agents in Mills 9—it was pretty comical. I finished the day with five agents interested in seeing my proposal.
Two weeks after the conference, Les Stobbe offered to represent me.
Amanda ended up sending us a rejection in March, but I will always remember her compassion, and I credit her for the sweet blessing of having Les Stobbe in my life. I wouldn’t have an agent today if she hadn’t urged me to meet as many agents as possible while at the conference.
Praise God for orchestrating these meetings that comfort us and move us closer to His will.
Patricia is very active online and would love to connect on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/patricia.beal.author) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/bealpat). You can also sign up for her newsletter and learn more about her work at www.patriciabeal.com.