Category: Querying

Pitching for a Happy Ending

I’ve often felt a need to fit in. Even though I think outsiders are cooler than insiders and people who don’t fit the mold are way more interesting. In book publishing, there’s a similar need for books to fit in…

The Cure for Failure Deprivation Syndrome

For a few seasons, I watched “American Idol.” I marveled at the resilience of the young people who, in front of millions, listened to some pretty raw criticism—“That was horrible!” was a frequent Simon Cowell comment. Of course, the ones…

The Novel Pitcher’s Playbook

Baseball pitchers rarely rely on a single pitch. They mix things up with fast balls, changeups, curve balls, knuckle balls, sliders, sinkers, and cutters. They consider who they are pitching to, how many strikes they have, how many outs, how…

potluck pie

Potluck Advice: The Search for an Agent

On a recent winter night—dark but not stormy—a dozen writers at various points in their novels gathered over chicken pot pie, roasted vegetables, spinach salad with grapefruit, and chocolate cookies to swap stories and advice about finding a good agent….

Common Health Conditions for Writers

Writers are alarmingly susceptible to certain overlooked and under-reported maladies. But early detection is key, and as a fellow author concerned about the well-being of his community, I implore you to take two minutes out of your day to review…

Under Pressure

People used to ask, “When is your next book due?” and I would laugh, self-consciously, because I didn’t have deadlines. I wasn’t a writer who had contracts or editors waiting for me to produce anything. In those bygone days, I…