Thursday, January 25, 2007


Is there anything more excruciating than waiting?
In twenty-five minutes, I expect a call from a literary agent who will tell me if she likes my book enough to take me on as a client. This is my first such call. Though I've gotten a few of those polite, impersonal letters:
"Dear Deborah, Unfortunately, I just didn't fall in love with this enough to feel I'd be the best agent for you in a very competitive fiction market.'' Or, the less polite ones: "Dear Author, Thank you for considering our agency. We regret to inform you that your work is unsuitable for representation.''
Oh, yeah? Well, regret THIS, jerkwad.
With a book contract sitting--unsigned--on my desk, some friends wonder why I'm even bothering with an agent. I contacted the publishing house; I got the deal, meager as it is. All an agent will do at this point is take 15 percent off the top.
But I want someone else to take care of the business end of things, even if it costs me 15 percent. If I were a skilled businesswoman, I wouldn't have gone into journalism in the first place, earning pennies for my years of hard labor.
So, tick-tock, tick-tock. Fifteen more minutes to wait.

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