Why Did a Major NY Literary Agent Agree to Represent an Unknown Author?
A couple of years ago, I was finishing up my fifth novel, wondering if I would ever make it as a full-time writer, when I received an invite to a writer’s conference being held in Denver, CO and decided to attend.
Don Maass was doing a pre-conference seminar: Writing the Break-Out Novel. I had no idea who he was, but the day-long seminar sounded interesting, so I signed up, along with over 500 other writers. I’d brought the novel I was working on, Infernal Gates, and made furious notes for eight hours. Whew! That was the BEST money I’d ever spent toward polishing my craft.
At the opening dinner, I sat two tables away from Don and other guest speakers, wondering how I could get a few minutes of his very valuable time. Amazingly, after dinner, as the room emptied out, Don was sitting alone at the table, having coffee. I didn’t need a prompt to go over and introduce myself.
(During the break I’d checked him out on the Internet and discovered that he was a well-known NY Literary Agent who divided his time between representing authors like James Scott Bell, writing, and teaching his seminar, Writing the Break-Out Novel. He’d just published a new book entitled The Fire in Fiction, which I immediately ordered online.)
Now I was telling him about my vision for writing and asking lots of questions. Turns out, he was interested in my take on Fallen Angels, also known as Nephilim. I was more than a little shocked at that! I pitched my storyline to him, and he told me to send him the synopsis and first chapter when it was finished. I got his card, gave him mine, and we parted company.
Over the next two days I’d scheduled appoints with a total of seven agents and publishers, all Christian focused. I met each of them for fifteen minutes and did my best to get them “hooked.” I’d done my homework, called in a few favors from other writers who knew some of the agents and publishers personally, and expected that I would not leave the conference without at least a couple of them asking for more of my novel.
Out of seven, five seemed very interested. I was more encouraged than I had been in over a decade. I returned home, sent out the requested information–and waited. Something I had grown accustomed to over my long years in the writing “desert.”€
Three months later, I’d added another five rejections to the dozens I’d accumulated over the years, well on my way to a Ph.D. in Rejection.
Then, I remembered what Don Maass had offered. Without much hope of success, I sent off my synopsis and the first chapter of Infernal Gates . Don really liked the novel, and seven months later, exactly one year to the day after we’d met and talked at that dinner table in Denver, I signed a contract with him.
Ethan Freeman, ex-Special Forces Ranger, wakes up to discover he is the sole survivor of a fiery commercial airline crash that killed his entire family. His nightmare is only beginning when he becomes the FBI’s prime suspect. Only Ethan knows he’s not a cold-hearted murderer, but he has no idea what happened to him–and why he alone survived.
He finds an unlikely ally in Sam Weaver, the NTSB Chief Investigator. An ex-military pilot, Sam senses Ethan is innocent. She tries to remain dispassionate in her investigation of the crash even as she finds herself attracted to the man who may be America=s worst homegrown mass-murderer.
Neither Ethan nor Sam realize that shadowy spiritual forces are at work which will alter their lives forever.
A monstrous evil, imprisoned since the time of the Pharaohs, has been released by The Nine, a sinister group of powerful men and women who believe they are the direct descendants of the Anunnaki, ancient Sumerian gods. The demon they have unleashed intends to free The Destroyer from The Abyss, the angelic prison referred to in the Book of Revelation, and unleash a worldwide reign of terror and annihilation.
Facing impossible odds, time is running out for Ethan and all of humanity as he is drawn into an ever-deeper conspiracy–millennia in the making–and learns that he is the key to stopping The Nine. Will he overcome his deepest fears and find reserves of strength he never knew he had as he confronts pure evil in order to save himself and an unsuspecting world?
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Genre – Christian Thriller, Fantasy, Adventure
Rating – PG-13