How an Author Met Her Agent at a Writers Conference
Blogger: Rachel Kent
Part 3 of 3: Shakespeare’s Lady
The third release of 2012 for my clients is Alexa Schnee’s Shakespeare’s Lady. The novel releases on April 3, but you could pre-order the book online. My agent copies arrived last week, and the book is beautiful!
For centuries, readers have debated the identity of the mysterious Dark Lady in William Shakespeare’s sonnets. Emilia Bassano–lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth and one of the first women poets in England–could be the answer.
Emilia Bassano is one of the most dazzling ladies at court when she meets the little-known playwright William Shakespeare, and they fall in love. But the course of true love never did run smooth, and the Virgin Queen does not take lightly to her ladies straying. These star-crossed lovers must fight for their love–and, eventually, their lives.
From the plague-ridden streets of London to the throne room of Greenwich Court to the stage of The Globe Theater, Shakespeare’s Lady explores grace, forgiveness, and forbidden love between the greatest poet the world has ever known and the woman who may have inspired him.
Alexa wrote this story when she was 16 years old. She had completed the book by the time I met her at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference in Mount Hermon, California. She was 17 at the time of the conference. Alexa is a wonderful writer and was blessed with an opportunity to practice her writing with her mentor–multi-published author Tricia Goyer. Tricia taught writing classes to homeschooling teens in the Kalispell, Montana area.
During the Mount Hermon conference I met with Alexa, and she also met with Beth Adams, an editor from Guideposts Books. Beth and I were both intrigued by Alexa and Shakespeare’s Lady, and we requested the manuscript. Alexa then won the Mount Hermon “Most Promising Writer” Award. She is the youngest recipient of that award.
Alexa sent the book to Beth first, and I was then informed that Beth was taking the book to committee. I quickly requested that Alexa send me the proposal and manuscript, and I read it as fast as I could. I believe I wrote to Alexa to arrange a phone call about representation the day she heard from Beth with an offer on the project. Another agent was also interested in representing Alexa, so she weighed her options and decided to go with me. I’m so glad she did! I think we make a great team. Alexa’s book offer came about four months after she pitched the project at Mount Hermon.
I believe that a couple of aspects of Alexa’s character have helped her to excel in the publishing world. First, she can overcome her fears. Imagine being 17 years old at one of the biggest Christian writer’s conferences in the nation. I bet a lot of you get some serious nerves when you are meeting with editors and agents; I know Alexa did too, but she came across as a professional. If she didn’t look young, I would have never guessed she was a teenager because she handled her meetings so well.
Alexa is also a very generous, giving person. She’s eager to help a writer in need, and she’s sponsored the Mount Hermon “Most Promising Teen Writer” Award for the past three years. Recently, she even volunteered to contribute to Bekah Hamrick Martin’s upcoming release, The Bare Naked Truth About Waiting. When you give back to the writing communit,y you’re going to find that you get lots of support in return. I believe this will be the case for Alexa.
Please connect with Alexa on her blog or through Twitter:
How have you benefited from being a part of the writing community?
Are you giving as well as receiving support from fellow writers? How?
How do you overcome your fears before appointments with editors and agents or before you send your query letter?