Catherine Hedrick Armstrong
Kellie Wallace Author @kelliewallace85@C_H_Armstrong @BB_Swann I've seen a few agents on here say they have "day jobs" that's not related to being an agent. Is being a lit agent a full time job or one that can be done remotely?
I honestly don’t know how some agent part time as my workload doesn’t allow for it, but I know a lot of agents who do it part time successfully. Truthfully, most of us smaller agents can’t afford to NOT have another job. Also, I work remote from my home.
D. Hawkins is querying 🌈 @DHawkinsAuthor@C_H_Armstrong @BB_Swann If getting an offer from a publisher (example Harlequin) without an agent, should we still seek out representation? And if so, is it fair to ask that agent to rep other works you may have completed?
With Harlequin, probably not. They don't do much, if any, negotiating on their contracts and they're pretty fair overall. With another publishing house? Maybe, but only if you're not comfortable negotiating the contract and advocating for yourself.
J.M. Raymond (querying) 🌌 @JMRaymondWrites@C_H_Armstrong @BB_Swann what's the number one question authors should ask an agent before signing an offer of rep?
I don't know that there's only 1 question, but an author really needs to get a good feel for the agent's style &make sure it matches their own. So figure out what you want in an agent, & make sure to ask the questions that will tell you if that agent is what your'e looking for.
Ashley Detweiler @ashdetweiler@C_H_Armstrong @BB_Swann Thanks for doing this! What makes you ask for an R&R vs. a rejection or an offer?
I don't ask for a lot of R&Rs, but I'm usually open to them. I generally don't ask for them because it feels like a promise to an author you'll take them if you offer an R&R and I really hate setting false expectations. So I usually send a pass instead.
Kelly Malacko @KellyMalacko@C_H_Armstrong @BB_Swann What is the number one thing you’re looking for in a query package? Clear stakes? Great hook? Fresh voice?
You asked about query, but I'll admit it's not the query that usually pulls me in. That's not to say a bad query won't turn me off, but I usually skim the query for basic info then read the sample pages. So I'm looking for good writing that I'm not going to spend hours editing.
BRCloth @brclothwrites@C_H_Armstrong @BB_Swann What are the big new trends or what seems to be on the rise in the literary world? I understand that trends come and go. What’s selling or picking up these days?
Surprisingly, I've seen a couple of editors looking for vampires. Not the glittery Edward Cullen, but the real deal.
RomComs are always popular.
Seems like SciFi and Fantasy always sells well, but I don't rep either. Humph! LOL
MK Brownlow ✍🏼✌🏼#amdrawing @MK_Brownlow@C_H_Armstrong @eric5310pub I’m a romance author whose true love is picture books. I’m an illustrator, too. Over the last 10+ yrs while publishing novels, I’ve been writing & illustrating #pb - now I have so many, I don’t know which to query 1st. Do agents ever sign ppl on a body of work & not just 1 book?
Yes! I want to Represent my clients for their whole career—except I don’t rep PBs. 😂❤️❤️ But a lot of agents do.
With that said, pick one to start with and have a convo about the other when you get an offer and see where the agent stands.
Suzy England 🇺🇦 @suzy_england@C_H_Armstrong @eric5310pub Thanks so much for answering questions tonight, Cathie! How often do you check a querying author’s website/social media pages and if so, what are you hoping to find?
Sporadically up until now, but going forward I’ll be checking more often—not for followers, but for content. I have a great team who supports each other and it’s important to me I don’t upset the balance.
💜ᴮᴱtaesbae ₇ | 2022.6.10 ᴾʳᵒᵒᶠ @taesbae21@C_H_Armstrong @eric5310pub Do you have any tips or resources for someone who may be rewriting/revising a novel but is overwhelmed about where to start?
With the revision process? Yes—there are some great books in editing that will help you. I’ll share a list later. Also, if you don’t have critique partners or a writing group, try to find some. They help tremendously.
Kathleen Foxx | Author | Editor | Podcast Host @kfoxx_writes@C_H_Armstrong @hannahdsharpe2 One more: If you’re excited about a premise from the query, ask for pages, and then it’s not working for you, do you find it’s more often because the story falls flat/doesn’t live up to the promise of the query or because the writing just isn’t there yet?
Rereading this, I'd like to add one more thought. Sometimes it's neither the story falling flat or the writing not being there yet. Sometimes it's simply "chemistry" between me and the story. Sometimes I expect to love something & there's nothing at all wrong with it except ME.
Swati Hegde is offering editorial services @SwatiTheGeek@C_H_Armstrong What's your favorite romance trope?
Oh easy! Enemies to lovers. It’s like chocolate for me. I can’t get enough. I also love fake dating and the big secret romance. And best friends older sibling. Love that one too. I just love them all.
Christina Fitz-Gallant🔮🌖 @fitzthestory@C_H_Armstrong what’s the best trick to writing a synopsis?
Ugh! The dreaded synopsis! I hate them too!
After every chapter, keep a notebook with a few sentences about what was important in that chapter. Then when you write your synopsis, you have a guide to work from.
Kathleen Foxx | Author | Editor | Podcast Host @kfoxx_writes@C_H_Armstrong @hannahdsharpe2 Do you prefer character-driven or plot-driven stories and why?
Ooh…good question. I’m not sure I have a strong preference. I need to feel a kinship with the main character, but that’s not enough to keep me reading if the plat is bland.
Suzy England @suzy_england@C_H_Armstrong How many MS pages/chapters do you ask querying authors to submit?
I can’t remember what I had it set at last time I was open to queries, but about 10 pages. It’s usually enough for me to get a good idea if I want to read more. If I’m not sure but still intrigued at the end of 10 pages, I’ll always ask for more.
Tammy Blakley @tammy_blakley@C_H_Armstrong What grabs you when you read a manuscript?
Anything that evokes a reaction—excitement, fear, tears, laughter, intrigue. I need something that makes me want to turn the page.
Hannah Sharpe @hannahdsharpe2@C_H_Armstrong When would you consider a R&R rather than a rejection?
I’ll usually consider an R&R if the premise appeals to me. The only time I wouldn’t is if I just wasn’t overly excited about the premise.
Hannah Sharpe @hannahdsharpe2@C_H_Armstrong What is your unicorn on your wishlist?
Oh gosh. My unicorn…probably the contemporary romcom version of DREAMING by Jill Barnett. I sooo want one like it in contemp.