Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Thanks for all the well wishes. A big part of me wanted to not say anything about signing with an agent until the book actually sells. If it doesn't for whatever reason, (and trust me, getting a great agent does not guarantee a sale) it will be annoying to admit that. But most of you have been with me a long time. I want to be able to share with you all of the ups and downs of this writing life I've chosen. When I do make a sale, you will be the first people I celebrate with. When I don't, I'll painfully admit it here. And the thing to remember is, even if you don't sell your first book through your agent, you still have a great agent. And something WILL get sold.

Which is not to say, I think Demon Spawn won't sell. In fact I can't remember ever being so excited about a book before. I love the story, the characters, and especially the setting. All of the agents who were interested in this have really raised my hopes about how this book could succeed.

This was an incredibly hard decision. I would have been happy with any of the agents who offered to represent me. I lost a ton of sleep. But ultimately the agent who I thought had the best chance to sell Demon Spawn is Michael Bourret, of Dystel and Goderich. Michael has an incredible track record--especially in YA. He has done very well with foreign rights. He really seems to know the industry inside and out. And he is a great guy from everything I've seen.

For those of you who don't know, Michael represents three other Utah authors: Sara Zarr, Emily Wing Smith, and . . . James Dashner. I know, I know. This was actually a pretty big concern for me. James and I are great friends and he has been an incredible support on everything I've been trying to accomplish. But there was a part of me that knows people will be saying, "Oh, look, he's just riding James' coat tails. That's why he got the agent."

The truth of the matter is that if I was going to ride on anyone's coat tails, James would be an awesome choice. I have learned a ton about the industry from talking to him. His feedback definitely played a big part in deciding who to go with. I know that Sara's feelings were a big part of the reason James chose Michael as well. But it's also true that knowing an author who is represented by a certain agent doesn't get you a special "pick me" card. I know this for sure, because I pitched another project to Michael several months ago and was rejected. It's still about the work.

So there it is. The plan is to write and polish over the rest of the year, as most publishers tend to take the holidays off, and start submitting in January if all goes well. In the mean time, I have just a few other books out there. So go buy them for your friends! And stick around. I'll keep you updated.


At 11/24/2009 12:40 PM, Blogger Valerie Ipson said...

That's awesome! Sounds like you can't go wrong with that choice!

At 11/24/2009 1:53 PM, Blogger L.T. Elliot said...

Michael's an incredible choice, regardless of who or who hasn't chosen him for themselves. I'm very, very happy for you Jeff. You've earned your place--not ridden coat tails. You work hard. I can't wait for your continued success--because that's just a given.

At 11/24/2009 2:39 PM, Anonymous The Damsel In DisDress said...

--Margot Hovley

At 11/24/2009 3:18 PM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 11/24/2009 3:20 PM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

Good choice, Jeff, and just the fact that you had several agents to choose from is amazing and tells me that Demon Spawn will be successful. We know that Michael Bourret wouldn't have made an offer if it weren't for your excellent submission and the fact that he is very confident he can sell your work--regardless of other Utah authors he might represent. Your hard work has been paying off for a long time and you've reached thousands of readers of all ages, but now it will be recognized on an even broader stage.

At 11/24/2009 11:26 PM, Blogger Marcia Mickelson said...

Congratulations! That is excellent news.


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