Monday, October 10, 2011
Agents and Hillbillies
I convinced my friend Hillary, a budding author, to come along to this conference with me. That 3-day girl weekend rocked, but I'll leave out the details of the candy shop and the ghost tour and the corvette convention.
When I arrived at the conference last year and saw the board, I giggled: most had on jeans, big buckles, boots, and cowboy hats. Even the women. I was one of 2 people under the age of 30. I thought, "Well, this will be fun, even if it's mostly about westerns." And while there were plenty of classes on westerns and poetry, there were plenty of things for me to learn too.
Fast forward to this year. While the board remained the same, the crowd had changed. Several other younger authors milled about in attendance. And Gordon Warnock, an awesome agent from Andrea Hurst, was there. (Everyone ignorantly assumed he was from New York, which he quickly cleared up for us.)
Now I have to tell you a little bit about Gordon. This guy is amazing. (And he doesn't rep what I was pitching, which is too bad.) Gordon is the senior agent at Andrea Hurst, and HE'S YOUNGER THAN I AM. I consider that pretty amazing. Most people applaud me for being published at such a "young age" (though I suspect they think I'm younger than I am!). Gordon fast-tracked it to where he is, and he seems ambitious and knowledgeable. (If you want to query him, check out the Andrea Hurst website to see what he reps.)
Not only that, but he is so funny. He sat at our dinner table during the banquet, and I couldn't stop laughing. Of course that might have been because the fire alarm went off, we were worried about the sprinklers going off, and we got to spend fifteen minutes of our banquet outside waiting for the alarms to stop.
I did find it funny that this big name agent was sitting among us hillbillies. I had to ask him what he thought when he was invited to a conference in Arkansas. Gordon replied that he knew the author inviting him, and he trusted that it would be a good conference (and not a hoedown). And apparently he found some promising projects. (I still wonder what he thought of that 1 1/2 hour drive from the airport through the Ozarks, but I didn't ask.)
Bottom line is, the conference was awesome. And talent exists everywhere. And Gordon's a fan of Star Trek and Q, but that won't help you in a query letter because he doesn't represent sci-fi.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention. My WIP SHADOWS KEEP won an honorable mention, and a short story from my WIP WHITE MAGIC won second place. So. I left happy. :)