- "Memoirs are the hardest kind of book to sell to publishers. To increase your chances of being picked up, write your memoir like a novel."
- "Hit me over the head with the issue of your book right up front." (My first chapter danced around the "issue" but nothing substantial.)
- Make the memoir universal. Relate it to the masses. "If I am selling this book to Random House, everyone on the editorial board must want to read your book. You need to think about that."
- She recommended reading, Wild, to gather ideas for my own book.
- "Don't start a book with a flashback." Oops.
- She also said when querying agents you don't always have to send the first ten pages (as typically requested)—instead, you can send your BEST ten pages.
- The most welcome news was her encouragement to me that I am a "very good writer" and "this story could help so many people."
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Luck was on my side the week before Memorial Day as I learned of a writers conference right in my backyard. Well, two hours south of the six acres, but still! I was hoping that I could have a 30-minute consult with the great Kathryn Beaumont from Kneerim & Williams. I have been following her on twitter, have read up on her achievements (nothing small about them), love her personality, and adore her style. I was so glad when the coordinator of the conference emailed me to let me know there was indeed time for me on Kathryn's consult schedule. YEAH! I was so excited! A real live agent! I sent my first 7,000 words to the coordinator to send along to Kathryn for review. I have not been crazy about the first chapter, so I wanted her to give me suggestions that would give me an edge when I start to query agents. First of all, she was just like I expected: warm, funny, nice, and intelligent. My kind of person. Once we sat down she said is, "How can I best help you?" I told her, "I am ready for an agent for my memoir, White Bees." Here is the summary of her advice: