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Joe DeRouen, Author of the Small Things trilogy: 2006-10-08

Thursday, October 12, 2006


We were discussing literary agents in the comment section of another blog, and the discussion was so interesting that I thought I'd bring it over here. Agents, like people in general, range from the nice ones to the dreadful ones, and I've encountered all three. Some will blow you off with a tiny slip of paper essentially saying "Thanks for wasting my time." Some will ignore you completely. But the worst will blow you off while also trying to sell you their "editing services," and those are the agents I have absolutely no respect for.

I've been a full-time non-fiction freelancer for twelve years, but have yet to even get my foot in the door in the world of fiction. I've written three novels, the first of which has gone through multiple revisions to the point where I believe I've honed it into something to be proud of. Scratch that: I am proud of it. But that's not enough. I want to sell the damned thing, and its sequels. And, in order to do that, I need an agent.

And it's frustrating. I've been trying to find an agent for going on three years now, which is why I can lay claim to having encountered all of the types mentioned in the first paragraph at the start of this entry. Now I just need to encounter one who'll take the time to actually read the book, and who can hopefully see the potential in not only the novel but in me as well. I'm willing to work hard to make them and the publishing house they sell my novels to a lot of money. I just need to be given the chance.

So, gentle reader, (I always hated that phrase, but it somehow seems appropriate here!) what are some of your experiences - good and bad - with agents?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I need help choosing a name

I'm working on a novel and I need a surname for one of the families I'm writing about. Without revealing too much, I'll outline this --

Bernard "Bernie" Noname is the father of the family. He's twice divorced. He's also recently dead. Born and raised in a small Midwestern town in Illinois, he has many secrets about his family's history that apparently died with him.

Connor Noname is the product of Bernie's first marriage. He's in his late twenties, disgruntled, estranged from his father, came back to the town he grew up in for his father's funeral but mainly to see his half-sister from his father's second marriage, Sabrina.

Sabrina Noname. Sixteen, coming out of a bit of a Goth girl phase but sweet underneath. Very intelligent. Popular in school, but has had a tendency to "go along with the crowd" to gain that popularity. Missed her brother, happy to see him but at the same time resentful that it took the death of their father to bring him home.

Here are some of the last name I'm been considering:


So what do you think?

Help me out with this and, if I use the name you suggest, I'll list you in the "thank yours" when and if the book is published.