Literary Love … Part Two!!

As previously promised, I’m back to continue my comments on literary-love (regarding the road to literary representation) …

This installment is pertaining to that much dreamt about euphoric-phone-call, better known as “THE CALL”!

First of all CONGRATS if you’ve found yourself in the magical moment where a literary agent has contacted you, states he/she does in fact LOVE your work, & would like to set-up a time to talk! Not email, but a real-to-goodness phone conversation. Yaay you!!!

But a few very important tips (after you’ve peeled yourself off the ceiling & have apologized to family members for scaring them silly with your shrilling shrieks)!

1. Impede the impulse to have a knee-jerk reaction, as to where you respond the same millisecond you receive the email request…RSVPing (Reacting Super Vagrant-ly & Premature) & wistfully writing YES, to any of the below …

YES! Can we speak today … in an hour … in a minute … anytime you can squeeze-me-in!?

YES! I will wait with baited-breath for your call (of course you wouldn’t say this … would you??)

YES! I will clear my schedule, call-in-sick, lock the kids in the closet …WHEN CAN WE TALK!???????

Ok, enough of the comedy! Seriously, you need to THINK before you respond. Think about when you CAN clear (give yourself about an hour here) a time that will be quiet & chaos-free, because like a job interview, you’ll need to be focused in order to listen, really listen & to ASK QUESTIONS! Which takes me to the second important preparatory point ….

2. After you have narrowed down a couple of quiet times that will work for you, email said agent back, ” Yes, I would be very interested in speaking with you (name here). Would either Wed @ noon, or Friday @ 3pm be a convenient time for you to talk? I look forward to hearing from you.”

NOW start your list of questions. This list can include (but not be limited to) relevant questions you have regarding: years as an agent, types of sales, author-clients… but most of this you should ALREADY know if you’ve done your homework!

I believe the best & most important questions you should ask an agent, to gauge your ‘compatibility’ as a good author-agent-match, are as follows …

1. Are they an editorial, or collaborative-type agent? IE: Does this agent offer revision suggestions & will he/she ‘work with you’ on the manuscript until it is shiny & polished? Most rookie writers will want & benefit from this type of hands-on agent!

2. What is their communication style? IE: Does this agent have an ‘open lines of communication’ personality, or perhaps prefers more regimented contact (monthly, bi-monthly, or only when there may be updates/news)?

3. Ask the agent what they envision for your (as in both of yours) literary-career & their tentative game-plan for its success.

I feel these two questions are VITAL! Have your notes in front of you & LISTEN very carefully. It may seem like common-sense, yet when adrenaline, serotonin & sheer nervous excitement is cursing through your veins it’s amazing how our brains can become bogged-down with fog & frenzy!

Lastly, remember to breath, if for no other reason than to avoiding passing-out so you are able to utter, “YES!” If you’ve decided that you have in fact met your long-awaited literary-agent-ally!!

Literary Love to All,

Christine Tricarico

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Writing …WORKING … Real Life …

The topic I’m about to write on, isn’t ANY kind of revealing-revelation … not to writers/authors anyway, but after a slew of school visits & a few family festivities, as of late, I’m still amazed (& amused) by the kinds of questions that will creep up in conversations! So, I’m going to give a couple, quick Q & A’s below …

Cute Question # 1: (from a feisty 1st grader) “Will any of your stories turn into movies?”

Wishful Answer: LOL! I only WISH I knew the answer to that myself! To which I animatedly answered, ” Well I certainly hope so! And WHEN any of my stories make it to the big screen, I will take the whole class to the movies for a field-trip!”

Reality Answer: Nope, highly unlikely one of my picture books (here’s praying I’ll have MORE than ONE) will make it to the silver screen. Unbeknownst to most, those select succinct words that fill the few pages of a picture book can be much more painstaking to create, than say a novel. And even harder to ‘place’ with a publisher! So, for now I’ll be more than OVERJOYED to see my stories come to life … in print (& maybe an app …or two)!

Quirky Question #2: (from well-meaning relative) “OMG, your book is finally comin’ out Sugar Pie !? You could be the next J.K. Rowling, or Dr Seuss, isn’t that right Sweet Pea??????!!! We’re goin’ to have a famous & RICH relative!!”

My Answer: “Well, I’m trying Auntie Rose(-colored-glasses)! And when I do make it big, you can rest assured that y’all be remembered, don’t you fret ’bout that!!”

Reality Answer: Look, there’s only ONE J. K. Rowling … ONE Dr Seuss … there’s only one of anyONE actually! So, my advice to every writer (myself included) is to simply strive to be the best, ONE & only, you can be! That doesn’t just go for writing, but everything you are or hope to be … WILL be, if you concentrate on being the best ONE you can be!!

What I wish I said to Auntie Rose-Colored-Glasses instead??

” Hey, look Auntie Rose it’s not likely I’ll be Ms. Wonder Writer making millions, in your lifetime or mine! I’m a single, WORKING mom that has to steal single, slient-moments anywhere I can, just to fit in my #1 love …WRITING. Which often times mean these moments land in the middle of the nocturnal night, or when I should be doing chores, child-rearing, cleaning, cooking, catching up on bills, checking homework, clumping kitty litter, or maybe even “catching” Mr Write (for me)! But this is a labor of love, you see, not a labor of lucrativ-ity! Seaking of love, Auntie Rose … do you know of any witty, well-read & well-to-do single men? You concentrate on being a matchmaker; I’ll concentrate on being the best ‘book maker’ I can be!

Literary Love to all,

Christine Tricarico

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Hello all!

I’ve been quiet, as of late (very unusual for me), yet I’ve been quietly-content & literary-ily busy!

A couple new developments in my literary-life …

I signed with a new literary agency, Wolf Literary, & have been settling in with my new agent quite nicely (she’s awesome)! We’ve done some slight editing on a couple PB mss that recently went out on their first rounds-of-submissions! I’m anxious & EXCITED!

Also, my publisher @ Feiwel & Friends forwarded to me my book draft illustrations …they’re AMAZING!! Kudos to my illustrator, Richard Deas for his wonderful works of art! Cock-A-Doodle-DANCE! is now on schedule for spring 2012 …YIPPEE!!

A little lesson to pass on to other writers, that I definitely believe is true …in line with all the cliques, “The calm before the storm”, ” In like a lamb, out like a lion” & “March madness”, I’d like to make up my own saying, “Literary-lulls are usually followed by literary-loves!” Meaning just when you may feel you’ve been lost in the literary slush-piles, or by-passed from the publishing population … then suddenly, swoosh, your inbox is inundated with emails (they may not all be positive), yet you will be receiving responses & that is always a GOOD thing!

Remember: forge AHEAD, not behind!

Literary love to all,

xo- Christine Tricarico –

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’10 Turkeys In The Road’ is About to Explode …

I’m very excited to be able to plug my best-writer-friend’s plucky picture-book debut!!

10 Turkeys In The Road, by Brenda Reeves Sturgis, published by Marshall Cavendish,  is now available for pre-order …

Order your copy of this terrific, turkey trottin’ tale, that will not only leave little ones COUNTING, but counting on many read alongs!!

xo – Christine Tricarico –

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What’s Love Got to Do With It!?

So, what does love really have to do with the literary biz, agents, editors & publishers, alike? EVERYTHING, apparently!

As of late, it seems a common-theme amongst my writer-friends that are seeking literary representation, is …the L word! I’ve been hearing statements such as, “I wish someone LOVED my work!” &  “Why can’t I find an agent/editor that falls-in-love with my   manuscript?”  “PLEEEEASE somebody love meeeee!!”

This love desperation often comes after reading repeated rejections that may start out peppered with a positive & full-of-promise paragraph, yet end with the dreaded declaration, “I’m sorry I just didn’t fall-in-love with this project enough to take it on.” OR “This is quite creative & I enjoyed reading it, yada, yada,  yet in the end I didn’t feel that ‘spark’.”  Or, the hardest to hear, “I really, really, really LIKED this manuscript …!” But they didn’t LOVE it!! And hence, as in other forms of love-seeking, we writers may find ourselves resorting to counter-productive behaviors, as a defense mechanism (fight or flight), or become diligently desperate! Love, or lack thereof, can have this affect on even the most healthy-minded individuals.

UGH, that often agonizing, elusive L-word …why does it have to haunt us, throughout our lives …our personal lives & now our literary lives? It seems that we spend our lives aiming for approval, seeking acceptance & looking for LOVE!

So, this led me to thinking about my own love experiences & the laborious lessons I’ve learned from them and how they can apply to our literary lives, as well …

1. LOVE THYSELF first & foremost – We’ve all heard the saying, “You have to love YOURSELF 1st, before anyone else can truly love you, or you them!” I know it’s often hard to keep going & keep believing in your work, when you feel repeatedly rejected. So go ahead & eat that gallon of gooey double-chocolate-chip ice cream, but then no more wallowing in, “What’s WRONG with my story … what’s wrong with ME?!” Just as in romantic-love, self-pity is not attractive & can work as an agent-repellent! So, stop the self-pity in its tracks & work on that manuscript until YOU love it even MORE … your self-confidence & self-love will shine through your written words, if that is, you are being truly authentic to yourself & writing what you LOVE!

2. STEP BACK  a bit – Have you ever been in the situation where you were euphorically falling-in-love with someone, but then it seemed as if they were being a little less attentive, a bit distant? And instead of stepping-back a bit yourself, giving them some space, you FREAKED-out letting abandonment-issues take over your common sense (be honest here)? Maybe you left varied voice-messages, 10 texts & ample emails (all in a day) asking them if they were OK, or had they been swallowed-up by alien pea-pods (as if they could respond to THAT). It’s human nature that people want love, but they also want the opportunity & the feeling of ‘choice’ when it comes to who & how they show love. So, in short …don’t EVER seem or sound desperate!! Exuding confidence can gain you not only love, but respect, as well and often times when you step-back … they in turn come closer!

3. Lastly: Other’s seem to want you MORE, if they see that others are persuing you. It illicits a challenge & somehow puts more stock into how attractive you (IE: your work) really are! Now, this may seem a moot point if you are in-fact seeking representation or a book contract & have only come up against rejection, thus far. But believe me IF you truly are putting your best & stellar work out-there … it’s only a matter of time that others will FALL-IN-LOVE with your work & many times it can come in a whirlwind-wave of not one, but two or three literary-suiters courting you @ once!

So, you’ll have to choose wisely. Make sure you pick longterm-love over literary-lust, but more on that @ a later post …

Until then, literary love & publishing-patience to all,

XO- Christine Tricarico –

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Christine Adds Query Critique Service …

Hello to all my fellow-writers,

For years I’ve been critiquing picture book manuscripts, poetry & magazine submissions. Recently I have added QUERY CRITIQUES, as well!!

My critique service includes tailoring & targeting your query letter, not only to bring out your manuscript’s unique voice, but perfecting & personalizing your query to a particular agent/editor’s taste, as well.

Your creative query can then be used as a template for other manuscripts &/or agents & editors … I will teach you the art of personalizing & perfecting your query to really catch an editor’s eye!

Also included in this service will be my recommendations for specific agents, editors, or magazine markets (which ever apply) that may be a perfect fit for your submission(s).

Remember your query is your CALLING CARD and can be the difference between a rejection & an acceptance, so make it stand-out among the masses!!

You can reach me @: with any questions & for my (very reasonable) rates!

Literary love to all,

XO – Christine –

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Literary Resolution for 2011… Having Publishing Patience!

With each & every new year comes resolutions & the hope (& prayers) that we will KEEP those personal, important promises we make to ourselves!!

I have always believed in the power of the “Three P’s” when it comes to a writer‘s literary success …

1. Persistence

2. Perseverance …& …

3. Patience!!!

ALL three are very important catalysts in a writer’s career (IF they are to have a literary career, that is)!

BUT over the past year, in 2010, I learned that PATIENCE may just be the most important determining factor, or deterrent in either becoming a published author or a worrying, hand-wringing writer, wallowing in self-pity!

Now, patience is a hard virtue for many, yet it is a very important part of the publishing biz.

A few examples, of how NOT having patience will hurt you in your quest to become published (or being offered literary representation) …

1. Hounding any editor, agent or publisher for a response before they’re ready to offer you one! This may seem obvious, but even sending a quick ‘touching base’ email, or a  friendly “Hello!” (don’t forget me) can be perceived as a hinderance & lead to a premature rejection, or WORSE it could label you as a pain-in-the-petunia, tarnishing the professional reputation that you’re trying to build! DON’T DO IT!

2. Jumping @ an offer of representation that you know in your heart-of-hearts (writer’s intuition) is NOT a good fit for you. Yet, you’re getting quite desperate after making a colossal collage out of your collected rejections, & now feel that maybe you should settle … for an agent that does NOT handle your genre, has NO experience,  or even one with a mountain of experience, yet a client roster to match & little to no time to devote to a new author. This is where the practice of patience will serve to be invaluable! And asking questions of any perspective agent is also an important part of figuring out if there’s a “match”!

BEFORE making any knee-jerk decisions, based out of fear & insecurity …use patience …take time to THINK & research said agent & then think some more (a lot more)!

Think of the agent-author relationship like a marriage. You want, & need to be, not only on the same page, but on the same sentence …the same WORD actually. And that word should be SUCCESS, for both of you!

But the WAIT is worth it when you find literary-love …

So, my new years hope for all writers is that you make a resolution for patience as you await all of your literary dreams … patience breeds success, whereas haste can lead to a waste of time worrying!

Much literary love to all,

XO- Christine Tricarico –

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