Teamwork

Allow me a moment to kvell about my wonderful agent, Emily Saladino of Writers House. Doesn’t she look like the perfect agent to represent my nonfiction book, SECRET LIVES OF TROPHY WIVES? Even better, I think we make a terrific team.

Last night, Emily sent me an email about my proposal-in-progress that spoke directly to my heart. First, she was solicitous and complimentary about what I’d already accomplished. What writer wouldn’t swoon when reading words like this:

You are such a good writer; you have a natural, easy tone that serves your material beautifully.  Your introduction is perfect, and immediately grabs readers and brings them into your quest.  Your interviews are fantastic and juicy, but also heartfelt and respectful.  I am blown away by the amazing access you were given, which as I think I may have mentioned is testament to you as a person and as a writer.  This is going to be a great book….

But while those words certainly warmed my heart, it seemed to me she saved the best for last. For in addition to sending those very kind thoughts, she also sent me ideas for further improvement. And isn’t that what genuine partnerships are all about: encouraging one another to extend to the utmost reaches of our abilities? In her email, she made it clear that the decisions were mine to make, but she also took the time to support with examples each one of her suggestions. 

Some of the ideas resonated right away; others, I had trouble absorbing. So, after talking things over with my critique partners, I decided it might also help to go over a few details with Emily. I sent her an email last night, asking for a phone appointment at her earliest convenience. By the time I’d finished my morning coffee, she’d already written back, cheerfully offering me some of her time before the weekend– even though Writers House is officially closed for the day! That leads me to more things I love about working with Emily: she’s consistently approachable, responsive, and upbeat. I imagine these qualities must endear her to people at all ends of the publishing spectrum.

We just talked things over in a 45-minute phone conversation: a free-flowing exhange of ideas, punctuated by laughter.  Now, bolstered by her enthusiastic support and great editorial eye, I feel ready to begin my next phase of revisions.

25 Comments

  1. YAY! I imagine that’s so enjoyable to have an agent with whom trust and comfort is a two-way street. I’m really proud of you and excited for what the future holds. Write on.

  2. YAY! I imagine that’s so enjoyable to have an agent with whom trust and comfort is a two-way street. I’m really proud of you and excited for what the future holds. Write on.

  3. I am sooo happy for you, sweetie, you have no idea. (And yes, she totally looks the part of the Agent to Sell This Book!) *g* She’s clearly also Very Very Wise, illustrated in particular, by these two sentences:

    I am blown away by the amazing access you were given, which as I think I may have mentioned is testament to you as a person and as a writer. This is going to be a great book….

    Yep– she totally gets it.

  4. I am sooo happy for you, sweetie, you have no idea. (And yes, she totally looks the part of the Agent to Sell This Book!) *g* She’s clearly also Very Very Wise, illustrated in particular, by these two sentences:

    I am blown away by the amazing access you were given, which as I think I may have mentioned is testament to you as a person and as a writer. This is going to be a great book….

    Yep– she totally gets it.

  5. Congratulations Melodye! Isn’t it wonderful to know you absolutely made the right choice in agents? I hope to someday find an agent as fantastic as yours.

    PS: I like the new title 😉

  6. I have a great feeling about your book and I’m happy you’ve found a fabulous match in Emily. As a sidenote, I love hearing this kind of stuff from my writer friends! When the process works, it’s a beautiful thing.

  7. HOW FANTASTIC! You’ve got a great agent! She’s professional, courteous, thoughtful of you, responsible, creative and open, willing to talk, willing to listen…you couldn’t ask for more. I’m so glad there are agents out there like her, who continue to give the profession it’s importance and keep its dignity.

  8. She’s beautiful! But more importantly, I’m so happy to hear that you are developing such a wonderful relationship with her over your book. She’s absolutely right: This book is a reflection of you and the trust and friendship you so generously offer to those around you. The way you have stayed true to your original idea and the honest portrayal of these women is something I have always admired about you. I am thrilled that your agent recognizes that spirit in you!

  9. She’s beautiful! But more importantly, I’m so happy to hear that you are developing such a wonderful relationship with her over your book. She’s absolutely right: This book is a reflection of you and the trust and friendship you so generously offer to those around you. The way you have stayed true to your original idea and the honest portrayal of these women is something I have always admired about you. I am thrilled that your agent recognizes that spirit in you!

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