Saturday, April 08, 2017

you didn't, oh gadzooks, you did.

Three weeks ago, I got a Full request from an agent and I quickly submitted my Full to her.

Then last week, another agent emailed me, saying she enjoyed my submission and would be delighted to read the Full, but that the agency only read on an exclusive basis.
I replied back, attaching my Full and confirmed that the first agency still have my Full but haven't yet got back to me and that I promised not to submit my Full to any other agents whilst she was considering it. I asked her if this was agreeable and also for a rough indication of timescale for reading my novel exclusively, but she didn't respond and there is no indication the agency website.

Then, lo and behold, I've just had a third request for my Full this afternoon, but have had to explain to this agent that I can't currently submit my MS to her, as it is out on an exclusive, but would she be prepared to wait for now, until I get clarification from the exclusive agent?

I then dropped Ms Exclusive agent a brief, polite email explaining that I have just received another Full request but have obviously not submitted as I agreed to exclusive arrangement and could she give me a rough idea when she might be able to get back to me?

She still hasn't replied.

I have never had an exclusive request before – I'm assuming Ms Exclusive will read my MS - she didn't reply saying she wouldn't - and I did clarify that it was only with one other agency.

How would you advise that I proceed?!

The first agent who requested my MS, e-mailed me a week ago to say she will be back at work this Monday after a week's holiday and will be in touch this coming week.

Remember when I told you exclusives sucketh the Large Lemon Drop?
No?
Ok, here's where I said it again.

And in case you need that third iteration: Exclusives Stink.

Your first (well, only) mistake was Agreeing To A Deal She Didn't Offer.
 She asked for an exclusive.
You sent the ms and ADDED: I won't send this to anyone else till you let me know.

Because she has not AGREED to your offer, you don't have a contract with her. And by contract I mean an agreement about the terms of exclusivity (duration for starters.)

You are free to submit this manuscript to Agent #3.
When (I hope) Agent #1 calls with an offer, you notify Agents #2 and #3 of the offer.


I have no idea why you thought it was a good idea to hamstring yourself with Agent #2 by saying you'd stop sending your work out to people actively asking to see it.  That gives Agent #2 more
power over your career trajectory than anyone deserves. You also let her set the terms; NEVER DO THAT. If you're agreeing to something, you offer terms that are favorable to YOU, and let her negotiate. 

Exclusives assume an agent's time is more valuable than yours. That is not true and any agent who says that (or thinks it without saying it) has a skewed view of themselves.

Exclusives are never in a writer's best interest and an agent who would ask you to do something that isn't in your best interest is not an agent I'd want to work with (nor should you.)

I will tell you that exclusives seem to be much less prevalent in the YA market where there is a lot of competition for good manuscripts.  The YA agents I know read manuscripts overnight, and have notes in the morning for the author on hot projects.

If an agent doesn't like to lose something cause they're slow, there's one easy answer to that: read faster. It's not like we are operating under varying time/space continua.

51 comments:

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Opie: Whew! Got out of that by the hair of your chinnychinchin. And good luck with the two fulls (right, not counting that agent that asketh for exclusives) that you now have out!

Her Grace, Heidi, the Duchess of Kneale said...

Isn't the fact that it's already out with one agent mean that you can't offer exclusivity? Isn't that kind of impossible ex post facto?

Me, I would have told the second agent that it was already on the desks of other agents; find attached one full, enjoy.

I have yet to come across a single plausible reason why an exclusive would be a good idea. If an agent wants to be the only one reading my mss, they can sign me up first.

CynthiaMc said...

This is the best advice I've heard you give. It's like being married before you've even been taken out to dinner.

Kitty said...

"EXCLUSIVES STINK!" should be the next sub-heading.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Exclusives suck. Got it. Manuscripts can't be tied down to some ball and chain. They need to be playing the field, sewing their wild oats. Let them spread their love around a bit.

Now I must return to my WIP. For the 4th revision in a row, my master archivist has fainted. Real lion heart this one. :/

CynthiaMc said...

46 degrees in Winter Park, FL. Smokey (our ex-feral kitty) wants us to go outside so she can chase the squirrels and watch the birds. She refuses to go out unless I go with her. And I have to leave the door open.

Smokey: You're on your second cup of coffee already. Let's go.

Me: It's 46 degrees out there! I am not going out until it's at least 70.

Smokey: Put on long pants and a sweater, ya wuss.

Me: If I freeze to death, it's your fault.

Smokey: Shut up and guard me.

The squirrels are clanging the empty peanut bowl against the rocks. The doves are flying recon outside the kitchen window.

Doves: Red alert! She's grabbing the seed bag and the peanuts. Stand by...

Squirrels, cardinals, blue jays, tufted titmouse, house finches, and woodpecker : Hurrah!

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Claire - it's too cold for the yard snake this morning :)

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Cynthia Shivers run up my spine everytime you mention your yard snake. How does Smokey feel about this snake of the yard?

I want a cat to go with my pug. Maybe after my move :/

Theresa said...

OP, big congratulations on the full requests. You've got a lot of crossed fingers here for you. And what great advice from Janet.

Cynthia: 46 in the morning here is usually a sign it's going to be a beautiful day! And that's how it is today--maybe ending up at 70. Wisconsinites will be outside in droves.

CynthiaMc said...

EM - the snake (we actually have 2, one in the west yard where my garden is, one on the east side where the hammock is). Both are black racers, which are not poisonous. The east snake is extremely shy and only spotted on a rare dash from one bush to the other. The west snake is only spotted if it's napping in the sun (usually by the hose). Once in a while we both want to use the sun deck at the same time. We don't mind them. They are very territorial with other snakes and keep the poisonous ones out. Our agreement is "You can stay, I just don't want to see you."

CynthiaMc said...

Theresa - you're right. It is gorgeous. Almost no humidity.

Amy Johnson said...

OP: Congratulations on the requests! Hope you get good news. :)

Claire Bobrow said...

Today's example finally put me over the edge of "could they really be that bad?" I'm in the boat now and rowing with all oars. The name of our vessel? Exclusives Stink.

Claire Bobrow said...

CynthiaMc - you have invisible guard snakes. I love it :-)

Forgot to say to OP: congrats on all the requests!

Timothy Lowe said...

Querytracker can help with this one. The comments section usually paints a pattern of an agent's full requests and general response time. Some agents that ask for exclusives get back within a week or two. If that agent is high on your list, I could see offering an exclusive under very tight time constraints. But if you have no information at all I would agree that you have to renege on the non-binding exclusive. I don't think you want to work with someone who would try to hold you over a barrel under these circumstances.

BTW I love the sub header. Important words to keep in mind.

Jill Warner said...

Good luck to Opie with Agent 1.

Cynthia: your yard sounds like an awesome (animal) resort!

Craig F said...

LOVE STINKS!

Wups, I mean EXCLUSIVES STINK.

Agent 2: Love it, love it love it. I would love to read the full but we have to have an exclusive.

OP: They have medications for those kinds of personal problems. I like you too but I don't want to contract any rashes right now. Thanks.

Agent 2: But I love it.

Got to quit bitching, time to go fishing
You don't pass up this kind of weather, at this time of year, not here.

OP: How long of an exclusive?"

Agent 2:













OP: Told you they medications for that

Lennon Faris said...

Congrats on all the requests, OP! Regardless of exclusivity stuff, Agent #2 sounds like an agent who would be frustrating to work with bc she doesn't answer emails. Good luck with the others though.

It's been cold but pretty here, too. All the flowers on the trees have bloomed but are covered in frost this morning.

Julie Weathers said...

OP,

I'm glad Janet gave you an escape hatch because exclusives are the work of the devil. I have no time for exclusives.

Since Miss Exclusive hasn't bothered to respond to either email, I think I would forget about her. This isn't a great beginning. I'm going to assume it was exclusive or nothing with her, but you know what assume gets you. Even so, if an agent can't be bothered to respond, I have neither the time nor patience for them.

Carry on and good luck. It sounds like you're getting some good responses. I hope we hear you have an offer and have found your dream agent soon.

Cynthia

I detest snakes, but you're right, some do get territorial. Bull snakes will often keep rattlers away. Unfortunately, bull snakes look a lot like rattlers and will give you heart failure at times. Mom went out to the quonset hut to get some pumpkins to make pie and her silly little Pekinese dog kept yapping at the grain which was next to the pile of pumpkins.

She finally looked up to see what Ming was barking at and a huge rattler was in there. Every time she bent over the snake had been striking at her, but because it was in grain it was sliding and missing her.

ADDER, n. A species of snake. So called from its habit of adding funeral outlays to the other expenses of living. --From Ambrose Bierce's The devil's Dictionary.

We used to have a lot of blue racers on the ranch. It's always such a joy to be reaching for a bale of hay and grab the twine, then look and see a snake staring back at you who has managed to get himself baled up with the hay. Often it's the racers for some reason, but balers are nondiscriminatory.

Her Grace,

I can't remember which agency it was now, and it doesn't matter, but they wanted to know the submission history along with the query. I didn't submit because I frankly didn't think it was their business. I know, high-minded of me.

You're right. It was already out, so there couldn't exist an exclusive anyway.



Writer's quote: “In displaying the psychology of your characters, minute particulars are essential. God save us from vague generalizations!" Anton Chekhov

Joseph Snoe said...

The only remaining question I have is do you notify Agent 2 you received another offer for a full and you sent it to the third agent since you didn't know what to do since you hadn't heard back from her,

or write her and say you are receiving more requests for fulls and since you were uncertain as to the agent's level of interest you sent out the fulls,

or don't tell her anything.

Colin Smith said...

I agree with Heidi: Get your facts before taking the ex to the post office. Or something like that. :D

I think we've all learned a lesson here that some of us hope to have to learn: no exclusives. No not never. Ever ever ever.

Congrats, Opie! Your novel is clearly generating interest. You've got a good query there. Hopefully you'll have a good agent soon. :)

PS: I've killed a couple of black racers that got into the house (last house). Not at the same time, mind--a couple over the space of years. If they were outside, I might have left them alone. But in the house? With children to scare? No, sorry. I tell ya, I can be vicious with a shoe, insect spray, and a broom.

Bookworm said...

Thank you so much to all of you!
Following Ms Reid's invaluable advice, I submitted my Full to agent 3 this morning.
I have kept a copy of Ms Reid's Exclusives response for future reference - fingers crossed though, that I won't need it....here's hoping! X

CynthiaMc said...

Julie - our chihuahua cornered a pygmy rattler in MIL's back yard. Scared me to death.

CynthiaMc said...

Bookworm - good luck!

nightsmusic said...

@Bookworm/OP

Congrats on the full request! Something we all dream of getting eventually. That said, good for you as well following Ms Shark's advice. You're not published yet, don't kill your chances of getting there, EVER, by allowing one agent, who may or may not ever even read your full, to control the story you've worked so hard to get out there.

Day before yesterday, it was snowing sideways (total of 2inches which isn't much here) with 50mph winds. Monday, it will be at least 71 here. The sun is brilliant today but it's 32 out so the Dobes go to the door, Outmomoutoutoutout!!! only to stick their noses out and come right back in. *sigh* This has been going on all morning.

BJ Muntain said...

Yes, exclusives stink. But if you feel you want to give a certain agent an exclusive (for whatever reason), make sure it's limited to a timeline you're comfortable with. As Janet said, "If you're agreeing to something, you offer terms that are favorable to YOU, and let her negotiate."

Me, depending on what life is doing to me at the time, I may be comfortable with two weeks to a month for an exclusive. Especially if an agent is slower on their queries and I've already had one or two responses from the last round of queries, meaning there's less chance of someone else requesting the full. If it's earlier in the round, I might suggest two weeks, or even one week.

Note that giving an exclusive on a full does NOT mean you have to stop querying. Nor does it mean you HAVE to go with that agent if they offer. My thought - and I may be totally wrong on this - is that if the exclusive agent offered representation, I would still go to the other agents who have queries or partials and tell them I have an offer. And I would be sure to ask the offering exclusive agent for a full two weeks to do this very thing, since they took two weeks to read it.

But again, I would only accept to send a full as an exclusive in certain cases - maybe the agent is one of my favourites, for whatever reason (I can be a bit sappy that way), or I've been in a long dry spell, or something. In other cases, I'd probably respond with, "I'm sorry. I can't offer you an exclusive. I hope you enjoy the attached full manuscript anyway."

Hi OP/Bookworm! Always negotiate these things. Never assume you have a contract if both sides haven't agreed.

EM: Archivists are often somewhat frail of health. They live in the dark, deep recesses of information (yes, even in the computer age) and rarely see the sun. They're also only one step away from the funny farm (which is probably just another way of saying the insane asylum is right next door.)

As for the cat with your pug - make sure both cat and pug are agreeable to the other species. Pugs have large eyes and not much nose (as do Shih Tzus, with which I have experience). If cats feel threatened, they usually sink their claws into the nose. With breeds like pugs (and tzus), those claws are more likely to hit the eye, which is a lot more expensive to fix than a nose. With Koko, I couldn't have many cats around, because he would get very interested, and he once wound up with a claw wound under one eye. Little Girl Dog, on the other hand, the first time I saw her around a cat, decided she had to protect me from the cat when said cat casually swiped at me. 10 lb LGD thoroughly cowed a 15 lb cat - no blood was shed. LGD only pushed the cat with her front paws several times as the cat tried to get away. After that, the cat would run from her. LGD loves playing chase (whether she's the chaser or the chased) and always ran after the cat, scaring the cat even more. Because LGD is a scary little dog.

We've been having a wonderful April so far. The snow is mostly melted, and yesterday the temp got up to room temperature. Maybe higher. Despite the rabbits starting to get brown spots and the birds arriving in droves (there was a duck outside this morning! I'm not near a lake or pond or anything), people here are very cautious about using the term 'spring'. We've been bitten before. When there's records of snow in every month except July, when you've experienced a May blizzard, when the snow rarely completely disappears before the end of April... you get to be a little suspicious of an early spring.

Julie Weathers said...

Cynthia

As I've said before, my brother used to rope rattlers on the ranch, which takes a bit of skill. He'd snap them to kill them so he didn't have to shoot them and ruin the hides. Then he'd tie their still squirming bodies behind the cantle of his saddle.

I want nothing to do with the creepy crawlers.


Megan V said...

Congrats Bookworm! Best wishes to you!

Dena Pawling said...



I recommend always being professional, even if you're dealing with someone who may not be, or isn't. I'd send an email to Agent #2 saying “I haven't heard back from you after two inquiries, so I'm assuming you did not accept the limitation on the requested exclusive [that the manuscript is already with another agent]. I will continue to submit the manuscript to requesting agents. I'd love it if you will still consider this manuscript, but I'll understand if you decline. Thank you for your time and consideration.”

Good luck!


E.M. Goldsmith said...

I like racers as long as they stay out of sight. We have them here. A fair few years ago, one took to sunning at my front door, often blocking my daughter's entrance into the house when she got home for school. Fun times.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Great job Bookworm on garnering so much interest. Stick around here and you'll be full of agents and sales before you know it.

Claire Bobrow said...

Our younger dog, Zuzu, was bitten on the mouth by a rattlesnake a couple of years ago. You could see the puncture marks on the inside of her lip. Thankfully, she'd had the rattlesnake vaccine, which I think bought her the extra time needed to get her to the vet and under treatment.

Glad to say she survived. Sad to say she's still happily sticking her nose in tree stumps and rock piles.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

BJ The reasons you cite are why we do not have a cat. My pug is such a passive little girl. She does not even try to defend herself if something attacks her.

As for my archivists, he has a deplorable constitution. He is now naked in a dark cell. Does that boy ever need some sun. His legs provide the only light in his prison. I don't know how he's going to get out of this. He faints far too easily. Yes, Dalmeade Triads are horrifying to behold- basically three people sewn together cruelly with three heads. One head with no eyes, one with no mouth,and one with no ears. But really, the thing only touched him on the shoulder...

nightsmusic said...

OT, I know, but it's been awhile and this is only post #2...

We had tons of Blue Racers where I grew up and one day, the boy next door happened to come across a pregnant female. He didn't know she was pregnant until she had her babies. Eventually, he asked me if I'd like one. I was young, what did I know. Sure, I said, I'd love one! I took him home knowing full well that my mother, whose four brothers had stuffed one down her bathing suit front when she was young, was absolutely terrified of them, intending to ask if I could keep it. After all, it was only the size of a night crawler. What harm could it do? She was in the kitchen when I walked in.

I shoved it at her, hanging from my fingers and asked if I could keep it.

She let out a blood curdling scream and ran for the bathroom, the only room with a lock on it, with me hot on her heels. She tried to slam the door but I'd shoved my hand through the opening with the baby snake still dangling. Rather than hitting the jamb, she managed to trap my wrist between that and the edge of the door.

She's screaming, trying to cram the door shut against my wrist which causes me to drop the snake on the bathroom floor.

Now, she's standing on the toilet, screaming, still trying to shut the door, I'm screaming in pain because my wrist is still caught and the baby snake is winding his way around the toilet and sink.

Eventually, the little snake made his way out the door, my mother let up just enough so I could get my wrist free and I grabbed the poor little traumatized thing and took him back to the neighbor.

I don't think my mother ever forgave me for that one...

Colin Smith said...

nightsmusic: So I take it that was a "no"...? :)

nightsmusic said...

Colin yes, even my puny little nine year old brain figured that was probably a 'no'. ;)

Casey Karp said...

Still drinking my tea (yeah, I'm another coffee-disliker), so I may have this wrong, but the takeaway from the discussion seems to be that if an agent asks for an exclusive, I should send her a snake. Is that right?

No, but seriously, I think I'm in the same camp as BJ: if it won't inconvenience me, I'm willing to give an agent an exclusive window on a full. With the understanding that I'm opening a window, not breaking out one side of the house. Limited duration, no extensions.

Congrats, Bookworm, and good luck!

RosannaM said...

It is quite amusing being on the west coast, where I get to read not only Janet's horrified and helpful post, but all the flurries of comments.

Bookworm--I think you have a winner on your hands! Congrats!

Janet--thank you for your words of wisdom, rest assured there will be NO exclusives in my future. Even if it kills me to say no.

To all of you people who live in scary snake land, I say YIKES! We occasionally get little garter snakes, which bother me not at all. They stay outside and mind their own business.

Funny story, nights music. The things mothers have to put up with!

For all the rest of you who are facing a lovely, sunny Saturday? Please send some our way. NEED SUN! Thank you.

french sojourn said...


Congrats Bookworm, pretty nice problem to have.

Our second year of living on our 50 acre farm, vineyard, Bed and Breakfast (I.E. tons of jobs/work) I had to put down a mother Viper and four little ones, it pained me beyond belief having to kill innocent creatures, but it was necessary due to Cats, dogs, wife, daughter and guests. I was able to bury them with the same implement that took their lives. Multitasking.

I love the tie in of Bookworm, and Snake stories...surreal.

Cheers Hank.

Joseph Snoe said...

I guess another way to approach the exclusive is to realize it is an option and ask the agent to pay you for the option, at say $1000 for each week she wants the option to stay open. Otherwise she can review it without having an exclusive on it.

That's the way real estate deals work, and some of the option payments there are whoppers.

Beth Carpenter said...

Congratulations on all the interest, Bookworm. Hope to hear good news from you very soon.

There are no snakes in Alaska, no reptiles at all. Perhaps the tourist bureau should build on that. Something like, "Snake free vacation, guaranteed."

Julie Weathers said...

Nightsmusic

Yeah, I would have been sending you to live with the neighbors. As much as I wanted six kids, you would have been sent packing. Or not. I probably would have had heart failure before I could pack you up.

A youth minister friend of mine told me about an elderly friend of hers who went in one morning to make breakfast and found a rattler curled up on her cookstove. She did what any good, elderly West Texas woman would do and got out her big soup pot, captured the snake and than banged on the pot with big metal ladle.

I don't know why.

Her husband heard her screaming. She'd scream and bang on the pot and the snake would strike at it. I'm not sure what she thought she was doing except making it really mad. Scream! Bang! Strike!

Her husband shot it, blowing snake innards everywhere. I think they went out to breakfast that morning.

Terri Lynn Coop said...

Exclusives remind me of someone who goes to a buffet and grabs one of everything, more than she could ever eat, but "doesn't want it to run out" while she's deciding.

And then she'll put the extras back, but by then, they're cold and everyone has already picked something else.

Suddenly your manuscript is that last crusty eggroll in the pan that everyone avoids because they know fresh ones will be arriving momentarily.

Your manuscript is now the girl who doesn't know if she has a date to the prom because the guy doesn't want to commit until he's checked out all the other girls first.

I'm trying to think of a reason an agent could give me that would justify an exclusive. I'm not coming up with one. It would have to be a negotiation with an acceptable quid pro quo.

Your manuscript deserves better.

Terri

Jenny C said...

I agree with Janet. There is no contract until you have both agreed to the terms. Send to Agent #3. I know when you are querying it's hard not to agree with the request for an exclusive. We all want an agent and it's scary to think that saying NO might be a misstep that gets us on some sort of agent blacklist. Agents talk, after all. And they Tweet. But I've been observing this process for long enough that I can say with confidence that the only thing that gets you potentially blacklisted is being rude. If you are polite when you decline the exclusive, no harm will come of it. "I can't offer you an exclusive, but I've attached my manuscript with the hope you will enjoy reading. I will be certain to let you know if I receive an offer of representation." Or something along those lines should do the trick.

Best of luck, OP!

Steve Stubbs said...

Very interesting. One point that was left out is that Agent #2 did not respond because OP did not agree to her terms. Saying that MS is an exclusive except that someone else already has it and yet another agent is interested in it is tantamount to saying: No Exclusive for You. My guess is, Agent #2 will NEVER respond. If she is compliant with the agency policy she will not read the MS. It would be a shame if OP grows old and dies waiting for Agent #2 to release him/her.

A better way to handle it would probably be to say, "Gosh, I appreciate your interest and I am flattered. But other agents are already interested in this property, so it is too late for me to offer an exclusive. I don't know how much flexibility your agency allows in these matters. MS is attached in case you are still interested."

That is a linguistic technique called Anbiguity. Saying that more than one agent is interested is absolutely true and more ambiguous than saying one agent is reading it and another has asked for it.

In the negotiating world, the agent's tactic is called Appeal to Higher Authority (I'd love to, but my employer, my agency, the state, the feds, God, my mother, Santa Claus, or whoever, won't let me.) It is an excellent strategy, properly used. It does not rufle feathers.

Agencies which handle only exclusive submissions usually say that on their web site. Some say if the author is still being ignored after six months, s/he should interpret that to mean, No Response Means No.

kdjames.com said...

You know, I can see an agent reading a partial and getting all excited about it, thinking they've maybe found a golden nugget, and asking a writer for a very short-term exclusive. That kind of over-the-top enthusiasm is exciting and flattering. What bugs the hell out of me is an entire agency saying it's their policy to only read manuscripts on an exclusive basis. All of them, whether they're excited about a particular project or not. That's the height of arrogance. It's not exciting or flattering, it's exploitative and manipulative.

Never mind the fact that if someone has to *tell* you they're worthy of such consideration, they're not.

Bookworm, I hope you'll continue to query widely and will view this as a minor glitch on your way to obtaining representation and finding publishing success. Also, next time you're in doubt, ask before you act so we can pin you down and sit on you until you come to your senses. That's what writer friends are for, after all. Best of luck to you.

kdjames.com said...

Er, not to say you should necessarily give anyone a short-term exclusive if they get all enthusiastic, just that it would be exciting and flattering in that circumstance.

Craig F said...

I got the chance to go and play on the water. It was like a bonus day of our three day Spring. Now I can be serious for a minute or two.

The main thing to take away is that you need to be aware of things like exclusives. To learn of such thing stay tuned to this blog because My Queen is a wonderful queen. She passes out stuff like this for almost free.

Be aware of exclusives. If your novel is half as good as you think it is someone will try to sucker punch you with one. Set the rules from the start. Tell them others are already reading it. It they persist ask them how long of an exclusive they want. When they get done and you are teetering, tell them you will give them two weeks.

When you send them your full make sure you state, in the email, that they have two weeks of exclusive and that started when you sent the e-mail. If you hear nothing at the end of two weeks write it off as a loss. There will be those, even if you book is almost as good as you think. Keep querying, the one time that counts might be the next.

John Davis Frain said...

I love this answer. I mean, I knew already what the general answer would be, but I love that Janet also says you're free to send your ms to agent #3 because agent #2 never agreed to exclusive terms. Well put, Queen.

I also like Dena's idea at the professional letter to follow. It's succinct, to the point, and really establishes you as a professional. You've done all anyone would expect you to do to give agent #2 a chance, but still take care of your own career.

Congrats, Bookworm and good luck to you.

AJ Blythe said...

Congrats, Bookworm. I hope agent #1 or #3 love it!

Reading all the comments about snakes brought back some wonderful memories. When I was in the US (quite a while back) I spent 3 weeks with a friend (who worked at the Arizona Desert Museum in Tucson) driving from California to Florida looking for snakes. Awesome fun. Not an unusual pastime for me - Ive since been in charge of reptile surveys of wetlands in Brisbane (Oz).

BJ Muntain said...

I think it's late enough (early enough the next morning) that I can say that I actually like snakes without making too many people shudder. :) Like AJ, snakes bring back fond memories.

I do like snakes. The non-poisonous kind, anyway. And here in Saskatchewan, poisonous snakes only appear in a very small corner of the province, which is not where I live.

When I was still young, had just graduated from university, I was working as a nature interpreter at an interpretive centre. We had a rattlesnake and a bull snake in cages. (The bull snake lived in a grade school classroom when it wasn't summer.) The bull snake's name was Fred, and he liked me. He liked being held by me, he liked twining himself around my shoulders. And he never, ever pooped on me. He pooped on one young fellow (younger than me - just out of high school) every time he held him. (Snake poop is similar to bird poop, if you've never seen it.)

The rattlesnake didn't have a name. We interpreters did nothing with him, except show him (in his tank) to people and talk about him. At that centre, they would capture a wild snake in the spring then let it go at the end of the summer. Rattlers don't usually eat much in captivity, so they don't make good guests. Despite this, the managers of the centre had to try to feed the snake, anyway. Once a week or so they would catch a live mouse and put it in the tank. It was always a big to-do. They'd get out the snake stick, one would stand on a chair and carefully capture the snake and pull it out. The other would quickly let the mouse out of the live trap into the tank. The snake would carefully be put back into the tank, the cover put on, and we all would breathe again. The snake would then dutifully strike and kill the mouse, and then ignore it. After awhile, the to-do had to happen again while the managers took the dead mouse out of the tank. I always thought there had to be a better way to do all this, or why even have a live rattlesnake in a small interpretive centre? But I was hired for my archaeological knowledge, not my management skills.

Bookworm said...

Afternoon Folks.

Remember how I emailed Ms Exclusive, #agent 2, twice with no response? Well, just under two hours ago, I received this email from her (below).
It is in complete contrast to her original email but hey-ho....

"I hope you are well, and thank you for keeping me up to date as to the status of your submission.

After much consideration and discussion here, I have decided that unfortunately I don’t think the manuscript is quite right for me. I love your protagonist and think that the plot is original, but I just didn’t fall in love with the story enough to be able to do it justice. We only take on a handful of new writers every year, and think that it is only fair that we love their manuscript as much as the author does in order to be able to pitch it to publishers."

TBH, I think the fact that it was out to a couple of other agents on Fulls and I confirmed that I couldn't grant her an Exclusive, has well and truly put her off, as her comments are the total opposite of what she told me a few weeks ago.If that is the case, I think it is best all round. No flexibility there at all and terrible at responding to a simple query.

As for #agent 1, she has just e-mailed me to say she is reading my Full over the Easter weekend and will be in touch early next week (she has had my Full for a month.)

#Agent 3 has had it now for a week but I haven't heard anything back yet.

Keeping everything crossed.....!