Let’s Get the Band Back Together

Tuesday night, Smokey Wizard Bacon got “the band back together.” Not sure if it was for one last heist or not, but we had a good time. Kat Beyer was with us and she brought the two things she came out with this summer: her baby and her book The Demon Catchers of Milan. We talked for a bit about the trials and tribulations she went through getting both moved into production.
I enjoy my writing group and find them to  be a great group of people. We now have one book in print, two of us commencing an agent search, another one close to finishing a second novel-length project, and others working on various short story projects. I’ve tried to think back to when the group began and honestly can’t anymore. I remember it began at WisCon, I remember bringing it up in a “living room” with Delia Sherman and Ellen Kushner and having a few people talk to me immediately after the discussion and us forming a group. We’ve met monthly since. IDK, a decade now?

Kat managed what I’m just now trying to figure out: how to shift from creative mode to business mode. She’s offered advice and that’s been great. But now it’s on me: getting the pitch/log line (I hate both those terms) that encapsulate and elucidate my novel, create the bones for the query letter, and a draft a synopsis (it’s down to five pages. You can’t ask for more of me!). Now it is down to divining who, out of the thousands of agents working in the field today, do I send the query to so that I don’t waste my time or theirs. There’s a certain amount of analysis paralysis going on, but since it seems each agent is a Use Once then Discard kind of proposition, I don’t want to engage until I’m ready, my project is ready.

One of the things I didn’t realize was that Kat knows Patrick Rothfuss, and that he lives in Madison  (I wonder if she knows him well enough to invite him to an upcoming SWB gathering?). She knows all kinds of interesting people. That is one thing that I do not do well at all: networking. Kat is a wonderful person: charming, intelligent, kind. She’s made all kinds of friends at WisCon and those friends became important to her in the agent search process. I mean, good on her, but those aren’t my skills. Are those like other skills, something one can learn? To add to the already- long list of skills needed?

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