Robyn Schneider was kind enough to post a great deal of the email conversations she had with various agents while trying to find reprensentation for her young adult novels Stranger Things Have Happened and Better Than Yesterday. Reading said correspondence is especially interesting for two reasons: one, you get proof that literary agents are just people trying to do their jobs, rather than heartless monsters out to annihilate the dreams of unpublished writers, and two, it’s a story with a happy ending–Robyn ends up finding an agent and selling Better Than Yesterday to Random House.
All of this while studying for her college finals. That’s right, Robyn just turned nineteen. She’ll be a published novelist before even getting to the upper-level courses in her major.
One of the things I took from all of Robyn’s dealings with the various agencies was her professionalism–and by “professionalism,” I don’t mean that she removed all exuberance and personality from her emails. What she did do was respond to each request from an agent as quickly and completely as possible, tried to keep everyone honestly informed about what was happening with her manuscripts at the various agencies, was unfailingly polite and followed up on everything as necessary. Between the talent she certainly seems to possess (I haven’t read any of her work, but a good number of the agents quoted here were enthusiastic about her manuscripts) and her ability to carry herself in such a professional manner, it seems to me that it would have been difficult for her not to succeed as a writer, regardless of her age.
I’m pretty sure there’s a lesson in there somewhere…
(Via Secrets and Lies.)