Tag Archives: agents

Episode #58: A Crash Course in Networking (with Lauren “Scribe” Harris)

On the way up to the event that is Balticon, Lauren “Scribe” Harris spent the night with us…and then she spent another night with us on the way home! We fired up the mic to enjoy a one-show before-and-after to talk with this talented up-and-coming author about meeting agents at a con. How do you approach agents? How do you not come across like “that author” at an event? Pull up a chair and have a listen to what advice we offer before Balticon, and then see how she fared up afterwards.

Oh, and after Balticon? “Scribe” may have fixed cocktails for us. It’s an jam-packed show, heading beyond the hour mark so be ready!

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Holy crap, we’re back already behind the mic! And this time, we are not alone….
  • And our favorite Bavarian provides another drop-in for the show.

01:22 — A Crash Course in Networking (with Lauren “Scribe” Harris) 

  • Lauren asks Tee and Pip to help her prep for Balticon 50
  • So we are clear what is NOT happening when George R.R. Martin is at Balticon.
  • Some background on Lauren’s quest for an agent.
  • How do you approach an agent and not be “that author” in front of an editor or agent?
  • There’s Verena again!
  • If you can tell a story, you can talk to an agent.
  • Have business card, will travel.
  • Different icebreakers for editors and agents
  • You never stop feeling like a n00b. Just ask Tee and who he almost did a panel with…
  • Eye contact. Firm handshake. (Lauren’s got this!)
  • Play up coincidences and be yourself.
  • Don’t always be pitching. That can get real old, real quick.
  • A quick tangent on moderating panels.
  • What we do and we don’t like in panels and panel moderation.
  • Lauren has a plan…kinda.
  • Tee’s got a few ideas on how to relax.
  • Pip evokes the “Pull Pip Back” drop-in….
  • Breathing is good. So is perspective.

22:26 — Elevator Pitching 101

  • Lauren pitches to Tee and Pip, and Tee goes to work.
  • Elevator Pitches for Tee’s works-in-progress
    • Blackstar Rising
    • Wolf in the Fold
    • Countdown
  • Tee gets a hold of Lauren’s query and tries to make a pitch on the fly…
  • Man—Lauren is a HARSH critic!
  • Look for the touchstones of your query, and build your elevator pitch around that.
  • Keep the elevator pitches short, quick, and all in one sentence.
  • And Lauren knocks it out of the park with an elevator pitch for Song of the Heretic!
  • We evoke Damon Suede once more on the show…
  • Check it—Tee stumped Lauren with a literature reference.
  • Remember: The Elevator Pitch is your hook.
  • Make sure the pitches line up.

38:14 — Fast Forward to Post-Balticon (with Lauren “Scribe” Harris)

  • We have cocktails!
  • Yes, PJ and Matt, we are thinking of you…and are bitter about it.
  • Lauren will be stepping in as a Deep Southern PJ Schnyder…
  • So, Lauren settles in with panels alongside the agent. How did it go?
    • Panel One: Dealing with Rejection
    • Lauren handles introductions with the agent like a boss!
    • Panel Two: The Fine Art of Negotiation (or Lauren Thinks Fast on Her Feet)
    • It is always nice to have an audience eager to ask questions.
  • Don’t always count on the audience to be hungry to talk to agents and editors.
  • 9 a.m. panels can have a good turnout.
  • Yes, Tee called Lauren “darling” and everyone was okay with it. #SouthernThang
  • Taking a moment to talk a bit about Balticon and their bumpy weekend, logistically speaking.
  • A.F. Grappin of the MeltingPotcast.com was taking advantage of the new scheduling app…but not everyone was using the app…
  • And the podcast descends into hashtags and drop-in’s…
  • Lauren manages to score a card! Good sign!
  • And another opportunity for Lauren to show some savvy.
  • Here’s a Myke Cole moment for you.
  • The verbal invite to pitch: Achievement Unlocked!
  • And we’re on boobs….for some reason.
  • Lauren critiques her con performance.

58:35 — Lauren’s Impromptu Pitch Development

  • Lauren got a few of the Balticon Tribe together and gave her pitch a screening.
  • A pitch should be like a picture of a meal in a sushi restaurant.
  • Lauren got a chance to WITNESS with Hugh O’Donnell, get to know new Tribe better, and just hang with others of the Smoky Writers Mafia.
  • Wrapping up the overall Balticon 50 experience.

1:03:23 — Wrapping up

  • I would not be so crazy as to purposefully cut off  “Scribe” but we have been going for a spell…
  • Oh my god, Pip’s glass is EMPTY!!!
  • Lauren adds praise for the new hotel.
  • Waxing nostalgic over the PG Holyfield Cookout…
  • BUDGET FOR PARKING!
  • Where Lauren will be?
  • What’s coming up for us?
  • Lauren tempts Tee and Pip with Farpoint in February…
  •  …while Tee and Pip tempt Lauren back up to our area with Steampunk unLimited.
  • Go find Lauren online. Her website is right here!
  • Got thoughts or comments on this show?
    • We have voicemail — 703.791.1701
    • I have email — tee@teemorris.com
    • Pip’s got email — pip@pjballantine.com
    • You can find us on social media…
    • …and yeah, Tee is on Snapchat as TheTeeMonster
  • Let’s all try and find Lauren on Snapchat…

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
on Tee, or the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences on Periscope
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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The Shared Desk — Episode #011: Concerning Reviews

 

Bleah! Between the Power Bug that Sonic Boom brought home from school and final reviews of The Janus Affair, Tee and Pip are finally back behind the mic, bringing a perspective on book bloggers, book reviews, and keeping it classy in light of a bad review.

00:00 — Introduction

  • We’re back! (Did you miss us?)
  • The joys of school-bred viruses
  • The Janus Affair is now heading to press.
  • What to expect from Wellington Eliza, and friends in the next few months…
  • A plea to whomever sent me the drop-in’s.
  • Working on steampunk faerie tales
  • Elder Cat says “Oh hai!”

08:01 — Concerning Reviews

  • We’d love to do a show on Scrivener, but writers (and now agents) keep doing some really stupid things!  
  • Elder Cat says “Oh hai!” again
  • Goodreads — an online network that loves Phoenix Rising.
  • It all started with a review…or two….
  • …and it ended with agents getting into the scrap.
  • Rule #1 of Reviews: Not everyone will love you.
  • How bad behavior affects your book
    • Tee still hasn’t read The Night Circus on account of spam.
    • The Tom Cruise Effect
    • How bad reviews reflect positively on authors’ works
  • An Authors’ WTH Moment: When Agents Attack
  • Respecting the Book Bloggers
  • How Book Bloggers Stand Taller than Amazon/Goodreads Reviewers
  • If you don’t want an honest review, don’t approach Book Bloggers.
  • Taking the fight to other networks like Twitter, Facebook, et. al.
  • When is it a good time to question a bad review?
  • Looking for common threads in good and bad reviews
  • Why you must love Book Bloggers…like our girl, Mel!

33:58  — Writers Off the Clock

  • Hold on — Tee’s got a WotC for Pip?
  • The name of the game is Skylanders…and we bought it for Sonic Boom. (No. Really. We did!)
  • A friend of Starla’s. A friend of ours. And her (bad) influence on the Boom…
  • Sonic Boom was fighting back, so we were looking for and advantage. (In comes Skylanders.)
  • And at 38:02, this happens…
  • What Skylanders is all about
  • How Sonic Boom plays into this new obsession
  • Feline distractions
  • Laying down the Law (and enjoying the results)

44:39 — The Wrap-Up

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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The Shared Desk #002: The Writer-Agent Relationship (with Laurie McLean)

Fresh from their WorldCon experience, Tee & Pip bring to The Shared Desk their first interview and introduce a new segment to the show. There is also talk of their next con appearance and what lies ahead for the Fall.

00:00 — Introduction

  • Two episodes and fresh from the land where finding a cab is a Herculean labor…
  • Do you remember the D-Con Roach Motel?
  • A few thoughts on WorldCon in Reno, Nevada.

02:28 — Working with Agents: An Interview with Laurie McLean

  • Introduction of the Agent Savant herself, Laurie McLean
  • What exactly does an agent do?
  • Laurie names off the top of her head the “Six Sisters” of Publishing
  • 06:50 — An idea for an alternate Worldcon
  • The evolution of publishing and where an agent fit in
  • How some agents are reacting to the change in publishing
  • On the adversarial relationships people harbor against agents (Note to J.K. Rowling’s former agentRETIRE!!!)
  • Something to know — all agents are different
  • What happens backstage between agents, editors, and bookstores
  • The challenges an agent has when representing a collaborative writing team
  • What is “hot” in the Science Fiction and Fantasy market
  • 35:26 — A sneak peek at a new segment coming later in the episode…
  • Where to find Laurie online

39:59 — Writing Advice from Crazy Uncle Charlie

  • Introducing a voice of our generation, and the sage advice he wants to bestow to writers everywhere…
  • The question for Crazy Uncle Charlie: How do you know you have found a good literary agent?
  • Crazy Uncle Charlie reveals his foolproof method of researching a literary agent.
  • Another method Crazy Uncle Charlie endorses: Writers Beware ®

42:56 — Wrap-Up

  • Why does the studio smell of cheese?
  • Where you can find us and send questions, comments, and feedback…
  • Feeling the love after two episodes…
  • Where we will be in September: FenCon (September 23-25,2011)
  • With folks like Matt Bowerman and Beth Case helping out the fans, we’re thinking a tweet-up is in order.
  • Anticipation for FenCon — yes, we are stoked!!!
  • Shout out to Hurricane Irene!

Websites We Give a Shout-Out to

Show Photos by J.R. Blackwell
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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