Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Agent I Never Asked For! by Susan Tuttle

Susan Tuttle
We often think we know what we want, don’t we? Aren’t we glad God doesn’t often give it to us? Once I decided to take some serious steps in my writing career I knew I wanted an agent. And I set my sights on one alone.

That agent was up for Agent of the Year with ACFW that year. After looking up her bio, I decided she was who I wanted. I ran the idea by God, but didn’t fully listen to his answer. I was rather sure it was a “yes” anyway.

And you know, that agent was good. What I wanted was good. But I’d forgotten that God’s plans are best.

I won’t bore you with all the details, but bottom line is I never pursued my current agent  (I was too busy pursuing another). My work landed on her desk because of God and God alone. He arranged that we’d just “happen” to be at a small conference at the same time. And when she offered me representation, God challenged me to write out what exactly I wanted in an agent. My list included someone who believed in writing as a ministry. Who knew the market but also had faith that God gives stories and we better write the story he gives; we write for Him first and foremost. Someone who would challenge me to become a better writer, who’d be my biggest encourager, and who would have faith in me but an even bigger faith in God.

I could go on and on, but what you need to know is when I took her phone call and went over my list, her answers mirrored the answers I’d written down as I’d prayed with God. With peace and excitement in my heart, I accepted her offer of representation. God had provided the perfect agent for me even though I’d never asked for her. I’d asked for someone else. (I’ve since had the opportunity to find out the agent I’d thought I’d wanted approaches writing differently than my heart does. The fit never would have worked.)

I am so blessed that God doesn’t always give us what we ask for. Linda S. Glaz has blessed me over and over with her belief in God’s call on my life. With her prayer. With her knowledge and expertise. And this year she’s up for Agent of the Year. I cannot think of one person who deserves it more, and that’s not slighting the rest of the nominees, but I really do have the best agent around.

So for those of you getting ready to attend conference or querying agents right now. Put it in God’s hands. Prayerfully consider what you need in an agent. What is your heart’s desire? Have that discussion with God before you ever have it with an agent because he’s the author of your career. Take your eyes off what you think you want and ask him who he has for you. Then follow it, because trust me, his plans are always best.


Dora here. If you are represented by a literary agent, was your initial experience similar to Susan's? If not, would you care to share? 
Did you target a particular agent? What questions would be on your list before choosing to partner with an agent? What advice would you add?


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Susan Tuttle is a homeschooling mom of three who is crazy about coffee, dark chocolate, and words—both reading and writing them. Combine that love of words with her passion for leading women to a life-changing encounter with Christ, and you’ll find her crafting Inspirational Contemporary Romance stories laced with humor, love, and healing transformations. When not cheering on her Ironman hubby, chasing the family dog, or tackling complex math problems to teach her kids (yes, even the third grader), you can catch Susan at her blog, Steps.

25 comments:

  1. Yep, Linda's kinda special, isn't she? She deserves Agent of the Year!

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    1. I agree, Tom!! I'm rooting for her!

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  2. Thank you so much for this, Susan! Very timely post for me!

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    1. You are so welcome:) Glad you stopped by:)

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  3. I love Linda! You are blessed to have her as your agent. Like you, I'm waiting for the right one--the one who can cheer my work and believes in what I write. Thank you for your encouraging words!

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    1. Yes! A cheerleader and coach all in one. You keep praying and seeking God and He'll bring you where you need to be:)

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  4. Great post, Susan. God did a similar work with me when He arranged an agent meeting. I had one plan; He had another. So glad He did. Love my agent!

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  5. Wonderful, helpful post, Susan. I have never pursued an agent but obviously should have LOL. Maybe soon. May The Lord continue to bless you with success.

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    1. Thank you, Tanya. And everyone's paths are different. Some of my good friends represent themselves. Others of us are agented. It simply depends on God's path. Love that we don't have to fret over it, just follow His lead.

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  6. Susan, I love your story on how you found your agent! I pursued a particular agent for several years because I thought she'd be the perfect fit. We seemed to connect really well, and I was convinced that God had brought us together. Through various meetings and e-mails over that time, I was sure she'd offer to represent me, but the offer never came. E-mails stopped coming, and it was difficult at first to feel "dropped." But I'm okay with it. For whatever reason, it was not supposed to be. God has other plans for me ...

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear that. Yes, we know God's plan is best and I'm glad these words could encourage today. But that doesn't mean there aren't moments of disappointment. This industry definitely has it's highs and lows. Thankfully God holds them both in His hand.

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  7. The exact same thing happened to me. Yes, agents have agents! I wanted a certain one and had my appt. He looked at and listened in to every single appt 'except' the one with me. I might as well have been the fly on the wall. It was humbling and embarrassing and when I became an agent, I promised myself I would never do that to someone. To make them feel insignificant. Then I had breakfast and lunch with Terry Burns at the Denver conference, and knew that was who I was to work with, and for. And God opened the most unbelievable doors. And then again, it also helps to have the best doggone bunch of clients an agent could ever want!!! I have writers who listen, don't take offense (often-hehe), and who are willing to work their buns off for what they want.

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  8. When I read this post, I felt you wrote it just for me, Susan. :)
    You know that feeling when a door cracks open, then swings a little wider until you can glimpse features, but not the whole face? Then wham! The door slams closed. That's me...and agents. Still waiting for an agent to swing the door wide so that I can actually sit down and chat over coffee. One day, God willing. :)

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    1. By golly, I think Susan and I WERE drinking coffee at our meeting. You'll find just the right person, Dora. I did it ALL, ALL, ALL wrong for 18 years before I decided to try it God's way. Don't wait that long. hahaha

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    2. We were, Linda:)

      And Dora, God's got this. He's already using you in amazing ways. Never doubt the beautiful gift of words He's blessed you with!!

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    3. Well, there you go. Coffee will be my benchmark. :) Congratulations on being up for Agent of the Year, Linda, and for cultivating such an awesome cheering section.

      Thank you, Susan. Backatcha, dear friend!

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    4. Thanks so much, Dora. What a nice surprise!

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  9. Great post, Susan. Like you, I feel blessed to be represented by Linda.

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  10. Hi, Ladies. I just read these interesting comments about agents and your experiences. I have a question about when is the right time to find an agent? I have published articles, poetry, short story, travel story, etc., and am now working on longer works. Now that I'm trying to go for a book length project, at what point do I need to recruit a potential agent?
    Thanks, Sally

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    1. Hi Sally,
      Congratulations on your diverse publishing success! That's awesome!
      Maybe someone with more "agent" experience will hop on board here and correct me if I'm wrong, but typically you need a completed manuscript to submit to an agent. Wherever you are in your journey, I hope that helps!

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