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?


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.