Sunday, February 9, 2014

On Not Burying Your Light

Anna Philpott, writing, agents, publishing
Agent Pam has been visiting me this weekend. She flew out to New Mexico to speak at my local chapter, LERA, today. Thursday night we had a little reception for her with the chapter's unagented authors, where she also took pitches. Yesterday was mostly for sightseeing, along with Santa Fe writer friend and LERA member, Anna Philpott.

It's been great for me to spend this extended time with Pam. We message and talk on the phone sometimes, and we've been at a conference together, but having longer conversations about the industry and my writing career brings out different ideas. Long-term ideas. We are surprisingly sympatico on how we feel about books, writing and publishing.

I say surprisingly, because I never really expected to have a close relationship with my agent. All that advice saying "don't expect your agent to be your best friend" made perfect sense to me. Why would he or she be? But Pam is rapidly becoming an excellent friend, too.

Best of all, she's ballsy in a way I'm not. Now, those of you who've met me personally know I'm far from a shy flower. I'm a reasonably confident person and not a pushover. However, especially when it comes to my writing, I don't like to be pushy. I'm not sure I can explain why. While I believe my books are good, I don't like to shout about it. Maybe it's a female thing. Maybe it's an artist thing.

It's just my thing.

I tend to bury my light under the proverbial bushel. Even my day job boss, the lovely Laurie, said the other day that I was too modest in describing my published author status to a new higher-up in the company.

Who knew I'd be too-modest person?

Yeah - I hear some of you snickering out there.

Pam, however, is not shy about talking up my work. In fact, she marched into our local indie bookseller, who'd stonewalled me about setting up events, and within minutes had the guy practically begging to host my book launch for The Mark of the Tala.

She's also really good about bragging on her own accomplishments - perfectly willing to tell everyone that she's sold 50 books in her first two years of agenting. When I mentioned that I think it's funny she just comes out and says that, she replied that she read that women tend not to announce their accomplishments and she's working against that.

No burying the light for her.

Something for me to learn from.


  1. Something for all of us to remember!

  2. very nice - I'm glad you had this time together and got inspired not to hide your light as much!

    1. Thanks Jillian! And I'm sure *you* never, ever hide your light! :D

  3. Replies
    1. we shall be light-brandishing buddies, Jason!