Home > Uncategorized > A Big Fat ..!., to Agents Everywhere

A Big Fat ..!., to Agents Everywhere

Greetings and salumatations to everyone out there in frustrated writer land. It is I, your officially non-official non-elected duly appointed non partisan bipolar mayor, Sean. I hereby renounce my title as Mayor and hereby dub myself KING of FRUSTRATED WRITER LAND.

“But, sir, why are you frustrated? You’re a multi-published author of several books, short stories, and series. What could you possibly be frustrated about?”

That’s easy, citizens of FWL! I’m sick of the rules.

I have a publisher, Echelon Press. If you’re expecting a rant on the evils of the small publishing community or even me ranting about my own, you’re not going to get one. The president of the company is not only chock full of awesomesauce, she’s a damn fine lady and a good friend. I love indi pubs. I positively adore my publisher (even when she sics her flying monkeys on me for misbehaving). One day in the near future, I see the decline of the mighty publishing houses and the rise of the smaller publishers. Their day shall come my friend. Their day shall come.

“So what is this rant about, your evil lordship?”

It’s simple. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. Everything I’ve written has gone straight to Echelon. The president has published them all without batting and eyelash. I have several series with her that shall always remain with her (as long as she likes what I write!) No, see the problem is I wrote a new series. I fell prey to the dream of getting an agent for it and getting it into one of the big houses. I want the ginormous cash advance, mass market paperbacks, beautifully bound hardcover editions that smell like ass when you inhale their ungodly glorious odor, movie deals, action figures, and my picture on T-shirts in every Wal-Mart across the country. Lofty goals I admit, but attainable. Right?


Know why?

Because I followed the rules. Rules that have been in place since the largest of the presses were built in cities like New York and Chicago. Rules that were etched upon stone tablets by publishers dressed like Moses with commandments like Thou shalt not submit an unsolicited manuscript and Thou shalt not solicit our house without a literary agent. No biggie. I get it. You’re old. You’re probably sitting in a wood paneled room with leather furniture drinking cognac and smoking a cigar that cost more than an uninsured appendectomy. I get it. YOU can’t be bothered.

Thus began his tragic attempt at finding a reputable literary agent to even read his manuscript. For forty days and forty nights he wandered through the deserts of futility, struggling with each step to maintain his grasp of the one thing that would carry him to the published with a big house promised land, hope.

I HOPE you caught the sarcasm there.

You see, I made a huge mistake. I FOLLOWED THE RULES! I listened to every website, author advising blog, my third grade science teacher, Mother Teresa, Obi Wan Kenobi, and “Oh, getting published was easy. Just follow these steps” author out there. Know what? If I were an agent, and I had to read the same piece of drivel for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, I’d probably be a prick too. Okay, a bigger prick.

I have a friend. She’s a truly talented writer and probably the nicest person you’ll ever meet. She always tells me, “Sean, be patient. One day they’ll come to you.” Well you know what? I’m taking her advice. I trust her more than any of the dweebs, schmucks, charlatans, and puffinstuffs out there handing out publishing advice. That shit ain’t workin for me anyway.

So here’s my new plan. I wrote the query letter I’ve always wanted to write. One that is justa bubblin over with all that “OMG, I can’t believe he said that” goodness that is me. Every agent wants the same information in their query (really, couldn’t they have come up with a better name than query? Like, “Hey represent this” letter? Just sayin.) It’s all in there, but I wrote it like I wanted to, breaking all the rules, being me. Want to know something else? Guess who I’m sending it to? Not one person! Nope. Nada. Squat. Zilch. Nein. Nil. Nobody.

I’m posting it here. I’ll get around to posting it on my website too. Eventually. There it shall remain until the end of days as a glorious reminder of the day I lost my mind and washed my hands of the rules. If an agent wants to read it…They can come get it. Maybe I’ll just let my story sit. Maybe I’ll just self publish it so people can enjoy it. That way I can hang on to my rights on the off chance that some noob sitting in some fancy shmancy lit agency decides to take a chance on the crazy guy and wants to represent me. I know it’s not going to happen. I know this is another waste of time, but you know what? RULES SUCK.

So here it is. My query letter for My Soul to Keep, book 1 of the Soul Survivor Series. First three chapters are up on my website. Full manuscript available on request. If you want a fucking synopsis, get off your lazy ass and read the book. I don’t supply Cliff’s Notes.

Sean Hayden
My Soul to Keep
YA/Paranormal Romance
60,000 words


A teenage boy, a cut arm, a broken stub of a #2 pencil, and a set of idle hands. All the basic ingredients needed for Grandma Claire’s famous disaster-cake.

What if you thought you were goofing around when you promised your soul in exchange for your fondest wish? What if you laughed when you wrote the contract in your own blood? What if the beings who planted the idea in your head didn’t think it was funny?

Meet Connor Sullivan. In a sea of mediocrity, Connor is slightly below average. His parents are abnormal and his sister is as evil as Martha Stewart. Homework won’t kill you, but it sure can screw up your life. In a fit of boredom he offers his soul to whoever grants his fondest wish. Not believing anyone or anything would take him up on his offer, he shrugs it off. When a beautiful demon comes to take him up on it…panic becomes his new best friend. With no desire to lose his soul, he does the only thing he can think of. He asks to become one of the Fallen himself.

Being a teenager is rough. Being a soul seeking embodiment of evil isn’t much better.

I am seeking representation for my latest novel, My Soul to Keep. It is the first book of a planned series entitled, Soul Survivor. My Soul to Keep is a young adult, paranormal romance complete at 60,000 words. Finding the right combination of kick ass, humor, romance, and entertainment is always a difficult challenge. Unfortunately, without a little bit of everything, appealing to young adult readers is becoming more and more of a challenge. I put everything and the kitchen sink into My Soul to Keep. There’s even a dash of pepper.

Here’s the part I hate, publishing credits. No matter how you word it, you end up sounding pompous. To date, I have had Origins, book 1 of the Demonkin Series released in eBook and fair trade paperback. The sequel, Deceptions is under contract and scheduled to be released in October. Lady Dorn, a steampunk novella, was published in eBook format as well. I am a contributing author for a steampunk anthology coming out in eBook and Fair Trade Paperback in October called Her Magesty’s Mysterious Conveyance. My eleven-year-old son and I are also co-authors of The Magnificent Steam Carnival of Professor Pelusian Minus Series, a steampunk short story series. I am an avid blogger, have a very strong web and social media presence, I like long walks on the beach, and frozen rum drinks. My full manuscript is available upon request.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. July 7, 2011 at 10:30 am

    “If you want a fucking synopsis, get off your lazy ass and read the book.”
    Couldn’t agree more.

    Rules that are pointless suck, and so many rules in certain areas of publishing pertain to nothing … hence why so many get frustrated. Eventually, people will just give up, which I do think is a shame.

    Very cool that you co authored a book with your son. I could never write something with my mother without bloodletting and banshee like screaming.

    Oh! I as I scrolled down and saw the caption for Origins, “Buy it now or I’ll cut you.” I burst out laughing. The people in my office now think I am even more demented.

    Great post 🙂

    • July 7, 2011 at 1:24 pm

      Hehehe, Thanks, Penelope 🙂 Always makes me smile when I make people laugh. And it makes me laugh when I make people look demented! 😉

  2. July 7, 2011 at 10:32 am

    If I got that letter, and I was a hard working diligent agent, who happened to be going to a Harper and Collins cocktail party tonight, would I not only drive the contract over to you on my way, I would take the letter with me. When I ducked out for a smoke, and saw the president of the company in need of a light I would offer my assistance and casually pass him the letter and say “How refreshing is this!, shall I bring him in on Monday and we’ll grab a beer at lunch.”

    To quote Yoda “The force is strong in this one.” – Best of luck Sir

  3. July 7, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Send it Sean, it’s THE perfect Ninja-sumbission letter! Love it 🙂

    • July 7, 2011 at 1:22 pm

      LOL. Thanks, Katy, but that would be giving in!

  4. July 7, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Oh yes :-)x

  5. July 7, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Great post! Dump the lazy bastards!

  6. July 7, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Enjoyed your rant Sean (or should I call you king?). The Kingdom of the Big House is crumbling around them like a castle built of sand on the beach of publishing. The waves of words are sweeping in and the kingdom will be no more. They will invade the ebook world and pretend it is their world. But they will be strangers in a strange land.
    Great post.

  7. July 7, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Damn, I love it! If I were an agent, I would jump on it in a second because it has humor, attitude, wise-ass style, all of which are missing from so many novels and their authors. Personally, as a reader/viewer, I love some wise-ass humor thrown in with my drama/horror/whateverthehellelse. I have no doubt that that combination was a large part of why THE X-FILES was a hit for so many years. Conversely, I just started a novel by a HUGELY successful author, but will probably quit soon, because it’s so deadly dull & unrelentingly serious. Cool concepts alone are not enough for me.

    Anyway, just wanted to let you know that, in one of the too-many-to-count alternate universes that exist (at least, according to STAR TREK), I’m an immensely rich literary agent and will very shortly get you a fat-ass contract with an advance big enough to choke a T-Rex.

    Nikki Barnabee (@GargoylePhan)

  8. July 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Brilliant post!! Due to your awesome sense of humor, you have just sold yourself some books. I’m heading over now to buy some. And I hope you release My Soul to Keep, I wanna read that.
    Best of luck!

    • July 8, 2011 at 10:53 am

      I appreciate that! Will keep you posted on My Soul to Keep 😉

  9. July 7, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Querying is not only hugely time consuming, humiliating, and depressing, but it gets you nowhere. Agents are looking for the next Stephen King because that type of writer is the only one they can sell to soon-to-be-extinct Big Six publishers. New York ain’t buying because they can’t afford to. Therefore, agents ain’t selling, which makes it harder than ever for “little people” like us to break through.

    But fear not. They’ll all be extinct within ten years, maybe less. So self-pub the hell out of that story of yours. It’s probably the only way it will see the light of day in this dying market. Good luck!

    • July 8, 2011 at 10:54 am

      Thanks Kendall! Loved your blog post on agents btw! 😀

  10. July 7, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    *applause* I hate rules. I’m on the verge of writing a blog post about them, but until then, I’ll heartily agree with you. I never liked the idea of getting an agent, so I don’t think I’ll waste my time.

    • July 8, 2011 at 10:55 am

      All I can say is try. Best of luck to you too Amelia. 🙂

  11. July 8, 2011 at 10:40 am

    I did the same thing, and ended up writing a query letter in dialog form. They always say they’d like something new, that the query letter method sucks but no one has anything better to offer, but when I offered them something better they ran to their mommas.

    I love the letter by the way.

    • July 8, 2011 at 10:55 am

      Thanks, Marc! See you next week.

  12. July 8, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Well, Your highness. You know where to go when you get tired of whining…er…ranting about it.

  13. July 9, 2011 at 3:12 am

    LOL, that’s actually a really good query letter 🙂
    Thanks for sharing 🙂


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