The Rest of the Story

Agent A was Ann Behar of Scovil Chichak and Galen. This was the agent who had requested a partial, a full, and a revision.

You can see why I was excited. This is a very prestigious agency, with some excellent clients.

Unfortunately, I used up all last month’s good karma on Hulk Hercules, as Ann decided she wasn’t interested in picking up Substance. I was hopeful, but I’m always realistic about my odds. Still, it would have been nice to have been represented so well. So, yeah, a little down, but moving on, and reminding myself that I made it farther than 98 percent of my fellow writers in a mere 9 months. Nothing wrong with that.

Just would’ve been nice to be agented.

Here’s some interesting stuff from the final letter, things to think about…

Further, all of the children have a distinctly mature, adult-like voice that I can’t see young readers going for. The editors are looking for a young, authentic voice, where the children, whether they are 10 years old or teenagers sound like real 10 year-olds or teenagers that the reader can relate to. This stiff, formal way of speaking distances the reader from the characters.

What I could see future revisions looking at is making sure all the kids besides Errol and Stephan speak more naturally. I thought I had made an effort along those lines, but apparently not enough. I’m not sure if I want to make those revisions. I think it would be a very different piece, and I like this piece.

I didn’t really start to get interested until the children go off to boarding school. That long first section when Stephan and Errol are at home still struck me as too long and not particularly engaging.

Food for thought. Again, maybe the first section is more for me than the reader, and maybe that could be a problem.

I liked the scene with Esme’s trial very much–it was compelling and thrilling–but nothing else I read drew me in that way.

At least we succeeded in some way!


The book still has a partial out to Agent B, who is reputed to be very slow, so no news is good news here. I still have queries out to five agents, and will send out another 5 this week. I’m not giving up, but the book may well have too much strange tone to be the book that gets me agented. Well, it will be or it won’t be. And we move on to other projects to take another stab.


It’s all part of the journey. It’s all good. I mean, if I have a movie deal in the wings, I find myself wondering if I can get an agent then? 🙂

So, focus. I have projects to be working on in sewing and academia, and I have two published pieces to work on this year for which I will be paid. If one of them has a film deal attached, then maybe someone will be interested.

And the next book will go around too. And there’s always the slush pile for Substance, or later, when I am in demand. Perhaps.

Okay. Teachity-teach today. Still positive. Go, me.


Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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