The January/February issue of The SCBWI Bulletin had the following blurb:
"Mary Grey James former lead book buyer for Ingram Book Company joined East/West Literary Agency (EWA) as a partner literary agent, personal interest in Southern women and their stories; serves as the vice president/president-elect of the Women's National Book Association (WNBA) and chair of the WNBA Pannell Award Committee that honors two bookstores each year which excelled in bringing books and young people together."
The words personal interest in Southern women and their stories jumped out at me. I grew up in rural North Carolina and most of my stories reflect that. Might Mary Grey James be the agent for me?
The article didn't list any contact information so I fired up Google. I located Mary Grey James and her email address through Linked In. I sent Mary an email query and she requested the full manuscript. About six weeks later, I signed the contract. Two things worked in my favor:
1. I write what Mary is looking for: Southern stories.
2. Mary is a new agent. It's easier to break in when an agent is actively building his/her list.
Mary has my first novel out on submission. It's an exciting time for me and I'm waiting. Waiting for the right editor to sprinkle blood, sweat and tears so that together we can turn my manuscript into a published novel.
Are you looking for an agent? Or do you already have one? I'd love to hear your story.