You know what's fun about writing? Besides the writing itself, of course. It's the research. I love finding out more about folk legends or even what the average person likes to eat in New Jersey. It's all stuff that can help you understand your story, understand your characters, and better relate all those things back to your audience.
It can be painfully obvious when a writer doesn't do their research, instead relying upon what pop culture has ingrained in us about a certain subject. So kudos to all the writers that are out there doing their research. Unfortunately, despite all the fun that comes from that research, all the benefits that come with that dedication, there is another type of research. The boring kind of research. Query research.
So I'm in the query process right now, which means I've selected a handful of agents that I think would be interested in my work and could represent it well. That's the first part of this kind of research. You have to find the agents. Now, they're not exactly hiding or anything, but trying to slough through the tons of agents out there is sometimes like looking for a nickel in the sand. For instance, The Paladin, as far as my research has led me to believe, belongs in the Urban Fantasy category, with maybe just a pinch of Paranormal Adventure. Also, it's definitely for an adult audience as certain characters, shall we say, have choice language. And apparently some of my demonic scenes have been described as nightmare fuel. But I digress, what I mean to focus on is that this isn't YA or Middle Grade. It's for grown ups with bills and responsibilities.
Okay, so I need an agent who represents Adult fiction, Urban Fantasy, and just a smidgen of horror wouldn't hurt. What's this? There's more criteria? Let's see... diversity... POC... Own Voice. Oh man, now I have a whole new set of things to worry about. Did I include enough diversity in my cast? Does it feel natural or forced? Should I have made my protagonist a female instead? Wait... no, can't do that, Catholicism doesn't do female priests. Okay... POC? Well, I'm Latino. Does that count? Wait, why does it matter if I'm Latino or not? It's my book that's being looked at right? Wait, "Own Voice?" -looks it up- Having a protagonist that reflects that unique cultural views and aspects of the author. Well... this book is about demon hunting and vampires and witches, so... I guess not.
Is there anything wrong with those criteria? Of course not. It's just that I'm already stressing out over what's in my manuscript, now I have to worry about a whole slew of other things, some of which are beyond my control. And all this is just me LOOKING for an agent. I haven't even queried them yet.
What's querying involve? Tune in tomorrow and I'll fill you in. Until then...
Be Excellent to Each Other.
Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.