Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Great Literary Agent Race, Part 3

Here it was, November 2008, and I'd more or less finished licking my wounds from the Backspace conference, although I certainly wasn't finished whining. Not that I'm ever finished whining.

Anyway, I spend the next six months working on my novel at a grueling pace. No kidding -- I was doing all nighters, sometimes thirty-six, even forty hours at a stretch. And I hate to admit it but, having always been a night owl ever since ever, those hours never changed for me over the next 4 1/2 years of writing. I doubt they ever will, either.

Anyway, come March of 2009, I thought I was done! I felt great. I signed up for another, much smaller, SEAK conference, this one held in Chicago in April 2009 with Robert Dugoni as the featured lecturer. 

Of course, this draft manuscript got totally trashed, too (albeit not quite as brutally as before).

However...the conference was probably the best I've ever gone to, for two reasons:

First, the attendees (mostly doctors writing medical thrillers) were a fabulous bunch -- fascinating, erudite and fun fun fun, and yes, I'm talking MDs here, mostly 20+ years into their practice!

Second, and even more important, Bob Dugoni changed my writing life.  

Let me tell you what Bob Dugoni did: He told me to make the lawyer the protagonist. As Bob explained, I'm a lawyer, people are interested in lawyer stories, I have a story to tell, and my lawyer character should be the one to tell it.

That meant a total rewrite of my novel, because the client, i.e., John Zambelli, Celebrity Chef, had been my lead. 

Back to the drawing board. 

Except I didn't want to abandon my chef.

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