The Call Blog Hop: Before ‘The Call’

Surprise! I’m back a day earlier than previously promised for a special series of blog posts. Clients of the Seymour Agency are all getting together this week to highlight their experiences with ‘The Call’—where our agents called to offer representation. This series of posts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday will cover The Call itself, as well as our lives before and afterwards.

We also have a special and exciting giveaway that Ann and I are highlighting all week, so stick around to the end of the post and make sure you enter!

Now, on to life before ‘The Call’…

What category and genre do you write?

Forensic mysteries/thrillers with an angle towards science and forensic anthropology in particular.

What do you do other than write?

I’m a research scientist by trade, specializing in infectious diseases. I spent twenty years in HIV research before switching labs; I now work with Dengue fever and influenza. It was my background in science and my position at the university allowed me access to all the scientific materials I needed to learn the field of forensic anthropology that became the backbone of our novels.

How did you end up in contact with your agent from the Seymour Agency (cold query, conference, etc.)?

I found Nicole Resciniti through the AAR—The Association of Author Representatives. I’d been querying for about 5 months at that time, and had lists of agents I was working my way through. A few months earlier, we had an offer of representation that we’d turned down because we weren’t comfortable with the agent, so it was back to the drawing board at that point. But when I found Nic’s posting on the AAR website, it was like a light bulb going off over my head. She not only listed herself as a ‘consummate science geek’ but she has degrees in biology, psychology, and behavioral neuroscience. We had a novel with a very strong science bent. Needless to say, I badly wanted to query this agent. At the time, the Seymour Agency requirement was that they wanted exclusive access to the full manuscript. I knew that multiple agents already had the full, but I took my chances and queried anyway. A few days later, Nic requested the full manuscript, regardless of the fact that others had it.

Did you communicate with your agent before you got "the call" from them (did you talk at a conference, email, do a Revise & Resubmit)?

We got our first comments from Nic when she was only partway through the manuscript. She loved it but had some very fair comments for improvement. Would we be willing to work with her on an edit? We were over the moon and were more than willing to do the work. When she finished the manuscript, she sent more comments, and Ann and I started into a full edit for her. Even though it was only 2 weeks before Christmas, our fantastic crit team—Margaret, Sharon, Jenny and Lisa, plus my eldest daughter, Jess—jumped into the fray with us and we all started to rip the manuscript apart with an eye to Nic’s comments.

But we’d only been working on the edit for two weeks when another agent stepped into the picture and turned the whole situation on its ear. More on that on Wednesday when we talk about ‘The Call’…

And now, an exciting announcement from Ann and I. We received an extra special Christmas Eve surprise when a box of Advanced Reading Copies (ARCs) arrived at my door.

So we’re doing our first giveaway for a copy of DEAD, WITHOUT A STONE TO TELL IT, which won’t officially release until this May. If you live in North America, be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below for your chance to win. You have until 11:59p.m. on Sunday, January 13th, 2013 to enter and then we’ll announce the winner in our regularly scheduled blog post on Tuesday, January 15th. Good luck!

(Helpful hint - to enter the draw by tweeting about it, simply select that option. Click the 'Tweet' button, and then click 'I tweeted!' to enter. Also, for some entry options, you can enter daily.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Photo credit: bethcoll