Why finding an agent is like being on The Bachelor

The Bachelor

Those of you who know me, or follow me on any form of social media, know that I am a reluctant yet faithful watcher of The Bachelor. I fought the good fight for almost a decade before caving in to the deliciously ridiculous “reality” of it all.

Those of you who know me, or follow me on any form of social media, also know that quite recently I officially got an agent. A real one. I swear.

If you don’t know me, or follow me on any form of social media, my name is Stef Wade and I’m a young adult and children’s writer, now represented by the lovely Christa Heschke at McIntosh & Otis and…I watch The Bachelor.

I’ve read countless posts about writers finding their dream agents. How they queried, how they researched, how they joined contests and sold their souls for one tiny peek at their manuscripts. For the record, I did all that too. I was not one of the few lucky people who send one query or meet someone in an elevator and bam! Agent!

It took years of writing and determination, but I will spare you those details. What I will tell you, is:

Why getting an agent is like being on The Bachelor (or Bachelorette):

I’d like to break this into two sections. Today, I will focus on section one.

Section 1: The Contestant (before an offer of representation)

My mom meme

You’re just looking for someone to love you

Before you receive an offer of representation, you’ve likely spent days, weeks, years dutifully, or not so dutifully, searching for the perfect person. Just like all those lonely Bachelors and Bachelorettes out there, you cannot BELIEVE why someone doesn’t want you; why the good ones always pick the undeserving; why you have yet to be chosen.

But you march on even if you feel pathetic, or are actually pathetic. It doesn’t matter because you freakin deserve a break. You want to ride that horse into the sunset. You want the writer’s equivalent of that appearance on Dancing with the Stars.

bachelor kelsey

You spend as much time making yourself sound good as a contestant getting ready for a date

You’ve written your query letter, an audition tape portraying only your best traits, your stories best parts and why you are the most original person to ever exist. You and…everybody else. You hope that by adding an extra layer of foundation or doing a few extra sets of squats at the gym that you will catch his eye. If you look good from the outside, the inside has to be the same, right?

bachelorette

The probability that you’ll be over looked far surpasses that of getting chosen

Some agents get 200-300 query letters per week! And some people have that many dates. But you’re not one of the toss aside at the first typo letters, nooooo, you are smart and witty and character driven. You will make yourself stand out. You’ll kiss that guy if your life depends on it, even if it makes you look completely ridiculous in front of millions of viewers. You will win that contest that 1000 other people shut down the internet while entering. You will kill that pitch session regardless of how sweaty your palms gets.

Likely you will not.

At least for a while.  You might be the person that hangs on, getting full manuscript requests, the one who goes on only group dates but sticks it out until the Bachelor or Bachelorette realizes there is nothing very special about you or that they just don’t connect with you.

ashley-s-bachelor-paintball

The pressure makes you go bat shit crazy

You say the rejection doesn’t bother you. Your favorite catch phrase is “onward and upward!” a mantra attached to your bedside table. But the pressure that your very life goal and possibly livelihood depends on one person’s personal connection with your first ten pages or your elevator speech on how great of a person you are and why you deserve love is enough to make you lose your flippin mind. You might even lose your mind in the Mesa Verde like Ashley S.

chris-harrison-meme-say-your-goodbyes

Rejection emails are a less public rose ceremony

Every time you check your email, you’re standing in your sequined, low-backed evening gown, trembling in your high heels, unsure if you’ll get that rose. You will get the rose. You’re sure of it. He likes you. There’s no reason he wouldn’t.  They read your query, or your first fifty pages or the whole damn thing so there is no plausible reason why you wouldn’t experience pure bliss in the next few moments.

Instead, in front of America, you’re sent packing with mascara running down your face, looking overtly downtrodden and depressed as you roll away in your luxury limo crying with a desperate lack of self-confidence that you will regret showing later on. You didn’t find love today.

I’m sorry to tell you, you are not the next agented writer…

xo stef wade

#DIYBookClub – May

It’s May and it’s time to mix it up. This month’s #DIYBookClub selection is a true challenge. Something that may pull at the inner fiber of your very being. The challenge, shall you choose to accept it, is to pick a book from a genre you’ve never read before. Perhaps this will be easy for you. Maybe you’re a strict sci-fi reader (which makes me question why you’re reading my blog, but that’s okay) or maybe you only switch between NYT best sellers and the picture books you read to your kids. If you’re like me, you like to explore new genres, which is precisely what makes this challenge more difficult. What haven’t I read? I had to find a reader’s atlas to figure that out. Book Genre MapBook country.com created this awesome interactive genre map that allows you to check out genres in each category, as well as sub-genres when you click on your specific “country.”

In my genre quest, I found I steer clear of one major category, be it YA or Adult fiction…Horror. I don’t like blood and guts, I don’t like to be scared. I rather enjoy sleeping at night.

The things they carriedI don’t believe I’ve ever dabbled in war/military fiction either, which sounds only minutely less daunting to me. And therefore, is going to be the winner for this month’s #DIYBookClub pick. I’ve decided to read Tim O’Brien’s THE THINGS THEY CARRIED.

I’m looking forward to reading this and to marking off one more destination on my virtual reader’s map!

What will you be reading?

 

 

#DIYBookClub – April

Okay, I know, I know, April is almost over. But you can’t blame me, I’ve been a bit…well…busy. I have however picked out and read my #DIYBookClub book for April. This month, the challenge lies in defying everything your mother, grandmother and your eighth grade teacher ever told you…judge a book by its cover.

Love Letters to the DeadWe’re all guilty of this in one way or another. The cover, the title, the name of the author on the front of the book. Maybe you like white space, or big strapping men with rippling ab muscles on the cover, whatever your fancy, this month it is your challenge to go to the bookstore, the library, or flip through your Kindle and just pick a book based by the cover.

There were quite a few choices for me on this one, but I ended up reading Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira. I was transfixed by this ethereal-y creepy cover. The colors! The floating writer! The scripted capital font! The little accolade at the top by Steven Chobsky didn’t hurt either.

I enjoyed the overall layout and direction of this book, a young girl grieving the loss of her sister, writing to famous people of the past to tell them her story and get some clarity. A few pages in, I realized I’d read about this book before, so perhaps I was a subconsciously biased in my picking. But I did love the cover and thought I picked it just for that, so you should do the same if you haven’t already!

What are some of your favorite covers? What are you drawn to?

And to get your prepped for next month, start searching for a genre you’ve never read before!

xo stef wade green

 

I’m So Excited, I’m So Excited…

Do you want to know why I’ve been saying this?

excited

And doing this?

vip-excited-celebration-o

And acting like this?

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As you can see, I’m super excited to announce to you that I am now represented by the lovely super agent Christa Heschke at McIntosh & Otis!

We’re already hard at work and I’m well…excited…about the projects we’re working on. I’ll give you more details in the near future. But for now, I’ll just do one more of these…

dancing-baby

xo stef wade green

#DIYBookClub: March

It’s March. The hope of spring is creeping around the corner. And what does spring mean? Spring cleaning! So while you procrastinate cleaning out the garage or taking down your Christmas lights (you know who you are), the March category for the #DIYBookClub is one spring cleaning task you can easily wrap your hands around.

Olive KitteridgeThis month, we’re picking the book that has been at the bottom of your to-read pile for the longest. This can be your physical book pile, your Goodreads list or that book a friend told you to read ten years ago and you never did. In the spirit of cleaning house, I’m choosing a book from the pile next to my bed that never seems to get smaller. This month, I’ll be reading Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. It won a Pulitzer, it’s been made into an HBO miniseries and it’s been collecting dust in my room since 2008. I’m excited to read it and move along to the next dust collector.

2008 may not seem like that long ago for some of your to-read piles. What are you reading and more importantly, how long has it been there?

Please share with us. And for my short thoughts and ratings on the books I’m reading, follow me on Goodreads!

xo stef wade green

The Bachelor Beat: The Hometowns

Bachelor Hometowns

I apologize for the lack of poetic recaps of late. I mean, I meant to blog about The Bachelor, but I’ve been confused. Is this one of those crazy crossover shows where they take characters from one show and delicately interweave the story lines?Am I watching Gotham? Are these all the crazies that have escaped from Arkham under the careful watch of Detective Gordon? If that’s the case, let me at those producers, I have so many ideas.

While I wait for the spinoff of The Bachelor: Survivor so I can see Kelsey and Ashley I. try to survive in the Badlands with no mirror or makeup counter for miles, I guess I’ll have to settle for finding out if our small town farm boy is going to actually take someone back to Arlington, Iowa to play Laura Ingalls with him.

So before Chris unsuspectingly takes a virgin to the fantasy suite, here is the next installment of –

The Bachelor Beat: The Hometowns

Just a small-town boy, born and raised in Arlington,
took a group of girls to the middle of nowhere.
Some girls gasped, some girls swooned
Some girls couldn’t wait to go home soon.
He took a group of girls to the middle of nowhere.

Oh Chris, don’t stop believin’
hold on to your false ideals
These girls lie and
are in Playboy!

Hometown visit to Chicago, where Whitney’s sister flat out said No.
She doesn’t want her sister dating a polygamist.
Kaitlyn rapped, she wasn’t rude
Becca’s family outed her as a prude
No one wants their kid dating a polygamist.

Oh Chris, don’t stop believin’
hold on to your false ideals
These girls lie and
are in Playboy!

Just a small-town girl, showed her naughty bits to the world
with a name like Jade, it was inevitable.
Some pics were tame, some were lewd
Chris saw Jade and she was completely nude.
With a name like Jade, it was inevitable.

Oh Chris, don’t stop believin’
hold on to your false ideals
These girls lie and
are in Playboy!

xo stef wade green

#DIYBookClub February Bonus Challenge

We’re almost halfway through this romantic month of love. Are you finished with your romance read for the #DIYBookClub yet? Haven’t started? Just in case you breezed through your love novel, a February bonus challenge is waiting for you. A bonus challenge that’ll speak to your dark side. A bonus challenge for all you Valentine-hating readers out there. Did your last read make you feel too warm and fuzzy on the inside? Need to cure your love sickness? This bonus challenge is a guaranteed cure.

It’s time to do a 180. Read a book that will freak you out, gross you out or make you not able to sleep at night. Erase all your feelings of love with feelings of terror and suspense and things that make you go “ewww.”

The Girl on the TrainI’m jumping on the bandwagon and reading THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins. Touted as the next GONE GIRL, this psychological thriller promises horrors around ever bend. I’m 25 pages in and all I want to do right now is curl up and finish it.

Need other ideas?

Well, if you haven’t read GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn, do that. You won’t regret it. Anything by Neil Gaiman is sure to set your lovesick mind straight, particularly THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE which still haunts my every dream. Or go non-fiction in the area of forensic medicine and try STIFF: THE CURIOUS LIVES OF HUMAN CADAVERS by Mary Roach.

What are your favorite love-crushing books? What will you be reading?

xo stef wade green

#DIYBookClub: February Romance Read

Love is in the air folks. It’s February and what better way to celebrate the month of love than with a little romance reading. This month’s #DIYBookClub Challenge is to read a romance. Now I’m not talking a pulsating loin, Fabio covered, read in the privacy of your own home romance…or maybe I am. If you’ve never read an “official” romance, give it a try! It’s not all Fifty Shades of S&M, there are so many different types of stories to fit your fancy – paranormal, contemporary, historical, young adult and more!

With that being said, you don’t need to read a “real” romance novel either, just a story about a romance. Since most writer’s love to write about love, the possibilities are endless.

Score_CVR.indd

I will be reading the YA contemporary romance Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally. A fun read about a female quarterback who falls in love with the guy vying for her spot on the team.

Looking for ideas?

Paranormal romance: Shameless plug for my friend Hanna Martine’s series, The Elementals, starting with Liquid Lies.

Classic romance: Try Persuasion by Jane Austen (or almost anything else by Jane Austen)

Historical fiction: The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

Or check out this list of the best romantic novels of all time.

Let me know what you’re reading to bring some heat to this mid-winter cold.

xo stef wade green

 

 

 

The Bachelor Beat: Episode 3

jimmy-kimmel-the-bachelor-7

So far this season, I’m less impressed with Chris Soules than the 15 suitors fumbling half naked at his feet. There’s lots of drinking, lots of kissing and lots of crying. Drink, kiss, cry, repeat. But just to give you a refresher before tonight’s promising episode, here is the next installment of the Bachelor Beat.

The Bachelor Beat: Episode 3

Young Chris Soules had a farm
EIEIO
He left his farm to find a wife
EIEIO
With a fake Kardashian here and an Alanis Morissette look-alike there
Here a Costco date, there a wedding crash
Everywhere they’re smash, smashed.
Young Chris Soules had a farm
EIEIO

Young Chris Soules had a farm
EIEIO
He left his farm to find a wife
EIEIO
With a blurred butt here and a goat milk chugger there
Here a pool party, there a jealous mom
Everywhere they’re bomb-bombed.
Young Chris Soules had a farm
EIEIO

Young Chris Soules had a farm
EIEIO
He left his farm to find a wife
EIEIO
With a Jimmy Kimmel here and a side boob there
Here a head jewel, there a porn shoe
Everywhere they boo-hoo.
Young Chris Soules had a farm
EIEIO.

xo stef wade green