Good Point

Overheard in the Gardner household: Me: “Sweetie, I’m sorry you’re sad. Come here. I want to tell you something about life.” Daughter (pulling away): “I already know about life, mom—I’ve been living it for eleven years.” (Runs upstairs.) Have a good weekend! © 2011 Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent Be Sociable, Share! Tweet
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Gone Skiing

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/TUrgV3XOY1I/AAAAAAAAEXw/AeYq-gf_hwU/s320/N%2B%2526%2BL%2BLoveland%2BJan%2B2011.jpg I’m taking the day off for some good old fashioned Rocky Mountain skiing. Ever notice how it’s sometimes so much work to have fun? Sheesh, just getting the gear together, including enough clothing to keep us warm in single-digit temps, can be enough to scare us off sometimes. Then there’s the 2-hour drive. The expensive lift tickets, not to mention the expensive food. The effort of strapping on those big, stiff boots. And did I mention the cold? I always have a couple of moments when I ask myself, is this really worth it? Ah, but then I’m on the lift experiencing the surreal quiet and beauty of a snow-covered forest… I’m watching my kids as they confidently navigate tougher and tougher runs, smiling all the way… I’m swooshing down the...
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How I Became an Agent

Recently on the blog, Kelsey Sutton asked… I’d like to know why and how you began your career as an agent. Would you change any of your choices? Best and worst aspects of your job?Since many people express an interest in becoming an agent and ask me how to do it, I thought I’d explain my own journey. Most people work in publishing for years before they become an agent. A few people start off at a literary agency, working their way up from intern to assistant to junior agent, etc. But most start in some kind of publishing house capacity, working with authors and books either in editorial or marketing. In 2007, I was running a freelance editing and writing business, having been in publishing for more than a dozen years, and previously working at two publishing houses in...
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Books I’ve Sold

Last Update: June, 2011 My permanent “deals” page is under construction. In this temporary post, I’ve included all my deals since I began agenting in 2008, in reverse chronological order. Fiction: Inspirational Erica Vetsch’s A BRIDE SEWS WITH LOVE IN NEEDLES, CALIFORNIA, taking place during WWI in which a young woman works with the Red Cross to help support the soldiers overseas, and falls in love with a man everyone thinks was too cowardly to join the army, to Rebecca Germany at Barbour. Fiction: Debut Beth Vogt’s WISH YOU WERE HERE, about a bride-to-be who kisses the wrong guy five days before her wedding and must face the consequences and figure out what she wants in life, to Holly Halverson at Howard Books, in a two-book deal. Fiction:...
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Books of the Year: Non-Fiction

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/SyHiZ2CwX_I/AAAAAAAADTc/xBLsKaab33o/s320/sticky+note+Q4U.jpg It’s almost the end of 2009 so it’s time to talk about books we loved this year! Today we’re talking about our favorite non-fiction books from 2009. (Next week we’ll do fiction.) Here are a few of my recent faves. Columbine by Dave Cullen is the most captivating piece of non-fiction I’ve read in years. Insightful, enlightening, and very, very scary. This book made it nearly impossible for me to focus on work or parenting or anything else for about three days. Kudos to Dave Cullen for his decade of in-depth research and his powerful prose. I’ve always wondered what really happened at Columbine High School that April day in 1999, so this book drew me in and didn’t let go until long after I’d finished the last page. I’ve never thought of...
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The Power of Words

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/SxSVl3yW9_I/AAAAAAAADRc/ZNPqVVc0YMQ/s320/wordcloud.jpg I’m glad we had a good conversation on the blog yesterday. Yes, a few people got snarky. But I only had to delete a couple of comments. I thought we had some necessary dialogue, and it was enlightening. Do I agree with all the commenters? No. Do I like everything I read? No. But I always come away with new knowledge and ideas for improving the way I do business. It was from paying attention to the impassioned pleas of writers that I got motivated to try and respond to all queries within 48 hours (unless I’m traveling), and I do my best to keep up with that. It was from listening to you that I decided to try offering some feedback on queries when I can, even though it takes more time. So now I give feedback on 10 to 25% of the queries I reject. Your input also inspired our...
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Friday Fun: What’s Surprising About You?

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/SvIQmPLwfDI/AAAAAAAADOc/uWfZ6wm39ac/s200/sticky+note+Q4U.jpg Don’t you love how daily life offers so many great decent ideas for blog posts? This week I was being interviewed for a magazine article and one of the questions was, “What is something about you that writers would be surprised to know?” Of course, I share so much about myself on the blog and on Twitter that I figured nothing about me would surprise anyone. So I asked a couple of my friends for help. They came up with a short list. Herewith (because I was never one for keeping the “mystery” in the relationship), a few things you might find surprising about me: → I love scuba diving and I met my husband on a scuba excursion. He was the divemaster. → In my town, at my church, and at my kids’ school, I’m just another mom. Nobody knows I’m...
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About Me

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/SYW-pYAvIdI/AAAAAAAACqo/UFWiPmz-f3A/s320/scuba.bmp My name is Rachelle Gardner and I’m an agent with WordServe Literary Group based in Denver, Colorado. Click on this link to visit our website; or to meet the other members of the WordServe team, see this post. I love books, authors, publishing, and talking incessantly about them. My passion is partnering with authors to bring worthwhile books to publication. I started this blog as a way to create a community of writers, both published and seeking publication. I post five days a week on topics of interest to writers, and I consider the reader comments even more important than my own posts! This is a place where I get to hear the concerns and perspectives of writers in the trenches, so that I never lose touch with what’s happening on the other side of the desk. My Publishing...
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Go Ahead – Prove Me Wrong!

On Friday, in his This Week in Publishing post, Nathan Bransford gave a nod to my post last week on proactive vs. reactive protagonists. (Thanks, Nathan.) One of the commenters on Nathan’s blog said: Whenever I read something like: “you have to have a proactive protagonist,” I immediately want to go out and write a story with a protagonist who sits around and stares at a wall until he dies. No offense to Rachelle Gardner, I’m sure she has a good point. I just get contrary that way. I got a good laugh out of that because I have to admit, I’m the same way. I don’t like rules for rules’ sake, and it’s completely in my nature to set out to try and prove that a rule is wrong or ridiculous. I’m always looking for the loophole; always...
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No blog post today!

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/SqShd_04IOI/AAAAAAAADI0/SpoKCGRGLtQ/s320/cake.jpg Today is Labor Day. Plus, yesterday was my birthday and I’m getting really, really old. Don’t you think I deserve a day off? Yep, I do too. See you tomorrow!. Be Sociable, Share! ...
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No Post Today, Sorry!

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/Sk1ZktM8MkI/AAAAAAAADCY/xLqa_QaNEIM/s320/fireworks.jpg Drat, I simply couldn’t come up with a post for today. But I have a cool fireworks picture right? And ten really good excuses reasons for no post. 10. Way too busy Twittering and Facebooking. 9. Negotiating deals for four of my clients this week… it’s taxing, you know! 8. Sunshine beckons. Must. Get. Outside. 7. Expending superhuman effort to get my inbox under 20. 6. Nathan Bransford always writes terrific end-of-the-week posts so I figure I don’t have to. 5. American Idol isn’t on right now so I didn’t have a fall-back position. 4. Kids had friends over for two slumber parties this week. Can anybody say t-i-r-e-d? 3. I live at 7,000 feet elevation – the air’s kinda thin up here. (I know, that doesn’t have anything to do with...
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A Really Long Brain Dump

Sorry for this very long post about nothing. I don’t blame you if you want to skip this one, but I had a few things on my mind tonight that I just needed to get out. Last week I spent some time reading the AgentFail post on the Bookends, LLC blog. It’s not that I’m a glutton for punishment—I really want to hear what writers have to say, and I appreciate that Jessica gave everyone a safe place to vent. The whole reason I have this blog is because I’m interested in writers—not just that I want to preach to y’all but because I want to engage with you, I want to hear from you, I benefit from the interaction. I learn so much from you! AgentFail was no different in the sense that I did learn a lot. But it also made me really sad. Even though the words were not...
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Off to Dallas

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/SblBiSefExI/AAAAAAAACyM/3k_WSb8liGM/s320/Dallas.jpg Today I’m flying to the beautiful city of Dallas for the inaugural Christian Book Expo. This is a Christian publishing event that’s open to the public, the first of its kind, so if you’re in the Dallas area this Fri-Sat-Sun, you should consider checking it out. There will be:a Over 150 workshops and seminars led by Christian authorsa Thousands of books shown on the exhibit floora Inspirational events each night featuring musicians & authorsa The Bible History Experiencea A Kid Zonea Panel discussions moderated by Christianity Today editorsa The Christian Book Awards I’m excited because most of my time will be spent meeting with clients (some of whom I’ve not yet met in person) and potential clients. I love hanging out with my peeps! I’m also looking...
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Why I Write

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/SargiKb1k2I/AAAAAAAACv8/w4eWsNryk3U/s200/Laptop.jpg I have to admit I was overwhelmed by the responses to Friday’s Q4U post. I wasn’t able to read them as they were coming in since I was busy on the ski slopes (someone has to support Colorado’s #1 industry), but I read them all on Sunday and took some time to think about them. And then I realized maybe I should contribute my own thoughts on the subject of why we write. I write to be read. That’s it. I want to communicate, and I think everyone does. Like Chatty Kelly commented, “I like to talk. I like to be heard.” Like Mark Adair wrote, “I think we all have 2 basic needs: to be loved and appreciated AND to love and appreciate others.” Like XDPaul said, “There is, in my opinion, absolutely no reason whatsoever to sacrifice one’s...
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