The signal is given and you sit down across the table from your chosen target, the first of several you will try to impress with your talents, poise, and intellect. You have three minutes to amaze. Actually, it is more like a minute and a half to make your spiel and you either connect, or you do not. By one minute you are desperately looking for signs of interest – a glimmer in the eyes, a slight smile, a request for your contact info. What you do not want to see are their eyes glazing over, or worse, casting a dragnet over your shoulder at the next in line. If all goes well you exchange email addresses and…ding…time is up. Move to the next in line.
You are not looking for a date; you are looking for a literary agent.
It felt like my first time, and it was. After more than 30 years as a working scientist and thousands of interactions with other people ranging from clients to regulators to scientists to project managers to lawyers, I still felt the butterflies churning in my stomach as I sat in front of my first potential agent. This was a big deal. I had written many a published paper and hundreds of reports as a scientific consultant, but here I was trying to sell my idea for a book. My book. To someone who would find me a publisher.
Ding. Time for the next agent.
I talked with five agents that day,…
The above is a partial of a full article “On Writing” on Hot White Snow, my creative writing blog. Please click on the link above to read further. Thanks.
I’ll have photos and stories from my most recent science traveling trips to Scandinavia and Quebec shortly.
David J. Kent has been a scientist for over thirty years, is an avid science traveler, and an independent Abraham Lincoln historian. He is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and the e-book Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time. He is currently writing a book on Thomas Edison.