Sunday, July 27, 2014

Twenty Years With My Agent by Karen Rose Smith

My agent and I have been working together for 20 years.  Evan Marshall and I have been through thick, thin and everything in between through contracts for over 80 books.  He has the best public relation skills of anyone I know.

I first met Evan Marshall of the Evan Marshall Agency back in 1988 when I was unpublished and searching for my first agent.  I attended  the Washington Romance Writers Conference in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia and managed an appointment with him.  He impressed me that day by reading one of my synopses and giving me pointers.  He was easy to talk to and had a way of listening that I liked.  He did not accept me as a client then.  I did find an agent at that conference.  But when she and I parted ways in 1994, I remembered Evan and found the business card that I'd saved.

In the summer of 1994, the Romance Writers of America had their conference in New York City.  By then, I was published with two houses and had five published romances under my belt.  I made coffee meetings with three agents, asking them all my list of questions.  I had contacted them and sent them one of my novels ahead of time.  Evan Marshall was the one who stood out, the one who'd actually read one of my romances.  He said, "I love your work and want to represent you."  He didn't want to represent one book, but the career that lay ahead of me.  We began our association that summer and it has been successful and lasted for all these years.

Evan "gets me" and my work and what I want to accomplish.  He always has.  When I'm going through a difficult patch, he helps me keep an even keel and do what's best for my career, not what's best for the moment.  Because of him, I have branched out from contemporary romance into mystery the past two years and I'm so glad I did.  I don't know where my career will lead.  But I'm booked with writing contracts for the next few years.

If you are searching for an agent, look for that person who understands you, your work and what you want to accomplish...not just for today but for the years ahead.

Award-winning and best-selling author Karen Rose Smith will see her 86th novel published in 2015. Although she has written romance novels for over twenty years, she has now branched into mysteries as well as women's fiction. Writing for Kensington Books, Harlequin and indie publishing her Search For Love series, she still saves time for her four rescue cats, gardening, cooking and photography. She has also developed many of her books into audiobooks! She looks forward to contact from her readers through her websites and loves to chat on Facebook (KarenRoseSmithBooks) and Twitter @karenrosesmith. DEADLY DÉCOR, book two of her Caprice De Luca home-staging mystery series, is available now.  Book three, GILT BY ASSOCIATION, will be released in February 2015.


©2014 Karen Rose Smith

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1 comment:

Deborah Blake said...

This is amazing. I've been with my agent (Elaine Spencer of The Knight Agency) for a little over four years. We had some ups and downs initially, as we learned how to communicate better our expectations for each other, but today, I couldn't be happier to have her in my corner.

Congrats on 20 years of a great partnerships!