While I was in graduate school, I worked at a literary agency in Gramercy Park. I sat at a desk piled high with slush and every week, after I did the typing and filing, I studiously combed the pile even though it never yielded any gems. One day, as I was leaving, I said to one of the senior agents, “I’d just like to find something once.” “Yeah,” she said, “tell me about it.” I couldn’t understand her world weariness. After all, she had a roster of clients, surely she knew something about discovering talented writers.
It’s like sex. The longer you go without it, the more your standards drop. One of the worst things that can happen to an agent is that he no longer listens to his gut. Finding great material is difficult, finding great material that should be become a book is even more difficult. Clicking with a writer and believing in your collaborative efforts is also a rare gift. I read three things I loved this weekend. Two by clients and by a writer I hope to take on. I couldn’t believe my luck. And this after a long, dry spell.
What was your last great discovery?
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