March 6, 2012
(mbrowningbaker on QT) has recently signed with agent Elizabeth Pomada of Larsen Pomada Literary Agency. Marion, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Congratulations and good luck.
QueryTracker: Can you tell us a little bit about the book for which you found representation? What inspired you to write it?
Marion Browning-Baker: Lord Beaumont's Bride is a Regency romance. It's my second MS. I'm not trying to be cute or coy, but the hero, Robert Beaumont, had a story that needed to be told and I wrote it.
QT: How long have you been writing?
MBB: Since April 2011
QT: How long have you been working on this book?
MBB: I started it in July 2011 while I was editing my first MS. The first draft was completed in about a month, then it went through both my critique groups and a beta reader. I started seriously querying it towards the end of November.
QT: Was there ever a time you felt like giving up, and what helped you to stay on course?
MBB: No. Even though I was getting rejected, I had a requests for partials and a few agents and a publisher tell me they liked my voice.
QT: Is this your first book?
MBB: No. It's my second.
QT: Do you have any formal writing training?
QT: Do you follow a writing 'routine' or schedule?
MBB: I get anything I have to get done out of the way and then sit down and write. I'm fortunate that I can write for hours.
QT: How many times did you re-write/edit your book?
MBB: About five times. At one point, an agent request a full if I could cut 16,000 words from it, so I did and then I started to query the new version.
QT: Did you have beta readers for your book?
QT: Did you outline your book, or do you write from the hip?
MBB: I'm a pantser. I can't outline to save my life.
QT: How long have you been querying for this book?
MBB: I'd been querying it seriously for about three weeks before I received the request for a full. That was very quick. I had a responses in less than 24 hours. Other books? My first book, I queried for about a month, when I decided I had a query problem. But before I started querying it again, I received the offer. I was also preparing to query my third book.
QT: About how many query letters did you send out for this book?
MBB: I just looked it up on QueryTracker, 45, but it seemed like a lot more than that. I think I told some one 100.
QT: On what criteria did you select the agents you queried?
MBB: First they had to accept email queries and be open to queries. Then I read each agent profile.
QT: Did you tailor each query to the specific agent, and if so, how?
MBB: Not really. The sites that deal with writing query letters focus more on the blurb and that's what I focused on. Many of the agents I queried wanted from 5 pages up to three chapters.
QT: What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
MBB: Make sure you have a book you love and that is ready to query. Which means going through the CP process. Don't give up. There is someone out there that will love your story. I had one agent tell me she just didn't love Robert and Serena. But the agent I went with loved the whole book.
QT: Would you be willing to share your query with us?
MBB: Yes. I think we should all help each other.
I am seeking representation for Lord Beaumont's Bride, my Regency romance, complete at 90,023 words.
LADY SERENA WEIR has achieved the impossible. At the spinsterish age of twenty-six, she is the most sought after lady on the Marriage Mart. Serena is determined to find not only a husband, but love.
ROBERT, VISCOUNT BEAUMONT, London’s most hardened rake, was betrayed by a woman once and now wants a wife he can rule with an iron hand. Love has no place in his life or in his heart, or so he thinks.
When Robert decides the only way to marry Serena is to compromise her and smugly declare their betrothal, Serena takes off to Paris until Robert can mend his ways. Can love settle the differences between these two strong-willed characters? Or will both live in the shadows of ruin?
By day, I work as a family law attorney, helping clients resolve problems, by night I craft stories where characters always find happy endings. I'm a member of the Romance Writers of American, The Beau Monde and Hearts Across History. I've extensively researched the Regency era, immersing my stories with the flavor and feel of the era.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.