I've had a couple of lovely emails asking if I, and my colleagues at the L. Perkins Agency, are okay after Hurricane Sandy. Pleased to report that we're all fine. The office lost power for a bit, and I think fellow-agent Sandy Lu is in for a lot of awkward jokes in the future, but we're a lot better off than most. So thanks for your concern, now please direct it to people in need! (Red Cross website here.)
I'd also like to give public adulation to Karen Dionne, Christopher Graham and everyone who runs the Backspace Writers Conference here in New York. They worked magic and put on the conference Thursday and Friday despite a myriad of challenges. They are wizards. Not only did they arrange for conference calls so the agents who couldn't get in could still participate, they did it for all the writers too. I'm always super impressed by this conference and now I'm super duper impressed with it.
It's too bad Backspace is only in New York, because I think a lot of writers could benefit from the sessions, and not everyone can fly out. This thought prompted a mental image of Karen and Christopher taking a bunch of agents on tour in a van, like a garage band. I made myself laugh out loud.
Anyway, I was pleased to be there (in person). I got to do two panels with Jason Allen Ashlock and Madeleine Raffel. Jason has a great easy to remember theory about what needs to go in a query letter: your Hook, Book (synopsis), Look (word count, comp titles, etc) and Cook (about you). I liked it a lot.
Though I wish I would stop ending up on panels with people who are so much more eloquent and erudite than I am.