I first mentioned Billy Coffey on this blog way back on 11/25/08 after I’d stumbled across his blog. He has a unique, God-given, talent for writing so be sure to go check out his blog and bookmark it. You’ll be glad you did.
So, Billy has graciously agreed to share his experience receiving “The Call.” For those of you who don’t write or don’t know what “The Call” is—it’s when an agent calls a writer up and offers him/her representation. Although it doesn’t guarantee publication, it means you have an person actively working on your behalf toward the goal of publication.
1. First off, what do you write? How long have you been writing?
I write inspirational non-fiction that usually consists of trying to see the hand of God in our everyday circumstances. My subjects are usually family, friends, and life in rural Virginia, and through them I explore faith and life. I like searching for the big things in the little things.
Since Mrs. Houser’s Creative Writing class when I was a junior in high school. I loved it, and she helped me to see that writing could help me make sense of the world and my place in it.
2. How many agents had you queried and how many rejections had you received before you got “The Call”?
Sheesh. All of them, I think. I’ve worn out four years worth of Sally Stuart’s Christian Writers Market Guide books. Every year I would promise myself it would be the last time I’d have to buy one, and every year I’d be right back in line at the bookstore with the newest copy in my hand.
All in all, I had probably queried forty agents and received about thirty rejections, ranging from handwritten notes of encouragement to one email that said “Pass, bu tGod bless.” Yeah, kinda bad when you get a typo in your rejection, isn’t it? But even that was better than the other ten, who never bothered to write back even though they promised an answer.
3. What got you through the discouragement of rejections from agents you’d queried?
I’ve had tons of encouragement from the readers of my blog. They’ve always been so supportive with their comments and emails, and they helped me to believe that someone somewhere was bound to give me a chance.
Agents and editors will say that a blog is essential for an aspiring writer to build a platform. That’s been my case, too. But I didn’t count on my blog helping me with more than a platform. It’s helped me find some really amazing people, too.
***Join us next Tuesday for a play-by-play on the day he got “The Call.”***