Billy Coffey Part 1

BILLY COFFEY PHOTO

Fellow writer, Billy Coffey has recently stepped into the realm of “Agented Writer.” Uber-Agent, Rachelle Gardner has picked him up as a client.

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.”***

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18 Responses to Billy Coffey Part 1

  1. Jessica says:

    Oh man, I have to wait until Tuesday to read the rest? LOL!
    Thanks for the interview. :-)

  2. Jody Hedlund says:

    Great interview! I’ll look forward to hearing the next installment!

  3. It’s been wonderful to see the likes of Billy Coffey get the attention he deserves from the writing world.

    He’s the real deal, a class act and the sort of writer who has a way of finding the life lesson in the everyday (without coming across as a preachy know-it-all). He’s the kind of guy you could invite over for steaks and beer, and even if he didn’t drink beer, he wouldn’t look down his nose at you if you cracked open a Bud Light. Ya know what I mean?

    Glad you’ve featured him here …

  4. Joanne Sher says:

    Yes – Billy is something else. SO glad to see him featured here, and even MORE glad to know he’s represented. Can’t wait to hear the “blow by blow” tomorrow!

  5. Helen says:

    I, too, am glad that Billy is represented. His published work will inspire generations, just like Mark Twain.

  6. Lynn Rush says:

    Thanks for stopping by, everyone. Yep, he’s the real deal.

  7. Julie Todd says:

    Hi, Lynn,
    I loved this post and getting to know Billy more. He’s got quite a gift.
    I am a faithful follower of his blog.

    It’s nice to meet you!
    Julie

  8. Sarah Salter says:

    I totally agree that “The Call” couldn’t have come to a nicer guy. He’s good people. He’s also an excellent writer. Good catch, Rachelle Gardner!

    Wow, Helen! Billy Coffey as the next Mark Twain? Hmm… I’ll have to think about that.

  9. Peter P says:

    Is that all we get today?

    Aww, come on… has no-one ever told you that the day of the cliffhangers is long gone?

    :-)

    Looking forward to tomorrow’s installment!

  10. KM Wilsher says:

    It has been amazing watching Billy Coffey’s EXPLOSION. Out of all the success stories, he’s my fav. I guess all of us who read him day in and day out knew he was a diamond set in gold. . .Glad he got picked up so more people can be blessed by him!
    Great post, Lynn!

  11. rebeccaonthehomefront says:

    Billy Coffey is an amazing author…he writes about the simple things, yet sees the big picture. All while leading the reader effortlessly through his world.

    Looking forward to your play-by-play on “The Call.” :)

  12. Chatty Kelly says:

    “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.” Amen!

    Great interview. Looking forward to part 2.

  13. katdish says:

    Can’t wait for the rest of the world to know just what a gifted story teller Billy Coffey is. The book is amazing, and Rachelle is a very smart agent for signing a soon to be best selling author. (In my not so humble opinion.)

  14. Candy says:

    Those first 40 agents are going to be holding their heads in their hands saying “What was I thinking???” Billy is a fabulous writer, but an even more awesome man of God. Can’t wait for the next part of your interview!

  15. Lynn Rush says:

    Candy–You’re so right. Those 40 or so agents will be doing just that!!

    KM–You described that well in saying explosion. When God’s in charge, you just never know what’s going to happen, do you?

    Write on, Billy!! Whoo-Hoo!

  16. Bridget says:

    Great start and I can’t wait for more! Billy has a way of expressing himself that is obviously a “gift”.

  17. It was nice to read about someone else writing inspirational material. My wife has recently started her first novel. Like Billy she is taking things from her own life and from those she knows. However, she is also putting a fictional twist to it. She’ll be fictionalising events by looking at them through spiritual eyes to see where there might be “Job” like stories. All that happened to Job was from Satan being allowed to do things. So, that is what she’ll be writing about, the events in a person’s life and how it is actually Satan attacking whether with blatant attacks or more subtle ones.
    Billy’s answers about the set backs with agents definately serves as an encouragement for us to just keep chugging along and sending out those query letters hoping the next one will have an acceptance letter sent back.

    Philip A. Kledzik
    authorphilipkledzik.books.officelive.com

  18. Denise says:

    Billy is such an awesome, and very gifted story teller.

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