Weekend Update and June Stats

Do you ever read the blogs of those New York literary agents? I do, and I love hearing about their exciting nights on the town in Manhattan and their cute co-op apartments and their urban child-free lives. But here in Colorado, more specifically, here where I live, you haven’t had an awesome weekend unless you’ve grabbed the kids and the dog, gotten outside and communed with nature. Or attacked it in a death-defying sporty activity.

So this weekend I set aside my sophisticated literary agent persona and joined 80+ friends and family members in a camping trip of epic sporty proportions. We’re talking tents, sleeping bags, hiking, dirt biking, ATV-riding, baseball, archery, golf, sitting around chatting, and all the burgers and s’mores you can eat. Not to mention the awesomest roaring bonfire ever. (Notice “reading” was nowhere on that list.) This was our annual family reunion/campout/party, a dirt fest involving five generations, ages 1 to 90, and dozens of kids and dogs running wild.

And lemme tell ya, you haven’t lived until you’ve ridden on the back of an ATV driven by my 9-year-old (a.ka. Miss Putt-Putt) or my 11-year-old (a.k.a. Ms. Speed Racer). The hardest part is wrestling control away from them so I can drive.

And speaking of Speed Racer, I’ll bet you never pictured me as a dirt-biker. Well, I’m not so good at it, and today I have the gnarly road rash to prove it. Yep, I laid that bike down, slid across the dirt and rocks and lived to tell the tale. Bruised and bloody appendages but nothing broken. Wish I had a picture for you, but to be honest, the pictures look pretty gross and I didn’t want to ruin your image of me. Anyway, the little mishap necessitated a change in wardrobe plans for the ICRS convention coming up in less than two weeks. Let’s just say, dresses are out. Full coverage will be needed. Shopping trip is in order. (Darn.)

So the weekend away from technology was a smashing success…(ha ha). I didn’t even bring my Kindle, if you can believe it. But now it’s over… back to work.

June Stats

Submissions received: about 234

Pass letters sent: 146

Queries still unanswered in my inbox: 63

Partials & fulls requested: 25

Number of queries for books 400,000 words in length: 1

Number of queries with the word “harlot” in the title: 1

Queries from convicted felons wanting to tell the story of their crimes: 2

Queries written by a stripper for a novel about a stripper: 1

Books described as “a comprehensive excursion into the nuances of the lifestyle of bondage, domination, and sadomasochism”: 1

Projects whose genre was listed as “a spiritual allegory, a political satire, a love story, and a potential musical comedy” (all in one book): 1

Most amount of time my Query Box was EMPTY: 4 hours 24 minutes (Sunday, June 1 from 10:45am to 3:09pm)

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


  1. Register Zeekrewards on April 7, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    What they do is take 50% of their money they had made that day and share it with all of the members that are silver and up that have posted their ad.

  2. Tiffany Stuart on July 1, 2008 at 12:30 PM

    >Loved reading about your outdoor adventures. Gotta love Colorado. Sorry you wiped out.

    As always, your stats proof you are in high demand.

    Thanks for the scoop. If I’m not posting, I’m lurking. And of course, writing.

  3. Timothy Fish on June 30, 2008 at 9:50 PM

    >I’m afraid my own work just won’t compare. I’m a little short of the 400,000 word mark; about 1,000 pages short. I suppose I could title my WIP “The School Teacher and the Harlot,” but I’d rather not. Do people still use the word harlot? Sorry, no strippers and I have a problem with people beating on each other just for the fun of it, none of that either. Musical comedy? Perhaps I could put a theme song in the back of the book like Puff the Magic Dragon books did, but it might be better is someone else wrote the song. My only claim to fame is a song about cabbage.

  4. Jennifer AlLee on June 30, 2008 at 8:35 PM

    >I don’t know, Rachelle, “a spiritual allegory, a political satire, a love story, and a potential musical comedy” sounds pretty promising. I’ve got one word for you… Xanadu! ;+}

  5. Pam Halter on June 30, 2008 at 6:51 PM

    >We must always, always make time to play … with our kids … with friends … whatever! I spent last weekend with some of my writer’s group in Tennessee and we not only got in writing time, we also went tubing and water skiing. It was the best writer’s retreat I ever attended!

  6. Yvonne on June 30, 2008 at 6:31 PM

    >Ahhhh… your kids will remember those days. I’m glad you were able to leave your work for a few days to play with them….even if it means I have to wait a little longer for you to finish reading my proposal. They will grow up quickly; enjoy every moment that they are still at home. They’re more important than my book.

  7. Katy McKenna on June 30, 2008 at 4:42 PM

    >Kat–Phooey! You got me, girl! 🙂

  8. Anita Mae on June 30, 2008 at 2:44 PM

    >Although it must’ve been time-consuming to assemble your June stats, it sure put a smile on my face.

    Your sense of humour is precious.

    I’m praying that your boo-boos heal quickly.


  9. Kat Harris on June 30, 2008 at 2:24 PM

    >Katy, vicarious sin is still, no less, a sin. 😉

    Rachelle, your list sounds like a CSI episode.

  10. Lea Ann on June 30, 2008 at 12:16 PM

    >OUCH! My skin tingles just reading about your ATV experience. I’m thinking you should have stayed on board with Miss Putt-Putt!

    Does this mean you’re going to reject my next novel about a stripper-turned-sadomasichistic harlot? Darn! What if I promise to leave out all the bad words?

    Maybe I should send it to Richard first!

  11. Katy McKenna on June 30, 2008 at 11:29 AM

    >Rosslyn makes a great point! We’ve had harlots in CBA fiction, though for propriety’s sake most of them were forced into the lifestyle, being very nice girls and all. Isn’t it just one small step from harlot to stripper? Not that I would know from experience or anything. But, alas, we CBA readers must do a great deal of our sinning vicariously. I smell a bestseller!

  12. Cheryl Barker on June 30, 2008 at 10:36 AM

    >Got a kick out of your June stats, Rachelle 🙂 Thanks for starting our week off with a smile 🙂

  13. NIcole on June 30, 2008 at 10:11 AM

    >Um, was there something we all missed in the rules for submission and what you’re looking for lately?

  14. Rosslyn Elliott on June 30, 2008 at 9:41 AM

    >I can’t believe you didn’t take the “harlot” novel.

    Do you know how many customers in the Christian bookstore would pick up a novel called _Prayer for a Harlot_ and look at the back cover copy? A surefire bestseller!!! LOL

    One great marketing ploy would be to include an extra brown paper jacket folded up inside it and printed with a more innocuous title, so as to allow customers to be discreet with their harlot novels.

    Christian-themed “cautionary” novels about the seduction of innocent women were extremely popular in the 18th century. I’m sure this was strictly due to readerly compassion. 🙂

  15. Lizzie Ann on June 30, 2008 at 8:46 AM

    >All I can say about those stats for June is “Wow.”

    I’m glad you had fun camping with your family. After reading those stats, you deserved a great weekend and so much more!

  16. christa on June 30, 2008 at 8:00 AM

    >Hmm. Epic sporty and sweaty proportions! Your precious girls look happily comfortable. . .

    I’m jealous that people can spend that much time outside in late June without lapsing into a heat coma. Glad to read about the fun, esp. the s’mores…As for your dirt biking, I’m not so surprised. If you can handle this industry, you have the audaciousness to handle the bike!

    As for the queries and proposals–what screamers! In fact, if you combine them, it’d make one heckofa book on Louisiana politics. Hmm. I wonder. Could that be the 400,000 word tome?

  17. Rachelle on June 30, 2008 at 7:45 AM

    >They were two different books!

    And based on the interest from you folks, maybe I should reconsider my pass letters to the stripper book and the sadomasochism book. The harlot one, too. (Notice a theme in my submissions lately?)

  18. Anonymous on June 30, 2008 at 7:38 AM

    >You’re a brave woman, Rachelle…a brave, brave woman.

    And the stripper was only following the first cardinal rule of writing: Write what you know.

    I’m curious to know if the stripper novel was the same one you described as “a comprehensive excursion into the nuances of the lifestyle of bondage, domination and sadomasochism.” You did, after all, list them right next to each other.


  19. Richard Mabry on June 30, 2008 at 6:55 AM

    >Uh, the novel by the stripper…I mean, what was it..? That is, did you ask to see a manuscript, and would you like a first reader? Just professional curiosity, of course.

  20. Katy McKenna on June 30, 2008 at 6:16 AM

    >I’m afraid I’ve come all this way with my book, finally found a terrific agent, and now she won’t live to sell the story! 😉

    Glad you had a blast. Sorry about the upcoming shopping trip……