Dear Miss Snark,

I’ll soon be in the market for literary representation, and I like your brutally honest advice. However I wouldn’t want someone like you to be my agent, you’re too mean in that New York sorta way. It scares me, and brings on writer's block. Am I being overly sensitive?

No of course not. You're quite right to be afraid of Miss Snark and her brutal ways. In fact, you should include a questionairre with your query to make sure you only sign on with nice, sweet, kind literary agents.

Here are some suggested questions:

1. Do you now or have you ever used a broom for transportation?

2. Does your 3o day termination clause include the word defenestration?

3. Do you sign your contracts in hemoglobin?

4. Do you now or have you ever had Satan on speed dial?

5. Do you now or have you ever had an expense account line item for body removal?

6. Do you now or have you ever considered Hannibal Lector for a role model?

7. Do publishers just bring their check book to lunch rather than negotiate with you?

8. Have you ever made an IRS agent cry?

9. Have you ever written a fan letter to Simon Cowell encouraging him to toughen up?

10. Do you now or have you ever responded to nitwit email with a ***Top Ten List of Reasons to Stand in Front of the Clue Cannon?


Anonymous said...

Dear Miss Snark,

I'm sorry that I have to be away this weekend.
Please don't trash the house again. For your convenience, my houseboy Brad is getting bored with Angelina and all those kids. He'll be over to pick you up.


Unknown said...

Hmmm. I thought I was pretty tough, but I only qualify on item number five... though I have done my share of first floor bar room defenestrations.

Anonymous said...

C'mon, Miss Snark...No one has EVER made an IRS agent cry. Get real...

Dave Fragments said...

Honest to DOG, I once made an IRS Agent cry.

Anonymous said...

But we writers have feelings and you are kinda mean . . . sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Pretty accurate so far.

A Paperback Writer said...

Oh my heck.
Snark the mighty, you are -- in the expression of my students -- "da bomb."
Okay, I can almost breathe now.
Somwhere in you lies the DNA of Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, and Oscar Wilde.
This was beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

Are You F-ing Serious said...

I peed my pants a little bit over that list.

Anonymous said...

I don't qualify on any counts. Which makes it absolutely imperative that I get an agent who does!

Chris Eldin said...

This was the funniest posting I have EVER seen here!! Thanks for the laugh!

I wonder what evil methods lurk behind that soft, fluffy fur? How exactly does KY make an IRS agent cry?

roach said...

There's a difference between tough love and meanness. It's not hard to see Miss Snark wants to help writers, not cut them down.

Anonymous said...

"3. Do you sign your contracts in hemoglobin?"


Anonymous said...

This is priceless -- the best laugh I've had in days.

BTW, I suppose:
>3. Do you sign your contracts in hemoglobin?

Does it matter whose hemoglobin is used? I heard a rumor of artificial blood cells recently, could they be used? Or must the aspiring author use only their own or that of their first born child? :-)

Just Me said...

Oh. My. Goddess!

Thank you, Miss S, for the most downright, outright morning belly laugh I've enjoyed in ages.

You're too good....

Tyhitia Green said...

ROFLMAO! The top ten was too funny.

Anonymous said...

Hold up a sec! Miss Snark makes it obvious that she is NOT like this in person. Remember all her posts that rant about agents remembering to be nice to writers ALWAYS? Heck, her bio itself says that she stays anonymous so that she can be blunt IN PRIVATE.

I've always assumed that if one ever somehow stumbled across the gerat Snarkful one as an agent, one wouldn't know from her behavior that it was, in fact, our darling Snarky.

Kim Rossi Stagliano said...

Miss Snark, do you ever feel like these format questions are your version of "WIRE COAT HANGERS!!!!" screamed a la Joan Crawford??

Anonymous said...

satanic worshipers rock.


Maggie Stiefvater said...

Defenestration is such a classical means of client control . . . as a history major I appreciate that Miss Snark has not strayed from the Old Ways.

Anonymous said...

True story:

When I was starting out 25 years ago (after getting my first romance published from the slush pile) I had my agent choices narrowed down to two women. Agent One was Earth Mother, whose Times Square office could have doubled as a greenhouse, wore sensible shoes, and told me my book was great.

Agent Two was Barracuda Woman, who glowered at me from behind a glass desk in a Madison Ave office, wore Italian stilletos and told me I had to switch genres if I wanted to make any money. She scared the hell out of me so I went with Earth Mother.

After five books, stagnating sales (romances were on one of their down cycles then) and getting dropped by my publisher, I worked up the courage to start over. I fired Earth Mother and called Barracuda Woman. She said, "I remember you. Send me what you got and we'll talk. And by the way, did you ever switch to mysteries like I told you to?"

Eight mysteries later (and a spot on the New York Times bestseller list) I am still with Barrcuda Woman.

You are looking for someone to help shape your career. Not take care of your dog.

Anonymous said...

"5. Do you now or have you ever had an expense account line item for body removal?"

Hands down, this is the best qualifier and as a horror writer, I love it! However, you'd probably need another line item for miscellanous fluid cleanup. Or maybe that's what houseboy Brad is for.

Anonymous said...

8. Have you ever made an IRS agent cry?


There I said it! I want you for my agent. I don't care if you don't like Sci-fi, Fantasy and think I can't spell worth shit. I love you.


Anonymous said...

"3. Do you sign your contracts in hemoglobin?"

WTF? I was under the impression you didn't have any.

ORION said...

That's right anon!
But I think what is really needed is an agent with that perfect split personality between the good witch Glinda in the wizard of Oz and a Rottweiler.