Interview with Valerie Bowman, Historical Romance Author

Valerie Bowman

Valerie Bowman

Valerie Bowman tells us the path she took to “wowing” Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.  Thank you for sharing your story with us, Valerie!

Lis’Anne:

What was your first step after completing your manuscript?

Valerie:

This is a good question! The first thing I did after completing my first manuscript was write another one! I wanted to make sure I had it in me to produce more than one manuscript before I even thought about getting published.

Lis’Anne:

How did you choose which agents to query?

Valerie:

I wanted to make sure that I was querying the *right* agents so I asked a published friend about it and she sent a message out to the PAN RWA loop asking the published authors which of their agents really liked historicals. I write Regencies and I wanted to ensure that my queries had the best shot at capturing the agents’ attention. I got a list of about 6 agents who really love historicals and were actively acquiring and selling and went from there.

Lis’Anne:

Why query agents rather than going straight to editors with your manuscript?

Valerie:

I wanted to stay out of the slush pile and have the best shot at a sale with an editor. I believe an agent is the best way to go about doing that. Plus, I figured if my writing wasn’t good enough to capture an agent’s attention, I needed to work on it more.

Lis’Anne:

How did you handle rejections?

Valerie:

Rejections are tough, no question about it, and they always seem to arrive in your mailbox on the day your dog dies or you’re sick or something, don’t they? But for me, they’re part of the challenge that makes the path to publication that much more enjoyable. No one ever said it was going to be easy!

Lis’Anne:

What did you do when you received your offer of representation?

Valerie:

I said, “Yes, thank you!”

Lis’Anne:

Now that you have an agent, what’s the next step?

Valerie:

I’m currently working on the revisions to my manuscript that my agent has requested. After those are approved, my agent and I will work on the proposal letter to submit to editors. This is an exciting new step in the journey and I cannot wait to begin!

Thank you so much for having me, Lis’Anne!

Lis’Anne:

You’re welcome here anytime!  Thank you for showing us the steps you’ve taken on your road to publication.

Please feel free to ask Miss Valerie any questions you may have.  She’ll be here until 5p.m. today.

18 thoughts on “Interview with Valerie Bowman, Historical Romance Author

  1. Great interview, Valerie. I think you were brilliant to write more than one manuscript before trying to get published. I also like your attitude about agent rejections: you wanted to be good enough to catch an agent’s eye.

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  2. I’ve been a finalist in contests, the latest is the Daphne du Maurier contest, but they did not contribute to my offer for representation. It’s nice to put contest finals in your query letter, however.

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  3. I really admire the thought you put into the process. It seems so many authors (artistes if you will) aren’t able to get a full hold on the business aspect because they pour so much of themselves into the writing. You have struck a great balance between being an artiste but doing the smart, necessary things to get your work published. I cannot wait to read your first published book.

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  4. …and how did you know when to stop making revisions and start querying? Doesn’t it seem like there’s always something to change?

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  5. Another great question! The fact is that you can *always* make it better. Period. I relied on my critique partners and my beta readers to tell me when it was good enough. I put hours and hours and hours of work into it, let it sit for weeks, then read it again and started the whole process over. Plus, I read every book on craft that I could get my hands on. After that, I figured it was time to give it a shot!

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  6. Hi Valerie. I too write historical romance and was thrilled to get my call from Kevan. I will be at national and at the party. I hope to meet you there!

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