Losing an Agent

25 03 2016
Angel in the Mist

Photo Credit: Zsolt Zatrok

Losing an agent hurts. Sometimes agents can’t sell your books, sometimes you’re not a good match, and sometimes they leave the business. But the most painful way to lose an agent is to death.

Earlier this week, I lost an agent I loved. Mary Sue Seymour lost her long and hard-fought battle against cancer. I still can’t believe she’s gone. Even last week, she was still posting her usual upbeats messages. She saw beauty and goodness everywhere she went. And she had the gift of spreading the gifts of kindness and encouragement wherever she went.

I admired her as a person, and as an agent, she was awesome. I’ve never known an agent to respond to every email within 5-10 minutes. Soon after I signed on with her, I sent the final manuscript revisions to her after midnight. The following morning at 7 am, she emailed with a list of 10 publishers who had the manuscript.

A few months later, she completed all the back-and-forth contract negotiations until we had everything we both wanted on a 3-book deal. I didn’t discover until later that she’d been undergoing twice-weekly chemo sessions the whole time. She never once mentioned her health. And she must have been doing the same for her other clients, because a month later, she was named Agent of the Year by the American Christian Fiction Writers.

Change of Heart - Comp - Dec4I’m grateful that I signed with her. I only wish she could be here to see the first book in the Sisters & Friends Amish series, Change of Heart, release on May 3. I wrote this book at her request, and she offered to review it as I went along. She shepherded it through the synopsis and early draft stages, even though I never sent it as official submission. When it was completed, I was thrilled when she offered to represent me. The book had been her baby all along. Although she can’t be at my book launch in person, I know she’ll be there in spirit. And at all my signings, I’ll be wearing the lovely bracelet she sent me at Christmas to celebrate my first book contract as Rachel J. Good.

To honor her life and generous, caring nature, I’m dedicating my Rachel J. Good Twitter feed to celebrating Random Acts of Kindness. Feel free to share any acts you do  for others or those you hear about. Let’s flood social media with positive messages.

#100kRAOK #randomactsofkindness

 

 

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21 responses

25 03 2016
viviankirkfield

Thank you for sharing this, Laurie. Our world is overflowing with messages of hate and despair…how lovely to read your tribute to a woman who reached out with love and hope.
I am so sorry for your loss…and the loss to the writing community. I did not know Mary Sue Seymour…but through your post, I feel her spirit.
All good wishes for success with your books…Change of Heart sounds like a wonderful read. And how fitting that you will keep her close to your heart as you journey forward with the book that was her baby.

7 05 2016
lje1

Thanks, Vivian. I’m glad Mary Sue’s spirit came through in the post. She was the kind of person who stopped and talked to homeless people to see if she could help them and who always had an upbeat word of encouragement for everyone she met. As Change of Heart debuted this week, I’ve been remembering her encouragement and her joy when it was accepted. I wish she could be here to see it, but it is a tribute to her.

25 03 2016
bonniejdoerr

This tribute is one of the loveliest I’ve ever read. It had to be difficult to put down and , I hope, also a comfort to share a bit of Mary Sue’s beauty with those of us who didn’t know her. Thank you for sharing.

7 05 2016
lje1

Thanks, Bonnie. She was special, and I’m missing her this week during my book launch.

7 05 2016
lje1

Thanks, Bonnie. She was special, and I’m missing her this week during my book launch.

25 03 2016
Dana Carey

So sorry for your loss, Laurie. Mary Sue sounds wonderful.

7 05 2016
lje1

Thanks, Dana. She was wonderful, & I appreciate her even more this week as the book launches. I’m sure she would have been proud.

25 03 2016
kweeda

I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. She sounds like she was a great partner.

7 05 2016
lje1

Thanks so much, Dave. She was a big support. Sending positive thoughts your way for your loss.

25 03 2016
elainekielykearns

I am so so sorry for you loss. Great agents are like great friends, irreplaceable. Hugs to you, Laurie.

7 05 2016
lje1

Thanks, Elaine. The hugs mean a lot this week as the book launches without her.

25 03 2016
Tracy Corral

You and Mary Sue had a wonderful partnership, Laurie. I am sorry for your loss, but know that she is watching over your shoulder.

7 05 2016
lje1

Thanks, Tracy. It’s comforting to think of her looking down to see the book launch this week.

28 03 2016
Marcia Strykowski

So sorry for your loss, Laurie. Glad you had a chance to know her and work together for a while.

7 05 2016
lje1

Thanks, Marcia. I’m glad I was able to work with her.

29 03 2016
S.K. Lamont

Thank you for sharing Mary Sue with us. It sounds like she was truly a wonderful and caring person and you are very blessed to have had her in you life. So sorry for your loss, Laurie.

7 05 2016
lje1

Thanks. She was a wonderful person and a real inspiration.

4 04 2016
lohloh83

I’m sorry for your loss. I like the tribute you’ve created for her. Cheering you on the random acts of kindness.

7 05 2016
lje1

Thanks, Toni

7 05 2016
kellyfbarr

What a lovely tribute. I’m so sorry for your loss of a dear friend, as well as a good agent.

7 05 2016
lje1

Thank you, Kelly.

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