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Thread: Heacock Hill Literary Agency

  1. #1
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    There's client info on both their webpage and PM page: http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/Catt/.
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  2. #2
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Does anyone know anything about Tom Dark? I queried Catt LeBaigue at Heacock, but its Tom who's been corresponding with me.

    thanks.

  3. #3
    summertime... Madison's Avatar
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    Well, I didn't get three letters... I queried yesterday and had a rejection in my inbox this morning. It was a long rejection, but the generic 'dear author' thing.
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  4. #4
    2 WIP? A glutton for punishment astonwest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xiaotien View Post
    they are accepting again.
    Still not accepting adult fiction.

    Big Daddy West
    Make sure to visit AstonWest.com
    I'm also on Facebook and Twitter

    Check out my newest novels, Death Brings Victory (the latest Aston West "in-the-series" novel) and The Cure.

  5. #5
    Timing is everything... Barber's Avatar
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    Hmm, I had trouble following those emails; I feel like I missed something.

    I'm not making my point to argue with anyone; I'm just relaying my experiences with the following

    I queried Catt and within a few days she replied with a rejection, but a VERY imformative one. She gave me a link to a true story with remarkable--no, FREAKY--similarities to my fiction novel. She admitted she was intrigued by the concept, but wasn't enamored with the sample pages. She found the action cliched, which was fair enough.

    We had a couple more casual emails about the oddly similar true story, and she mentioned if I ever edited the prologue, she'd be interested to see more. Our emails ended up getting intercepted by Tom Dark, whom I found had a dark sense of humor, so maybe somewhere along the lines, you mistook that for something worse and things escalated from there?

    In this email age, it's impossible to know how you're coming across to others all the time. But I'm sorry to hear about your strange exchange.

    It was a no-go between me and the agency, but mine was a positive experience nonetheless. *shrugs*

  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW Khazarkhum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Dark View Post
    PS you may delete this posting as well, and get back to more worthwhile business.
    Might I suggest you privately message Victoria Strauss with your concerns? She routinely accepts information about problems.

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW jamesn65's Avatar
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    I just sent my e-query out (10:30 PM Pacific time) and within minutes--like literally 15 minutes--got a form rejection. Does this seem a little fast given the fact that it's nearly the middle of the night right now? It makes me wonder if this was some sort of automated system created to send out rejections based on the subject line or something.
    I'm very confused!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kblincoln View Post
    Does anyone know anything about Tom Dark?
    With all the terrific agents out there, I strongly recommend that you continue your search.

  9. #9
    figuring it all out
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    A little confused...

    Quote Originally Posted by priceless1 View Post
    With all the terrific agents out there, I strongly recommend that you continue your search.
    Reading this thread is like trying to read a censored document with a bunch of stuff black marked out. Can anyone provide any clue about what was said about or by Tom Dark, I saw he did post here. To clarify (since I sense something negative happened on this thread but don't know what), did Priceless1 mean continuing to search for a different agent? Can anyone offer information about what happened, or anything about Tom Dark? I read up on the agency in Jeff Herman's Guide. They're AAR and seemed to have sold a whole lot of books. Is there something I'm not aware of?
    Last edited by revolocard; 12-10-2008 at 02:21 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by revolocard View Post
    Can anyone provide any clue about what was said about or by Tom Dark, I saw he did post here. To clarify (since I sense something negative happened on this thread but don't know what), did Priceless1 mean continuing to search for a different agent? Can anyone offer information about what happened, or anything about Tom Dark? I read up on the agency in Jeff Herman's Guide. They're AAR and seemed to have sold a whole lot of books. Is there something I'm not aware of?
    Sorry I'm just now seeing this. I can't attest to the agency per se, only Tom. He's...how should I put it...very odd. He submitted to me last year a query that gave me absolutely no background in which to draw an opinion. I first looked up the agency and saw that they've had some big successes in the past, so I was surprised at the lack of finesse to the query. When I wrote back to him to tell him that he hadn't given me what I needed, a correspondence ensued that took a very strange turn.

    I told him I wasn't going to be interested in the work after all, and he began stalking me. I kept getting emails telling me that I'd missed a big bet and updates with all the editors who were clammoring to get their paws on this work. It creeped me out, and I just deleted his emails.

    All was fine until yesterday, oddly enough, when he sent me a forwarded email about a glowing review from an author of his. I can't remember if this was the work he'd queried me last year or not, but I emailed him wondering if he'd sent this to the wrong address. No, no, he wrote me this morning, he meant for me to get it because, and I quote: Because it’s you, dear! You you you!

    Again, I'm creeped out, so I emailed him back to suggest that he not email me again, that he was getting a reputation. His reply: You’ve got it. I am indeed establishing a reputation, and I do mean high stakes. So far it’s running 50-50. Tom

    He may be a brilliant agent -I don't know - but I wouldn't touch him with a ten foot cattle prod. Try googling his name, and you can find out more.
    Last edited by priceless1; 02-12-2009 at 06:08 AM.

  11. #11
    Carpe Diem kathleen_grant's Avatar
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    Wow--I didn't read anything that Tom Dark has posted here--but just the story priceless has told is definitely an eye opener.

    Member of the AAR or not--always do a background check. Get multiple opinions and previous experiences from other authors who have dealt with the particular agent you are interested in.

    Or else you could end up with a very bizarre agent...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathleen_grant View Post
    Wow--I didn't read anything that Tom Dark has posted here--but just the story priceless has told is definitely an eye opener.

    Member of the AAR or not--always do a background check. Get multiple opinions and previous experiences from other authors who have dealt with the particular agent you are interested in.

    Or else you could end up with a very bizarre agent...
    With respect, Kathleen, I doubt very much that anyone could have seen this one coming. It was an unfortunate set of circumstances that lit his fuse. I don't think he really cared that I rejected the work, but rather that I questioned his abilities, and that's why he wrote me about the manuscript's progress. For some twisted reason, he needed to prove to me - little eensy me - that he could get the job done. Creepy. I mean, why care what I think, yanno?

    Edited to add:
    I'm at my office computer and looking over his initial query to me. This all took place back in September of 2008. Tom gives zero pitch other than story excerpts and a hearty, "this is fun to read, with a rare credibility," which told me nothing. How is this a fun read, and what does "rare credibility" mean?

    He then told me the author (THE AUTHOR!) would be interested in a preemptive bid. Heck yes, and I'd like a gold-plated toilet. The author in question had originally self pubbed the book and all the buy links were still active. Now, I'm thinking that any agency with as much integrity and experience as Heacock supposedly has would have one of their esteemed agents pitching a book with active buy links to the self-pubbed version. Oh, and the ISBN was still active as well. Predictably, I had questions which Tom did not appreciate.

    Yes, I could have simply said nothing and moved on, but this is an agent who contacted me, and I felt within my rights to call him on the carpet. He's essentially taking my time, and I don't think it's out of line to ask "what gives here?"
    Last edited by priceless1; 01-07-2009 at 02:47 AM.

  13. #13
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by priceless1 View Post
    Try googling his name, and you can find out more.
    Well, you know me. Always one to pick up a challenge and run with it, no matter how bad an idea that turns out to be.

    I Googled the name of the agency, and of the agent, and found this page (scroll down to find a reference to the agency), which led me to this.

    Those two pieces are remarkably similar and I'd say they were probably written by the same person. And that's not a person I'd want representing me. But then, I prefer not to be scared by my agent.

  14. #14
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    I wonder how much of it is simply tall story telling, though?

    To quote his blog:

    "the 'zine," which I conceived and coined in 1985 ... I haven't checked a dictionary to see if "'zine" is now listed as a word"
    He's clearly tounge-in-cheek here .. even I remember the word 'zine' being used well before then.

    A quick check shows that 'zines' were called 'zines' back in the early 1970s ... before I was born. An before Tom Dark was born too, I suspect.

    Mac
    Last edited by Mac H.; 01-07-2009 at 12:36 PM.

  15. #15
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac H. View Post
    IHe's clearly tounge-in-cheek here .. even I remember the word 'zine' being used well before then.
    Um...I think he's serious. See this Wikipedia discussion page related to the entry for "zine" (scroll down to the bottom--Tom Dark has his very own entry).

    - Victoria

  16. #16
    lancefrank
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    Tom Dark

    I read all of the posts concerning Tom, but didn't see any from a client's perspective. Being a client, I would like to say that I am thouroughly impressed with Tom's ability as an agent. I have been in the entertainment industry as a writer, director, and documentarian for four years. I have had several talent agents, but Tom is my first, and hopefully only Literary Agent. When I submitted my novel, I recieved a few offers for representation. I passed on two that were larger than Heacock. Tom has an intense loyalty to his authors. He writes me often to let me know what he is doing to help sell the book. He also values the friendships he makes with his authors. For some, he may not be the right agent. For me, there is no one better. I like that someone is willing to get out there and push for me. Even if they come off as annoying or "creepy" to others.

    I also read the links that lead to blogs posted by Tom. Is it really that bad for an agent to enjoy being a writer? I think that writing is sometimes affected by mood. If someone writes they are a failure, it is because they are able to show their emotions to the reader. I cannot speak for anyone else but I can assure you that despite my accomplishments in life, the only thing I have ever wanted to do is write books that people will never forget. I want to write the stories that burn images into the minds of the readers, much like Kerouac or Joyce. If I never change the world with the power of my words, I have failed by definition. It is not wrong to write our fears or feelings, it is just writing.

    Priceless, I am sorry to see that you have publicly blasted Tom. It does a great disservice to his clients. I admire somone willing to fight for their client. It seems as if you took a simple misunderstanding and threw it out for everyone to judge. Seems to me that could be considered unprofessional...

    If anyone would like to comment or form a rebuttal, I would love to hear it. I am always up for a good debate. I can be reached at lancefrank@gmail.com

    Also, if anyone is in the West Side of Los Angeles, I know a lot of great writer's groups that are free.

  17. #17
    Still alive. Kind of. caromora's Avatar
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    Lancefrank, if you don't mind me asking, how long have you been Tom's client, and has he sold anything for you yet?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by lancefrank View Post
    Priceless, I am sorry to see that you have publicly blasted Tom. It does a great disservice to his clients. I admire somone willing to fight for their client. It seems as if you took a simple misunderstanding and threw it out for everyone to judge. Seems to me that could be considered unprofessional...
    Lancefrank, this is a Bewares forum. That means we share information that educates/warns/enlightens authors in the various aspects of publishing. I'm thrilled that Tom is doing right by you. I hope he does the same for all his clients. Since I have a perspective that many don't, I wanted to share my experiences of Tom's abilities to cough up a proper query and his subsequent behavior. That they aren't good experiences doesn't strike me as being unprofessional. I wasn't the one acting like a buffoon.

    At any rate, glad you could bring some balance that I couldn't.

  19. #19
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Tom Dark is my agent

    nokiauser1,priceless1,and revolocard or should I say Meletus, Anytus and Lycon?
    Is this the 21st century's version of making an innocent man drink the hemlock? Your posts are eloquent and may convince many (such might be the effect of them) yet you have not spoken a word of truth. The way to get revenge on a better man is not to be crushing his reputation like this, or threatening to have him lose his job. This way is not noble or honorable. A better use of your energy and time would be trying to improve yourselves.

    You wrote Caveat emptor, I write Quod ego sum contentus

    My real name is James Clark. I wrote a book about how I have been able to break 27 world fitness and strength records by using Platonic Metaphysics. Tom is my agent and he is the most loyal, hardworking and professional individual that I have ever met.

    His mental state has come into question by his accusers on this board. They have greatly exaggerated. However, I ask...what is your point? Being well adjusted is over-rated. Who would you want working your behalf, a man who is perfectly sane but doesn't stand up for you? or a man who may be unrefined but would sacrifice himself for your benefit? Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. I'd take one Tom Dark over a baker's dozen of the other garden variety, run of the mill literary agents out there.

  20. #20
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Hi Mr. Clark,

    Welcome to AW, and thanks for contributing to the thread. Could you tell us if Mr. Dark has sold your book, and if so, to whom?
    http://www.staciakane.com

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  21. #21
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Dear All,
    I am Sriram Karri (oratorgreat.blogspot.com), from India. I came across this forum just some time ago and I think being someone who has some perspective on it, must share it. Tom Dark is my agent; after the reasonable success of my first book, a non-fiction, called The Spiritual Supermarket (longlisted for the Vodafone Crossword Book award in India), I finished my novel and started for representation.

    Since I had tried to get representation for my earlier book too, and had interacted with most agents in the US and UK, I have a good idea of most, and have a good relationship continued despite not getting represented for a few years. When my novel got finished, I only wrote to some agents, I knew, and some "top agents" from AAt etc. - such was my confidence. I quickly got offers from agents in the UK and the US, some big names, mostly certainly credible. I choose Tom because he brought in a raw, honest passion and directness, which may sounds rude or unprofessional to some. To me, it meant he was human, real and fun.

    Down the line, we have got offers from publishers from not just US. Tom has even, earlier to this, sent rejection notes of editors with explanations, and we have great conversations (of course long distance). For instance, I know all about James Clark and several other writers of Tom through our discussions, though I never interacted with Mr Clark at all. Or Lance, just met up with him too. Needless to say, we will sign the best deal soon. But more importantly, I recently met a famous British literary agents with great clients, at a literary festival where I was invited. He asked me if I was looking for a change. He has some of the bigger Indian writers.

    I will repeat here what I told him, "... Tom is for me, for ever. Unless he chooses not to represent me." Or retires, or loses his job, or interest. If some authors choose not to seek Tom out as an agent, I think it is their choice, but they sure will miss a great one. And more than just that.... a great friend too!

  22. #22
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    But has he sold your book?

    - Victoria

  23. #23
    Your friendly cynic Anna Magdalena's Avatar
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    And can you also tell us something about the Vodafone Crossword Book award please. I'm agog.

  24. #24
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss View Post
    But has he sold your book?
    I checked Sriram Karri's blog, which says, "My first book, The Spiritual Supermarket, was longlisted for the Vodafone Crossword Award, 2008". There were no hits for "The Spiritual Supermarket" by an author of that name on Amazon. Checked B&N as well... nothing.

    However, there was a blog entry featuring a fictional conversation between an editor and a writer, where the editor says,

    "Honestly, this terrible mistake has gone on for too long… writers writing books. The age of celebrity writing has arrived…. We have no place for you, because, you don’t fit out publishing profile. Now if will excuse me…"
    There is a Vodafone Crossword Book Award, given to "the best of Indian writing", but I couldn't find anything on that particular page about Mr. Karri's book.
    Last edited by Marian Perera; 02-08-2009 at 09:11 PM.
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  25. #25
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    If the VCBA is like most awards, "longlisted" translates to "submitted for consideration".
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    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

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