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Gman
01-26-2012, 09:42 PM
Hello all,

I'm currently editing my first MG contemporary fantasy manuscript and am getting ready to query agents in the near future. I'm a federal agent, and my question is whether or not I should mention that in the query? My job isn't related to my book, but could that help draw some interest from agents? Or do you think it would come off as a cheap gimmick?

Thanks,

Gman

Drachen Jager
01-26-2012, 10:13 PM
If your job has no direct relationship with the kind of book you're writing it really doesn't matter to an agent. I'd only put it in if they ask for a bio.

Besides, if I saw "Federal Agent" without specifics it would make me think of that crazy guy on Survivor who was always going on about how he was a Fed, even though the actual agency he'd been with was mostly involved with contractor fraud and other un-exciting things like that.

Gman
01-26-2012, 10:37 PM
If your job has no direct relationship with the kind of book you're writing it really doesn't matter to an agent. I'd only put it in if they ask for a bio.

Besides, if I saw "Federal Agent" without specifics it would make me think of that crazy guy on Survivor who was always going on about how he was a Fed, even though the actual agency he'd been with was mostly involved with contractor fraud and other un-exciting things like that.

Haha, that guy on Survivor was crazy, but hilarious. I work for a well known one, not an obscure agency like the "federal agent" on Survivor. I'm leaving it general here, but I would be specific on the query.

Drachen Jager
01-26-2012, 11:18 PM
It probably won't hurt to put it in, but it probably won't help either. For fiction, the body of the query is what makes or breaks you 99% of the time.

CrastersBabies
01-27-2012, 10:05 AM
Hey Gman! Welcome to the board. I wouldn't put it in the query letter unless it directly relates to your story (i.e. if you were writing a spy thriller or such).

I'm a gaming scholar but I also write fantasy. I don't think they'd give a flip one way or another. :)

On a completely unrelated note, the research project we're working on now is how to teach government agents about cognitive bias through a video game we are in the process of creating. We haven't worked with any agents yet (not that far in) but it seems pretty cool! I wish I could wrap my head around confirmation bias. The stuff you folks have to learn. :)

Gman
01-27-2012, 07:59 PM
Thanks for the feedback. I'll probably include it in a small bio paragraph since I don't really have any writing credentials.

CrastersBabies - that project sounds interesting.

quicklime
01-27-2012, 08:01 PM
It probably won't hurt to put it in, but it probably won't help either. For fiction, the body of the query is what makes or breaks you 99% of the time.


I agree with this, with the caveat that whenever I see a credential that isn't a credential it DOES raise a red flag in my mind to wonder if they are new and don't realize it isn't a credit, or they know but they're desperate enough to try fudging the details.

either of those may not be huge red flags, but since I don't see any gains they offset, I avoid them and leave my stuff blank, hoping the body sells itself.

Jamesaritchie
01-27-2012, 08:44 PM
Mentioning it will do no harm, but it would make much more difference if your novel was about the type of work you do. You job makes a difference only if it shows you have special knowledge abut the subject you're writing about.

Drawing interest form other agents is meaningless. By that logic, every job out there would be worth mentioning, and they aren't.

Danthia
01-28-2012, 01:57 AM
If you want to mention it, mention it, but it really won't matter much if it doesn't pertain the book. What matters most is the book itself, and if that's awesome your bio won't matter one whit.

heyjude
01-28-2012, 02:43 AM
:welcome: to AW, Gman!

I'd throw it into the bio, but wouldn't expect it to net anything.

shaldna
01-28-2012, 01:52 PM
Hello all,

I'm currently editing my first MG contemporary fantasy manuscript and am getting ready to query agents in the near future. I'm a federal agent, and my question is whether or not I should mention that in the query? My job isn't related to my book, but could that help draw some interest from agents? Or do you think it would come off as a cheap gimmick?

Thanks,

Gman

Generally if you job is related to your book in a way that gives you added cred then that's cool - such as someone writing a crime novel and working as a SOCO or a homicide detective etc.

The other exception would be if you had a really really strange job that would could be a marketing point further down the line - such as a funeral parlour make up artist or a trapeze artist or space station mechanic.